One of Brazil’s largest electric utilities, Companhia de Transmissao de Energia Eletrica Paulista (CTEEP), will install the 3M Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR) to upgrade the capacity of a key transmission line crossing the Parana River. The lightweight, sag-resistant conductor provides more than twice the capacity of conventional conductors of similar size without requiring construction of new or enlarged towers.

CTEEP, which is principally owned by Grupo Empresarial ISA (ISA Group), one of South America’s largest electricity and telecommunications providers, supplies almost all of the electricity consumed in the State of Sao Paulo and 30 percent of the electrical power consumed nationwide. The line will boost capacity for power transmission for the Jupiá Electrical System. The line crosses the nearly mile-wide Parana River and is subject to strong winds and extremely high temperatures.

“3M ACCR was determined to be the most cost-effective, proven solution available,” says CTEEP engineering manager Caetano Cezario Neto. Installation is scheduled to begin immediately.

Tim Koenig, director of the 3M High Capacity Conductor Program, says 3M ACCR is under evaluation in several other countries, as well as by large and small domestic utilities, as a solution to the problem of bottlenecks, especially on lines where permitting and construction of new towers or obtaining additional rights of way would create major problems and delays. “There is a growing recognition that this a proven, reliable and cost-efficient conductor that provides substantially greater capacity while minimizing the risks and environmental concerns associated with tower construction,” says Koenig. “The performance and reliability of this conductor have been persuasively established over years of field tests and commercial use, under all kinds of harsh environmental and operating conditions.”

ACCR’s strength and durability result from its core, composed of aluminum oxide (alumina) fibers embedded in high-purity aluminum, utilizing a highly specialized and patented process. The constituent materials are chemically compatible with each other and can withstand high temperatures without adverse chemical reactions or appreciable loss in strength, even over long periods of time.