Scottish Power Energy Networks chose 3M ACCR (Aluminium Conductor Composite Reinforced) for the 275kV single conductor that runs between Coylton and Mark Hill as it was able to double the power capacity of the line without the need to make major infrastructure changes.
The project involved close collaboration between Scottish Power Energy Networks, contractor Balfour Beatty and 3M and was completed in just three months, against a predicted timescale of eight months, despite the challenges of a remote, difficult terrain and a particularly wet Scottish summer.
“Using ACCR meant that we could double the ampacity using the existing tower infrastructure and manage sag resulting from higher temperatures caused by increased power. This approach removed the need to carry out extensive new infrastructure developing, so the impact on the local community and environment has been minimised and without the delays that civil engineering permissions and rights-of-way would traditionally involve,” says Richard Wylie, lead design engineer, Overhead Lines, Scottish Power Energy Networks.
“While this was new territory for Scotland and relatively new in the UK overall, we had confidence in ACCR because it is a proven technology with many customers worldwide.”
As well as doubling power capacity, the conductor is strong and durable - even when operated continuously at high temperatures - and is also reportedly much quieter than other conductor technologies, according to Scottish Power.
3M holds several patents on its ACCR technology, which has been recognised by R&D Magazine with an R&D 100 Award as one of the most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace and by the Minnesota High Tech Association with a Tekne Award for innovative development.