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ITE develops a system to improve the efficiency of electricity distribution grids

  • The project SILECTRIC-LL (Long Life) is framed within the call Retos-Colaboración of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

    It is carried out together with Porcelanas Industriales S.A. (POINSA), a company that is an expert on the production of silicone and porcelain insulators, and with the company Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica

The Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía (ITE), together with the companies Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica and Porcelanas Industriales S.A. (POINSA), is developing the project SILECTRIC-LL (Long Life), which aims at reducing the losses generated during the supply of electricity and improving the quality of distribution grids.

The main aim of the project is to obtain new insulators for high voltage lines and equipment with improved properties for environments with extreme operating conditions where the processes of aging are more pronounced. This would be an important result, since the looses generated during the supply of electricity imply a waste of the produced energy and it has a negative impact on the planet global warming.

Thus, new insulating materials with improved properties (silicone for insulators) are being developed. In order to do it, it has been studied the aging of insulators working in different environments under extreme conditions.

At the same time, it is being carried out the experimental characterizations of silicones. Not only tests established by law are performed, but also a new testing plan that includes new methodologies for the aging of materials. The aim of the plan is to determine which materials have the better performance under severe operating conditions, and to evaluate their real life and the quality of the employed silicone.

«One of the researched properties of silicone is hydrophobicity, since the loss of this characteristic in insulators would imply a fault. Currently, it is being studied which is the more affecting kind of contamination, because of the industrial nature of the environment, depending on the particulates emitted combined with other factors, such as rain.  It is therefore important that the selected silicones have the capacity of recover hydrophobicity as quickly as possible, with the aim of avoiding any faults», Mayte Gil pointed out, being the responsible of the Project in ITE.

With the new selected silicones, they are being prepared insulator prototypes, which will be later tested in a testing station.

The project is developed by a company manufacturing insulators and expert in silicone, Porcelanas Industriales S.A. (POINSA), a technology center, ITE, and the company Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica.

The project is framed within the challenges of the call Retos-Colaboración established in the R+D+I State Plan related to Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy, and it was approved by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness within that call.