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.