Hanson UK has launched a new high-performance concrete for use by the power sector. Developed by Hanson’s parent company HeidelbergCement in Europe, Powercrete is a heat conducting concrete which helps to dissipate the heat generated by high-voltage and ultra high-voltage electrical cables with the same ease of placement as normal concrete.
The product’s high thermal conductivity means it can be used as a bedding and infill material for underground high-voltage and ultra high-voltage cabling, helping to minimise transmission loss. Its first UK application has been at Iver, Buckinghamshire, where 217cu.m was used to encase the 175kV cables which send power to Heathrow airport.
“Power cables are increasingly being run underground, generating energy savings and reducing the visual and environmental impact created by pylons," said Concrete Technical Sales Manager Jasen Gauld. "However, heat generation can be an issue with underground cable runs: as the cable temperature rises, so does the resistance, increasing transmission loss. Using Powercrete allows you to increase power capacity, reduce conductor cross sectioning or switch to aluminium conductors. It also serves to reduce magnetic field strength for alternating current and mitigate hotspots.”
Powercrete is a sustainable and long lasting solution and mixes can incorporate Regen GGBS (ground granulated blastfurnace slag), a by-product of the iron-making industry, used as a cement substitute to further improve the concrete’s sustainability credentials. The consistency of Powercrete can be adjusted to suit the application — Hanson’s cement and concrete specialists will work with clients and specifiers to maximise the performance of the mix.