3M ACCR was introduced commercially in 2004 and is now installed on five continents. With its lightweight and low sag properties, ACCR’s claimed benefits at the time of launch included the ability to upgrade existing power networks often as a ‘drop in’ replacement for existing conductors; to up to double ampacity of each line and achievement of higher ground clearances no need to construct larger towers or expand rights of way power installation in environmentally sensitive or challenging situations such as spanning wide rivers or protected areas resistance to corrosion and extreme weather to support high peaks in power demand; dramatic reduction of installation time and substantial savings on the overall costs of a project.
10 years on and ACCR has delivered against those expectations, with installations found from Siberia to Equatorial Africa. Plus, the past couple of years has seen the first installations in Europe, including France, Germany and the UK. From the dozens of installations worldwide, here are some highlights from ACCR’s first decade in the field:
Increasing Capacity In China’s Largest City – in 2007, Shanghai Electric deployed 3M ACCR to shorten construction time and save costs while increasing capacity on a key 10-mile line serving growing demand in the city of Shanghai, the largest city in the People’s Republic of China and the eighth largest metropolis in the world, in time for the 2008 Olympics and 2010 World Expo.
Avoiding Disruption Of Residential Buildings – TATA Power installed 125 miles (200 kilometres) of 300 T-16 (150 mm²) 3M ACCR on two lines near Mumbai. As well as keeping up with ever increasing demand, residential buildings had sprung up directly under the lines and TATA did not want to disturb them, while still improving line clearances.
Protecting The Environment – British Columbia Hydro/British Columbia Transmission Company (BCTC) the operator of the transmission system for the British Columbia province, installed 3M ACCR on two segments of the Vancouver Island Transmission Reinforcement (VITR) Project to minimize the disruption to the diverse ecology and sensitive waterways. ACCR was installed through unusually long spans of up to 6,000 feet (1,830 metres).
Crossing Almost A Mile Of River In Just 6 Days – Companhia de Transmissao de Energia Electrica Paulista installed 3M ACCR to upgrade a 138 kV transmission line crossing an environmentally sensitive river bed to boost capacity for power transmission for the Jupiá Electrical System. The line crosses the nearly mile-wide Paraná River and is subject to strong winds and extremely high temperatures. The installation was completed in just 6 days.
Peak Loads – Southern Company subsidiary, Alabama Power used ACCR to upgrade a power line in North Eastern Alabama, to meet contingency requirements made necessary by summer peak loads. 3M ACCR was chosen for this project to avoid replacing approximately half the transmission structures and installing eight additional structures.
Harsh Environments In Fargo – 3M ACCR was installed by Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) on the Fargo-Jamestown 230 kV line near Fargo, North Dakota. The climatic conditions exposed the cable to high winds, extreme cold and ice loading.
Short Cold Days In Siberia – Chita Energo needed to upgrade its network with minimal disruption. The conductor also had to be installed and operated in extremely cold ambient temperatures and short periods of daylight. Chita chose 3M ACCR because of its demonstrated durability, as well as its ability to more than double the capacity on the existing towers.
Extra High Voltage And Renewable Energy In Lingen, Germany – to prepare for expected load growth due to the expansion of renewables in the area, Amprion GmbH installed 3M ACCR 470 kcmil (238 mm²) on a 400 kV line. Amprion chose ACCR after it passed a dozen tests, including strength and installation testing.
Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) In Distré, France – RTE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EdF, installed 3M ACCR near the Distré substation, following intensive testing. The existing 400 kV line had become thermally limited and more capacity was needed to support anticipated renewable energy sources.
ACCR installations continue apace worldwide and we look forward to being able to reveal more details about existing and imminent projects closer to home in the very near future, particularly to meet ‘future network’ developments. Happy 10th birthday ACCR and here’s to the next decade.