Shanghai Electric Power Co. Ltd. has become the first utility outside the United States to install 3M Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR) light-weight, high-capacity transmission conductor. 3M’s ACCR can carry more than twice the current of conventional steel-core conductors of the same diameter on existing towers, without requiring new construction or rebuilding.
Shanghai Electric, a publicly owned utility whose major shareholders are China Power Investment Corp. and East China Power Development Co., serves the Shanghai metropolitan area, providing more than 2,800 MW of generating capacity. It deployed 3M’s ACCR to increase capacity on a key 10-mile line to meet growing peak demand. Shanghai is the largest city in the People’s Republic of China, and the eighth largest metropolis in the world.
3M’s ACCR is currently in service in the U.S. for Xcel Energy in Minnesota, Arizona Public Service in Phoenix and Western Area Power Administration’s Topac-Davis line along the Colorado River, as well as for several other domestic utilities.
“Interest from U.S. and foreign utilities continues to gain momentum as decision-makers realize we have a proven and ready solution to common problems that limit the capacity of conventional transmission lines, often causing constraints and bottlenecks,” said Tim Koenig, director of the 3M High Capacity Conductor Program. Mr. Koenig also noted that, because 3M’s ACCR is installed on existing structures and can match the sag and tension of the existing conductor with less weight, utilities can reduce the costs and risks associated with major transmission construction projects, without adding any risk to the existing system.
“In addition, 3M has invested in a state-of-the art manufacturing infrastructure to meet the growing demand for alternative solutions to problems afflicting the power grid. Process Design and Control is one of 3M’s 45 core technology platforms. Plus, 3M’s global presence with operations in nearly 60 countries, enables us to be where our customers are located and provide reliable technologies,” he continued.
"We hope 3M's ACCR can help us by saving total project cost and increasing line transmission capacity,” said Mr. Pan, Shanghai Power Yanggao project designer. “Based on the October 14 line energizing, it works well, and we are looking forward to running more performance data to prove it in the future three to five months. After passing a real project's running test, we believe 3M's ACCR will have a brilliant future in field application and will help us enhance the city transmission network."