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/images/PowerCableUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgNew Standards Drive Cable Spec UpdatesNewStandardsDriveCableSpecUpdates.htmNew industry standards focus on MV application categories. The changes present a rare opportunity for reviewing internal company standards. Industry standards for medium-voltage power cable typically evolve slowly – and the opportunity to do a substantia
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New Standards Drive Cable Spec Updates

New industry standards focus on MV application categories. The changes present a rare opportunity for reviewing internal company standards.

Industry standards for medium-voltage power cable typically evolve slowly – and the opportunity to do a substantial review of a company’s purchase specifications comes rarely.

“Now that opportunity is available,” says Dave Mercier, technical director of Southwire’s Electrical Division. “ICEA (Insulated Cable Engineers Association) has replaced their key industry standards with a new set that is organized differently. The new organization will require changes in purchase specifications.”

The new ICEA standards for power cable have been reorganized to focus on cable voltage-range and application categories rather than insulation materials. The advantage of this approach is that all insulations suitable for use in a specific application can be contained in a single document. (See tables 1 and 2.) The new standards also reflect the latest wire and cable construction practices, insulations, and jacket materials.

ICEA standards augment UL 1072

Industrial wire and cable purchasers typically specify ICEA standards to augment the requirements of UL 1072, Safety Standard for Medium-Voltage Power Cables. This UL document is still the minimum requirement for power cables used under the NEC. The ICEA standards document additional requirements such as dc voltages for field tests, emergency overloads, and minimum bending radii for cables.

“In step with ICEA, UL has added updates to UL 1072,” Mercier says. “The third edition of UL 1072 incorporates and harmonizes with the majority of the changes in the ICEA standards.”

In addition to ICEA standards, specification writers can call out industry-standard qualification testing defined by the AEIC (Association of Edison Illuminating Companies). Qualification testing is contained in AEIC CS-8, a new specification that also harmonizes with the new ICEA standards. CS-8 replaces the earlier AEIC CS-5. “CS-8 was written for the utility industry, so if you do reference it for industrial applications, make sure your wording makes it clear that you are only referencing the qualification-testing portion,” Mercier advises.

Broad changes present a rare opportunity

“As specification writers update purchase specification to reflect the new industry standards, they should also take advantage of this opportunity to do a thorough review of their company’s internal standards, just as ICEA did,” says Mercier. “This is a rare chance to review and update the company’s position on the type and quality of cable being specified, so it reflects current industry practices and improved manufacturing capabilities.”

Table 1. New ICEA/NEMA Standards For Power Cables

Cable Type

ICEA/NEMA Standard

Shielded Power Cable 5-46 kV

ICEA S-93-639/NEMA WC74

Non-shielded 2001-5kV Cables

ICEA S-96-659/NEMA WC71

Non-shielded 0-2kV Cables

ICEA S-95-658/NEMA WC70

Concentric neutral cables 5-46 kV

ICEA S-94-649

Copper tape shield, LCT, or drain-wire shielded cables 5-46 kV

ICEA S-97-682

Table 2. Withdrawn ICEA/NEMA Standards For Power Cables

Insulation Type

ICEA/NEMA Standard

Cross-Linked Thermosetting Polyethylene Insulated Wire and Cable

ICEA S-66-524/NEMA WC7

Ethylene-Propylene-Rubber Insulated Wire and Cable

ICEA S-68-516/NEMA WC8

Thermoplastic Insulated Wire and Cable

ICEA S-61-402/NEMA WC5

Rubber Insulated Wire and Cable

CEA S-19-81/NEMA WC3

Key Standards Groups For Wire And Cable

ICEA(Insulated Conductors Engineers Association)

A professional organization dedicated to developing cable standards for the electric power, control, and telecommunications industries.

NEMA(National Electrical Manufacturers Association)

NEMA publishes the ICEA standards for wire and cable applications.

AEIC(Association of Edison Illuminating Companies)

An international association of companies engaged in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric service for sale to the general public.

UL(Underwriters Laboratory Inc)

An independent product safety testing and certification organization.