Russia's MOESK Utility installs 3M ACCR overhead conductor to upgrade line in densely populated southern district of Moscow, doubling power without enlarging towers or right of way

ST. PAUL, Minnesota , January 18, 2012 (press release) – Power Doubled Without Enlarging Towers or Right of Way; Installation of Breakthrough Conductor is Second in Moscow

The electricity transmission unit of MOESK Company (Moscow United Electric Grid Company) has installed the 3M ACCR overhead conductor to upgrade a line serving a densely populated southern district of Moscow to avoid the need for larger towers or an expanded right of way. The installation is the second application of 3M ACCR by MOESK in Moscow, and the eighth across the country to date by a Russian utility, with three more soon to be completed.

MOESK Company is Russia’s largest interregional distribution grid company, serving a 47,000-square-kilometer (18,147-square-mile) area with a population of about 17 million.

The utility chose 3M ACCR to achieve up to 1,200 amperes of current on a 3.3-kilometer (2.05-mile) 110 kV double-circuit overhead segment of its Cheremushki-Yughnaya line, serving the Nagatino-Sadovniki portion of Moscow’s Southern Administrative District. The alternative solution would have been to enlarge the towers to support a 220 kV or 330 kV upgrade, causing difficult logistical problems in the densely packed community. Among other impediments, the line crosses six-lane and eight-lane highways, as well as railroad tracks.

3M ACCR is a lightweight, low-sag, high-capacity conductor that can carry twice the current or more of conventional steel-core conductors of the same diameter, on existing towers, thereby helping utilities avoid a wide range of problems in environmentally sensitive areas and in crowded urban settings. Its low-sag characteristic also provides a solution for clearance issues.

Since its commercial introduction in 2005, the conductor has been employed across the United States and in Asia, Europe and South America, especially among utilities in the world’s major emerging economies: Brazil, China, India and Russia.

Tim Koenig, director of the 3M High Capacity Conductor Program, says 3M ACCR’s growing international use, “especially in those countries whose economies and need for electrical power are most rapidly expanding, demonstrates the extent to which this new but proven conductor has become a versatile, reliable first-choice problem-solver.”

Koenig also notes that 3M ACCR is helping utilities accommodate new demands being placed on electricity grids without encountering costly and problematic construction, right-of-way expansion or permitting issues.

3M ACCR was developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, which tested the conductor at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, and with early contributions by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The ORNL tests demonstrated that the conductor retains its integrity after exposure to temperatures even higher than the rated continuous operating temperature of 210 degrees Celsius and the emergency operating temperature of 240 degrees Celsius. It has the durability and longevity of traditional steel core conductors, even when operated continuously at high temperatures.

The conductor’s strength and durability result from its core, composed of aluminum oxide (alumina) fibers embedded in high-purity aluminum, utilizing a highly specialized and proprietary process. The constituent materials can withstand high temperatures without appreciable loss in strength, even over long periods of time.

Also, since 3M's ACCR is based on aluminum, it has the corrosion resistance typically associated with aluminum-based conductors.

3M holds several patents on its ACCR technology, which has been recognized by R&D Magazine with an R&D 100 Award as one of the most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace, and by the Minnesota High Tech Association with a Tekne Award for innovative development.

The 3M Electrical Markets Division, based in Austin, Texas, designs, manufactures and markets products for electrical construction, industrial maintenance, utility and industrial power, and electrical and electronic components. EMD has more than 60 years of experience serving customers with highly reliable products, including electrical and electronic insulating tapes and papers; electromagnetic compatible products; power cable splices and terminations; high-temperature, low-sag transmission conductors; heat shrinkable tubing and molded shapes; electrical wire connectors, terminals, tools and lugs; wire marking products; cable ties; and electrical diagnostic and detection products.

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