CR4® - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

 Previous in Forum: High-Power Transformer with Parallel Secondary Protection Next in Forum: Surface Electric Potential
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12

# Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/04/2008 9:41 PM

Hi,

Want to size the cable for a load of 2000kW feeder, I assumed that the pf is 0.8 and efficiency is 0.85 and the voltage is 690V, 50 Hz. 3 ph.

I got
1000 × 2000 / 1.73 × 690 × 0.8 × 0.85 = 2461.00A

I always thought the using 9 runs of 1c x 150 sq.mm would be sufficient as the derated current for this cable is 293 (Actual vendor's cable rated current was 367A)

9 runs I got becos 2461/293 = 8.4 runs.

In this case it happens that i get 9 runs when I used single core so I can terminate easily 3 runs per phase. Suppose I had got 10 run, I guess I should use 12 runs of single core. Is this correct?

Now what is the difference if I use 3C or 1C. I always thought same size sq.mm cable whether 3c or 1c has the same CONDUCTOR (that is only same copper cross-section area) cross-section. Is this correct? for example a 240mm2, 3 core cable and 240mm2 1C cable has the same conductor size.

But if I use 3 core x 150 sq.mm in the above, now the cable derated current is only 205A (Actual vendor cable rated current is 257A). So I would require 2461/205 = 12 runs of 3c x 150 sq.mm.

I understand that voltage drop and short circuit calculations also have to be done. But pls clarify my above basic query. Thanks

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1325
#1

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/05/2008 12:06 PM

Generally, the current that can be carried by these cables is limited by the temperature that the insulation will be subjected to. Depending on the cable configuration and how many are placed together, the cooling efficiency will vary affecting the insulation temperature. Different insulation temperature rating will give different ampacity for the same cable cross section. Just look at the size of the wires used to wind a transformer. They are less than half the size that we use in to interconnect equipments simply because their insulation can take 150C instead of the 90C insulation that we use.

The other aspect of cable sizing is the voltage drop on long runs. Generally, the inductance is the major contributor. One is therefore advantaged to pack the cables as close as possible to each other but this reduce the thermal dissipation and the current capacity. A good compromise is to bondle three phases together in one cable which minimizes the inductive voltage drop and allows you to to add few other of the same in parallel with enough spacing to cool them down.

That is the main reasons for the different results.

__________________
Experienced is earned, common sense is taught, both are rare essentials of life.
Anonymous Poster
#2

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/05/2008 6:55 PM

Hi Marcot,

Thanks for responding.

I want to know whether I am right in the way I have used 3 core cable or single core cable.

1) When we say 3core carries 100A. Does it mean all 3 cores together carry 100A?

2) An is current the only criteria in going for 3 core or 1 core?

Thank you

Guru

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1325
#3

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/05/2008 7:38 PM

I am not 100% certain that I understant exactly what you are trying to say and I might be confused with some of the therms used. Here is a list of the concepts that you might want to investigate.

1-You might want to revise your current calculation since you need some parenthesis. 1000 × 2000 / (1.73 × 690 × 0.8 × 0.85) = 2461.00A

2-I assume that a three core cable is made out of 3 isolated conductors with a ground conductor. This is normally used in a three phase / three wires connections. In this case, each cable would be rated for the 100A that you give as an example.

3-The 2461A that you calculated above is the phase current. Each phase carry this current if the load is balanced.

4-You seem to use some de-rating for parallel conductors. This is usually given in tables from your local electrical code. The final de-rating depends on the number of conductors in parallel, the type of insulation, and the type of trays used to run the cables.

5-With the size of this installation, you will need a certified master electrician and/or an engineer to make the final calculations for construction. There are many aspects such as the available short circuit, the protection coordination and the mechanical installation that are cover by laws. Be careful. This discussion is not legal advise.

__________________
Experienced is earned, common sense is taught, both are rare essentials of life.
Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 199
#6

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/06/2008 5:04 PM

Hi

1) 3-core carries 100amp means 100amps per phase. Thus in your original post, you would require 9 150mm2 cables per phase, plus neutral cables, plus earth. That's a lot of cables.

2) 3-core cables will be armoured, neutral screened, or sheathed. This increases their thermal insulation thus decreases the current carrying capacity.

Thus 1-core cables will carry more current for a given size. But as the installation is more difficult, especially if they are paralleled, volt drop can increase due to stray inductance.

1-core cables are also easier to deliver and handle/install.

I would not parallel more than 3 cables if I can get away with it. At 2500amps, I would prefer busbar trunking to cable. This gives you much better withstand of short circuit faults, is faster and cheaper to install, and can easily be re-used if the installation is changed. Easy also to use aluminium for the conductors.

__________________
I love deadlines; I love the whooshing sound they make as they pass by. - Douglas Adams
Anonymous Poster
#16

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

04/11/2008 2:28 PM

Hello

Generally best to use the Cable Maker of your particular cable, but try:

http://relemaccables.com/

If you are still needing help, reply with

Kind Regards....

Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 701
#4

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/06/2008 12:29 PM

almost all 3 or 3 1/2 core cables are armoured.Single core cables are not armoured as the armour surrounding a cable cable heated up due to induced currents which cancels in a armour surrounding the 3 core due to phase shift.So heat dissipation is less in 3 core cables and hence lower rating of current.

__________________
To avoid crticism do nothing,say nothing,be nothing
Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 127
#5

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/06/2008 1:59 PM

the reason for the derating will have to do with the 3 wires being wrapped/strrapped together their is less area to disipate heat as their is from a single cable.

Anonymous Poster
#7

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/06/2008 7:34 PM

Hi Marcot and Baby Guinness,

Sorry to bother you guys again on this.

Question 1a:

So that means for a 2000kW, 3 phase, 690 V, 50 Hz load, am I right to say the following:

I got
1000 × 2000 / 1.73 × 690 × 0.8 × 0.85 = 2461.00A

So are you saying that 2461 Amps is required to be carried by the cable PER PHASE or for all phases together?

Question 1b:

1000 × 2000 / 1.73 × 690 × 0.8 × 0.85 = 2461.00A

As 2461/293 = 8.4 runs

That means 9 runs of single core ,150 sq.mm per phase ? ( that is 27 cables of single core, 150 sqmm cables totally for the 2000kW load?)

OR

9 runs for all the 3 phases together?( that is 9 cables of single core, 150 sqmm totally?)

Question 2:

What does 3 core 150 sq.mm mean - Does it mean that in that single cable, each core is of (150/3 = 50) that is 50 sqmm or is each core in the 3 core Single cable is 150 sq.mm.

Thank you.

Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 199
#8

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/06/2008 9:16 PM

1a) PER PHASE

2461amps each phase

1b) 9 runs PER PHASE = 27 cables in total (for phases only; you will also need additional neutral & earth cabling also)

2) 3 core 150mm2 means 3 cables bound together in a single, overall sheathed, cable. Each cable sized as 150mm2.

Go to 'Multicore and circular TPS' and click on the various cable types; you will see pictures of their construction.

__________________
I love deadlines; I love the whooshing sound they make as they pass by. - Douglas Adams
Anonymous Poster
#9

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/07/2008 1:14 AM

Hey guys,

1) Are you saying that for example if current carrying capacity of a single core 35mm2 cable is given as 138 , then that single conductor carries 138 A,

whereas if we say that a 3 core cable of 35 mm2 is carrying 149 A, it means that EACH CORE of the 3 core cable carries 149 A?

2) Are are you are also saying when I say 3 core 35mm2 , it means that there are 3 cores of cross-section area 35mm2 is packed to gether in one cable with the effective cross-section of the cores being 105mm2.

If so, why do they give in the data sheet that 3 core cable of 35mm2 carries only 149 A. Should it not be 3 x 149 A? BG - I am refering to the General cable data sheet, which you refered.

Thank u

Anonymous Poster
#10

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/07/2008 3:46 AM

BabyGuinness answer was correct. 3 core cabe means 3 cables arranged or bound with single. based on your current rating. motor take 6times a normal current at the time of starting. So should take that current also while selecting the cable. 2461 x 1.5 = 3692 Amps as per NEC. I can select the cable 10 Run, 400sqmm aluminium armoured PVC sheathed. the sqmm will be reduced if u lay the in ground.

Thanks

Anonymous Poster
#11

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/07/2008 10:14 AM

So is that a YES and YES to my last two questions.

Thank you.

Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 199
#12

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/07/2008 3:03 PM

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, YES & YES!

Note that in a 3-phase balanced system (with zero harmonics), the currents sum to zero (as they are each out of phase by 120 deg). So three cables each carrying 150amps, does not equal 1 cable carrying 450amps. Data sheets refer to the current per phase, in a balanced cable.

So, lets say we have a single phase system with 2-cores carrying 150amps. EACH cable, phase and neutral, carries 150amps. Therefore volt drop is doubled, as the current must make the to- and return-journies.

In 3-phase, the currents cancel. Thus the currents only make the to-journey. If you have a neutral (i.e. 4-core), it should carry no current at all. But only in an ideal world. In reality, there must be some allowance for out of balance. You can get away with a reduced neutral (normally half size). But this is a calculated judgement call for an experienced engineer, in conjunction with local regulations.

In any case, you shouldn't parallel so many cables. Each individual cable must be capable of withstanding the short circuit fault current from your source. Also the number of terminations you are creating is enormous, and again each must withstand the s/c current. So again, busbar trunking is the way to go. See http://www.vass.com.au/h_features.asp

__________________
I love deadlines; I love the whooshing sound they make as they pass by. - Douglas Adams
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1325
#13

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/07/2008 4:05 PM

V Srini, I don't know what you are connecting and where. Be careful. Depending on the type of industry and the location in the world, there are many additional installation restrictions that will apply. Baby Guiness has given a lot of good info but you cannot use this as a complete design. From your questions, you are not qualified to do this design. If you are only asking general questions to get an idea of what this job involves, it is OK but do not go ahead on a design based on the info gathered here. Find a competent local engineer to finalize this. You might be surprised by the added costs if your application requires explosion proof cabling or the cable trays needed to support all this cabling.

Good luck.

__________________
Experienced is earned, common sense is taught, both are rare essentials of life.
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: chennai,India
Posts: 581
#14

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/07/2008 10:52 PM

I agree with your comments.Mr V.Srinivasan has to work under Design Engineer for couple of years and get his guidance before becoming full time designer.

Electrical Power system design is not easy as people think.

__________________
Ramesh,Freelance Electrical/automation Consultant
Anonymous Poster
#15

### Re: Single Core or 3 Core - Why ?

02/10/2008 6:41 AM

Hi BabyGuinness,

Thank you for replying to my questions CLEARLY.

Bye

Off Topic (Score 5)
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to