12/20kv Power Cable
For circuits operating at or above 2,000 volts between conductors, a conductive shield may surround each insulated conductor. This equalizes electrical stress on the cable insulation. This technique was patented by Martin Hochstadter in 1916; the shield is sometimes called a Hochstadter shield. The individual conductor shields of a cable are connected to earth ground at the ends of the cable, and at locations along the length if voltage rise during faults would be dangerous.
Cables for power distribution of 10 kV or higher may be insulated with oil and paper, and are run in a rigid steel pipe, semi-rigid aluminum or lead sheath. For higher voltages the oil may be kept under pressure to prevent formation of voids that would allow partial discharges within the cable insulation.
A high-voltage cable designed for 400 kV. The large conductor in the center carries the current, smaller conductors on the outside act as a shield to equalize the voltage stress in the thick polyethylene insulation layer.Modern high-voltage cables use polyethylene or other polymers, including XLPE for insulation. They require special techniques for jointing and terminating, see High-voltage cable.
Many multiconductor cables have a bare or insulated grounding or bonding wire which is for connection to earth ground. The grounding conductor connects equipment enclosures to ground for protection from electric shock.
Electrical power cables are often installed in raceways, including electrical conduit and cable trays, which may contain one or more conductors.
A hybrid cable can include conductors for control signals or may also include optical fibers for data.