Navigant: Carbon nanotubes have potential to improve transmission network reliability

Monday April 23, 2018 0 comments Tags: Boulder, Navigant Research, Michael Hartnack, carbon nanotubes

BOULDER -- A new report from Navigant Research examines the global utility market for carbon nanotubes (CNTs), highlighting significant CNT characteristics and challenges for grid integration, as well as providing recommendations for utilities, vendors and research labs.NavigantNEWlogoUSE

CNTs -- small tubes composed of carbon atoms -- are ideal for transmission network cables and wiring. Due to their physical and chemical properties, they offer an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio and superior conductivity, however, high costs and other challenges have so far deterred adoption, Navigant said.

“The utility industry stands to benefit tremendously from the conductivity and strength-to-weight characteristics of CNTs, as the tubes could be integrated into transmission and distribution (T&D) networks to enhance power delivery efficiency and reliability,” said Michael Hartnack, Navigant research analyst.

“With the right strategies, key players in the CNT market have the potential to improve transmission network efficiency and reliability.”

According to the report, science labs should continue to push the envelope with innovation in the synthesis, production and deployment of CNTs, while vendors should strive to reduce costs and improve large-scale manufacturing capabilities. Utilities, meanwhile, should build relationships with vendors and labs and -- if possible -- create R&D teams to drive innovation.

The reportImproving Transmission Efficiency with Carbon Nanotube Technology, provides a snapshot of the global utility market for CNTs, highlighting significant CNT characteristics and discussing challenges for grid integration.

The study provides an overview of CNTs and an analysis of the potential benefits they can provide to the electric grid. In addition, this report provides recommendations for utilities, vendors, and research labs on how to overcome current obstacles and drive eventual utility deployment.

An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.