Along this endeavor, CTC saw the risks of conventional conductor involving thermal expansion and sagging under high current condition. Moreover, it would have meant replacement of existing structures and deployment of larger, heavier conventional conductors in order to increase the capacity of transmission corridors. CTC Global employed the hybrid carbon fiber technology to develop a modern high-strength, low-sag bare overhead conductor. The technology significantly helped them to increase the aluminum content without changing the conductor’s weight or diameter and also reduced thermal sag.
This technology virtually doubled the capacity of existing transmission lines while also improving efficiency and reliability. Bryant adds, “It was a challenging task for us to secure type certification and earn the trust of the utilities while developing a novel technology.” However, with an extraordinarily innovative stand, CTC went on to work with a number of utilities that helped the company through the process and enabled them to successfully test their products on trial lines. In 2005, CTC ultimately commercialized their products.
We worked hard to help improve the capacity and reliability of the grid by leveraging our expertise of composite materials
The products offered by CTC that are in use across 50 countries are highly robust in terms of industry standards. Bryant explains, “We worked hard to help improve the capacity and reliability of the grid by leveraging our expertise of composite materials.” The added aluminum content in ACCC conductors and the quality of aluminum helps not only carry more current but it also reduces line losses by 25 to 40 percent or more. The wire is also highly immune to vibration fatigue failure given the smooth surfaces of the trapezoidal shaped aluminum strands and single strand composite core. These wires also function well with high tensions and its composite core is non-corrosive. Along with being a cost-effective alternative for conventional conductors, the ACCC conductor’s improved efficiency also significantly reduces fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions while increasing grid capacity to help integrate more renewable resources.
Currently, CTC Global is on another growth spurt while continuing to hire more specialized technicians and increasing their production capacity. The company expanded their Southern California campus by 50 percent earlier this year and anticipates tripling their capacity within the next few years. “We reinvented the high-performance conductor market and have continued to grow. We look forward to helping more utilities, policy makers and other stakeholders realize and leverage our technology,” concludes Bryant.