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An Insider’s Look at Portable Power Cables

An Insider’s Look at Portable Power Cables

The market for portable power needs is growing, and growth projections for power cables are stunning. A $70 billion increase in spending from 2014 to 2019 has been projected by this study.


With portable power having boomed ever since the early days of the industrial era, consumer use is driving growth. As the user base, which includes everything from mining operations to large outdoor entertainment venues, industrial manufacturing, and emergency relief, grows, so do options for buying portable power needs.

More Choices.

The rise in portable power use has boosted demand. Engineers want multiple wire and cable options able to handle complex engineering situations. Suppliers responded by providing more options than ever before, including different polymers, dielectric designs, and other sheathing technologies. The question is: how do you choose the best option?

Picking the Best Option.

Finding the best options for your portable power wire and cable needs doesn’t have to be difficult. The core of what makes great cable or wires hasn’t changed. That’s why we’ve created a guide to help you identify the best product for your needs.

What do you Need?

You need solutions. ATI has created this easy-to-read guide to help you identify the best solutions for your company. Just follow the guide’s three easy steps to find the best solutions for your portable power wire and cable needs.

Three Steps to Portable Power Solutions

  1. Evaluation: The best service comes from the right information. First, you need information to identify quality, choose the best design, and find the right value-to-cost for your needs.
  2. Buy: This can difficult if you aren’t fully prepared. We remove the barriers that separate ordinary buyers from great buyers. We share our best practices for picking the right vendor, developing quality relationships, and using negotiation tactics that generate long-term discounts for you.
  3. Streamline: Your time is valuable. You can eliminate wasted time by learning how to streamline vendor relationships while maintaining quality levels, budgeting proactively and creating stable pricing.


The first step to evaluating the best solution for your portable power wire and cable needs is knowing what differences in quality get you. At ATI, we believe knowing the differences in quality help you match solutions to your needs. Your best solution lies in quality that best matches your need

How Do I Identify the Quality I Need?

We believe in paying for quality when needed to meet a user’s needs. When choosing a wire or cable for your portable power solution, make sure you factor in the following components.
  • Capacitance
  • Attenuation
  • Velocity of propagation
  • Impedance
Most engineers are familiar with how this works, but an even simpler way is to find the dielectric constant. This helps you determine the level of performance you will need from your wires and cables.

What is the dielectric?

The dielectric is a non-conductive material that acts as insulation. You need good insulation to prevent electrical leakage from wires contacting conductors and to reduce wear and tear on your wires or cables. Insulation with a low dielectric will work the best.

Why do you want a low dielectric?

You want a low dielectric to reduce the risk your wires and cables will break down when subjected to high electric fields.

Materials to consider when purchasing wires or cables

When purchasing wires or cables for your portable power needs, you need to know the best material for your needs. There are three materials you need to consider when purchasing wire.
  • Rubbers: Rubber has a higher heat resistance than plastics and is easy to colorize. Some synthetic rubbers like EPDM are strong in diverse environments and have good dielectric strength.
  • Fluoropolymers: Fluoropolymers work in widely different temperature environments, are flexible, lightweight and stand up to rugged conditions.
  • Plastics: Plastics are inexpensive and easy to use. Some, like CPE, are environmentally-friendly alternatives.
portable power

Cable Jacket Safety

The best way to increase your safety is to pick high-quality wire and cables with good cable jackets that are fire, oil and UV-resistant.

What Makes a Cable Jacket Safe?

You need a cable jacket that is resistance to multiple environments. For fire safety you want your jacket to be Plenum rated. A Plenum rated jacket is self-extinguishing. Plenum can be called CMP, UL-910, or OFNP rated. For safety from oil which can build up and corrode PVC your wires and cables need a polyurethane jacketed cable. These are called oil-resistant jacketed cables. If your cables are outside and exposed to UV light you need a UV-resistant jacket. Polyurethane is also a good product for UV-resistance.

Why Color Matters

Since the cables you’re working with will be plugged and unplugged into their connectors many times over the years, colored cable jackets will be needed, to make sure users will be connected correctly and quickly.

Picking the Perfect Conductor

Your cables need to have conductors that match your quality needs. The better your conductor, the higher quality your wire or cable usage will be. Your electric needs will best served by highly conductive elements like copper, silver or gold. The more conductive your material, the less diameter you’ll need to carry a load (although in practice silver and gold are much too expensive for mass power distribution needs).

How to Pick the Wire Diameter for Your Job

Your electric current needs determine the right wire diameter for your material. Copper wire can carry more current than aluminum, and so would require a smaller diameter to do the same amount of work, just as gold wire compared with copper wire.

What about Impurities?

Most materials have impurities. Oxygen in the copper, or other materials, can affect your wires conductivity. To avoid impurities, you’ll need to pick material that has been properly alloyed to your needs.


Evaluating your needs is the first step in finding your portable power wire and cable solutions. Your next step is to secure a quality vendor. Finding a vendor is easy, but finding a quality vendor is much harder. ATI has created a Best Practices Buying Guide. We have designed it to help you quickly and easily find the best-quality vendor for your solutions. Our core belief is that great vendors anticipate your needs.

Best Practices Guide

If you aren’t careful, you can enter an unproductive relationship with a mediocre vendor. To help you avoid negative relationships for your solutions, we have created a Best Practices Buying Guide. It focuses on three main indicators:
  • How to Identify Good Vendors: A good vendor will have a quality, easy-to-navigate website.
  • How Vendors Communicate: A good vendor will be easy to reach and have knowledgeable staff.
  • How to Grow Great Relationships: A good vendor can offer discounts and warranties, to establish trust and incentivize future purchases.

How to Identify Good Vendors.

The first step to identifying a great vendor is to visit its website. The portable power cable and wire business is all about details. You evaluate your solutions down to the smallest detail. A good vendor will do the same. Your vendor should have a quality, easy-to-navigate website. It must have a detailed descriptions panel, and be clearly and intuitively organized.

Why Do Websites Matter?

A great website shows careful attention to detail. You don’t want a vendor who doesn’t pay attention to detail. A great website can also save you time. The less time you spend navigating websites, the more time you can spend on your solutions. Great vendors make it easy for you to find great solutions. The first step to finding your best solution to find a vendor with a quality website. A great website tells you that you are dealing with a quality vendor.

Communication Secrets for Picking Quality Vendors

Communication is at the heart of every deal. When you communicate your needs clearly, you expect the same from your vendors. Great vendors have staff who communicate fully and clearly in filling your needs. To pick a quality vendor, choose one with staff educated to your needs. Vendors whose staff aren’t familiar with the features you are looking for can’t help you find the solutions you need. Your vendor’s staff should be able to talk knowledgeably with you about your needs and answer all your questions.

Discounts, Warranties and Great Relationships

Great vendors understand the best customers are returning customers and treat even new customers as long-time accounts, offering discounts and warranties. A great vendor will recognize your contribution to its success and take steps to secure your valuable business. Great relationships are built on strong foundations, scaled for growth.

What if my Vendor Doesn’t Offer Discounts?

If a vendor you’ve approached won’t offer discounts, don’t be upset. Instead, realize you don’t want to work with vendors who won’t recognize your value. Instead, you will be best served by vendors who come to the market knowing and delivering the best cost-to-value for your solutions.

Why Cost-to-Value Matters

When you know your cost-to-value for portable power cable and wire solutions, you can buy proactively and confidently, knowing which vendors are pricing fairly and which are overcharging, and channel your businesses to those who have your interests in mind.

Your Biggest Value

Great vendors understand your key resource is time. Great vendors work to save you time, and provide reliable costs to give you stable budgeting.


Streamlining your solutions with ATI will help you accomplish these three goals:
  • Maintain quality levels: When you streamline your purchasing, you set the clear standards you expect from a vendor.
  • Enable proactive budgeting: Get reliable yearly budgets, without mid-year price bumps.
  • Create stable pricing relationships: As an established customer, get the best deals available.

How Great Vendors Promote Streamlining.

A valuable vendor can streamline the purchasing process in various ways: offering quick turnover, bulk purchasing and a reliable way to save orders, whether online or in person.

Great Vendors Value Relationships.

Great vendors work with you to create great relationships that make you a preferred partner with the company. ATI firmly believes in preferred partnerships.

Why do Preferred Partnerships Matter?

A preferred partnership puts your needs first. It doesn’t just save you money – it also saves you time, effort and headaches.

Streamline Options from ATI

You should have a vendor known for its best practices. ATI has competitive, well-established best practices. Let us work with you to help you implement those solutions.

ATI Streamlining and Distribution Options.

ATI understands what you need in the market. That is why ATI puts your needs first ATI offers such streamlining and distribution options as:
  • Delivering products to the field
  • Multiple address management
  • Configuration management
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Warranties and replacements
  • Your Next Step
Now that you’ve finished this guide to finding the best solution for your portable power wire and cable needs, your next step should be to review it with your team, then draw up a list of all the solutions your team will need.

Reach out to us.

Once you’ve figured out your solutions, you need a quality vendor to fulfill them. At ATI, we work hard to fulfill our clients’ solutions. Reach out to us today so you can start your own Best Buying Practices.
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