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High Capacity Conductors for Cost Effective Upgrade in Transmission Network

High Capacity Conductors for Cost Effective Upgrade in Transmission Network

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Published by jhuang_composite
Overview of ACCC Conductor: Technology, Performance and Characteristics, Transmission line design and Applications in reconductoring and new lines.
Overview of ACCC Conductor: Technology, Performance and Characteristics, Transmission line design and Applications in reconductoring and new lines.

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Published by: jhuang_composite on Jul 21, 2011
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High Capacity Conductors for Cost Effective Upgrade in Transmission Network
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High Capacity Conductors for Cost Effective UpgradeIn Transmission Network
Jason Huang, CTC, 2026 McGaw Ave., Irvine, California 92614, USA(Phone: 949 428 8500; email: jhuang@ctccable.com)
Carbon Fiber Composite Core Conductor (ACCC
) is a new class of conductor for the electricdelivery system. It offers greater capacity, superior strength, lighter weight and lower thermalsag. It is also free of the corrosion associated with metallic cores. The superior strength of thecomposite core allows for the stranding of an increased quantity of aluminum in trapezoidallayers with fully annealed aluminum for maximum current carrying capacity with the lowestloss. This conductor brings important advantages where lines need uprating as well as for newlines. This conductor would be ideally suited to the challenges facing grid owners andoperators, by increasing capacity through new lines or upgrades where existing infrastructureand Right of Way can be fully leveraged for cost effective capacity additions. The low line lossalso makes it attractive for connecting the alternative energy source (e.g., wind or solar) to theGrid where line loss could substantially impact the business model of alternative energysources. With over 5 years of commercial installation, it is important to consider the technologybehind the conductor and the experience from the field.Unlike metallic cored or metal ceramic composite core conductors, there are unique attributesassociated with the ACCC
carbon fiber composite cored conductor, including its performancecharacteristics at high temperatures. This paper will review and discuss thermal oxidationfundamentals, testing and field experience related to temperature capability; as well as thecomprehensive durability testing and longevity of composite core conductors.
Carbon fibre composites are the material of choice for many high performance and demandingapplications (e.g., primary structures in Boeing 787 and Airbus A350), because of their higherstrength and lighter weight, and their exceptional resistance to cyclic load fatigue. Theextremely low axial thermal expansion in carbon composite makes it ideal for application wherecontrolled thermal expansion is highly desirable.The ACCC
Conductor (Aluminium Conductor Composite Core) consists of a hybrid carbon andglass fibre core, wrapped with trapezoidal shapedaluminium strands. The high strength structural core
carries most of the conductor‟s mechanical load, while the
fully annealed high purity aluminium strands carry all of
the conductor‟s electrical current. This patented
composite core is manufactured using a proprietarycontinuous pultrusion process, wherein carbon and boron-free glass fibres are impregnated with a toughened epoxyresin optimized for thermal and environmental stability.The Boron-free glass fibres, surrounding the centralcarbon fibres, are placed in outer shell of the compositecore to prevent galvanic corrosion between carbon andaluminium while improving ACCC
core flexibility. The composite core is then spooled ontoreels, before shipment for aluminium stranding,undergoes quality control testing that ensures a minimumFigure 1 - ACCC® Conductor
High Capacity Conductors for Cost Effective Upgrade in Transmission Network
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tensile and bending strength, along with a minimum glass transition temperature (
).With economic growth, many electrical transmission corridors in the world are overloaded andcould no longer support the transmission of needed power to sustain economic growth, or
allowing for power to be imported to load centres cost effectively (e.g., relatively “cheap” hydro
-electric power could not be imported). The primary limiting factor for increasing the capacity ofmany transmission and most distribution lines relates to conductor thermal sag. When aconductor carries more current, its temperature rises, causing the conductor to elongate (i.e.,
sag) in accordance with its core‟s coefficient of thermal expansion.
Conductor with maximum usage of fully annealed Aluminium, was developed foroptimal efficiency (lowest line loss), highest capacity and lowest thermal sag, to cost effectivelyincrease the capacity of the electrical transmission and distribution grids. The ACCC
conductor‟s hybrid composite core exhibits a coefficient of thermal expansion about
that ofa steel core (and 1/10
of aluminium core). The reduced thermal expansion decreases thermalsag and allows the conductor to carry more current without compromising clearancerequirements. An ACCC
conductor of equivalent diameter and weight can carry approximatelytwice the power of a conventional ACSR conductor. The major US east coast power outage of2003 was caused by excessive line sag during peak summer demand conditions. The ACCC
 conductor technology can substantially increase the electric grid reliability by reducing the riskof such occurrence and allowing for additional power to be efficiently moved to load centresduring peak demand conditions.
High Capacity Conductors for Cost Effective Upgrade in Transmission Network
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Increasing Line Capacity and Enhancing Grid ReliabilityUsing the ACCC
With clearance limitations between the conductor and the ground/vegetation/electrical under-build/other utilities lines well established, sag associated with conventional ACSR has becomethe limiting factor to increase transmission line capacities at utility companies. Aside fromexcessive thermal sag in ACSR conductors, the aluminium strands in ACSR conductors will beannealed at high temperatures. This will lead to substantial loss in strength and stiffness of theACSR conductor (aluminium strands could account for as much as 50% of the ultimate strengthin some ACSR conductors), further exacerbate creep and sag in these conductors.
While other conductors such as ACSS “
Aluminum Conductor Steel S
utilize pre-annealed aluminium strands, allowing them to operate at much higher temperatures withoutdegrading their rated strength, ACSS also sags substantially at higher temperatures due to itshigher coefficient of thermal expansion in the steel core. ACSS conductors typically involveextra weight from its steel core. When ACSS conductor is utilized as a replacement for ACSRconductor, the supporting structures often require reinforcement or replacement. This is alsotrue when a larger / heavier conductor is used to replace an existing conductor to improve the
line‟s capacity. Upgrading or replacing existing structures can be very difficult and expensive
especially in remote locations with difficult access or terrain, or in more populated areas whereunder-built electrical and communication lines can be extensive. In applications where metalcorrosion is a concern, the higher operating temperature for metal core conductors could furtherlimit the longevity of such conductors.The ACCC
Conductor is ideally suited to upgrade existing transmission and higher voltagedistribution lines due to its mechanical strength, thermal stability, and improved conductivitycompared to any other conductor type of the same diameter and weight. The ACCC
conductoroffers a less expensive alternative to increasing line capacity, as it can be installed withoutrequiring structural modifications. An ACCC
conductor of the same size (OD) and weight canbe operated at emergency temperatures of as high as 200
C, offering the highest capacityamong all the comparable conductor options (including running the other HTLS conductors atsubstantially higher temperatures) without exhibiting significant thermal sag (in Figures 2 and 3),as demonstrated in a conductor comparison test conducted at Kinectrics Lab, Canada, as partof a Hydro One study, where several types of Drake (28.15 mm OD) sized conductors werecompared to ACSR conductor under a 1600 amp load. The unique attribute of highest capacitywith lowest thermal sag in ACCC
conductors, could substantially improve the capacity of thegrid to handle emergency conditions (N-1 and N-2), as well as the transient nature and the peakloads from alternative energy sources (solar and wind powers), thereby enhance the gridreliability.

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