Securing energy capacity for growing computer data needs

As the need for digital data storage and processing is growing at high speed, large data centres are securing the needed energy capacity to operate systems reliably for years to come. In Belgium, TSO Elia was required to increase the overhead line capacity by a reconductoring project in order to address Crystal Computing’s data centre requirements. Lamifil delivered the HTLS solution for the project, including the supply of the high performance ACCC® Conductor, ACCC® Hardware, training and installation assistance. On this project the new conductor inspection ACCC InfoCore™ System was deployed, making a successful conductor installation even safer, simpler and faster than before.

 High-end composite core conductors to increase capacity…

The existing local twin-circuit 150 kV overhead line needed to be upgraded and rerouted. One tower had to be removed and two new towers had to be installed to take the line around the site, back onto an existing pathway and into a substation. ACCC® Oslo-Z Conductors are replacing the original AMS-2Z 346 and increase the capacity by 130 MVA. The combination of fully annealed, non-round aluminium wires and a high-tensile carbon-fibre hybrid composite core allows for significant capacity upgrades while reducing line losses and sagging.

… combined with an aerodynamic design that significantly reduces the load on the towers.

The outer layer of the ACCC® Oslo-Z is composed of z-shaped wires that improve the conductor’s aerodynamic properties,
significantly reducing mechanical load on the towers under heavy wind conditions or storm and making transmission
and distribution towers leaner.

Verifying conductor integrity on the fly to avoid delays

As the overhead line had to be recommissioned every night after reconductoring work, there was no room for delays whatsoever. Thanks to the brand new ACCC InfoCore™ System, the rigging crew was able to verify conductor integrity effectively within minutes during installation. In addition to the on-site inspection of the ACCC InfoCore™ conductors after arrival, a total of 17 confirmations had been undertaken by mid-March 2020, all of which recorded a pass. The Crystal Computing project was a successful key pilot for this new technology. Together with Elia and CTC Global, Lamifil coordinated the implementation of it throughout the manufacturing, delivery and installation process.

Reliable power supply for the future

The Crystal Computing project is expected to be commissioned by November 2020, after a temporary suspension due to COVID-19 that started just before the last conductors were pulled in. Upon termination, the refurbished overhead trajectory will help to secure the safe, reliable and efficient supply of power to the Crystal Computing’s data centre in Belgium.

For many years, Elia and Lamifil have been partnering to future-proof the Belgian power grid. Composite core conductor being the high performance  solution of choice, Lamifil has produced well over 1000 km of ACCC® Conductor for Elia’s reconductoring projects since 2008 with more projects to be installed in the near future.