Overhead power cables are usually the first choice when installing power supply because of their lower cost and ease of installation. However, underground power installation is slowly gaining popularity because of its durability and long-term advantages.
What is underground power installation?
It involves connecting underground service wire to the main supply line or pole to transmit power to the property. Unlike overhead power lines, there are no visible wires or cables above ground. Even the protection feeders are installed underground. That protects the power cables from weather hazards like powerful storms and winds. They are also protected from breakage and tangling due to accidents with tall trucks or equipment.
Underground power installation is usually done:
- When there is no space for overhead wires because of congested overhead space, natural obstacles or a vulnerable ecosystem in that area
- You require an additional power source due to an increase in power requirement
- Overhead cables violate the local regulations or specifications
- Personal preference
What You Need To Know Before Installing An Underground Power Installation
- The cost
Underground service wires are more expensive as they are heavily insulated and sheathed to protect against heat and moisture. They are also longer and wider in order to withstand the power load. Underground cables also take longer to install because of the trenching and digging. This installation requires specialised equipment, and planning which must take into account existing pipes or hidden obstructions beneath the ground.
Once installed, underground cabling lasts longer and requires little to no maintenance.
- Safety factors
Underground power installation is safer as everything is below ground. If your business or residence is in a heavily populated area congested with wires and traffic, it will offer better protection. There will be less danger of short circuits, electrical faults, and power outages because of damaged wires.
- Power supply and voltage requirements
Underground power cables can be both high or low voltage. If you need a low voltage power supply, an underground power system is probably the best option for you. Underground cables have to be chosen according to their voltage bearing capacity. They have a maximum voltage capacity of 66kV and can be further classified into high tension and low tension wires. Our electrical contractors are the best people to guide you on which underground wires will be suit your electrical requirements.
- Size of the cable
The cables used in underground power installation must be able to bear the load and heat of the current. Smaller size conduits will overheat and cause voltage drops.
The cable size and material also plays a crucial part in protecting your underground wires. Cable size should be chosen according to the current bearing capacity and voltage regulation. It protects from electrical damage, short circuits and fires. Cable material like copper provides improved insulation and is a better conductor as compared to aluminium.
Underground power installation requires high-level technical training and expertise. It is a specialised process that cannot be carried out without the services of professional level-2 electricians.
Integrum Power Group’s team of accredited and trained Level 2 Service Providers are qualified to perform all types of underground service wire installation and maintenance tasks. We offer 24/7 electrical services across Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley. Contact us for more information on our complete range of electrical services.