Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust and is used in many things however it was not the first metal to be used as a conductor for electricity.
Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust and is used in many things however it was not the first metal to be used as a conductor for electricity. The metal which was favoured the most by manufacturers for making conductors was copper. Copper is a better conductor of electricity when compared to aluminium however the cost of copper is considerably higher than that of aluminium. Cost was one of the factors which made the manufacturers to look for viable options which could conduct electricity and were cost efficient too. Aluminium was the only metal which could meet all the criteria. Aluminium conductors grew in popularity over a period of time but still there was something that was amiss and the manufacturers were constantly looking for ways to improve the aluminium conductors. This lead to the advent of all aluminium alloy conductor which was better in terms of quality and improved performance.
The alloy conductors tend to be better on few counts than its predecessors. The alloy conductors are made from an alloy of aluminium, magnesium and silicon. These conductors are much stronger than the non-alloy aluminium conductors and can withstand higher mechanical stress. The sag-tension characteristic of these alloy conductors is also far better than the other versions. The higher conductivity is what makes it more popular with the transmission companies as it allows better transmission and lesser loss of electricity during transfers. The aluminium alloy conductor is highly corrosion resistant which makes it more durable. The durability of this conductor makes it an ideal choice for high voltage transmission lines. The durability of a product is important because it determines the overall cost of the transmission line and the life span of the network. The durability also determines the recurring cost of changing the conductors over a period of time.
Power conductors have always been an important part of the power transmission and distribution network and this is solely the reason why transmission companies were always in search of better quality conductors. The manufacturers also need to be praised for the fact that they were willing to put in efforts, time and money in their quest to offer better products to their customers. The aluminium alloy conductors have added more value to the product catalogue of manufacturers. The transmission companies use the alloy conductors for the reason that these conductors help them save money and electricity. Although the alloy conductors are good they are not used everywhere, the use of conductor depends on the kind of network it needs to be used. The other famous conductors are Aluminium conductor steel reinforced, Aluminium conductor alloy reinforced and All aluminium conductor. Every type of conductor has its own usage and it depends on which network a conductor needs to be used, whether it needs to be used in an interstate transmission line, intrastate transmission line or in the local distribution network which determines which conductor will be used in which line.
By: Soni Thakkar
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Submitted On May 19, 2017. Viewed 7 times.
Soni is affiliated with Sterlite Power, Sterlite Power is the largest private sector power transmission solutions in India, and writes on topics related to Aluminium Alloy Conductor