CTC Global
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Overhead Conductors With Composite Core Boost Utilities' Resiliency

March 8, 2020
The composite core of the ACCC conductor is not only resistant to thermal sagging but can also handle the elevated temperatures of redirected current.

CTC Global Corporation, based in Irvine, California developed, tested and produces the composite core used in ACCC Bare Overhead Conductors. The ACCC Conductor, produced in association with more than 30 international manufacturing partners including General Cable, Lamifil, Taihan, Apar and others, leverages advanced carbon-fiber technology to help improve the efficiency, capacity, reliability and resiliency of electric power grids worldwide.

The ACCC Conductor is said to offer greater strength, higher capacity and lower line losses compared to any other bare overhead conductor on the market today. Line loss reductions range from 25 to 40% or more. Reduced line losses not only reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions, but it also frees up generation capacity that is otherwise wasted.

The ACCC Conductor Composite Core has survived a tornado strike, wild fire, direct rifle shot, and crane strike; All real-world examples of proven resiliency. The hybrid composite core of the ACCC Conductor in conjunction with the trapezoidal aluminum strands allows ~28 % more aluminum without a diameter or weight penalty compared to a traditional ACSR (steel core) conductor. This, along with the thermal properties of the composite core, essentially doubles the ampacity of a replaced “Reconductored” line and can reduce associated line losses by up to 40%. These grid resilience capabilities give grid operators the ability to redirect current through this added capacity in order to avoid overheating adjacent lines during an outage.

There are multiple economic factors to consider when looking into “Grid Resilience” as it relates to overheated or sagging power lines. When a line falls to the ground, a utility must get multiple crews, with heavy expensive equipment, and entire reels of conductor onsite for repair. In the case of the Washoe Wildfire or the 2013 Moore Tornado however, ACCC Conductor has allowed a single crew to go out and install a repair sleeve, or even simply attach the conductor to replaced insulators and towers, and get power back on within a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of any alternative.

Another economic factor to consider is the value of crews and equipment in the wake of a natural disaster. Commonly in times like these, crews and equipment associated with overhead line repair come at a substantial premium due to extremely high demand. The ability to save a crew’s time, free up available equipment, and use altogether less resource to repair a line can offer huge savings as well.

Outage time is often the most forward-facing cost people consider when a line or grid becomes de-energized. The 2003 Northeast Blackout for example, contributed to at least 11 deaths and cost an estimated $6 billion. Outages not only have costs associated with the utility no longer being able to sell power to customers, but almost all businesses affected by the blackout are negatively impacted in one way or another as well.

The composite core of the ACCC conductor is not only highly resistant to the thermal sagging thought to have possibly caused many recent power outages but is also able to handle the elevated temperatures of redirected current. These grid resilience attributes alone greatly reduce the associated repair and outage costs a utility can experience when overhead lines are exposed to an adverse event.

To date, over 80,000 km of ACCC Conductor has been deployed by more than 200 utilities to more than 700 projects in 50 countries. For more information visit www.ctcglobal.com or call +1 (949) 428-8500. You can also visit with CTC Global at the rescheduled IEEE 2020 show Oct. 13-15, 2020, at McCormick Place South in Chicago. 

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