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Last call for proposals for FPRF Evaluation of Electrical Conductors in Thermal Insulation


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The Fire Protection Research Foundation is seeking proposals until Friday (10 March) to identify a project contractor for a new project to determine the minimum level of safety and develop an assessment method for small branch circuit wiring installed in thermal insulation envelopes required by current building and energy codes.

This phase of the project includes a literature review, gap analysis and development of a research plan to address the knowledge gaps which describes any additional modelling and/or testing needed.


During the last two revision cycles of NFPA 70®, the National Electrical Code (NEC), proposed changes to add new conductor sizes have not achieved the necessary consensus of the Code-Making Panel (technical committee). These proposed changes have sought to add conductor sizes 16 AWG copper and 14 AWG copper-clad aluminium with their associated ampacities to Section 310.3(A) and two of the most frequently used ampacity tables in the NEC, Tables 310.16 and 310.17.

Because the current product certification standards for the most widely used wiring methods do not contain testing requirements for thermal insulation impact, concerns have been raised that thermal insulation required by modern building and energy codes can adversely impact the performance of electrical conductor insulation.

The current discussion in the NEC development process is focused on two specific conductor sizes, but the technical committee needs the requisite information to make an objective assessment on whether the minimum level of safety can be achieved by adding new conductor sizes and materials to the Code.

The guiding principle for this assessment is means by which the technical body can determine if the objective of 310.14(A)(3) is met. There is a need to provide methodology by which any conductor can be assessed to meet the general requirement provided above.

Since the electrical industry still needs additional information on small branch circuit wiring installed in thermal insulation envelopes, the Research Foundation has initiated a project to address this issue through a literature review, gap analysis and development of a research plan.

The open RFP seeking a contractor for “Evaluation of Electrical Conductors in Thermal Insulation: Literature Review, Gap Analysis & Development of a Research Plan” project is available here or on the Foundation’s website. Instructions on how to respond are included in the RFP.

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