Some changes that occur every cycle have a wide impact on the document. Some of these changes are driven by task groups created by the Correlating Committee, Standards Council, the Code Making Panel, or other individual groups assembled under no formal entity. This cycle the following task groups were created:
Medium voltage task group
Alternative Energy task group
Packet Energy Transfer (PET) systems
Electric Vehicle task group
Home healthcare task group
Copper clad aluminum task group
From these task groups, certain code wide changes were developed.
2020 NEC Style Manual
- Definitions moving to Article 100
- 14 New Articles: 235, 245, 305, 315, 335, 337, 369, 371, 395, 495, 512, 722, 724, 726
- The language “Not exceeding” was preferred over the use of “not over” to align with Annex A of the NEC Style Manual. Preferred language.
- Informational Notes were revised throughout the code to address the changes regarding formatting made in the NEC Style Manual.
Medium voltage restructuring
The medium voltage task group made a lot of changes some of which were controversial. Technical changes in the requirements were not a focus this cycle as the task group felt that a reorganization was first necessary before a technical review of the content could be made. The general restructuring created 6 new articles moving some content from other articles and even in some cases all the contents of an article resulting in deleting it.
One of the task group’s tasks was to establish a demarcation for what can be referred to as Medium or High Voltage. The demarcation was established as being equipment rated over 1000 Vac, 1500 Vdc. It is believed that levels below these voltages can be addressed with existing requirements for systems rated 1000 V ac max, and 1500 V dc, as this has been established as an upper limit for photovoltaic applications within Article 690, with requirements noting that those systems are not required to comply with Parts II and III of Article 490.
The 6 new articles created include the following:
235 Branch Circuits, Feeders, and Services Over 1000V AC, 1500V dc nominal
245 Overcurrent Protection for Systems Over 1000V AC, 1500V dc nominal
305 General Requirements for Wiring Methods and Materials for Systems Rated Over 1000 Volts ac, 1500 Volts dc, Nominal
315 Medium Voltage Conductors, Cable, Cable Joints, and Cable Terminations
395 Outdoor Overhead Conductors Over 1000 Volts
495 Equipment Over 1000V ac, 1500V dc nominal
The following Articles were deleted as their contents were moved elsewhere to align with the medium voltage restructuring.
311 Medium Voltage Conductors and Cable
399 Outdoor Overhead Conductors Over 1000 Volts
490 Equipment Over 1000 Volts, Nominal
Bimetallic Task Group
This task group was focused on copper-clad aluminum (CCA). CCA conductors of size 12 AWG and larger have been in NFPA 70 for over half of a century. This effort was focused on small conductors introducing the 14 AWG CCA conductor. This task group made 19 public inputs to Code Making Panels 2, 6, 9, 10, and 18. Changes were accepted in Panels 2, 9, 10, and 18. The task group performed testing on CCA and Copper conductors to establish performance of the CCA comparing it to an already accepted copper conductor solution.
Ampacity values were not accepted by Code making Panel 6 due to tests that were performed on CCA and not on copper conductors. The tests were arguably nonstandard tests which placed insulation over the conductor during testing at current value determined based upon the conditions of use found in NFPA 70. Testing that was not published performed in the same tests on copper conductors in a manner as that to which CCA was subjected, and it was shown that copper conductors currently permitted by the NEC performed worse than CCA. The details on these tests were not published.
Changes that were accepted as part of this task group work focused on the addition of 10A circuits. The challenge on 10A circuits is that 10A receptacles do not exist at this time. NFPA 70 changes can be found in the following sections:
210.12(B), 210.12(C), 210.12(D), 210.23, 210.24, 230.23, 230.31(B), 240.4(D), 330.104, 336.104, 340.104
Other new and deleted Articles
The following are new articles for NFPA 70-2023.
335 Instrumentation Tray Cable: Type ITC
337 Drilling Rig Cable – Type P
369 Insulated Bus Pipe (IBP)/Tubular Covered Conductors (TCC)
371 Flexible Bus Systems
512 Cannabis Oil Systems Using Flammable Materials
722 Cables for Power-Limited Circuits
724 Class 1 Circuits
726 Class 4 (CL4) Power Systems
The following are those articles that were deleted from NFPA 70-2023.
510. Hazardous (Classified) Locations — Specific
720. Circuits and Equipment Operating at Less Than 50 Volts