The increase in the world’s population, the evolution of uses and the rise of renewable energies are leading to growing needs for electricity transmission and infrastructure interconnection, that makes use of high and very high voltage lines. Epsilon Composite’s innovative technologies improve the efficiency and safety of these electrical networks by replacing the metal cores of high voltage cables with a composite core made in pultrusion.
The cables that equip these “energy highways” are traditionally made from a structural steel core around which an aluminium conductor is wound (this solution is known as “ACSR”, for Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced). These metallic solutions and their variants present many intrinsic problems: the passage of the current causes the cables to overheat, dilate and collapse under their own weight. Consequences can include:
- Limitation of the current that can be carried by the line
- Significant electrical losses
- Security risk
HVCRC solutions (High Voltage Composite Reinforced Conductors)
W. Brandt Goldsworthy, pioneer of composite materials and inventor of the pultrusion process, saw potential for great improvements in electrical distribution. He had the idea of replacing the typical steel core of high tension cables in overhead transmission lines with a composite core, and in 1998, his team created the first-generation composite conductor. The original design later evolved, leading ultimately to the HVCRC Smart Conductor, the strongest, lightest and most efficient next-generation transmission line.
Epsilon Composite provides to its clients around the world solutions to replace the steel core of their cables with a pultruded composite rod made of carbon fibre and a high-performance epoxy matrix capable of withstanding the temperature and physico-chemical resistance constraints facing the cable. An insulating sheath composed of a layer of glass fibre or an aluminium sheath prevents galvanic corrosion properties and contributes to the general performance and reliability of the composite core.
These proven solutions allow an increase in the capacity of the cables (up to +100% improvement in ampacity) as well as reduction of in-line loss, cost of infrastructure and line slump.
Thanks to a network of partners throughout the world, Epsilon Composite is one of the world leaders in the manufacturing of composite cable cores, with a history of installed and operational high voltage lines on all continents of the globe, and a production capacity of more than 10,000 km/year.
Photo credits: Mercury Cable International, EDF