How the right cable size can save on CO2 emissions

Categories: T&I 

Cutting CO2 emissions is hugely important, but how does cable size contribute to this? Let's take a look in this blog.

16/10/2023 - 02:00 AM

Making sustainable choices has never been more important, especially in the construction industry. Although the construction industry produces around 38% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, steps are being taken to reduce energy waste from the manufacturing stage to the installation stage.

In line with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Prysmian Group is working hard to provide solutions that can help customers make the transition towards a low-carbon future. One way we are doing this is through our very own cable calculator tool, CableApp. 


How to calculate cable size

As well as helping professional electricians to choose the right cable type, CableApp also helps installers make the right decision when it comes to the environment. CableApp identifies cable sizes that will help reduce energy losses from installation, improve efficiency, and save CO2 overall.

“Within CableApp, a guidance document is provided that takes the installer step by step through the formula used and how the calculation is made,” said Iain Collings, Team Leader of Applications Engineering for Prysmian Group. “It then provides a worked example to the end user so that they can understand how both the annual monetary and  CO2 savings are derived.”

Although energy efficiency is not yet a mandatory requirement in the UK Wiring Regulations, Appendix 17 of BS 7671 Amendment 2, does cover the topic of energy efficiency. This includes consideration of the savings that can be made by increasing the size of the cable required, amongst other factors.

Increasing the conductor size will reduce the energy losses in the circuit, but there will be a higher initial installation cost of using a larger cable size for clients to consider.

“We’re all aware of how important energy efficiency and trying to reduce our carbon footprint is at the moment. It’s a fair prediction to say that it will become increasingly common for electrical designers to evaluate increasing their cable size selection, especially as the end client shifts towards a more sustainable agenda.

“Choosing to install a larger cable size will cost a little more initially, but the offset is that the client benefits from both financial savings and CO2 output savings every year.”


How does CableApp benefit installers?

Besides offering a standard technical solution, using the base conditions entered by the user, CableApp can calculate a proposed “Energy Conscious Solution,” providing advice on potential annual savings in CO2 emissions and monetary savings. The installer can then consider which of the two cable solutions they wish to incorporate within their system design. For larger commercial projects, this can be especially beneficial.

Iain explains: “Domestic clients will probably see limited savings within the home, as houses mainly use small conductor sizes and typically don’t carry large loads, except perhaps cooker and shower circuits. Devices in the home are becoming more and more energy efficient in general, so energy consumption (circuit load) will likely keep reducing. Where an installer has modest to large circuit requirements, then moving to larger than required conductor sizes can bring about some substantial savings.”


Learn more about CableApp.