Upgrading the 380kV Rondissone-Turbigo Overhead Power Line

  • Project: Rondissone-Turbigo Overhead Power Line
  • Location: Italy
  • Company: TERNA
  • Cable type: 380kV HV cable – Tratos HTLS  low-sag carbon core conductor cable

Case Study: Tratos Enhances Italy’s Power Infrastructure with Advanced Conductor Technology

Project Overview: In the final months of 2023, a significant power infrastructure project unfolded in the picturesque rice fields between Turin and Milan, Italy. This ambitious project involved the upgrading of the 380kV overhead power line between Rondissone and Turbigo. Undertaken by Terna Rete Italia, the project aimed at reconductoring and reinforcing this critical section of Italy’s high-voltage electricity transmission grid. Central to this endeavour was the deployment of advanced Tratos conductor cables, demonstrating the cutting-edge capabilities of modern power transmission technology.

Technological Innovations: The project was characterized by using Tratos HTLS (High-Temperature Low Sag) low sag carbon core conductor cables. These cables, featuring a polymeric composite core, are designed to perform optimally under high temperatures with minimal sagging under load. The chosen configuration for this project was a triple bundle with a diameter of 30.45 mm, covering a total length of 12 kilometres.

A Puller/Tensioner PT4800 quad bundle with an 1800 mm diameter bull wheel was employed to ensure precise and secure installation. This sophisticated equipment, mounted on a special self-propelled vehicle, facilitated the smooth handling and placement of the cables. Additionally, mid-span tension joints were realized with a 160-ton press, crucial for maintaining the power lines’ structural integrity and electrical continuity.

Project Challenges and Solutions:

  1. High-Temperature Performance: The Tratos HTLS low-sag carbon core conductor cables were selected for their superior performance in high-temperature conditions. Their design ensures minimal sagging, which is critical for maintaining the power transmission system’s efficiency and reliability.
  2. Precise Installation: Using the Puller/Tensioner PT4800 quad bundle with an 1800 mm diameter bull wheel was a strategic decision. This advanced machinery allowed for the meticulous installation of the cables, ensuring they were securely and correctly placed to handle the demands of the power grid.
  3. Mid-Span Tension Joints: Realizing mid-span tension joints with a 160-ton press was essential for the structural integrity of the overhead power lines. This process ensured that the lines could withstand both mechanical and electrical stresses over their operational lifespan.

Impact and Benefits: The Rondissone-Turbigo line upgrade is more than an infrastructural enhancement; it represents a significant step towards a sustainable and resilient energy future. As Europe’s largest independent electricity transmission system operator, Terna Rete Italia is committed to driving the ecological transition. This project aligns with their strategy to develop a modern, efficient, and environmentally friendly power grid.

Due to their high efficiency and longevity, Tratos’ HTLS low-sag carbon core conductor cables ensure minimal environmental impact. The project’s success supports Terna’s goal of integrating renewable energy sources into the national grid, facilitating the transition to a cleaner, emission-free energy future.

Strategic Significance: Strategically, the upgrade addresses critical needs in the Italian national electrical system. It increases transport capacity between market zones, resolves congestion, and enhances the security and resilience of the electricity grid. By improving the quality and reliability of power supply, the project supports broader objectives of economic growth and technological advancement in Italy.

Conclusion: The Rondissone-Turbigo 380kV overhead power line upgrade is a testament to the transformative power of technological innovation and strategic planning. With the successful deployment of advanced Tratos conductor cables, the project not only enhances the efficiency and reliability of Italy’s national grid but also paves the way for a sustainable energy future. This case study highlights the crucial role of companies like Tratos in driving the transition to renewable energy, underscoring the need for continued innovation and investment in the energy sector.

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