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News Room

News Room

Published on 14-04-2011
Proper Low-Voltage Wiring Installation

In businesses facilities or homes, most fire incidents occurred due to improper wiring. These incidents sometimes cause a devastating loss of properties and even human lives, and it seems to happen over and over.

When installing low wattage wiring, sometimes technician or installer does not pay much attention to the instrumentation wiring during installation. Installer may think that the complex wiring system installed is connected properly and everything looks electrically correct, however problems may come after installation, and they are hardly ever detected until they become serious. Therefore, it is important for designers and installers to pay attention to details when they are working on wiring for low-voltage instrumentation. There are several details to consider in proper wiring installation, proper treatment of each type of instrument, correct wiring for instrument signals, proper grounding, and the right specifications for instrumentation wire and terminations.

Using twisted pair wires in wiring process that control instrumentation is a common operation. Twisted pair wire will cancel out many of the effects of electromagnetic interference, therefore it is more resistant to electrical noise than untwisted wiring. Make sure to add a grounded shield over twisted pair wires for better protection. Use cables with stranded plated copper and they should be one size smaller than the conductors at most, at least 18AWG is recommended. For cable to be run on conduit, avoid using cable with soft and rubbery jackets because it makes pulling difficult and may cause cable damage. Be sure also to choose cable with jacket that is high resistant to any chemicals or oils. For insulation, use high quality and recommended thermoplastic.

Pay attention to proper cable terminations. With proper terminations, problems such as ground loops and electromagnetic interference can be avoided. If it is possible, avoid splices in instrumentation cables. Splicing the cables often causes the areas to be easily corroded, loose connections, accidental shield grounding, and electromagnetic noise. If instrument cables must cross over AC power and control cables, make sure the cables is separated by an adequate distance with both parts. The crossing should be made at right angles to minimize induction. It is recommended to use divided cable tray such as cable tray steel hot dip galvanized. Separate trays for instrumentation are a better solution. Although you have to spend additional cost, it won’t be much and it will worth it.

There are two grounds for instrumentation system, the electrical or power ground and the instrument ground, both with different purposes. The main purpose of power ground is safety, so make sure that all metallic or conducting devices are connected to power ground. Instrument ground is made to protect instrumentation from electromagnetic interference. Any part of the protective shielding system must be connected to ground at one point.

For instrument signal, the 4-20mA current signal is the most commonly used in industry, it is preferred to voltage signals because they are more immune to noise. There are two types of instrument signals, isolated and non- isolated. An isolated signal is often called differential signals due to the difference in voltage between two points, not the absolute voltage to common. It is not referenced to any ground or common reference. While non-isolated signals are reference to some signal common, often called single-ended due to the voltage between a single point and common. Be sure to understand whether a device is isolated or non-isolated. Two non-isolated devices in the same current loop, for example, will cause the loop to be referenced to ground or common in two different places and will almost certainly result in improper operation of the loop.

For proper installation of low voltage wiring in your industry, you may consult with Surya Cakra mandiri. We provide highly trained and experienced technicians to assist you in proper wiring for better and safer electrical systems.

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