Cable Management Systems
The electrical installation within the building must be designed and installed so as to be safe, to function correctly and to last for a long time. Factors such as building structure, aesthetics, speed of installation and cost also have to be taken into consideration.
Many forms of wiring and containment systems are available ranging from simple low cost Twin & Earth installations right up to highly flexible (and expensive) systems using the latest developments in cable management and construction.
The systems shown below represent some of the main forms of cable containment systems available. However, the list is not exhaustive and new products are appearing on the market
all the time.
A form of containment having a hollow box (U shaped) section, and available in linear lengths. Trunking is available in both PVC and steel. PVC trunking can range in size from 16x16mm up to 15 x150mm and is quick and easy to install. Steel trunking affords better protection but is harder to install.
Steel trunking comes in sizes from 50x50mm up to 300x300 and above.
Trunking is particularly suitable for use with single cables where many circuits can be contained in a single trunking (subject to compliance with BS7671 segregation regulations). Twin & Earth cables can also be protected by trunking.
Is by far the most common form of containment.
Conduit comprises lengths of robust tube, available in set sizes 20mm, 25mm& 32mm. Conduit is available in both PVC and Steel form. PVC conduit is available in light & heavy duty grades and is relatively easy to install, requiring basic tools & adhesive to install. Steel conduit affords better protection than PVC but requires specialist tools and knowledge to install. It is available in Black Enamel (painted) finish or Galvanised finish (for exterior applications).
Conduit can be surface mounted or buried (flush) in walls. It is used extensively with single cables and Twin & Earth (for protection in walls etc.).
Flexible conduit is not a direct variant of standard conduit. It is commonly formed from spiral arrangements of toughened PVC, steel or aluminium.
The construction allows the conduit to be flexed and is normally used in short lengths to serve equipment and or items that may need to be moved.
Cable tray is a form of steel tray-work, available in linear lengths which is used in industrial and commercial situations as a support for cables which are installed in free air (such as SWA and MICC cables.)
Cable tray is normally available in sizes between 50mm wide and 900mm wide, in a range of gauges light, medium & heavy duty. It is usually supplied galvanised, although special finishes such as power coating are sometimes used.
Cable basket is a variant of cable tray. It comprises a basket like linear wire system which, although not a structurally strong as cable tray, is lighter and easier to install. It is commonly used for support of light cabling such as data & telephone wiring and has seen great increases in use with the advent of structured cabling systems.
A form of trunking that is specially adapted for installation within floor voids and screeded floors. It commonly has two or more compartments enabling segregation and hence is used for 240V services as well as data and telecommunication systems.
It is often fitted with custom floorboxes. Space restrictions can mean limited room in floor trunking and the number of cables able to be installed can present problems.
These are commonly installed in conjunction with floor trunking systems or powertrack systems.
Recessed floor boxes can be installed into a cavity floor or screeded floor. They comprise one or more compartments and accessory boxes which can be used to terminate many different services at one box.
This enables users to plug in 240V power, data and telephones etc. at the same position, maybe under a desk.
These are common in open plan office
developments to serve desk arrangements.
Perimeter Trunking Systems
Another trunking variant, this type of trunking is manufactured in various forms, normally with two or more compartments. It can be obtained in the form of dado trunking, skirting trunking or even cornice trunking.
Available in PVC, aluminium or steel (powered coated or painted) perimeter trunking systems are a popular
choice in open plan office, general offices and similar areas.
This phrase covers a wide range of various types of system, all of which are modular in their use and installation.
Modular systems include pre-wired conduits and trunking as well as modern systems which are wired on a "spider" system using pre-cut lengths of prewired flexible conduit or other flexible wiring.
These systems have the great advantage of speed and ease of installation. They are popular in office type installations where large numbers of recessed fluorescent luminaires may be installed.