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Auxiliary Cables (Pilot and Telephone)

The term auxiliary refers to cables associated with power distribution and transmission
systems used for control, protection, signalling and speech, and data transmission
purposes. Such systems are mainly operated by the electricity transmission and
distribution companies but similar applications occur in many industrial systems.

The total range of cable types used throughout the world is vast. It may be illustrated,
however, by the cables for public supply systems in the UK, which are covered by
the Electricity Association Technical Specification (EATS) 09-6, 'Auxiliary multicore
and multipair cables'. This standard includes three types of thermoplastic insulated
(a) PVC insulated multicore cables;
(b) polyethylene insulated multipair cables;
(c) PVC insulated, light current, multipair control cables.
It also defines the general operating conditions for the power systems with which the
above cables are associated. Cables to EATS 09-6 are required to withstand induced
voltages caused by surges on the adjacent power system. This is achieved by varying the
insulation thicknesses and/or the design of armour, according to the design level of
surge. Three levels of disturbing conditions are catered for, defined by the induced
voltage which would be anticipated between conductor and earth on an unprotected
circuit: not exceeding 5 kV, 5-15 kV, and above 15 kV.
The screening factor of the armour is designed to reduce the induced voltage on the
conductors to that appropriate to the thickness of insulation. Three standard armour
designs are used to cater for the majority of power system installations. However,
instances may occur where, due to exceptional lengths of parallel routes and/or fault
current levels, special designs are necessary. All the cables meet the requirements of
BS 4066: Part 1: 1980, 'Tests on electric cables under fire conditions', but in some cases
cables with reduced flame propagation characteristics are required (chapter 6).


Electric Cables Handbook

For industrial applications the standard cables described for fixed installations in
chapter 11 are generally used, e.g. PVC insulated wire armoured cables to BS 6346:1989
and, for ships and oil installations, elastomeric insulated cables to IEC 92-3.

These cables are almost the same as the PVC insulated and sheathed SWA cables to
BS 6346 described in chapter 11. The differences are that only one size, 2.5 mm 2, is used
and, to provide better flexibility in terminal boxes, the conductor is of stranded form.
The standard range of core numbers is more limited, namely 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 19, 27 and 37
cores. Core identification is by means of black numbers on white insulation throughout.
In some cases the galvanised steel wire armour is coated with a w a t e r p r o o f
compound, commonly based on bitumen, to inhibit penetration of water along the
armour wire interstices. Corresponding to transmission cable practice, when it is
necessary to check the integrity of the oversheath by d.c. tests, a graphite coating can be
applied to the surface of the oversheath.
PVC multicore cables to E A T S 09-6 are used to connect substations and power
stations for the remote operation of, for example, tap changers and for protection
circuits associated with transformers, switchgear etc. The cable capacitance is often o f
importance to the circuit design and the nominal equivalent star capacitance is
440 nF/km.
The voltage designation is 600/1000V and the cores will withstand an induced
voltage up to 5 kV.


Intended largely to provide circuits for speech and data transmission, as well as for
feeder protection, these cables are essentially telecommunication cables.


The cores consist o f a single plain copper wire 0.8mm in diameter insulated with
polyethylene (type 03 of BS 6234: 1987). There are two thicknesses of insulation which
are dependent on the anticipated induced voltage, 0.5mm for 5 kV and 0 . 8 m m for
higher voltages. The cores are twisted into pairs which are then laid up in combinations
of 4, 7, 19, 37 and 61.
All cables, except the four-pair arrangement, have three of the pairs designated as
being capable of operation as carrier frequency circuits. Pair and cabling lay lengths are
chosen so as to minimise coincidence and hence crosstalk. Carrier pairs are placed in
the innermost layer and are separated by audio pairs to minimise mutual coupling. The
cores are identified by the use of coloured insulation with the pairs arranged in a
specified scheme. The assembled pairs are contained by a plastic binder tape followed
by an inner sheath of black polyethylene (type 03C o f BS 6234: 1987) and then a r m o u r
and a PVC outer sheath.

Auxiliary Cables (Pilot and Telephone)



Three standards of armour are specified to provide differing screening factors

corresponding to three levels of disturbing electromagnetic field intensity from adjacent
power circuits. They are graded by induced voltage level as quoted previously.
F o r induced voltages up to 5 kV the armour consists of standard thickness galvanised
steel wire SWA to BS 6346. For the range 5-15 kV the armour is similar but the wire is
of heavier gauge. For voltage levels which would otherwise exceed 15 kV an improved
screening factor is provided by the use of a single layer of aluminium wire armour. The
wire is in condition H 6 8 to BS2627: 1970.
Because of the susceptibility of aluminium to corrosion in the presence of moisture,
coating of the aluminium wire armour with a waterproof c o m p o u n d is mandatory.
When specified by the purchaser for SWA cables, and in all cases for aluminium wire
armour, an increased thickness of outer sheath is required. This is to be graphite coated
to enable d.c. electrical tests on sheath integrity to be carried out.

Filling between cores

To cater for wet situations where water ingress to the cable cores may be a hazard, with
consequent disruption of transmission characteristics, the core interstices may be filled
with an appropriate compound during laying-up. The compound is formulated to have
low mobility in the operating temperature range of the cable and to be compatible with
the insulation and sheath materials. Although also chosen to have minimum effect on
the transmission characteristics, it does cause some modification relative to those o f
unfilled cables. Consequently different values of primary transmission characteristics
are applicable in the test requirements. A water penetration test is also specified to
check the effectiveness of the filling in preventing longitudinal transmission of water.

Although of similar construction to the polyethylene insulated cables in the previous
section, these cables are not intended for telecommunication and therefore no
transmission characteristic measurements are required. They are designed primarily
for use where an independent two-wire circuit is needed for control, indication and alarm
equipment associated with switchgear and similar power apparatus. F o r such circuits the
working voltage does not normally exceed 150 V d.c. or 1 l0 V a.c., with currents lower
than the thermal rating of the conductor. The voltage designation is 100V.
Most of the cable is installed indoors and it is not armoured. However, to cater for
other situations an SWA version is provided which will withstand induced voltages up
to 5 kV.
The standard conductor size is a single wire of plain annealed copper to BS 6360
(class 1), 0.8mm in diameter.
Pair numbers are standardised as 2, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 100 and 200.
A hard grade general purpose PVC compound (type 2 of BS 6746) is used for the
insulation and, in view of the electrical duty, a thickness of 0.3 mm is required, thus
enabling cable dimensions to be achieved which are appropriate to the equipment with
which the cables are used.


Electric Cables Handbook

Two cores are twisted together to form pairs, except in the case of the two-pair cable
which is laid up in quad formation. The twisted pairs are then laid up in layers to give
the appropriate total number. Core and pair identification is by self-coloured
insulation, two different colours identifying a pair in accordance with a specified
colour scheme following conventional telephone cable practice. Plastic binder tapes are
applied over the laid-up pairs.
The non-armoured cable is sheathed with a black general purpose PVC compound
type TM 1 or type 6 in accordance with BS6746. A rip-cord may be inserted
longitudinally between the outer binder tape and the sheath to facilitate sheath removal.
In the case of the armoured cable, the inner sheath (bedding) is the same as the sheath
on non-armoured cable. Over this is applied standard galvanised steel SWA,
appropriate to the diameter of the cable, followed by a black PVC sheath (type
TM 1 to BS 6746).