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Products and solutions, 2011-03-31, 12:42 PM

New high-voltage cables allow higher current transmission

When higher currents are transported through high-voltage cables, the cables heat up and sag. A new material from ThyssenKrupp VDM (Werdohl) avoids this effect. It increases the efficiency of power lines and so boosts the capacity of existing grids, which in many industrial regions are already operating at their load limit. This can reduce the need to build new power lines and the associated large transmission towers. As well as the cost saving for energy utilities, there are benefits for the environment and the landscape. ThyssenKrupp VDM’s new material for this application is called Pernifer 36 MoW. “This high-performance material opens up new possibilities for utilities in the construction of power grids, and also has positive effects for the environment,” says Dr. Jutta Klöwer, head of research and development at ThyssenKrupp VDM. “That’s why we believe there will be a high demand for our product.”

With conventional overland power lines, current transmission is limited because when high currents are transmitted the cables undergo excessive thermal expansion and sag too much. The new high-performance material Pernifer 36 MoW has a factor of 4 lower thermal expansion and high mechanical strength, allowing higher current-carrying capacity. Despite the increased heating due to the higher load, the power lines do not sag in critical areas as would be the case with conventional cables. ThyssenKrupp VDM achieves these properties in the iron-nickel alloy among other things through the addition of carbon, molybdenum and tungsten to form carbide (molybdenum-tungsten carbide). A further increase in strength takes place during cold drawing. Subsequent coating of the wire with aluminum is carried out by the customer.

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