American Wire Group is a leading provider of electrical wire and cable systems, including low-, medium-, and high-voltage cables. With more than 200 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge and skill to help you find the ideal cable solution. Through quality sourcing, custom cable design and engineering, and skilled cable management, AWG ensures that you receive the appropriate products quickly and within your budget.

When selecting quality cables for your project, it is important to understand the differences between high-, medium-, and low-voltage cables. Each offers unique benefits for different applications and industries. 

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Facts About Low-, Medium-, & High-Voltage Cables

Applications of LV, MV & HV Cables

Cables are manufactured in a variety of designs and configurations to meet the varied needs of many industries. They are typically divided into three categories based on voltage capacity. Low voltage (LV) cables are designed to handle 2,000 V or less, medium voltage cables (MV) can accommodate between 2,000 V and 35,000 V, and high voltage, or extra-high voltage cables (HV or EHV) are rated for voltage above 35,000 V.

Low Voltage Cables (LV)

Low-voltage cables are used for up to 2,000 volts, depending on the type of current. LV cables can be found in household electronics, consumer products, and electrical devices in residential, commercial, solar farms, and other industrial settings. Typical applications include automation equipment wiring, security systems, lighting, sound systems, and interior building wiring. 

The conducting wire in LV cables is typically a tin-copper blend, pure copper, or aluminum. Depending on the intended application, insulation and jacketing materials can be either flexible or rigid. Most LV cables are jacketed in thermoplastic material such as PVC, or thermoset material such as XLPE. 

Medium Voltage Cables (MV)

Medium-voltage cables are used for voltages from 2,000 V up to 35,000 V. Since they are incorporated into a broad range of applications, MV cables come in standard voltage ratings, including 5,000 V, 8,000 V, 15,000 V, 25,000 V, and 35,000 V. They are used to distribute power to equipment in mining and industrial applications, and in mobile workstations for repair and maintenance of power lines, transformers, and substations.

MV cables come with both copper and aluminum wires, and insulation is critical. Common materials used in MV cable insulation include ethylene-propylene rubber (EPR), neoprene, cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), or tree-retardant cross-linked polyethylene (TR-XLPE). The insulation and jacket material used in MV cables differs based on voltage, application, and operating environment. 

High Voltage Cables (HV)

High-voltage cables are specifically designed to handle voltage that exceeds 35,000 V. HV cables are used in high-energy applications, including power plants, power transmission, and municipal electrical grids. 

When it comes to extruded power transmission cables, materials with higher temperature resistance and high ampacities are desired, such as copper, Milliken copper, enameled copper, and Milliken enameled copper. The high power of HV cables requires highly durable insulation for a variety of underground, underwater, and surface applications. HV cables and joints are structurally reinforced to ensure that voltage is tightly controlled and insulation remains intact. 

Complete Cable Solutions From American Wire Group

Whether you need low-, medium- or high-voltage cables for utility power transmission or renewable energy applications, American Wire Group has the knowledge and experience to help you find the perfect cable solutions for your needs. For your convenience, we offer a full range of services, from cable design and engineering to supply chain management and distribution. 

To learn more about our outstanding cable solutions and other services, contact AWG today!


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