BLOG

Renewable Energy & Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS)

solar, energy, turbine, clean, wind, power, concept, nature, background, sky, panel, sunset, modern, blue, technology, sun, environment, industry, ecology, electricity, alternative, renewable, photovoltaic, green, plant, sunlight, environmental, ecological, equipment, future, electrical, station, light, industrial, protection, climate, system, eco, generation

This blog post explores the role of Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS). As renewable energy generators in power transmission systems become more prominent and it becomes more challenging to build new transmission assets, power system components are being pushed to their design limitations. The strain on components increases the risk of congestion and reduces operation reliability and even safety in generators.

It’s essential to add that creating new branches of power lines in a power grid takes years and costs millions. It’s therefore integral that it’s clear which branch can be utilized more by increasing the power through it. With DTS, it’s possible to check if the maximum temperature has been reached; if it hasn’t, it’s safe to increase the power.

The demand to take advantage of renewable energy sources and mitigate the effects of system congestion is pushing power system operators to apply advanced loading policies based on Dynamic Thermal Rating. The Dynamic Thermal Rating of transmission lines provides the accurate current-carrying capacity of buried HV/MV seabed and underground cables based on real-time operating conditions.

Applying these techniques to power cables will reduce the congestion in critical lines and increase operational reliability and safety. The technology in question is still relatively new, but there have been a few techniques proposed for Dynamic Line Temperature Monitoring.

Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing

Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing is arguably the most efficient method. It plays a crucial role in thermal monitoring by relaying accurate, real-time temperature profiles to the system operator while being immune to any electromagnetic disturbance.

Fiber Optic Monitoring is an excellent solution to the increased stress on power cables in a world with high energy demand. Accurate monitoring provides the knowledge of when a cable is close to reaching its physical limits. Implementing such a monitoring solution prevents damage to the cable. However, if any damage occurs, you know exactly when to do the maintenance and precisely where on the cable because you have the exact location of the temperature increase.

Renewable Energy

In addition to drastically improving existing networks, system operators can integrate real-time thermal ratings into renewable power sources like wind power. As a result, fiber optic solutions play a central role in renewable infrastructure, helping to popularize renewable energy sources into the mainstream.

The following measurements are examples of the ones required to implement thermal ratings into the network for renewable energy systems:

  • Wind speed
  • Thermal state estimations
  • Temperature measurements
  • Voltage measurements

 

By exploring the statistics from these measurements, the capability for wind energy can be increased, resulting in a much more efficient source of renewable energy than before.

Fiber Bragg temperature sensors are immune to environmental changes, critical for wind energy generators. We produce a range of FIMTs (Fiber in Metal Tubes) ideal for Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS), which we’d like to share in the following section:

FIMTs for DTS

The single-layer steel tube of the Single Layer FIMT protects against external influences and mechanical stress, hydrogen, and various environmental effects. The solution is excellent for Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) applications as a resilient optical link in an offshore submarine cable for the Marine Industry, owing to the extended 50 km length of this solution, and also as a component for umbilical cable solutions in the Oil & Gas Industry.

Polymer Layered FIMT is a popular Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) solution. Polymer Layered FIMTs are used for umbilical cables in subsea applications for the Marine Industry, where elasticity and low weight are valuable features. In addition, the polymer is sometimes used as a ‘buffer’ material to increase the OD for easier integration into cable assemblies.

Universal Cable is an all-purpose fiber optic cable that is a popular solution in sensing applications in challenging environments, such as the Defense and Marine industries. The stainless-steel tube, stranding wires, and polymer sheath that encapsulate the optical fibers ensure maximum optical performance. The all-purpose design of the Universal Cable makes it equally suitable for aerial and direct-buried fiber optic cable installations, as a reinforced optical link for HV cables, and it’s an excellent solution for Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS).

Conclusion

Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing has a significant role in the future of renewable energy. Our customers have used DTS for years now, and there is plenty of evidence that it enables power grids to operate at the highest possible safe ampacity level.

DTS power cable monitoring balances the requirement for asset protection and power network performance optimization by accurately and instantly establishing the causes of cable failures and potential bottlenecks.

Feel free to explore any of the links in the previous section to our products or get in touch with one of our experts to discuss FIMT products for DTS measurements.

More insights

Benefit from over 25 years of expertise in fiber optics.

Get the latest fiber news.

Sign up to our newsletter!