Economic Cable Sizing and Potential Savings

This study by Egemin explores and quantifies the relationship between cable sizing in non-residential electrical installations and energy savings. Such savings can justify larger cross sections up to a point. A trade-off between additional investment and operational savings is to be made.

The analysis follows these steps:

  • Identify and develop a number of simulated typical applications;
  • Provide standard approach cable sizing and energy losses data as reference base line;
  • Recalculate the cases using modified cable sizing strategies and compare both copper content and energy losses relative to the base line;
  • Quantify the energy impact of the modified strategies under study to allow extrapolation of the typical applications based on sectoral electricity consumption.

The main finding is that, under the current cable sizing practice, average losses in non-residential buildings range 2%. This value could be reduced to about 0.7% (i.e. a reduction of losses by 60%) under economic conditions by simply upsizing the conductor sections there where it makes economic sense in a 10 years perspective (considering both extra investment and avoided cost of losses).

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Highlights

  • Describes a study by Egemin on cable sizing and energy savings.
  • Under current cable sizing practice, average losses in non-residential buildings amount to around 2%.
  • This could be reduced to about 0.7% by upsizing the conductor sections where it makes economic sense.

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