Connections Blog

Tray Cables for Dams in Washington State – Case Study

Monumental Dam in Washington stateGalaxy Wire & Cable is a leading supplier of tray cables that have various applications in harsh conditions. Tray cables are multi-conductor cables used in industrial environments, designed for power and signal transmission and are often installed through ducts, wire trays, conduit, and in some cases, outdoor direct burial applications.

The state of Washington had a need for tray cables to be used in some of their dams. The inquiry to Galaxy came via an electrical contractor working with the State of Washington and the Army Corps of Engineers that manages the state’s dams. Along with the specifications, there was a need for some assistance with the design of the tray cables to meet the requirements of the use in a harsh environment.

The project called for 12 different tray cables, each with 2 conductors, so they were all multi-conductor cables. They ranged in size from 10 gauge to 4/0 gauge (small to large). All had a different colored insulation on the conductor to be able to differentiate them, which is not a big design issue, but is very important in use. Agency approval ratings were required, such as UL certification and flame testing. These tray cables were to be used for both power and signal transmission.

Environmental challenges included:

  • Used indoors or outdoors, so the design had to consider both
  • Possible harsh environments and exposure to oil/chemicals/sunlight
  • Possible underground burial
  • Flame rating requirements

To meet the specifications and usage needs, Galaxy proposed using CPE jackets for all of the tray cables, because of CPE’s excellent resistance to water, chemicals, UV exposure and fire. Multi-conductor tray cables were recommended because tray cables are better than regular off-the-shelf cables for applications that require rigorous testing. Further, tray cables have a lower installation cost compared to multiple individual cables.

Because Galaxy was able to provide some design recommendations and meet the customer’s requirements for the production and lead time needed, Galaxy was awarded the contract for all of these 12 different tray cables to be used in dams in Washington state.

Please contact Galaxy for assistance with designing and purchasing tray cables for many different applications.