Understanding Electrical Currents

by | Mar 6, 2023

Understanding Electrical Currents

The word “current” can be seen frequently employed in the wire and cable industry. Nonetheless, individuals who are doing it themselves or novice in the industry might now fully understand what it entails. In this blog our objective is to answer the, what is, how do and what to seek for when in the selection process for wire and cable.

Currents, what exactly are they?

Currents are made up of electrons passing via conductors.

Currents, how do they work?

Electrons are pushed and current is produced whenever voltage is added to the conducting wire. The amount of electrons passing across the conducting wire at whichever moment grows along with the current.

Currents, how are they calculated?

A, the unit of measurement for currents, stands for one amp. In certain cases, among engineers, you’ll find that current is alternatively denoted by the letter, I.

How do we take current into consideration while in the wire/cable selection process?

The major rule of thumb is, the bigger the size of the conductor, the larger the capacity to transport current. When examining specification sheets, this requires choosing a higher diameter or gauge. In average, doubling the cross section region of a conductor consequently enables the cable to transport twice as much current. Verify that the cable’s highest carrying capacity is equal to or more than the required current rate.

Why be concerned about currents?

If hypothetically you were to select a wire or cable with inadequate current transporting capability, there is a possibility for the wires excessively heat up and negatively harm the insulating material, inevitably leading to a failing cable. Ultimately, when in the wire/cable selection process, focusing your interest in current is ideal for the functionality of your application. Furthermore keep in mind that, while the size of conductors play a significant role in the cable or wire’s ability to transport current, other external elements can also have an impact.

To be sure you are purchasing the right cable, consult amp charts like the one below.