ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Already in use on four continents in a broad range of harsh climates, 3M
ACCR (Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced) has now been installed in
Siberia, serving one of the region’s largest cities, Irkutsk.
Irkutsk Electronetwork Co. (IESK) chose the breakthrough overhead
conductor as a way to avoid tower construction or right-of-way expansion
while nearly doubling power transmission to the city’s central district,
where growing demand was putting a severe strain on capacity, according
to the utility.
3M ACCR is a lightweight, low-sag, high-capacity conductor that can
carry twice the current or more of conventional steel-core conductors of
the same diameter, on existing towers, thereby helping utilities
circumvent problems in crowded urban settings and environmentally
sensitive areas. Its low-sag characteristic also provides a solution for
In Irkutsk, the 110 kV line raises capacity to 1600 amperes on the link
between a local hydropower plant and the Tzimlyanskaya substation, and
to 1240 amps on the Tzimlyanskaya-Kirovskaya substation link. The 3M
ACCR line replaced conventional steel-aluminum conductors.
The utility considered the option of increasing capacity by building a
parallel line, but determined that acquiring the land and constructing
the towers would be prohibitively expensive and difficult because of the
crowded urban area. Installing larger aluminum-steel conductors would
have required rebuilding the existing towers to bear the heavier weight.
“3M ACCR was the most cost-effective, fastest and least disruptive
solution, with proven reliability in all kinds of extreme climates,”
says Tim Koenig, director of the 3M High Capacity Conductor Program. “3M
ACCR applications are often for line upgrades in densely packed urban
settings, as is the case in Irkutsk, or in environmentally sensitive
areas, such as wetlands and river crossings, where construction poses
the threat of long permitting delays, disruptions to the communities and
potential environmental damage.”
Koenig adds that interest in 3M ACCR also is growing as a tool for
helping to bring power from renewable energy sources onto the grid.
Irkutsk is a city of about 600,000 residents, in the Irkutsk Oblast
(administrative district), approximately 2,600 miles east of Moscow. Its
midwinter average daily mean temperature is about 0 degrees Fahrenheit
(minus 18 Centigrade). The city plays an important role in aircraft
manufacturing and metals smelting.
3M ACCR also is operating in installations by utilities in Moscow and
several other Russian locations, as well as in China, India, Brazil,
Canada, Western Europe and throughout the United States.
3M ACCR was developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy
and with early contributions by the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency. 3M’s innovation is the ACCR core, which is composed of aluminum
oxide (alumina) fibers embedded in high-purity aluminum utilizing a
highly specialized and proprietary process. The result is a lightweight,
low-sag, high-capacity conductor that can carry up to twice the current
of conventional steel-core conductors of the same diameter on existing
towers, thereby helping utilities upgrade transmission lines while
avoiding a wide range of problems in a variety of applications. It has
the durability and longevity of traditional steel core conductors, even
after decades of continuous operation at temperatures as high as 210
degrees Celsius (410° F) and in emergency conditions at 240 degrees
Celsius (464° F). The conductor’s performance has been demonstrated
during testing at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National
Laboratory in Tennessee and in more than a decade of successful U.S. and
3M holds several patents on its ACCR
technology, which has been recognized 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.
Electrical Markets Division, based in Austin, Texas, designs,
manufactures and markets products for electrical construction,
industrial maintenance, utility and industrial power, and electrical and
electronic components. EMD has more than 60 years of experience serving
customers with highly reliable products, including electrical and
electronic insulating tapes and papers; electromagnetic compatible
products; power cable splices and terminations; high-temperature,
low-sag transmission conductors; heat shrinkable tubing and molded
shapes; electrical wire connectors, terminals, tools and lugs; wire
marking products; cable ties; portable labeling devices and electrical
diagnostic and detection products.
More information is available at www.3M.com.
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