Nexans’ innovative overhead line technology helps Brazil solve electricity transmission problems in its large cities

Lo-Sag™ overhead line conductor with a composite carbon core carries around twice the power of conventional steel-reinforced conductors with almost no sag

Paris, July 3, 2012 – Nexans, a worldwide leading expert in the cable industry, has worked with Light, Rio de Janeiro’s electric utility, to develop the innovative Lo-Sag™ conductor to help solve Brazil’s crucial issue of supplying more electricity to its large urban centres*, where the construction of new overhead transmission lines is severely restricted and needs controlled clearance to buildings or natural obstacles.

Nexans’ innovative overhead line technologyResulting from a five-year development programme involving Nexans’ technology centres in France and Belgium, this innovative overhead line technology consists in a thermal resistant aluminium conductor wrapped around a composite carbon core. Compared with a traditional ACSR (Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced) which uses steel core, the composite carbon core of the same diameter is much lighter and 50 percent stronger. Most importantly, the carbon core’s coefficient of thermal expansion is roughly one tenth of that of steel, so it expands (and ‘sags’) much less when heated by the high current flowing in the conductor, enabling the vital safety clearances to be maintained between the conductor and the ground, even at high operating temperatures.

These properties enable the new overhead lines to be driven much harder by the electricity utility. So while a conventional conductor, at a typical safe limit will operate at 90°C, Lo-Sag™ enables to carry around twice as much power. This makes Lo-Sag™ perfect for upgrading existing routes to higher powers, using established routes and existing cable towers with minimal modifications, reducing both project delivery times and costs.
The first Lo-Sag™ field is operating in the field for six months, with an installation on Light’s 138 kV transmission line that connects SE Cascadura to SE São Jose in Pavuna district, one of the areas with a specific need for more electricity.

Nexans’ innovative overhead line technology“In this initial installation for Light, Lo-Sag™ has been proved to increase the power transmission capacity by 72.5 percent”, said Sidnei Ueda, OHL application Engineering Manager at Nexans. “It has been a truly Nexans global project, with the composite carbon core manufactured in France, the thermal resistant aluminum produced in Brazil and the entire conductor  assembled in a Belgian plant. Lo-Sag™ is expected to have a life time of at least 40 years. That is similar to, or even better than conventional conductors. “

While Lo-Sag has been developed to meet the particular needs of Brazil’s transmission networks, especially in upgrading projects, the concept is also ideally suited to many other markets around the world. Lo-Sag™ can also offer important advantages in the construction of new transmission lines, especially for the long spans, over 1 km, required for river crossings. The towers heigh could be up to 30% shorter.

* Brazil’s large cities have a critical need for more power to support the country’s economic growth, especially as it is hosting a number of major international sporting events in the next few years. However, the creation of new power routes in areas with a high population density is a major bottleneck, both in land and equipment costs and the extended time scales required to obtain the necessary permits and rights of way. Nexans and Light have therefore focused on an alternative approach that is now enabling existing power transmission routes to be up-rated to carry the extra power required.

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Mit Energie als Grundlage seiner Geschäftstätigkeit bietet Nexans, der globale Experte für Kabel und Verkabelungslösungen, seinen Kunden eine breite Palette von Kabeln und Kabelsystemen für die Energieübertragung und -verteilung. Der Konzern ist ein maßgeblicher Player in den Marktsegmenten Energieinfrastruktur, Industrie, Bauwesen und lokale Datennetze. Er entwickelt Lösungen für Energie-, Übertragungs- und Telekomnetze, für den Schiffsbau, Luft- und Raumfahrt, Automation und Automotive für Eisenbahnanwendungen, für die Elektronikindustrie, den Flugzeugbau sowie die Bereiche Materialtransport und Automatisierung. Nexans ist ein verantwortungsbewusst handelnder Industriekonzern, der nachhaltige Entwicklung als integralen Bestandteil seiner globalen Betriebsstrategie betrachtet. Kontinuierliche Innovation bei Produkten, Lösungen und Dienstleistungen, Weiterbildung und Einbindung der Mitarbeiter sowie Anwendung von sicheren und umweltschonenden Industrieprozessen sind einige der Grundsätze, die Nexans als zukunftsorientiertes, nachhaltig wirtschaftendes Unternehmen positionieren. Nexans verfügt über Fertigungsstätten in 40 Ländern und betreibt Geschäftsaktivitäten in der ganzen Welt. Das Unternehmen beschäftigt 25.000 Mitarbeiter und erzielte 2011 einen Umsatz von nahezu 7 Milliarden Euro. Nexans ist an der NYSE Euronext Paris (Compartment A) notiert. Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter: oder