ACCC® is Now the Conductor of Choice for Greenfield Projects
image credit: CTC Global
- Apr 20, 2021 9:28 pm GMTApr 20, 2021 6:52 pm GMT
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Initially developed to increase the capacity, reliability and resilience of existing transmission corridors and mitigate sag violations (by reconductoring), the ACCC® Conductor has become the conductor of choice for new transmission projects.
First commercialized in 2005, the ACCC Conductor has been selected for over 1,000 transmission line projects ranging from 11 kV (AC) to 1,100 kV (DC).
Because the ACCC Conductor offers numerous proven benefits and is the most efficient way to move electrons with the lowest upfront capital costs and greatest economic and environmental returns.
While the ACCC Conductor is twice as expensive as conventional ACSR conductor on a per foot/meter basis, its ability to carry twice the current means that larger, heavier, more expensive conventional conductors don’t have to be supported by larger, heavier, taller and more expensive structures, with larger foundations, longer construction timeframes and higher installation costs.
The ACCC Conductor’s high strength composite core enables longer spans between fewer and/or shorter structures to further reduce upfront capital costs. One version of the ACCC Conductor known as ACCC ULS offers a tensile strength of 375 ksi (compared to high strength steel at 285 ksi). The “base model” is rated at 310 ksi. The ACCC Conductor’s smooth core and trapezoidal aluminum strands resist cyclic load fatigue and fretting failure due to Aeolian vibration. The composite core is also impervious to corrosion, which helps ensure a long service life with less maintenance costs - even in harsh environments. Its ability to carry high amounts of current without exhibiting excessive sag provides a greater margin of safety from fires and sag-trip outages. Reliability is built in.
The ACCC Conductor also incorporates nearly 30% more conductive aluminum compared to other conductors of the same diameter and weight. The added aluminum content reduces electrical resistance and line losses by ~30%. Reduced line losses serve to reduce fuel and water consumption (used by thermal power plants to run steam turbine generators). Reduced fuel and water consumption saves money while also reducing associated GHG emissions. Additionally, reduced line losses can free-up generation capacity otherwise wasted. The return on investment and environmental benefits are insurmountable.
A project undertaken by AEP (actually a reconductor project) is a classic example. AEP selected ACCC Conductor to upgrade two parallel 345 kV transmission lines in the Lower Rio Grand Valley in Texas. The use of ACCC allowed them to double the capacity of the existing corridors AND reduce line losses by 30%. Reduced line losses saves ~300,000 MWh per year. It also reduces CO2 emissions by ~200,000 metric tons (the equivalent of removing 34,000 cars from the road. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, ask your corporate sustainability people what they think!!! In this case the reduction in line losses also frees-up 34 MW of generation. That is roughly the equivalent of building 75 one-megawatt wind turbines.
The attributes of the ACCC Conductor are so remarkable that several multinational banks are investing in ACCC transmission projects not only to support economic development, but also to help them meet their sustainability goals. If you are designing a new transmission line, you need to take a closer look. If you spec an incandescent light bulb by mistake, its easy to swap it out with an LED version in six months. This wire is designed to give LED like performance for sixty years! Food for thought