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Scientists Find Way to Save $3 Billion a Year Worth of Electricity

16.12.2019

Scientists at National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, together with their colleagues from Kazakhstan and the United States, have found an original way to reduce electricity losses on power lines by coating wires with carbon nanoparticle nanocomposites.

According to experts, today the main loss of electricity on power lines is associated with corona discharge, an independent discharge of electrodes with a significant surface curvature in the air in highly inhomogeneous fields (mainly in wet weather).

These losses are estimated at a huge amount, up to $3 billion per year. The problem has existed since the invention of power lines, but it hasn’t yet been completely resolved.

"We’ve managed to reduce corona power losses from 20% to 40% by coating aluminium wires with hydrophilic porous nanocomposite containing carbon nanoparticles. We used the microplasma oxidation method, which is characterised by its simplicity and manufacturability," Zinetula Insepov, one of the authors of the study, professor at MEPhI, said.

 

According to the authors of the study, their work will have a huge cost advantage with using existing high voltage lines with a life of 20-40 years without replacing wires. The simplicity of the anti-corona coating technology will allow its use in many areas of electrical engineering, where corona power losses need to be reduced.

 

In the future, the scientists plan to expand the scope of their study and implement the development both on existing power lines and at plants that produce electric cable for power lines.

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