A new generation of stand-alone fiber optic current sensors

October 15, 2020

A new generation of stand-alone fiber optic current sensors

Recently, ABB, the world's leading power and automation technology group, has announced the launch of the latest generation of fiber optic current sensors to complement its optical fiber sensor product line. The name of the new generation of fiber-optic current sensors FOCS-FS comes from its freestanding design.

The new generation of fiber-optic current sensors is characterized by digital interface capabilities that make it an ideal product for the deployment of digital substations and promotes the adaptability of future substation automation needs. The products also comply with the IEC 61850 open system communication protocol, which enables interoperability with equipment provided by other suppliers. The new generation of fiber-optic current sensors will be suitable for current measurement applications in 245 kV to 800 kV substations.

"ABB's new generation of stand-alone digital fiber optic current sensor solutions will promote the development of digital substations and make the power grid more intelligent," said Giandomenico Rivetti, ABB's head of high-voltage services. "The new products are more energy-efficient, with the aim of reducing substation footprint and improving safety. ”

The conventional current and voltage measuring devices in substations include instrument transformers based on oil and sulfur hexafluoride. However, these devices are heavy, some weighing several tons and occupying a lot of space.

The new generation of fiber-optic current sensors places stringent performance requirements on the accuracy of a wide temperature range. The new product itself is immune to magnetic saturation effects, making it an ideal solution for capturing AC currents compensated by transient currents, short-circuit currents and DC currents. The compact design helps to achieve reduced footprint of the substation due to the smaller space required compared to conventional instrument transformers. In addition, not using oil to obtain natural gas reduces the risk of explosion, and new products are more energy efficient.

ABB's fiber-optic current sensor is based on the Faraday effect principle, which uses light to infer the precise amount of current that produces a magnetic field. The ABB fiber optic current sensor products used in high voltage substations include fiber-optic current sensors combined with disconnected circuit breakers, and fiber optic current sensor complete sets of equipment used in other high-voltage devices such as gas-insulated switchgears and generator circuit breakers.

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