Advanced composite materials are revolutionizing not only the aerospace, automotive and sporting goods industries, but are changing the electric power transmission arena as well. Electrical transmission lines can be made lighter and more efficient through the use of composite reinforced materials, and can be made to carry two or more times the power of standard conductors of comparable diameters while decreasing sag and maintaining or improving the experienced mechanical loads.
CTC Global Aluminum Conductor Composite Core Conductors (ACCC)1 and 3M™ Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR)2, provide overhead transmission conductors designed as drop-in replacements for the similar sized conventional aluminum-conductor steel-reinforced (ACSR), and aluminum conductor, steel supported (ACSS) typically now in use as transmission conductors.
While initially more expensive if just the cost of the cable is considered, replacement of existing, traditional technology cables with composite cables may save the cost of the new towers, foundations and other construction elements. Moreover, the use of composite cables often can eliminate the need to build additional rights-of-way, or expand existing rights-of-way, through the more efficient use of the ROWs already available. The losses from these new technology conductors also are less than those of their conventional counterparts, which means losing less energy as wasted heat and delivering more energy to the intended loads. These are important factors when considering investments that are intended to be in service for many decades to come.
The Boundless approach eliminates, rather than just minimizes, long term community impact.
Each of the new alternative conductors offers different characteristics, durability, benefits and prices, and Boundless is working with the manufacturers to select the final technology for installation based upon total costs and Boundless’ overall evaluation of the higher capacity and savings achieveable.
For more information on composite conductors, see:
1 CTC ACCC incorporates high-strength carbon and glass fibers with special polymers
2 3M ACCR's core wire is composed of all aluminum-based components. In addition, it uses a high temperature, hardened aluminum zirconium for the outer wires.