2017-04-13 Reasons for not using aluminum alloy cable in European countries
s a conductor of aluminum alloy in the last century, 60 to 70s, due to the rapid rise in the price of copper began extensive research on the cable replacement conductor material. As the conductor of the aluminum alloy is mainly AA1000 series of pure aluminum, AA6000 and AA8000 series conductor. The AA1000 series is mainly used in high voltage overhead line conductor; AA6000Al-Mg-Si (aluminum alloy) series is mainly used in high voltage overhead line conductors and aluminium busbar; the two conductor is in hard conductor joint connected by welding.  AA8000Al-Mg-Cu-Fe (al mg Cu Fe alloy) series is a kind of soft aluminum alloy which is really used in distribution lines.
In North America AA8000Al-Mg-Cu-Fe (aluminum magnesium copper iron alloy series) were only used in low voltage distribution network in the area, while in Europe is not widely used in European countries, basically is the solution to a copper core cable and aluminum cable. European countries do not use aluminum alloy cable technical route, mainly due to the following aspects:
1, from copper core cable and aluminum alloy cable electrical performance comparison
Copper and aluminum materials in electrical and mechanical properties are significantly different.
The aluminum alloy wire is similar to pure aluminum in conductivity and resistivity, so the electrical properties of copper cable can only be achieved by increasing the cross section to 1.6 times of copper cable. That is to say, the aluminum alloy cable has no substantial progress in the basic performance of the two cables, such as conductivity and resistivity, which is the first reason that the European countries have no choice of aluminum alloy cable.
2, from the perspective of energy consumption of copper core cable and aluminum alloy cable
G.P.Hammond and C.I.Jones[5] of the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, the use of different raw materials used in the production and use of energy consumption in the process of in-depth comparison, as shown in table 2. It can be seen that the energy consumption of aluminum in the process of production and use is about 3 times that of copper.
Aluminum and aluminum alloy cable in the production and use of energy consumption higher than the copper cable.
3, aluminum alloy cable carbon emissions and environmental impact is significantly higher than the copper cable
A comparative study of carbon dioxide emissions in the production and use of different raw materials used in the power grid according to G.P.Hammond and C.I.Jones[5] of the University of Bath, as shown in table 3. It can be seen that the carbon dioxide emissions of metallic aluminum is 2 times that of copper.
In addition, Hollands WimBOONE and Germanys ArnavKACKER in the life cycle perspective of broad comparison of copper core cable wire or aluminium core cable wire "that influence Aluminum Alloy cable on the environment (potential acidification) was also higher than that of copper cable.
4, life cycle cost
The price is far lower than that of aluminum copper so that the Aluminum Alloy cable also has a price advantage and bring the profit space for cable companies, but European countries through the comparative study of the cable life cycle cost, the conclusion Aluminum Alloy cable compared with copper cable and no obvious advantage.
Usually power cable can be used for 35 to more than 50 years.  However, the investment decision of the cable is mainly based on the investment cost, while the investment cost ignores the cost saving in the service life of the cable. The total cost of cable (hereinafter referred to as "life cycle cost") should not only consider the initial cost of the cable, but also consider the operation and maintenance costs of the service life of the cable. Therefore, the overall life cycle cost should be calculated in terms of the capital expenditure and operating costs of the cable within the time limit, only in this way, it is possible to choose more conductive materials such as copper, aluminum and other materials.
Hollands WimBOONE and ArnavKACKER, Germany, draw the following conclusions in life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) in their "life cycle perspective for the comparison of copper core cable or aluminum conductor cable":
1) the cost differences between copper and aluminum cables have been substantially reduced during their operations. In all cases, the cost difference in the running period is about 3%, and in some cases the copper cable has even become the lowest life cycle cost.
2) if only consider one-time investment and procurement costs, Aluminum Alloy cable and aluminum material is of great advantage, but from the whole life cycle cost analysis of copper cables, copper and aluminum costs almost no what difference, compared with the Aluminum Alloy copper cable cable from the total life cycle cost is more than Aluminum Alloy cable angle.
Conclusion: the European countries do not adopt the technical route Aluminum Alloy cable, mainly for copper core cable and cable Aluminum Alloy electrical performance, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and the impact on the environment, life cycle costs is discussed fully, so that Aluminum Alloy cable is not suitable for European countries concluded.
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