Powercrete, developed by Hanson’s German parent HeidelbergCement, is a heat conducting concrete that helps to dissipate the heat generated by high-voltage and ultra high-voltage electrical cables.
The product’s high thermal conductivity means that it can be used as a bedding and infill material for underground cables, helping to minimise transmission loss. According to Hanson, Powercrete is the only product of its type available in the UK.
Its first UK application has been at Iver in Buckinghamshire, where 217 cubic metres was used to encase the 175 kilovolt cables that send power to Heathrow airport.
Concrete technical sales manager Jasen Gauld said: “Power cables are increasingly being run underground, generating energy savings and reducing the visual and environmental impact created by pylons. 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.”