Parallel or paralleled cables are a configuration where multiple cables are combined. Parallels are used to make cable installation easier, since only one reel needs to be set up for installation, rather than one reel per cable.
This article will explore the basics of paralleled cables, examining their configuration and the products that can be utilized in a similar setup.
How Paralleled Cables Work
Paralleled cables work by combining multiple individual wires into a single bundled configuration. This involves taking up to four separate cables and winding them onto a single reel to create a consolidated assembly. The wires are typically selected based on their intended application and requirements.
The cables are meticulously arranged side by side and then wound together. This process ensures that the components maintain a consistent orientation and are securely held together. Proper organization and management of the bundled cables also prevent tangling, reduce signal interference, and facilitate easier installation and maintenance.
Paralleled cables offer several advantages over using individual ones. First, they help reduce clutter, making installations more manageable. Second, the configuration reduces the risk of cable damage and abrasion, as the elements are less likely to become tangled or snagged. This configuration allows for streamlined routing and easier identification of specific cables within the bundle. Lastly, parallels reduce installation time resulting in reduced labor costs.
Common Products for Parallel Configuration
Paralleling the following products allows for an increase in overall ampacity, enabling the transmission of higher electrical currents while ensuring optimal performance:
Cross-Linked High Heat Water-Resistant (XHHW-2) Cables
XHHW-2 cables feature cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation, which provides excellent thermal stability and heat resistance. This material allows them to handle higher operating temperatures than traditional thermoplastic insulators. They are also engineered to be water-resistant, protecting them from moisture and environmental conditions.
These components are available in various sizes and voltage ratings to accommodate different installation requirements. They are often used in motor wiring, lighting fixtures, control systems, and applications where reliable and efficient electrical connectivity is essential. Furthermore, suitable connectors and proper bending radii are critical during installation to prevent system damage.
Paralleling XHHW-2 cables enables them to be used in the following applications:
- Data centers
- Industrial settings
- Large-scale commercial installations
- Manufacturing facilities
- Oil and gas refineries
- Power plants
Thermoplastic High Heat Resistant Nylon (THHN) Cables
THHN cables use thermoplastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) insulation, which offers good electrical insulation and resistance to moisture, chemicals, and abrasion. They also have a nylon outer jacket to increase their durability and heat endurance. Thus, they are rated for applications with temperatures reaching 90°C (194°F).
These cables come in various wire sizes or gauges, ranging from 14 American Wire Gauge (AWG) to thousand circular mils (MCM). This size determines the cable’s current-carrying capacity, with larger ones capable of carrying higher currents. The conductor’s insulation is also color-coded, with commonly used colors including black, white, red, green, and blue.
The size or gauge of the paralleled THHN cables must be the same to ensure even current distribution. Each cable’s length in the parallel arrangement should also be equal to minimize resistance and current flow imbalances. Here are some of the common applications of paralleled THHN cables:
- Data centers
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- High-capacity power distribution systems
- High-power lighting systems
- Industrial machinery
- Large electrical motors
Classic Wire & Cable for Superior Wiring Solutions
At Classic Wire & Cable, our utmost priority is to deliver reliable wires and cables that meet the unique project requirements of our customers! We take pride in offering high-quality products that can be customized to any desired length. Whether you need a few feet or thousands of meters, we can provide the perfect solution for your wiring needs.