How to select MCB / MCCB (Part:1)


MCB or MCCB are widely used in electrical distribution system for ON/OFF Electrical supply and it also gives over current and short circuit protection. Selection of MCB or MCCB involved technical, Mechanical parameters. Some parameters are important but some parameters are confusing and mislead to wrong selection of MCCB. Some parameters are directly affected on cost of MCCB.  

Specification / Name Plate Details of MCB/MCCB:

 Following specifications are required to select appropriate MCB or MCCB.

(A) Current Related:

  • Frame Size (Inm): Amp
  • Rated current (In/ Ie): Amp
  • Ultimate short circuit breaking capacity (Icu): KA
  • Rated short-circuit breaking capacity (Ics): % of Icu

(B) Voltage Related:

  • Rated voltage (Ue): Volt
  • Rated Insulation voltage (Ui): Volt
  • Rated impulse withstand voltage(Uimp): KV
  • No’s of Pole : SP,DP,TP,TPN,FP

(C) Application Type:

  • Utilization Category/ Characteristic : B,C or D curve

(D) Accessories:

  • Rotary Handle: Extended/ Direct
  • Alarm Contact:
  • Shunt Trip:
  • Under voltage Trip:
  • Mechanical interlocking:
  • Manual /Auto operation
  • Motorized Operation:

(E) Protection Type:

  • Protection : Over current / Short circuit
  • Trip Mechanism: Thermal / Magnetic / Solid / Microprocessor
  • Trip Mechanism adjustment : Fixed / Adjustable

(F) Others:

  • Frequency;
  • Reference temperature: (if different from 30°C)
  • Pollution degree:
  • Suitability for isolation:
  • Type of Mounting arrangement
  • Electrical Life Cycles:
  • Mechanical Life Cycles:
  • Dimension: mm
  • Weight: Kg
  • Reference Standard: IEC: 60947-1/2, IS: 13947-1/2

 (A) Current Related:

  (1) Frame Size (Inm): 

  • Breaker Frame Size indicates the basic framework of the Plastic shell of MCCB that can hold the biggest rated current.
  • It is the maximum current value for which the MCCB is designed (upper limit of the adjustable trip current range) and it also determines the physical dimensions of the device.
  • There are varieties current ratings MCCB for the same series frame Size.
  • For example, DX100 Frame Size MCCB for rated current of 16A, 20A, 25A, 32A, 40A, 50A, 63A, 80A, 100A.
  • Same DX225 Frame Size MCCB for rated current of 100A, 125A, 160A, 180A, 200A, 225A.
  • In above DX100 and DX225 has two Type of frame Size for rated current of 100A, but the shape and size of breaking capacity of circuit breakers is not the same.

 (2) Rated Current (In /Ie):

  • It is the current value above which overload protection is tripped.
  • For MCB it is fixed while in MCCB the rated current is an adjustable range instead of a fixed value.
  • Standard rating of MCB is 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 6A, 10A, 13A, 16A, 20A, 25A, 32A, 40A, 50A, 63A, 100A for MCB.

(B) Voltage Related:

 (3) Ultimate short-circuit breaking capacity (Icu):

  • Breaking capacity can be defined as the maximum level of fault current which can be safely cleared.
  • It is the highest fault current that the MCCB can trip without being damaged permanently.
  • The MCCB will be reusable after interrupting a fault, as long as it doesn’t exceed this value.
  • It is indicate operation reliability of MCCB
  • This parameter may increase or decrease the cost, so it should be properly decided. Breaking capacity should be higher than the possible fault level. For domestic application fault level may be 10kA.

(4) Operating short-circuit breaking capacity (Ics):

  • It is expressed as a percentage ratio of Icu and tells you the maximum short-circuit current if a circuit breaker can break three times and still resume normal service.
  • The higher the lcs, the more reliable the circuit breaker
  • It is the maximum possible fault current that the MCCB can clear. If the fault current exceeds this value, the MCCB will be unable to trip and another protection mechanism must operate.
  • If a fault above the Ics but below the Icu occurs, the MCCB can interrupt it successfully but will need a replacement due to the damage suffered.
  • The Main difference between Ultimate Short Circuit (Icu) and Service Breaking Capacity (Ics) that Icu (Ultimate Braking Capacity) means Circuit breaker can remove the fault and remain usable but Ics (Service Braking Capacity) means Circuit breaker can remove the fault, but it may not be usable afterwards.
  • For example, if a circuit breaker has an Ics of 25,000 Amperes and an Icu of 40,000 Amperes:
  • Any fault below 25kA will be cleared with no problem.
  • A fault between 25kA and 40kA will cause permanent damage when cleared.
  • Any current exceeding 40 kA can’t be cleared by this breaker.

 (5) Rated working voltage (Ue):

  • It is the continuous operation voltage for which the MCCB is designed.
  • This value is typically equivalent or close to a standard system voltage.
  • In three phase it is usually 400V or 415 V. For single phase it is 230V or 240V.

(6) Rated Insulation voltage (Ui):

  • It is the maximum voltage that the MCCB can resist according to laboratory tests.
  • It is higher than the rated working voltage, in order to provide a margin of safety during field operation.

(7) Rated impulse withstands voltage (Uimp):

  • It is the value of transient peak voltage the circuit-breaker can withstand from switching surges or lighting strikes imposed on the supply.
  • This value characterizes the ability of the device to withstand transient over voltages such as lightning (standard impulse 1.2/50 μs).
  • Uimp = 8kV means Tested at 8 kV peak with 1.2/50μs impulse wave.

(8) Number of Poles:

  • No of Pole for MCCB depends on Single Phase & Three Phase Power Controlling /Protection
  • Single Pole (SP) MCB: 
  • A single pole MCB provides switching and protection for one single phase of a circuit.
  • Used: for Single Phase circuit
  • Double Pole (DP) MCB: 
  • A two Pole MCB provides switching and protection both for a phase and the neutral.
  • Used: for Single Phase circuit
  • Triple Pole (TP) MCB: 
  • A triple/three phase MCB provides switching and protection only to three phases of the circuit and not to the neutral.
  • Used: for Three Phase circuit
  • 3 Pole with Neutral (TPN (3P+N) MCB): 
  • A TPN MCB, has switching and protection to all three phases of circuit and additionally Neutral is also part of the MCB as a separate pole. However, Neutral pole is without any protection and can only be switched.
  • Used: for Three Phase circuit with Neutral
  • 4 Pole (4P) MCB: 
  • A 4 pole MCB is similar to TPN but additionally it also has protective release for the neutral pole. This MCB should be used in cases where there is possibility of high neutral current flow through the circuit as in cases of an unbalanced circuit.
  • Used: for Three Phase circuit with Neutral

What should you know before buying LED Bulbs (Part:3)

 (4) Color Rendering Index (CRI):

  • There are two standard measurements for the color characteristics of light: “color rendering index” (CRI) and “color temperature”, which expresses the color appearance of the light itself.
  • Color rendering index measures the ability of a light bulb to reproduce colors.
  • CRI is described How artificial light source is able to render the true color of objects as seen by natural outdoor sunlight which has a CRI of 100
  • The higher the CRI rating is, the better its color rendering ability.
  • Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a scale from 0 to 100.Incandescent bulbs are rated at 100 and most LED bulbs are usually rated somewhere between 80 and 85
  • CRI scoring of 100 is best and a CRI of zero being the worst.
  • CRI of 0: For a source like a low-pressure sodium vapor lamp, which is monochromatic compare to a source like an incandescent light bulb which has CRI of 100?
  • CRI of 62: A standard “cool white” fluorescent lamp will have a CRI near 62.
  • CRI of 70: Lamps with CRIs above 70 are typically used in office and living environments.
  • CRI of 82 to 86: Compact fluorescent lamps are graded at 82-86 CRI, which is considered high quality color rendering. CRI is a more important consideration for retail lighting design than it is for office lighting.
  • CRI of 80 and above: It is considered high and indicates that the source has good color properties.
  • Incandescent lamps and daylight have a CRI of 100, the highest possible CRI.
  • The higher the CRI of the light source, the “truer” it renders color.
  • The CRI can only be used to compare two light sources that have the same color temperature. A 5000 K, 80 CRI light source is not necessarily superior to a 4000 K, 70 CRI light source.
Color Rendering Index
Light source CRI
clear mercury 17
white deluxe mercury 45
warm white fluorescent tube 55
cool white fluorescent tube 65
deluxe warm white fluorescent 73
daylight fluorescent 79
metal halide 4200K 85
deluxe cool white fluorescent 86
metal halide 5400K 93
low pressure sodium 0-18
high pressure sodium 25
100-watt incandescent 100


Color Temperature & CRI
Lighting source Color Temperature Color Rendering Index
High Pressure Sodium Lamp 2100K 25
Incandescent Lamp 2700K 100
Tungsten Halogen Lamp 3200K 95
Tungsten Halogen Lamp 3200K 62
Clear Metal Halide Lamp 5500K 60
Natural Sun Light 5000K to 6000K 100
Day Light Bulb 6400K 80


Color Temperature & CRI
Kelvin Light Effect CCT CRI
Below 3600K Incandescent Fluorescent (IF) 2750 89
Below 3600K Deluxe warm white (WWX) 2900 82
Below 3600K Warm white (WW) 3000 52
3200K to 4000K White (W) 3450 57
3200K to 4000K Natural white (N) 3600 86
Above 4000 K Light white (LW) 4150 48
Above 4000 K Cool white (CW) 4200 62
Above 4000 K Daylight (D) 6300 76
Above 4000 K Deluxe Daylight (DX) 6500 88
Above 4000 K Sky white 8000 88

 (5) Beam angle:

  • How the light spreads out from the bulb (Beam Angle) is very important.
  • The beam angle determines how light is spread from the bulb into a given space.
  • The beam angle is the degree of width that light emanates from a light source. Specifically: The angle between those points on opposite sides of the beam axis where the intensity drops to 50% of maximum.
  • Typically a narrow beam angle is a ‘spot’ of light and called “Spot Light”. While a broader beam angle ‘floods’ with light, called a flood light. There are a number of much more specific designations of beam angle.
  • Beam angles of LEDs vary greatly and depend on their application. The shape of an LED bulb determines the direction light is emitted.
  • Narrow Spot Beam Angle: 05-15 degrees
  • Spot Beam Angle: 16-22 degrees
  • Narrow flood Beam Angle: 23-32 degrees
  • Flood Beam Angle: 33-45 degrees
  • Wide flood Beam Angle: 45+ degrees
  • Narrow angle bulbs less than 30 degrees are usually used when placing multiple down lights close to each other, such as in a hallway or when lighting cabinetry.
  • Larger beam angles are used with high-power LEDs for floodlighting. If you’re replacing incandescent or halogen lamps with LEDs, make sure the beam angle is similar to the old bulb.
  • Very large beam angles are sometimes found in pantries or walk-in wardrobes. As beam angle increases, we require more lumens (light output) to maintain the light’s intensity.


  (6) Efficacy (Lumen / Watt):

  • It is another important parameter to decide the performance of the LED bulb in terms of lumens.
  • It indicates effectiveness of the light bulb by converting electrical energy into visible light energy on watts used by Lighting Bulb; hence efficacy is total lumens per watt.
  • Example: 9W light bulb comes with lumens of 800 has an efficacy of 90 Lumens per Watt.
  • Incandescent bulbs give us light by passing electricity through a filament which heats up and emits light. In fact, 95% of the energy in these bulbs is lost to heat and only 5% is what produces light Hence, incandescent bulbs produce only 16 lumens / watt.
  • CFLs in the way they are built are more efficient and can give us between 50 to 70 lumens / watt (at least 3 times more than incandescent bulbs)
  • LED bulbs on the other hand, can output up to 100 lumens / watt – which make them one of the most efficient sources of lighting.
Parameter of LED Bulbs
Parameter Average Good Best
Lumens/Watt 75 90 100
Power Factor 0.7 0.8 0.9
CRI 60 70 80
LED Life in Hours 15000 25000 50000

 Other Technical Parameter:

(1) Instant Light:

  • LED Bulbs must be instant start and gives full Lumens from Starting.
  • When turning on CFLs and Fluorescent light bulbs, there is a slight hesitation before brightness is achieved, and some bulbs may flicker during warm up or even during operation.
  • Unlike fluorescents, LED bulbs, like incandescent bulbs, reach full illumination as soon as they are turned on.
  • LED lights produce a steady light which does not flicker.

(2) Dimming Capability:

  • Earlier versions of LED bulbs had the disadvantage of not being dimmable. Today, many LED bulbs are designed to work in dimmable switches which are provided in many lamps and home lighting fixtures.
  • Dimmable LEDs cost about 40% more than non-dimmable LEDs of similar wattage

(3) LED Driver:

  • The main cause of LED bulb failure is the driver. The driver is a small transformer that steps down the voltage from 230V AC to a much lower DC voltage for the LED.
  • It’s usually located inside the back of the bulb. A poor quality driver could result in bulb failure within months. The LED chip itself rarely fails until driver fails.

(4) LED Chip:

  • LED chips are manufactured by various big and small enterprises in the world. Some Good Suppliers make LED Chip of highest quality for longer life and more reliability.
  • Larger chip provide more lights, good stability against current variations, but it costs more.
  • Cheap and small led chip provides less light and stability. Ceramic COB lights are totally different in terms of size; they use multiple small chips to provide more lights and stability.

(5) Weight

  • LED lights need good heat dispassion, this can achieved by good amount of aluminum. Aluminum is generally used to provide better heat sink and extends the life of LED chip.
  • Thin heat sink can provide more area in less weight, but transfer enough heat for the removal.
  • Some lower quality products provide 12 to 20W lights in very low weight in plastic body. These products would not perform well even in small span of time.

(6) Heating:

  • Although LEDs don’t produce much heat they can overheat in operation if they’re not cooled correctly. Cheap LED’s are less efficient, produce more heat and are more heat sensitive. Operating above 60°C can damage cheaper LED’s shortening their life, reducing light output and efficiency. Generally the higher the wattage/power of a GU10 LED bulb, the more heat it produces requiring a more thermally efficient bulb body to keep the LEDs cool. Therefore beware of cheap higher wattage bulbs that don’t have a metallic or ceramic finned body. Another issue is that higher wattage thermally efficient LED bulbs may be so large that they are no longer a suitable size.

What should you know before buying LED Bulbs (Part:2)

(3) Correlated Color temperature (CCT):

  • Color temperature refers to the light’s color characteristics.
  • Color Temperature is measured in Kelvin.
  • It refer to the warmness or coolness of the light that bulb produces.
  • The color temperature of a light source is a numerical measurement of its color appearance.
  • This temperature is based on the principle that any object will emit light if it is heated to a high enough temperature and that the color of that light will shift in a predictable manner as the temperature is increased.
  • Color temperature is a description of the warmth or coolness of a light source. When a piece of metal is heated (temperature increases) the color of light it emits will change. This color begins as red in appearance and graduates to orange, yellow, white, and then blue-white to deeper colors of blue.
  • Color Temperature is not an indicator of lamp heat.
  • The sun, for example, rises in morning at approximately 1800 Kelvin and changes from red to orange to yellow and to white as it rises to over 5000 Kelvin at high noon. It then goes back down the scale as it sets in evening.
  • The warm white ranges from about 2700k to 3800k, natural white ranges from 3800k to 4800k, pure white or daylight from about 4800k to 6000k. Cool white starts from around 6000k upwards.
  • Colors and light sources from the red/orange/yellow side of the spectrum are described as warm (incandescent) and those toward the blue end are referred to as cool (natural daylight).
  • In Color Temperature Value higher Kelvin temperatures (3600–5500 K) are consider cool and lower color temperatures (2700–3000 K) are considered warm.
  • When choosing a color, the two considerations are important one is color rendering (How well the light shows the true color of objects) and temperature.

(1) Soft White / Warm White (2700K- 3000K):

  • Warm light is preferred for living spaces because it is more flattering to skin tones and clothing.
  • Recommended for indoor general and task lighting applications.
  • Living rooms
  • Bed rooms
  • Rooms decorated in earthy tones (reds, oranges, and yellows)
  • It gives effect like incident or halogen Light.

(2) Natural / Cool White (3500K- 4500K):

  • Cool light is preferred for visual tasks because it produces higher contrast than warm light.
  • Recommended for use in Domestic Applications.
  • Warmer Whites are preferable in living and dining areas as well as reception areas to create a more relaxed environment.
  • Natural Whites are preferable for kitchens and bathrooms where tasks are performed.
  • Suitable for work areas where contrast is important.
  • Kitchen
  • Bath rooms
  • Rooms decorated in airy, fresh hues (blues, greens, whites)
  • It gives effect like Fluorescent Light.

(3) Bright White (4500-5000K):

  • Recommended for use in:
  • Office
  • Study Room

(4) Daylight / Full Spectrum (5000K- 6500K):

  • Recommended for use in:
  • Garage
  • Office
  • Industrial and hospital areas.


                                                         Lighting Source CCT
Source Color temperature in Kelvin
Skylight (blue sky) 12,000 – 20,000
Average summer shade 8000
Light summer shade 7100
Typical summer light (sun + sky) 6500
Daylight fluorescent 6300
Xenon short-arc 6400
Overcast sky 6000
Clear mercury lamp 5900
Sunlight (noon, summer, mid-latitudes) 5400
Design white fluorescent 5200
Special fluorescents used for color evaluation 5000
Daylight photoflood 4800 – 5000
Sunlight (early morning and late afternoon) 4300
Brite White Deluxe Mercury lamp 4000
Sunlight (1 hour after dawn) 3500
Cool white fluorescent 3400
Photoflood 3400
Professional tungsten photographic lights 3200
100-watt tungsten halogen 3000
Deluxe Warm White fluorescent 2950
100-watt incandescent 2870
40-watt incandescent 2500
High-pressure sodium light 2100
Sunlight (sunrise or sunset) 2000
Candle flame 1850 – 1900
Match flame 1700
Skylight (blue sky) 12,000 – 20,000
Average summer shade 8000
Light summer shade 7100
Typical summer light (sun + sky) 6500
Daylight fluorescent 6300
Xenon short-arc 6400
Overcast sky 6000
Clear mercury lamp 5900
Sunlight (noon, summer, mid-latitudes) 5400
Design white fluorescent 5200
Special fluorescents used for color evaluation 5000
Daylight photoflood 4800 – 5000
Sunlight (early morning and late afternoon) 4300
Bright White Deluxe Mercury lamp 4000
Sunlight (1 hour after dawn) 3500
Cool white fluorescent 3400
Photoflood 3400
Professional tungsten photographic lights 3200
100-watt tungsten halogen 3000
Deluxe Warm White fluorescent 2950
100-watt incandescent 2870
40-watt incandescent 2500
High-pressure sodium light 2100
Sunlight (sunrise or sunset) 2000
Candle flame 1850 – 1900
Match flame 1700


                                CCT – Correlated  Color  Temperature

Kelvin Associated Effects Type of Bulbs Appropriate Applications
2700° Warm White, Very Warm White incandescent bulbs Homes, Libraries, Restaurants
3000° Warm White most halogen lamps, Slightly ‘whiter’ than ordinary incandescent lamps Homes, Hotel rooms and Lobbies, Restaurants, retail Stores
3500° White Fluorescent or CFL Executive offices, public reception areas, supermarkets
4100° Cool White   Office, classrooms, mass merchandisers, showrooms
5000° Daylight Fluorescent or CFL Graphic industry, hospitals
6500° Cool Daylight Extremely ‘white’ Jewelry stores, beauty salons, galleries, museums, printing




What should you know before buying LED Bulbs (Part:1)


  • The market of LED Lights is blooming very fast. Many companies serve LED Bulb to their customer and it is not easy for customer to choose best LED Bulb among them.
  • The customer does not aware the technical parameter of LED, so It becomes more difficult to find out the best quality of LED Bulbs.
  • With traditional incandescent light bulbs it was simple to get the right light bulb.  If a 60 watt bulb is the broke or fused you have just get another 60 watt. When it comes to LED lighting, it’s very different.  Since LED light bulbs doesn’t use the same amount of power that incandescent bulbs use.
  • LED is described in terms of incandescent equivalence so we may see an LED bulb described as a 60 watt equivalent when in reality it only uses about 9.5 watts. This is because LEDs are measured by lumens (the total amount of visible light put out by a light bulb).  There is not a direct mathematical comparison between the lumen ratings used in LEDs and the wattage consumed by an incandescent.
  • To choose best LED Bulbs we should consider following technical Parameters.

Parameters for Choosing LED Bulbs

 There are different factors to consider when choosing a suitable LED replacement bulb

Basic Technical Parameters:

  • Lumen (Lighting Intensity)
  • Watt (Power Consumption)
  • Correlated Color Temperature (Light color)
  • Color Rendering Index (CRI)
  • Beam angle (Spread of light)
  • Efficiency (Lumen / Watt)
  • Power Factor

Other Parameters:

  • Instant Light
  • Dimming capacity
  • LED Driver
  • LED Chip
  • Weight
  • Heating

 Basic Technical Parameter:

(1)  Lumen (Brightness):

  • When we deal with brightness of LED bulb, we must to know Lumens not Watts.
  • The amount of light emitted from a light bulb is measured in Lumens.
  • When we replace an incandescent or CFL bulb with an LED bulb we should confirm that LED bulb produces the same number of lumens that the old bulb did.
  • As a general benchmark, a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb, for example, produces about 800 lumens of light. By comparison, a CFL bulb produces that same 800 lumens using less than 15 watts
  • Do not use watts as a measure of brightness.
  • Lumens represent the amount of light emitted by a light source, and are a more accurate measure of the brightness of a bulb.
  • More lumens mean brighter light, fewer lumens mean dimmer light
  • 1 Foot Candle: 1 foot candle of light is the amount of light (Lumen) that generates one foot radius away from Lighting source so 1 Foot Candle= 1 Lumen / Sq.Foot
  • 1 Lux: 1 Lux of light is the amount of light (Lumen) that generates one Metert radius away from Lighting source so 1 Lux= 1 Lumen / Sq.Meter


  • It is meaningless if we compare lumens between an LED bulb and a CFL to an incandescent bulb. While we are measuring lumens, we also have to consider useful lumens.
  • LED gives directional light unlike incandescent, halogen or compact fluorescent bulbs that give out omni-directional light (or light all around the bulb).  If a light bulb emits light in every direction similarly over and beneath, then light that going up can get trapped in the light fitting and totally wasted.
  • 50% of light emitted from a CFL or incandescent bulb is trapped inside the fitting and never makes it out and reached to objects. This trapped light is just gets absorbed and wasted as heat.
  • The amount of lumens that actually reached at the objects of Room that bulb produces are called as the useful lumens.
Lumen Chart for Incandescent, CFL,LED
Wattage Lumens Useful Lumens
LED 9W 800 lm 800lm
CFL 20W 1000lm 500lm
Incandescent 60W 1000lm 500lm
  • There is no rule for how many Lumen is required.It will depend on room size and shape, height of ceilings, colour scheme, type of lamps & fitting.
Area Lumens/Sq Meter
Kitchen 300 to 400
Kitchen (Task) 700 to 800
Living Room 400 to 500
Hallway 300
Bedroom 300 to 400
Bedroom (Task) 700 to 800
Bathroom 500 to 600
Bathroom (Task) 700 to 800
Reading Area 400

 (2)  Watt (Power Consumption):

  • The amount of energy a light bulb consumed is indicated by Watt.
  • The watts refer to how much energy a bulb will use.
  • The lower the watts, the lower the electric bill. CFLs and LEDs have a lower wattage than incandescent bulbs, but emit the same light output
  • Watts measure power consumption, whereas lumens measure light actual brightness..
  • Wattage is no longer a reliable way to gauge a light bulb’s brightness.
  • In old days, when there was only one basic type of incandescent light bulb was available.consumers could buy the incandescent bulb on the term “watts” .
  • Incandescent lamps use the filament material heated to the same temperature, the only way to increase their light output is to increase the wattage. We actually feel difference in brightnes between 60 Watt, 100Watt or 150 Watt light bulbs incandescent bulb.
  • When new technology introduce The energy-saving CFL bulbs of 15 Watt CFL bulb produced the same light of a 60 Watt incandescent. A 25 Watt CFL was comparable to a 100 Watt incandescent in light output.
  • Generally LEDs produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb that has five to six times the wattage.
  • LED sources are much more efficient at converting watts to lumens. Different materials can be used within the LED sources with different light extraction efficacy so two different LED sources can consume the same number of watts but having different  lumen output.
Watt Approximate Lumens
25 Watt 230 to 270
35 Watt 250 to 410
40 Watt 440 to 460
50 Watt 330 to 450
60 Watt 800 to 850
75 Watt 1000 to 1100
100 Watt 1500 to 1600


Incandescent Watts CFL Watts LED Watts Lumens (Brightness)
40 8 – 12 4 – 5 450
60 13 – 18 6 – 8 750 – 900
75 – 100 18 – 22 9 – 13 1100 – 1300
100 23 – 30 16 – 20 1600 – 1800
150 30 – 55 25 – 28 2600 – 2800

Cable Construction & Cable Selection- Part:4

Cable Selection Parameters:

 (1) Voltage of Cable:

  • The Nominal voltage is to be expressed with two values of alternative current Uo/U in V (volt)
  • Uo/U : Phase to earth voltage
  • Uo : Voltage between conductor and earth
  • U : Voltage between phases (conductors)
  • (i ) Low-tension (L.T.) cables — upto 1000 V
  • (ii ) High-tension (H.T. ) cables — upto 11,000 V
  • (iii ) Super-tension (S.T.) cables — from 22 kV to 33 kV
  • (iv ) Extra high-tension (E.H.T.) cables — from 33 kV to 66 kV
  • (v ) Extra super voltage cables — beyond 132 kV
  •  A low-voltage system usually has a solidly earthed neutral so that the line to earth voltage cannot rise higher than (line volts) ÷ √ 3. Cables for low-voltage use are insulated for 600V rms score to earth and 1000V rms core to core.
  • High-voltage cables used in Shell installations are rated 19000/3300V or 3810/6600V or 6600/11000V, Phase/Phase.
  • In selecting the voltage grade of cable, the highest voltage to earth must be allowed for. For example, on a normal 6.6kV unearthed system, a line conductor can achieve almost 6.6kV to earth under earth-fault conditions, to withstand this, a cable insulated for 6600/11000V must therefore be used.

 (2) Current carrying capacity:

  • The current carrying capacity of a cable is called Ampacity. Ampacity is defined as the maximum amount of electrical current a conductor or device can carry before sustaining immediate or progressive deterioration and is the rms electric current which a device or conductor can continuously carry while remaining within its temperature rating

  (3) Short Circuit values:

  • the “short-circuit current rating” is the maximum short-circuit current that a component can withstand. Failure to provide adequate protection may result in component destruction under short circuit conditions.
  • Short circuits and their effects must be considered in selecting cables. These cables should have a short circuit rating which is the highest temperature the cable can withstand during an electrical short circuit lasting up to about half a second.

 (4) Type of Conductor:

  • Type of Conductor Material Copper or Aluminum is main criteria for selection of Cable

 (5) No of Core:

  • No of Core selection is depends upon Power System.
  • For Single Phase Power Supply We can use 2 core Cable for Three phase supply we can use 3.5 Core or 4 Core Cable for HV supply We may be use Single Core Cable.

 (6) Voltage drop:

  • It is a primary concern when installing lengths of cables is voltage drop. The amount of voltage lost between the originating power supply and the device being powered can be significant. All cables have resistance, and when current flows in them this results in a volt drop.

 (7) Type of Insulation:

  • Type of Cable Insulation Material like, PVC, XLPE, Rubber
  • PVC Cable is cheaper than XLPE Cable

 (8) Method of Installation:

  • If we lay cable in Ground Armor cable is required but If we lay cable in cable tray We may be used un armor cable to reduce cost of cable.
  • I we lay cable on cable tray than shielded cable is required.
  • Mutual heating effect due to cable group laying is also consider while selecting a cable. When multiple cables are in close proximity, each contributes heat to the others and diminishes the amount of external cooling affecting the individual cable conductors. Therefore cable de rating is necessary consideration for multiple cables in close proximity.

 (9) Shielded Cable or un shielded Cable

  • The choice of a shielded cable or non-shielded cable is depend upon some criteria.
  • An area such as a production/factory floor where heavy equipment is being used is a prime example of a place where we might consider a shielded cable.
  • Grounding can also be a concern in some installations. If shielded cable is used to connect equipment from two different circuits, a ground loop can occur causing noise on a network line. If the ground voltage difference is great enough it may even cause damage.
  • Terminations of the shielded cable must also be made with care, to provide for a smooth dielectric transition from the shielded condition to the unshielded condition
  • the substantial space required if shielded cables were used. Shielded cables require a significant amount of space at each end of the cable for installation of the stress cone kit. Also, the minimum bending radius for shielded cables is twelve times cable outside diameter, whereas the minimum bending radius for unshielded cables is only eight times outside diameter (and even less with extra-flexible appliance connection cables used in controllers).
  • The two factors, high cost and large space requirements, preclude use of shielded cable in switchgear

 (10) Economics:

  • It is also an important factor for selecting the type of cable.
  • It is to be kept in mind that the cost of the cable should not be such large that it causes loss and another cable may fetch the same results in low cost and loss.

(11) Environmental conditions:

  • Cable operates at its best when it is installed in its optimum environmental conditions.
  • For example, Elastomeric Cable is applied in trailing, coal cutter, wind mill, panel wiring, battery cable and such other areas. XLPE cables work good in areas where moisture content is good. Thus, proper cable should be selected so that the system becomes more efficient.

 (12) Applications:

  • Low voltage cables with both PVC and XLPE insulation are suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Armored cables are not recommended for tray applications, as they are heavy in weight and extra loads are exerted on the tray.
  • Unarmored cables are not recommended for direct buried applications, except if the quoted cables are designed and produced to pass direct burial test requirements (example, direct burial tests described in UL 1277 and UL 1581).
  • A PVC jacket is a very stable material against a wide range of chemicals, while HDPE jacketed cables can serve better in wet locations.

 Cable Core Colors Identification

  • Single core – Natural
  • Two core – Red, Black
  • Three core – Red, Yellow and Blue
  • Four core – Red, Yellow and Blue and Black
  • Five core – Red, Yellow and Blue and Black and Green

 Abbreviation for PVC & XLPE Cable

  •  A = Aluminum Conductor.  
  • Y = PVC Insulation or PVC Sheath
  • 2X = Cross-linked Polyethylene Insulation 
  • W = Round Steel Wire Armoring  
  • WW = Double Round Steel Wire Armoring
  • F = Formed Steel Wire (Strip) Armoring
  • FF = Double Formed Steel Wire (Strip) Armouring
  • C = Metallic Screening (Usually of Copper)  
  • CE = Metallic Screening (Usually of Copper) over each individual core.
  • Gb = Holding Helix Tape (of Steel)  
  • Wa = Aluminum Round Wire & Aluminum Formed Wire (Strip) Fa Armouring.


  • AYY- Aluminum Conductor, PVC Insulated, PVC Outer Sheathed Heavy Duty Cables.
  • AYWY- Aluminum Conductor, PVC Insulated, Round Steel Wire Armored and PVC Outer Sheathed
  • AYFY- Aluminum Conductor, PVC Insulated, Flat Steel Wire (Strip) Armored and PVC Outer Sheathed
  • AYCY- Aluminum Conductor, PVC Insulated, Metallic Screened and PVC Outer Sheathed
  • A2XCY- Aluminium Conductor, XLPE Insulated, Metallic Screened and PVC Outer Sheathed

 Cable Application Standard:

  • IEC 60502 (Part 1)”PVC/ XLPE insulated cables” single core /multi-core
  • BS 5467 for XLPE insulated armored cables
  • BS 7889 for XLPE insulated single core unarmored cables

Cable Construction & Cable Selection- Part:3

(9) Armoring:

  • Code: IS: 7098 / IS: 3975 / IEC:60502 / BS:6622/BS:7835.
  • Material: metallic or non-magnetic Alumimium, Steel wire/strip.
  • Used for : LV, MV & HV Cables
  • The armor provides mechanical protection against crushing forces.
  • Armor also can serve as an Earth Continuity Conductor (ECC).
  • The armoring type could be:
  • Mechanical protection of the cable is provided by a single layer of wire / Strip strands laid over the bedding. Steel wire / Strip is used for 3-core or 4-core cables, but single-core cables have aluminum wire armoring.
  • When an electric current passes through a cable it produces a magnetic field (the higher the voltage the bigger the field). The magnetic field will induce an electric current in steel armor (eddy currents), which can cause overheating in AC systems. The non-magnetic aluminum armor prevents this from happening.
  • Magnetic Material’s armoring for 3Ph System: With 3-core or 4-core cables the vector sum of the currents in the conductors is zero, and there is virtually no resultant magnetic flux. In Multi-core armored cables have either single layer of Galvanized Steel wire Armor or Galvanized steel strip applied over inner sheath with left hand lay.
  • Non Magnetic Material’s armoring for 1Ph System: This is not so however for a single-core cable, where eddy-current heating would occur if a magnetic material was used for the armoring. The material has to be non magnetic for armoring as in this case of return current is not passing through the same cable. Hence it will not cancel the magnetic lines produced by current. These magnetic lines which are oscillating in case of A.C. systems will give rise to eddy currents in magnetic armoring and hence armoring will become hot, and this may lead to failure of the cable. Hence Single core cables for use on A.C systems are armored with single layer of nonmagnetic (Aluminum) material.
  • Armoring is Mostly following Type
  • SWA – Steel wire armor, used in multi-core cables (magnetic),
  • AWA – Aluminum wire armor, used in single-core cables (non-magnetic).
  • Tinning or galvanizing is used for rust prevention. Phosphor bronze or tinned copper braid is also used when steel armor is not allowed.
  • As strip construction is economical, the manufacture always provides steel strip armoring unless wire armoring is specified.
  • As per IS: 1554 Round Wire armoring is provided in cable where calculated diameter under amour is upto13mm. Above this the amour is either steel wire or steel strip of size 4.00X0.80mm.

 (10)Over Sheath (Outer Jacket):

  •  Code: IS: IS:7098 / IEC:60502 / BS:6622/BS:7835.
  • Material: PVC Flame Retardant / Flame Retardant Low Smoke / Zero Halogen (LSOH), High density Polyethylene HDPE, Halogen Free Flame Retardant (HFFR)
  • Used for : LV, MV & HV Cables
  • Purpose:
  • It is the outer protection part of the cable against the surrounding environment.
  • Protected against water ingress, Protection against termite, Protection against UV and Protection against differing soil compositions.
  • It is applied over armoring in case of armored cable and over inner sheath in case of unarmored cable called as “Outer Sheath”.
  • The standard sheath color is Black other colors such as Red , Light Blue can also be provided
  • High-voltage cables are identified by outer sheaths colored red; a black sheath indicates a low-voltage cable
  •  The following are the electrical property may be consider while selecting a outer Sheath Materials
  • Dielectric Strength: Cable Sheath may be semiconducting or insulating.
  • Discharge and Tracking Resistance: When a non shielded cable rests upon or comes into contact with a ground plane, the ground plane acts as the outer plate of the capacitor, made up of the conductor, insulation and the ground plane. Discharges and tracking may cause erosion of the Outer Sheath material.
  • Material: A major consideration in selecting Outer Sheath may be a thermoplastic or thermosetting material. Mostly a thermoplastic jacket is less expensive. However, thermoplastics will melt at some elevated temperature and, thus, could run or drip from the cable under extreme conditions.
  • Thermoset materials will not melt and run or drip at elevated temperatures.

 Comparison of Cable:

 PVC Insulated Cable:

  •  PVC insulation becomes stiff making it difficult to fold and the soft PVC loosens its softening agent over years, making it brittle and prone to rip.
  • Even at the time of disposing, burning PVC emits toxic dioxin, which is responsible for causing cancer and does, when dumped scantly dissolve
  • PVC is thin insulation mainly used in LT side cables and XLPE is thick insulation used in MV & HT cables.

XLPE Insulated Cable:

  •  Higher Current Capacity: XLPE has higher current carrying capacity as
  • Higher Temperature Withstand Capacity: It can withstand higher temperature compared to PVC cable.
  • Higher Overload Capacity: XLPE have high overload capacity.
  • Low Dielectric Constant: XLPE has lower dielectric and constant power factor.
  • Light weight & Small Bending Radius :XLPE cables are lighter in weight, has smaller bend radius, and hence lesser installation cost.
  • Higher Short Circuit Capacity: XLPE has higher short circuit rating. XLPE can withstand higher & lower temperatures insulation is usually thinner but the resistance is higher.
  • Higher Moisture Resistance: XLPE also has a higher moisture & chemical resistance.
  • Cable Installation Job for XLPE is easier than PVC insulated cables because of less Wt, less Diameter and Less Bending radius.
  • The Volume Resistivity (ohm-cm) for XLPE is way higher than the PVC cables which are of the order of XLPE cables has insulation resistance of 1000 times compared to PVC cables.

 Elastomer Insulated Cable:

  •  Elastomer cables are preferred for flexible application and in congested locations where the bending radius are very small. Elastomer cables are available from low voltage up to 33 kV grade.
  • Elastomer cables are also available with rigid copper conductors and having properties like Fire Survival, Zero Halogen and Low toxicity FS properties.

 Rubber Insulated Cable:

  •  Rubber insulation remains in the best condition after a long span of time,say,25-30 years and remain soft and pliable even when the temperature is low.
  • Rubber Cables are predominantly used in special applications like, mining, ship wiring, transportation sector and Defense applications & earth moving machines.
  • These materials have the potential to be recyclable since they can be molded , extruded and reused like plastics, but they have typical elastic properties of rubbers which are not recyclable owing to their thermosetting characteristics

Cable Construction & Cable Selection- Part:2

(5) Insulation Screen:

  • Code: IS:7098/IEC:60502/ BS:6622/BS:7835
  • Material: Extruded thermo set semi-conducting compound, Carbon paper and carbon loaded polymer.
  • Used for : Cable from 6 to 30kV (MV & HV Cables)
  • Purpose:
  • An extruded layer of semi conducting is applied over the insulation layer to insure that the electric stress is homogeneous around the insulated core. The semi conducting layer shall be firmly bonded to the outer layer of the insulation layer.
  • The Purpose of Insulation screen is same as Conductor Screen.
  • The Purpose of Insulation Screen is to reduce voltage stress at the interface between the conducting and insulating component
  • A cylindrical, smooth surface between the insulation and Metallic shield
  • Insulation screen is a layer of black cross linked semi conductive compound of approx 1mm thickness and is either fully bonded to the insulation layer, or can be “cold strippable” by hand.
  • When terminating or jointing the cables, it is necessary to remove a part of the insulation screen.

 (6) Bedding (Inner Sheath):

  •  Code: IS: 7098, 1554 / IEC: 60502 / BS: 6622 / BS: 7835.
  • Material: Thermoplastic material i.e. PVC, Polyethylene, thermosetting (CSP) compound
  • Used for : LV, MV & HV Cables
  • Purpose:
  • It could be also called inner sheath or inner jacket, which serves as a bedding under cable armoring to protect the laid up cores and as a separation sheath.
  • Inner sheath is over laid up of cores.
  • It gives Circular Shape of the cable and it also provides Bedding for the armoring.
  • IS:1554 permits following two methods of applying the Inner Sheath of thermoplastic material i.e. PVC, Polyethylene etc., Which is not harder than insulation.
  • Inner sheath is provided by extrusion of thermoplastic over the laid up of cores
  • Inner sheath is provided by wrapping at thermoplastic tape.
  • All multi-core cables have either extruded PVC inner sheath or thermoplastic wrapped inner sheath, which is compatible to insulation material and removable without any damage to insulation. Single core cables have no inner sheath.

 (7) Water blocking Taps:

  •  Water blocking is used to prevent moisture migration.
  • Water blocking tapes or Swelling powder should be applied between the conductor strands to block the ingress of water inside the cable conductor (if required).
  • Water blocking Methods to be considered are as follows.
  • Powders: Swell able powders are used as longitudinal water blocks in cables to prevent longitudinal water penetration. These powders swell and expand sufficiently upon contact with water to form a gel-like material to block the flow of water.
  • Water-Blocking Tapes: A water-blocking tape is usually a nonwoven synthetic textile tape impregnated with, or otherwise containing, a swell able powder.
  • Sealed Overlap: To ensure a seal of the overlap, hot-melt adhesives can be used. These adhesives can be extruded or pumped into the overlap seam of a longitudinally formed metallic tape before the seam is closed during cable manufacture.

 (8) Metallic Screen:

  •  Code: IS: 7098 /IEC:60502 / BS:6622/ BS:7835.
  • Material: Nonmagnetic metallic materials Copper Wire / Tape or Aluminum Wire / Strip
  • Used for : MV & HV Cables
  • Purpose:
  • Medium Voltage & High-voltage cables have an earthed metallic screen over the insulation of each core.
  • This screen consists one or multi layers of a lapped Conductive copper wires, copper tape or metallic foil, lead, aluminum helically with overlap over insulation screen.
  • The metallic shield needs to be electrically continuous over a cable length to adequately perform its functions of electrostatic protection, electromagnetic protection, and protection from transients, such as lightning and surge or fault currents.
  • (1) Shield Electromagnetic radiation: A metallic sheath is used as a shield to keep electromagnetic radiation in the Cable.
  • The main function of the metallic screen is to nullify the electric field outside of the cable – it acts as a second electrode of the capacitor formed by the cable. The screen needs to connect to earth at least at one point along the route.
  • The capacitive charging current and induced circulating currents which are generated under normal operating conditions will be drained away through the screen.
  • (2) Earth Path: It also provides a path for fault and leakage currents (sheaths are earthed at one cable end).
  • The screen also drains the zero-sequence short circuit currents under fault conditions; this function is used to determine the required size of the metallic screen.
  • Lead sheaths are heavier and potentially more difficult to terminate than copper tape, but generally provide better earth fault capacity.
  • (3) Water Blocking: The other function of Metallic sheaths is to water block and form a radial barrier to prevent humidity from penetrating the cable insulation system.
  • (4) Mechanical Protection: It also provides some degree of mechanical protection to cable.
  • Cable shields are nonmagnetic metallic materials. The two materials typically used for metallic shields are aluminum and copper. Aluminum requires a larger diameter as a wire or a thicker cross section as tape to carry the same current as copper. At equivalent current-carrying capacity, an aluminum shield will be lighter in weight but about 40% larger in dimensions

 Different Types of Metallic Screen:

 (A) Concentric Copper Wire screens /Tapes

  • Advantages:
  • Lightweight and cost effective design.
  • High short-circuit capacity.
  • Easy to terminate.
  • Drawbacks:
  • Low resistance of screen may necessitate need for special screen connections to limit the circulating current losses.
  • Does not form a complete moisture barrier unless water swell able tapes are used under and/or over the copper wires.

(B) Aluminum foil laminate

  • Advantages:
  • Lightweight and cost effective design.
  • Moisture proof radial barrier.
  • Drawbacks:
  • Low short circuit capacity.
  • More difficult to terminate – requires special screen connections.

(C) Extruded lead alloy sheath

  • Advantages:
  • Waterproofing guaranteed by the manufacturing process.
  • Excellent resistance to corrosion and hydrocarbons (suitable for oil and gas plants).
  • Drawbacks:
  • Heavy and expensive.
  • Lead is a toxic metal whose use is being restricted in some countries.
  • Limited capacity for short circuits.
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