St. Paul, MN, July 28, 2008 — Chongqing Electric Power Corp. has become the second utility in the People’s Republic of China to install the 3M Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (3M ACCR) to boost transmission capacity on a key line without the need to build larger transmission towers. The utility says it needed extra capacity to meet anticipated heavy power demand for the summer Olympics in Beijing and did not have time to construct new towers.
The installation will serve more than a half-million residents within two districts in Chongqing City, a city with a population of approximately four million, located on the Yangtze River in southwest China, within Sichuan Province.
Using existing towers, Chongqing Electric has installed a two-circuit line of approximately 3.4 miles (5.5 km), linking the Shuinian and Shuangshan substations. Chongqing is in a subtropical region with high humidity and frequently extreme summer heat, and 3M ACCR was chosen in part because of its proven reliability in difficult climates.
3M ACCR’s low sag, strength and durability result from its core, which is composed of aluminum oxide (alumina) fibers embedded in high-purity aluminum. The constituent materials are chemically compatible with each other and can withstand high temperatures without adverse chemical reactions or any appreciable loss in strength. The conductor also is highly resistant to corrosion and has the durability typically associated with all-aluminum conductors.
3M ACCR was developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, which tested the conductor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, and with early contributions by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The ORNL tests demonstrated the conductor’s integrity after exposure to temperatures even higher than the rated continuous operating temperature of 210 degrees Celsius. 3M holds at least 18 patents on this new technology.
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