How Substandard cables installed in electrical Distribution Network raise electricity bills

As we are well aware that modern civilization depends upon the Electricity and flow of electricity depends upon the cables.  Hence cables are the backbone of any electrical distribution network. There are numerous brands of electric cables available in Indian market for the purpose. Everyone is claiming the compliance of it to specific standard specification but many times such claims are not true. While selecting the cable for particular application, emphasis must be on the quality as annual running cost plays a vital role beside safe functional performances.

In this article, an attempt has been made to make end user understand that if the cables are not selected with caution then how it leads to direct financial loss in term of excessive annual running cost and create unsafe conditions. Loss occurred to the nation is substantial in term of excessive energy consumption by using substandard cables.

In general, Aluminum and copper constitute more than 70 % of the total cost of cable .Keeping in view today’s market scenario, drastic rising trend of Aluminium and copper prices can be seen since last few years.

This has added to the serious problem of supplying sub-standard cables now a days. Manufacturers of cable are tempted to cut corners and use lesser copper or Aluminium than it is required and also by making the conductor  with impure/ Recycled copper or Aluminum tendency  of cable manufacturer is to reduce overall input cost.

Cable standards specify the maximum conductor resistance. Drawing down lesser diameter of the wires .Use of impure/recycled  material being cheaper shall reduce the considerable amount of input cost of copper/ Aluminum

With Reduced Aluminium and copper components, cables are being provided with cheaper prices. Many times it is surprising to notice that cables are being supplied at prices even lesser than required Raw material cost.

Defects caused due to under –rated substandard cable is seriously affecting as direct money loss in term of excessive power Consumption beside overheating and reduced level of safety in electrical system network.

In general as far as functional performance is concerned, such serious defects cannot be judged during buying or installation of cables at consumer end. As L.V. cables are designed to operate at 1100 volts but in actual conditions being operated at system voltage of 415volts in India.

Functional performance may be seen satisfactory for the years as such during the operation. Certificate of compliance is being issued to the cable brands on the basis of functional performances but unfortunately the losses caused in term of excessive annual running cost on account of higher energy consumption are being ignored by the end users which is quite substantial.

In Europe, Public Warning Notices about such unsafe cables are being published authorities like BASEC (British Approval Services For Electric Cables)to assist the public safety  and to make aware of   such unsafe and noncompliant cables. But In India we are lacking with such approach and awareness.

For more in depth knowledge on the subject please attend IEEMA cable and wire conference to be held on August 23-24, 2018 in Delhi.