Korea's KEPCO launches R&D project to develop graphene-based power lines

Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has reportedly launched an R&D project to develop a graphene-metal composite material for mass production of ultralight and large-capacity power lines.

For the project, KEPCO has teamed up with Samhwan TF, Sono International and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

KEPCO has launched this research project to develop new material-based power lines that can expand transmission capacity. Currently, KEPCO is using aluminum conductor steel-reinforced (ACSR) cables, which consist of aluminum (the part on which currents flow) and steel (the part that maintains tensile strength). This conductor has reached its technical limits in increasing power transmission capacity.

Accordingly, global attention is being focused on the development of new power lines using non-metal new materials. As a technical alternative, KEPCO is promoting the development of graphene fiber-based power lines.

Graphene fiber-based ultralight and large-capacity power cables can have over three times the power transmission capacity of conventional aluminum power cables. They are also lighter than conventional power cables.

KEPCO will carry out the R&D project for 30 months from March 2022 to August 2024.

KEPCO will play a role in developing technologies and systems for performance evaluation of graphene composite fiber materials. KAIST will be in charge of developing the technology for continuous manufacturing of graphene fibers and developing a fiber cable manufacturing process. Samhwan TF and Sono Industries will be tasked with designing and building a pilot plant that can continuously produce graphene composite fibers.

Posted: Mar 21,2022 by Roni Peleg