A new kind of electric power transmission cable is starting to be used by electric utilities.
ACCC (Aluminum Conductor Composite Core) cable, as developed by Composite Technology Corporation (CTC) (OTC Bulletin Board: CPTC), can double the current carrying capacity over existing transmission and distribution cable and can dramatically increase system reliability by virtually eliminating high-temperature sag.
Growing energy demand and an aging electricity infrastructure underscore the urgent need for new and upgraded transmission lines. Sagging and over-utilized power lines are increasingly becoming bottlenecks for electrical distribution systems. Despite catastrophic system failures and seasonal symptoms such as rolling brownouts, efforts to expand or improve transmission systems invariably stall due to the limited options available to utilities and government. With the power grid load up 35% in the last decade and only an 18% growth in grid capacity (source: EPRI), utility industry problems are going to continue to multiply.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Transmission Grid Study stated:
“New transmission conductors with composite cores, as apposed to steel cores, are both lighter and have greater current carrying capacity, allowing more power to flow in existing rights-of way.”
ACCC is superior to conventional conductors of the same diameter in many ways, including:
- Replaces existing steel core conductors and increases energy capacity up to 2 times
- Virtually eliminates sag caused by high load, high-temperature conditions
- Requires fewer structures along new Rights of Way, reducing construction costs and time
- Reduces line losses compared with same diameter conventional cables at same operating temperatures
- Eliminates bi-metallic corrosion issues
CTC has designed, engineered, and tested a new generation power cable that is comprised of a light-weight composite core wrapped with high-performance trapezoidal shaped aluminum wires. The new core allows for up to 28% more conductive aluminum to be wrapped within the same outside diameter as that of a conventional steel core cable. The end product is of similar weight to conventional ACSR cable, which enables the utilization of existing structures, without modifications.
CTC through its subsidiary, CTC Cable Corporation (CTC Cable) received two new orders in September from General Cable Corporation (General Cable) for ACCC cable for American Electric Power (AEP), the nation’s largest electricity generator, installations. CTC Cable has received its third order from General Cable to provide for the delivery of ACCC conductor to AEP. This third reconductoring project, with a value of nearly $1.5 million, will use 38 linear miles of ACCC conductor to upgrade an existing 161 KV line that runs from Chamber Springs to Tontitown, Arkansas. The second reconductoring project will use 60 linear miles of ACCC cable for a line from Bluff Creek to South Abilene in Texas. It is the second ACCC installation in Texas for AEP, which has a value in excess of $2 million and includes cable, hardware, and extended warranty. Previously AEP had purchased 49 miles of ACCC cable from General Cable.
Chinese electric utilities have adapted this technology at a more rapid pace. A recent order was received from Jiangsu New Far East Cable Co. Ltd. (“JNFEC”) for ACCC conductor, valued in excess of $1.5 million. The order, for 100 kilometers of 713 kcmil Dove ACCC conductor, is the most recent in a series of repeated orders from JNFEC. CTC is pressing for local manufacturers to strand its ACCC conductors in China.
“We believe that our ACCC conductor will play a major role in solving China’s problem of congested grid systems that cannot keep up with the increased demand for electricity. Together with our strategic relationships in China, we plan to increase our market presence by demonstrating the economic value of our solution to expanding electricity capacity on any grid line,” stated Benton Wilcoxon, CEO of Composite Technology Corporation.
Composite Technology Corporation, based in Irvine, California, develops, manufactures and sells novel products that introduce the advantages of high performance composite materials to create superior applications for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power. The company’s novel and proprietary Aluminum Composite Core Conductor (ACCC) is a cost effective solution for the introduction of reserve electrical transmission capacity into a saturated electrical grid, while reducing operating costs and in many cases capital costs.
CTC Cable Corporation produces composite rod for use in its proprietary ACCC aluminum conductor composite core. ACCC composite rod is delivered to qualified conductor manufacturers worldwide for local ACCC conductor production and resale into local markets.
ACCC conductors are currently available from General Cable in the US and Canada, and through CTC Cable Corporation worldwide.
Although not nearly as elegant as superconducting cable, this competitive, state of the art cable is available now to reduce the bottlenecks in our electrical grid.