Mercury Cable & Energy’s HVCRC Smart Conductor Completes Successful Sequential Mechanical Testing

Mercury Cable & Energy’s high voltage composite reinforced conductor passes intense, simulated field testing at Kinectrics North America Inc., as part of a high temperature HIBUS Suspension Clamp, manufactured by ACA Conductor Accessories and stranded by General Cable.

Mercury Cable & Energy (MC&E), the leading developer of High Voltage Composite Reinforced Conductors (HVCRC) for electrical transmission lines, is pleased to announce the successful completion of sequential mechanical testing at Kinetrics. A high temperature HIBUS Suspension Clamp manufactured by ACA Conductor Accessories was used in the test sequence along with a 1020 kcmil HVCRC/TW conductor which consists of a proprietary single composite fiberglass/carbon fiber core covered by 2 layers of annealed, trapezoidally-shaped aluminum alloy wires. The composite core is manufactured by MC&E and the conductor is stranded by General Cable.

The intent of the sequential mechanical tests is to subject the suspension clamp/conductor system to a simulated field conductor installation (Sheave Test), galloping motions caused by the wind as it passed over iced conductor (Galloping Test), Aeolian vibrations caused by laminar wind passing over bare conductor (Aeolian Vibration Test), and cyclic tensile loading experienced during typical thermal excursions (Tension Cycling Test).

When required, conductor manufacturers usually subject conductors to various individual, stand-alone tests including sheave, Aeolian vibration and galloping. As there is currently no industry standard specifically for bare overhead conductors, these tests are often based on IEEE Std. 1138-1994, which describes laboratory tests on optical overhead ground wires. American Electric Power (AEP) developed a testing protocol to evaluate new conductor designs by simulating accelerated aging process occurring during the life cycle of an overhead conductor. The objective of the sequential mechanical tests on 1020 kcmil HVCRC/TW is to verify whether the conductor satisfies pass/fail criteria set in the AEP’s test protocol.

Upon completion of the test sequence, the remaining conductor specimen is pulled to failure, which should meet or exceed 95% of the conductor’s original Rated Tensile Strength (RTS).

Following the completion of the sequential mechanical tests, the HIBUS Suspension Clamp was removed from the conductor, and the test conductor was subsequently pulled to failure. The maximum load recorded at the conductor’s breaking point was 19,220 kgf (42,373 lbf). This load corresponds to 103.4% of the conductor’s Rated Tensile Strength (RTS) of 18,598 kgf (41,000 lbf), and exceeds the 95% requirement. There were no visible signs of breaks, cracks, failure or discoloration of any components of either the HIBUS Suspension Clamp or the test conductor in the vicinity or under the HIBUS Suspension Clamp.

“This test demonstrates the strength and overall effectiveness of MC&E’s composite core technology,” said Todd Harris, President of MC&E. “As we demonstrate the superior characteristics of the HVCRC Smart Conductor through a rigorous independent testing regimen we expect our global market acceptance to grow. This particular test is very significant in that it conclusively proves that our HVCRC Smart Conductor provides superior performance to other conductors as defined by the protocols designed by AEP.”

All tests were performed by Kinectrics North America Inc. personnel at 800 Kipling Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 6C4, Canada.

Results of this particular test and all completed tests on HVCRC Smart Conductor are available to qualified customers by contacting our offices or through our website.

Kinectrics North America Inc., is a member of the AEA Technology Group, PLC and is a well established Toronto- based company with an award winning team of scientists and engineers. The Mechanical Testing Laboratory was established in 1921 as part of Ontario Hydro’s internationally acclaimed Research Division with a mandate to meet mechanical testing requirements in fields related to power generation, transmission, and distribution. Kinectrics has over 85 years of continuous experience solving the most advanced technical challenges for North American and global utilities.ACA Conductor Accessories, a division of AFL Telecommunications, is one of the world’s foremost suppliers of aluminum conductor accessories. ACA’s product offering includes compression fittings for transmission conductors, bus conductor, substation accessories, motion control devices, Alumoweld® and Copperweld®. ACA also offers engineering, training and testing services.

AFL Telecommunications is an industry leader in providing fiber optic products, engineering expertise and integrated services to the Electric Utility, Broadband, Telco, OEM, Private Network and Wireless markets. It has operations in the U.S., Mexico and the U.K. AFL Telecommunications is a division of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan.

Mercury Cable & Energy is a privately‐held developer of High Voltage Composite Reinforced Conductors (HVCRC), Smart Conductors for the Smart Grid. The patented HVCRC Smart Conductor is superior to existing conductors in a number of key performance areas including:

  • Up to double the current carrying capacity of ACSR
  • Substantially reduces high‐temperature sag
  • Requires fewer structures for new line construction
  • Increases capacity of existing rights‐of‐way and structures through retrofitting
  • Eliminates bi‐metallic corrosion
  • Significantly reduces line losses compared to same‐diameter conventional and composite conductors at equal operating temperatures

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