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Types of Overhead Conductor

Published on 24/2/2012 & updated on 16/8/2018
Conductor is a physical medium to carry electrical energy form one place to other. It is an important component of overhead and underground electrical transmission and distribution systems. The choice of conductor depends on the cost and efficiency. An ideal conductor has following features.
  1. It has maximum electrical conductivity.
  2. It has high tensile strength so that it can withstand mechanical stresses.
  3. It has least specific gravity i.e. weight/unit volume.
  4. It has least cost without sacrificing other factors.

Types of Overhead Conductor

In early days copper ‘Cu’ conductors was used for transmitting energy in stranded hard drawn form to increase tensile strength. But now it has been replaced by aluminum ‘Al’ due to following reasons:
  1. It has lesser cost than copper.
  2. It offers larger diameter for same amount of current which reduces corona.
Corona: is ionization of air due to higher voltage (usually voltage above critical voltage) which causes violet light around the conductor and hissing sound. It also produces ozone gas therefore it is undesirable condition. Aluminium also has some disadvantages over copper i.e.
  1. It has lesser conductivity.
  2. It has larger diameter which increase surface area to air pressure thus it swings more in air than copper so larger cross arms required which increases the cost.
  3. It has lesser tensile strength ultimately larger sag.
  4. It has lesser specific gravity (2.71gm/cc) than copper (8.9 gm/cc) cc = cubic centimeter.
Due to lower tensile strength aluminium is used with some other materials or its alloys

Related pages
Types of Overhead Conductor

AAC (All Aluminium Conductor)

ACAR (Aluminium Conductor, Aluminium Reinforce)

AAAC (All Aluminium Alloy Conductor)

aaac conductor

ACSR (Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced)

acsr conductor

IACS (International Annealed Copper Stand)

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