Today’s electric transmission & distribution infrastructure is not designed to facilitate fast and efficient integration of renewable generation to the grid, which has been mandated by many state and local governments. TS can help utilities accommodate this for the least amount of money and the fewest interruptions, including outages. All of this is a result of the unique and groundbreaking properties of TS Conductor.

Conductor evolution is a history of the advancement of materials technology. The ACSR Conductor (Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced) was introduced in 1908. The use of high strength steel with hard aluminum was reflective of the best materials technology at the time.

Originally, aluminum was leveraged for its strength contribution in the conductor at the expense of high conductivity. Over the years, aluminum alloys of higher strength and higher temperature endurance were developed for conductor applications but at the expense of electrical conductivity. The most conductive aluminum with the highest temperature capability is annealed aluminum. However, it must be complemented with higher strength core materials.

ACSS conductor was introduced to the power industry in the 1970s that is capable of high-temperature operation, however the excessive sag in ACSS, driven by high density and high thermal expansion in steel, makes it a niche application for reconductoring. To manage excessive sag, new core materials were developed including Invar (low thermal expansion) which had to be paired with high-temperature aluminum alloys, which have higher electrical resistance than ACSR.

Unidirectional Composite core materials such as ceramic fiber composite (ACCR) and glass/carbon composite (CFCC) are also explored. ACCR has relatively low mechanical strength and must be used with high-temperature aluminum alloys. CFCC has relatively low modulus due to glass fibers, and experiences excessive sag in heavy ice, long span and large conductor applications.

The carbon epoxy composite is a mature, advanced composite material system, proven in aerospace applications for over 50 years. It has a rare and unique combination of all the most desirable properties for conductor application: Light Weight (20% of steel), High Strength (2X of steel) and virtually no thermal expansion. The combination of carbon fiber composite with annealed aluminum represents the state of the art in material technology, and also the ultimate in material choices for conductor applications.

Unidirectional composite, as in prior attempts in composite core conductor, is vulnerable to bending breakage and field mishandling. TS Conductor features the unique and enabling pretensioned aluminum encapsulation to protect the carbon core.

  1. It provides toughening protection against bending failure by preserving tension in the carbon core to address the poor compressive strength in UD fiber composites. The aluminum encapsulation also eliminates sharp edge bending from mishandling for conductor safety and reliability.
  2. It provides cushioning protection against crushing the carbon core during crimping in conventional fitting approach. This is essential for mainstream application as it requires no special training or installation supervision for ease of use in the field. Is uses the same die, same equipment, and the same standard methods.
  3. It provides complete shielding protection against galvanic corrosion to aluminum or environmental degradation in the core from moisture, air or UV and ozone. This guarantees product longevity of the composite core conductor as the polymeric constituent is vulnerable to moisture attack and high-temperature oxidation if unprotected.

TS Conductor benefits from superior sag characteristics since there is no fiberglass constituent and no vulnerability to excessive sag from ice load, long span and other conductor high-tension applications. The carbon core in TS Conductor needs no strength contribution from the aluminum and its weight savings allows for maximum incorporation of the most conductive, fully annealed aluminum, delivering the highest ampacity, best efficiency and high temperature stability in the most advanced conductor.

TS Smart Conductor’s Inteli-Core product can transform existing spot sensor applications by enabling intelligence in all transmission and distribution conductors, realizing distributed sensing and control throughout the entire power grid.

1. How does TS Conductor reduce CO2 emissions?

There is over 1 Billion MT GHG associated with Compensatory Generation in 2019 (to make up for conductor resistance heating). TS has about 30-50% less resistance, thereby reducing line loss, reducing compensatory generation and associated GHG emission.

2. How does TS Conductor differ from other conductors?

The Aluminum encapsulation in TS conductor protects the composite with Toughening (for guaranteed Safety & Reliability), Cushioning (for compatibility with traditional fitting and installation), and Shielding (for life protection against galvanic corrosion or core degradation from environment). It facilitates the most aluminum for maximum capacity and best efficiency, with further enhancement on sag performance. It is cost effective (2x), and suitable for new build or reconductoring in both transmission and distribution circuits, including extreme ice or long spans situations. It is logical and best choice for renewable interconnects and integrations to the grid.

3. What is the expected lifetime of the conductor?

With proper vibration management (AGS Clamps and Vibration Dampers), TS conductor is robustly built to last a lifetime. Since the core is completely encapsulated, there is no degradation of the material system.