Testing of the 3M Company ACCR Conductor

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The 3M Company has developed a high-temperature low-sag conductor referred to as Aluminum- Conductor Composite-Reinforced or ACCR. The conductor uses an aluminum metal matrix material to replace the steel in conventional conductors so the core has a lower density and higher conductivity. The objective of this work is to accelerate the commercial acceptance by electric utilities of these new conductor designs by testing four representative conductor classes in controlled conditions. Overhead transmission lines use bare aluminum conductor strands wrapped around a steel core strands to transmit electricity. The typical cable is referred to as aluminum-conductor steel-reinforced (ACSR). The outer strands ... continued below

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Stovall, J.P.; RIzy, D.T.; Kisner, R.A. & Deve, H.E. (3M Comp.) September 15, 2010.

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The 3M Company has developed a high-temperature low-sag conductor referred to as Aluminum- Conductor Composite-Reinforced or ACCR. The conductor uses an aluminum metal matrix material to replace the steel in conventional conductors so the core has a lower density and higher conductivity. The objective of this work is to accelerate the commercial acceptance by electric utilities of these new conductor designs by testing four representative conductor classes in controlled conditions. Overhead transmission lines use bare aluminum conductor strands wrapped around a steel core strands to transmit electricity. The typical cable is referred to as aluminum-conductor steel-reinforced (ACSR). The outer strands are aluminum, chosen for its conductivity, low weight, and low cost. The center strand is of steel for the strength required to support the weight without stretching the aluminum due to its ductility. The power density of a transmission corridor has been directly increased by increasing the voltage level. Transmission voltages have increased from 115-kV to 765- kV over the past 80 years. In the United States, further increasing the voltage level is not feasible at this point in time, so in order to further increase the power density of a transmission corridor, conductor designs that increase the current carrying capability have been examined. One of the key limiting factors in the design of a transmission line is the conductor sag which determines the clearance of the conductor above ground or underlying structures needed for electrical safety. Increasing the current carrying capability of a conductor increases the joule heating in the conductor which increases the conductor sag. A conductor designed for high-temperature and lowsag operation requires an engineered modification of the conductor materials. To make an advanced cable, the 3M Company solution has been the development of a composite conductor consisting of Nextel ceramic fibers to replace the steel core and an aluminum-zirconium alloy to improve the outer strands. The result is a cable that can carry more current than steelaluminum lines without sagging as much at higher temperatures. A unique facility called the Powerline Conductor Accelerated Testing (PCAT) Facility was built at ORNL for testing overhead conductors. The PCAT has been uniquely designed for testing overhead bare transmission line conductors at high currents and temperatures after they have been installed and tensioned to the manufacturer's specifications. The ability to operate a transmission line conductor in this manner does not exist elsewhere in the United States. Four classes of ACCR cable designed by 3M have been successfully test at ORNL – small, medium, large and small/compact. Based on these and other manufacturer tests, the 3M Company has successfully introduced the ACCR into the commercial market and has completed over twenty installations for utility companies.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2010/218
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/989472 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 989472
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1015004

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 15, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Jan. 9, 2018, 9:19 a.m.

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Stovall, J.P.; RIzy, D.T.; Kisner, R.A. & Deve, H.E. (3M Comp.). Testing of the 3M Company ACCR Conductor, report, September 15, 2010; Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1015004/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.