Emerging Scanning Results: Ultra Thin Flat Wiring
Pull wire down from the ceiling. Or cut open the wall. Or use surface-mounted raceways. None of these options is close to ideal for running wire in an existing building. Ultra-thin flat wire may provide a solution to this problem in existing homes and for wiring in closed wall panels for new homes.
Flat wiring is not new, especially for use in carrying data. Flat wire or cable is used in the construction, computer, auto, and many other industries to carry data and to supply electric current. Up until recently, flat cable in buildings was only marginally more appealing from an aesthetic standpoint than traditional wiring. It many ways it was no different than traditional wiring in that it had to be hidden under carpets or behind walls. The introduction of ultra-thin wiring now offers the opportunity to apply flat wiring in ways never before possible, and to carry signals and power in the home.
Instead of the mess created in retrofitting wiring, ultra-thin wire can be applied to the surface of a wall. Its different from typical flat cable mainly because its as thin as a typical business card. One manufacturer is now producing ultra-thin wire that consists of three conductors insulated on each side with a thin film. It is similar to tape in its appearance. It can be covered with drywall compound and even painted over.
Application to PATH Roadmaps
Ultra-thin wiring has application to all four roadmaps, but it will be most useful to manufacturers working on the utilities disentanglement activities of the whole-house and panel roadmaps. The ability to surface mount electrical wiring in a safe and visually acceptable manner would remove one of the largest obstacles to the development of advanced wall panels. Even if homes are not built with panels, the ability to take wiring out of the critical path will help achieve a major goal of the Whole House & Building Process Redesign Roadmap.
Current Status of Technology
Ultra-thin flat wiring is currently available for audio. Decorp will begin production of video products (75 ohm equivalent) and voice-data (CAT 6 equivalent) sometime in 2003. They plan to begin production of electrical wiring in 2004.
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Content updated on 11/15/2006