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Copper body calls for higher efficiency in cabling

Seminar recommends optimally sized copper cables to enhance efficiency

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Ravinder Bhan of TPS Management Consultants, the local representatives for the International Copper Association, presented the seminar.
Ravinder Bhan of TPS Management Consultants, the local representatives for the International Copper Association, presented the seminar.

The International Copper Association, the apex body promoting the use and application of copper across various sectors, has called for an integrated approach with a focus on the material, size and orientation of the copper cables used in power transmission and distribution for enhancing energy efficiency.

Presenting a seminar on ‘Creating a Sustainable Tomorrow, Today’ in association with cable manufacturer Ducab, Ravinder Bhan, principal consultant of TPS Management Consultants and Local representatives for International Copper Association, said cables are the single largest link between generation and end-use of electricity, and for a sustainable tomorrow, the selection of cables must be based on three key aspects – material, size and orientation.

Bhan said copper is technically superior as a cable material, with higher electrical and thermal conductivity. “Using a higher size cable will cost more but will consume and waste less power, and contribute to long-term saving. With one size up in the cable size, a potential saving of AED 288 (US$78) per 100 metres can be achieved every year for a single phase 40 amp load. Using a higher size cable offers the advantage of lower resistive loss and a marked decrease in energy loss per year.”

He also said that underground cabling is a cost-effective solution assuring lower maintenance costs, less susceptibility to weather-related issues and if they have higher quantities of copper, will result in almost 30% less loss than overhead cables. “With underground cables, less land is required for installation and more gains can be made through enhanced transmission efficiency.”

To drive energy efficiency, a shift in thinking that covers design, engineering and manufacturing processes is needed, said Bhan. “The industry stakeholders must also be trained at every level based on the latest knowledge and global best practices. It is important to drive public private partnerships to ensure sustainable energy management.”

The seminar presented an overview of the volume of investments planned in the GCC region in power generation and T&D, the need for managing energy efficiently, the role of cables and their selection criteria in enhancing efficiencies, energy efficiency modules and other requirements for a sustainable future.

Bhan said that the GCC region is planning to invest $2.2 trillion in electricity generation by 2019 and the T&D sector is estimated to receive an investment of $28 billion in the next 5 years – and steps that we take today will determine how sustainable our grids will be tomorrow.

The seminar was followed a panel discussion amongst industry experts including Ken Wigley of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation who reiterated the need to evaluate the Life Cycle Cost of a cabling solution in power generation, transmission and distribution.

International Copper Association, with an active presence in 50 countries across six continents, is driving the focus on sustainable energy management through timely market intelligence, measurement and communication.

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