We can’t do without electricity. That’s a simple fact of modern-day living. And since electricity is very vital to our day-to-day activities, it makes sense to pay attention to how it is delivered to our homes and offices.
When it comes to electrical wiring, no one size fits all scenarios. The way an electrician would wire a home in the suburbs is different from the way he would wire an office complex in the heart of the city.
In this article, we would look at the various types of electrical wiring you’d find in commercial buildings.
Commercial Building Electrical Wiring
Electrical wiring for commercial buildings can be classified into three major types:
- Raceways & Conductors
- Cable Assemblies
Raceways & Conductors
This is one of the most popular types of electrical wiring used in many commercial buildings today. This style of electrical wiring uses raceways & conductors to transmit electricity in stiff or adjustable tubes and conduits. The entire electric circuit is completed when an equipment ground conductor is connected to the whole layout.
The conductors used in this type of setup are highly resistant to heat. They are usually copper or aluminum-based and the extent to which a conductor transmits electricity depends largely on the type of material the conductor is made from.
Aluminum conductors are usually used for feeders, while copper conductors are better used as circuits. The most common types of Raceways & Conductors used in commercial buildings include RMC Metal Raceways, EMT Raceways, PVC Conduits, and FMC Raceways.
The Busway type of electrical wiring is typically housed in a metal compartment. Busways usually come from the factory with pre-installed bus bars and contain conductors that are insulated completely sometimes, or left as they are (without covering) in others.
One amazing feature about Busways is that you can integrate them into an already installed raceway system, provided such a system can handle several types of wiring, including (but not limited to) plug-in and feeder series.
One of the major advantages Busways have over other types is that they are relatively easy to find. They also come in different sizes and amp ratings, which makes them an ideal choice for a wide variety of scenarios. This feature makes using Busways a cost-effective method of the electrical wiring of commercial buildings.
Cable assemblies comprise several insulated or non-insulated conductors that may (or may not) have an equipment grounding conductor attached to them. Cable assemblies – also called Wiring Harnesses – are built at the factory and are usually enclosed in casings made from metal or PVC.
They come in different layouts and the ones commonly used for commercial building electrical wiring include Metal-Covered Cables, Armored Cables ( or Type AC), Metal-Sheathed, Mineral-Insulated Cables (or Type MI), Underground Feeder Cables (or Type UF), Service-Entrance Cables (Type USE or SE) and Non-metallic Sheathed Cables (Types NMC, NMS, and NM)