The History of Wind Energy Wire & Cable

Two WIREPEDIA segments ago, we covered the background of solar energy and power as a renewable power source as well as the evolution of the solar energy wire and cable regulations in the Z-Tronix Wirepedia segment. This week we’ll take a look again at renewable and sustainable power sources such as wind energy. Below you’ll be able to take a glance at the wind energy cable guidelines that developed as a result of this. 

Background of Wind Energy Wire & Cable 

Since 5,000 B.C., evidence and documentation prove that in ancient Mesopotamia mankind was utilizing wind power to drive period appropriate watercrafts. Until about 200 B.C., wind towers assisted by processing grain as well as drawing water. More recently, approximately in the later 1800s, in Europe’s Denmark, there is evidence of wind towers that generated electricity. Although the history and evolution of wind power can be perceived as slow, in the last ten years the cable and wires housed inside wind towers, as well as the standards that they must follow, have rapidly progressed.  

image to display Z-Tronix SOOW Bulk Cord
image to display Z-Tronix XHHW Bulk Wire

The Evolution of Wire & Cable for Wind Energy Applications 


Even recently, it was evident that specific wind turbine cable was nonexistent. Though this does not mean that wire and cable for wind energy applications did not exist. For example, popular cables such as portable cord or service cord offered SOOW and SJOOW cord types. Similarly, welding cable and Diesel Locomotive Cable (DLO) cablebuilding wireXHHW type and RHH/RHW types offered solutions that assisted wind turbine configurations; though evolving wind energy technology and configurations have forced improvements and need of specific wind turbine cable. 

In consequence of the previously stated, specific wind energy wire and cable started to be designed and manufactured with properties that improved productivity and durability such as tough torsional and malleability, as well as the tolerance to radio-frequency interference, strong winds, severe climate, UV radiation, chemicals, oils and in certain cases salt fog. 

Due to this at Z-Tronix, different types of certified wind farm cable is now offered. Rather than TC-ER cable which is solely rated up to 600V, wind farms now have the option to utilize WTTC cable which is rated 1000V. Wind turbine cables come in three different malleability tiers including standard, premium and lastly megaflex. Other cables also available include WTTC certified Servo and Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Cable intended to resist the unique demands of the wind energy sector. 


Due to the introduction of innovative wind cable products, newer guidelines have proved to be of mucnecessity. UL 2277 for example, which served the function of wind turbine tray cable (WTTC), used to be among of the few wind turbine componentspecific ratings available for a long period of time. Plenty of other popular cables utilized in modern wind turbines, such as the ones previously mentioned, were solely subjected to the NEC’s general rules.  

Publicized in October of 2010, but put into action in 2011, the National Electric Code introduced the Article 694 primarily regarding to small wind turbine installations. In 2014, the code was updated to accommodate bigger systems. Due to this, standards and designations were made and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) encompassed wind turbine generating systems (WTGS), wind turbines (WT) and their respective components under UL 6171, UL 6142, UL 6141 as well as UL 6140, to solve the problem.  

Z-Tronix Wind Energy Wire & Cable Solutions

As newer components as well as processes are discovered and accepted, standards and guidelines will likely be changed to updated standards quickly. For instance, take fiber optic cable which have been tested in practically every element of a wind turbine system in recent years. It’s only a matter of time, test and production until we see even better results in wind energy wire and cable. Meanwhile, you may bookmark Z-Tronix.com for updates, posts and news regarding wind energy wire and cable and everything related to wire and cable. Call us and speak with a Z-Tronix wire and cable expert to learn about the wire and cable we carry for wind energy applications.