/images/PowerCableUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgIEC Designs? Look for Type TestIECDesignsLookforTypeTest.htmIf you specify wire or cable in international applications, you'll encounter performance requirements established by the IEC-the International Electrotechnical Commission.
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IEC Designs? Look for Type Test

Power Cable Update: April 1999

If you specify wire or cable in international applications, you'll encounter performance requirements established by the IEC-the International Electrotechnical Commission. "If you're considering a supplier for IEC cable, look for products designed specifically for IEC requirements, and be sure to get IEC-defined Type Test reports," says Buddy Powers, senior development engineer.

IEC-specific designs cut costs

IEC-specific designs make economic sense. To meet IEC requirements with standard U.S. cable designs, you may have an over-built cable. That drives up costs and breaks budgets. If you're bidding, your bid is less competitive. "We have developed a Southwire standard design for IEC applications," says Powers. "Customers can meet or exceed IEC requirements without paying for excess materials."

Low-voltage and medium-voltage Southwire standard designs for IEC applications comply with IEC 60228 for conductors, and with IEC 60502 for jacketed cables in the IEC 18/30kV voltage range. (Up to 18kV phase-to-ground and 30kV phase-to-phase.)

Southwire's optional ARMOR-X® seamless aluminum sheath designs can add additional mechanical protection to any IEC cable. Jacket options include low-smoke, non-halogen, and oil-resistant properties. Southwire standard designs for IEC applications also meet AEIC qualification test requirements. Why is that important? Many European countries add local requirements on top of baseline IEC requirements. AEIC cable requirements are arguably the most stringent test requirements in the world. AEIC qualification helps Southwire standard designs meet or exceed local requirements.

Type Tests give performance details

"IEC standards define tests and performance requirements," says Powers. "They don't dictate cable construction."

"A statement on a catalog sheet that a cable complies with Œappropriate IEC requirements' doesn't really tell you much," says Powers. "60502 is a complex document, and it covers a lot of territory. What part of 60502 do you test to? You need a Type Test report to know exactly which IEC requirements are being met."

Southwire has Type Test reports for IEC 0.6/1kV (600V) and 18/30kV (medium-voltage) products. Forte Power Systems, a Southwire company, has done Type Tests on solid-dielectric high-voltage products up to 230kV. "Type Test programs are time-consuming and expensive, and the data they generate can't be duplicated any other way," says Powers. "Many international cable users require a specific Type Test report as evidence that the cable they're buying meets IEC requirements. Type Tests demonstrate actual engineering and manufacturing accomplishments, not just capabilities."