PILC Power Cables and Advancements

Paper Insulated, Lead Covered (PILC) cables were very common in the 1920s, 30s and 40s for the transmission of medium-voltage power. It is still used today in some parts of the world for underground reticulation, main distribution systems, sub-station wiring, and in mining.
PILC power cables have specific operational ranges where they function at their best. The functioning range depends on a number of factors, but due to the extensive use of these cables in the past, these factors are well known and widely documented.
One company makes 3 Core PILC cables. These come in two belted and one screened style. They can be ordered with Single Wire Armour (SWA) or a Double Steel Tape Armour (DSTA).
Armoured cable will reduce the loss from electromagnetic bleed if using Aluminum Wire Armoured (AWA) cable, but these single core power cables are available unarmoured as well. Available in sizes ranging from 25mm to 300mm, cables will have the following characteristics depending on the finished size
The following cables range in size from 25mm to 300 mm. These are the three most popular types.
3 Core PILC Belted 11/11KV power cables have the same size range but are not rated for as high an amp rating, but the impedance for these power cables is exactly the same as those listed above. 3 Core PILC Screened 6.35/11KV cables, being more resistant than the cables listed earlier, are the opposite of the belted cables being more resistant than the first cables listed.
Used in both dry and wet applications, PILC cables continue to be very popular where utility service is required for underground electrical distribution systems.
Replacement products have also been designed for old PILC cables currently in use today. Due to technological advancements these replacement products are available at significantly reduced costs with the added benefits that the production methods are less injurious to the environment as well. Offering up to an 8-10% reduction in cable diameter as compared to the older style PILC power cables, one can generate the same level of electrical transmission in a significantly smaller footprint.
If you are thinking of replacing an existing electrical network that currently uses PILC power cables, it would be wise to take a look at the newer cable designs and capacities available on the market today. Being able to move to a smaller cable diameter may just be in your best interest.
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