CTC Global ACCC® Conductors could offer a solution to PG&E

As most people know by now, PG&E has shut down power in northern California to over 600,000 customers in parts of 22 counties since early Wednesday. While most of those affected remain without power, the internet has been roaring with debate on the issue. PG&E has shut off power to avoid sparking wildfires in windy and dry areas. This comes a year after the deadliest and most destructive wildfire ever in California that killed 85 people, burned over 153,000 acres, and caused $16.5 billion in damages. PG&E has also been deemed responsible for other major fires in recent years.

Generally, the biggest concern for PG&E at the moment is that a power line may come in contact with trees or vegetation due to the strong winds. Conductor sag can play a factor and if there is too much sag, it could make contact with vegetation. The danger is not just a fire being sparked, but an issue of long-term power outages. It doesn’t only affect residential customers, but also businesses, power to hospitals, emergency response centers and patients on life-support equipment. The ACCC® Conductor generally will have less sag in almost all conditions compared to a typical ACSR conductor due to the low coefficient of thermal expansion of its composite core.

Shutting down power in specific areas of concern seems to be a short-term solution. In theory, the use of ACCC Conductors on California’s grid may enable the utilities to re-route power around high risk areas which could potentially further reduce the need to shut the power down. The ACCC Conductor is capable of carrying twice the current of conventional steel reinforced ACSR conductors. Where an ACSR conductor might not be able to carry the bulk of the electricity in this case, the ACCC Conductor could factor in. The added capacity can improve grid reliability, prevent very costly power outages, reduce grid congestion, and allow access to the cleanest source of generation.

CTC Global is a company that believes their investment in new technology can help grid issues in California and around the world. In fact, Southern California Edison has several ACCC Conductor projects underway to reduce line sag and increase power flow.

For more information please visit www.ctcglobal.com

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