Sep 2013
Electricity Transmission
Ultra Wire
Sep 2013
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
High Voltage Technology
The UltraWire project consists of 2 parts, firstly the Nano Carbon Enhance Materials (NCEM) consortium, where knowledge is shared between interested parties in the field of enhanced Nano Carbon materials. The members include industry & academia and aim to find applications and drivers for NCEM.

The second part is the Euro FP7 project UltraWire, which NGET joined as a result of the NCEM consortium. Within NCEM, a demonstration of synthesis of wires was given by Dr Kosiol at University of Cambridge. This attracted large interest and the UltraWire project was developed. This project consists of a large consortium, of which NGET is one of the Industrial partners.

The use of electrical energy continues to increase. Worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise 43% between 2008 and 2035. Our future depends in many ways on increasing the efficiency of our energy usage. Today 8% of generated electricity is consumed in resistive losses, in the distribution network, within the electrical devices employed by end-users and in the transmission network. The large majority of these losses occur in copper-based subsystems including wiring, motors and transformers. Increasing the electrical conductivity of copper-based materials can address reducing losses across the large majority of these electrical uses. It is a potential step-change for society.

Countries and companies that develop the manufacturing technology for high, room-temperature conductivity of copper will be able to drive value into society and create new jobs. This new manufacturing technology generates value beyond simply cost-reducing manufacturing processes, which continue to drive jobs from Europe to Asia.

With the current drain on Copper resources globally, using Copper in the current demands makes this metal an unsustainable commodity. This project is looking to reduce the amount of copper needed to produce a conductor.

This project describes the scientific development and pilotfabrication of electrical wire made from ultra conductive copper (“UltraWire”), an advanced copper-carbon nanocomposite material. Wire is the most common form in which copper carries electrical energy today, and this is the most useful form for immediate take-up by the energy industry. The project brings factory processes and science together using leading European universities and large companies from the European copper, cable and manufacturing equipment industries.