New Aluminum Conductor Composite Core Cable Increases Transmission Efficiency and Installs Easily

After nearly three years of intensive research and development, Composite Technology Corporation, in association with General Cable, introduced a new conductor type known as ACCC (Aluminum Conductor Composite Core). This new conductor uses a lighter-weight, high-strength carbon and glass fiber core embedded in a high-performance thermoset resin matrix, which is produced continuously using an advanced pultrusion process. The hybrid structural core is then helically wound with fully annealed trapezoidal-shaped conductive aluminum wires. Compared with a conventional steel core cable, the new core allows for up to 28% more conductive aluminum to be wrapped within the same outside diameter. The end product is of similar weight to conventional aluminum conductor steel reinforced cable, which allows existing structures to be used without modifications.

While the conductor was designed to perform efficiently at temperatures significantly higher than conventional steel-cored conductors, ACCC actually operates much cooler and more efficiently under equal power flow. Because the power flow capability, or "ampacity," is double that of a conventional conductor, the ACCC's improved efficiency can help reduce power generation costs and greenhouse gas emissions, while mitigating grid bottlenecks and the associated high costs of grid congestion.

The ACCC conductor's higher capacity can also improve grid reliability; if a parallel line fails, it can handle the extra current flow. When operated at higher temperatures (representing higher current flow), a normal conductor would tend to thermally expand and sag beyond safe limits – potentially grounding out to adjacent lines or structures – causing catastrophic outage. The ACCC conductor's reduced coefficient of thermal expansion prevents thermally induced line sag and would prevent that type of occurrence.

In addition to improving the weight and conductivity characteristics of utility transmission and distribution lines, the new ACCC allows for reductions in the number of structures by as much as 16% or more because of its thermal stability and 25% to 40% greater strength. The added aluminum content (~28%) greatly reduces resistance and line losses. One utility reported a reduction in line losses of approximately 35% on one of their ACCC lines, which also helped improve the overall efficiency of the system.

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<h4>Overview</h4><ul><li>Developed by <a href="http://www.ctcglobal.com/">Composite Technology Corporation</a>.</li><li>Commercialized in 2005.</li><li>Over 740 miles of line installed in 13 U.S. states and much more in foreign countries.</li></ul><h4>Applications</h4><p>Can be used by the power industry to increase transmission efficiency and increase capacity for new and existing pathways. Is available in all the industry standard sizes ranging from 431 to 2727 kcmil.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h4>Capabilities</h4><ul><li>Doubles the current carrying capacity of existing transmission and distribution lines.</li><li>Decreases the cost of new installations by reducing the number of structures required and related construction and maintenance costs.</li><li>Resists environmental degradation and improves reliability.</li></ul><h4>Benefits</h4><h5>Productivity</h5><p>Uses conventional installation methods and tools, allows the existing transmission and distribution structures to be used without modifications, and reduces construction costs by using fewer support structures.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h5>Product Quality</h5><p>Virtually eliminates high-temperature cable sag and will not rust or corrode or cause electrolysis with aluminum conductors or other components.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h5>Profitability</h5><p>Doubles current-carrying capacity and reduces power generation and transmission costs.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h4>Contact Information</h4><p><strong>Dave Bryant</strong><br />(949) 428-8500<br /><a href="mailto:dbryant@ctcglobal.com">dbryant@ctcglobal.com</a><br /><a href="http://www.ctcglobal.com/">Composite Technology Corp</a>.</p>