Providing sufficient electrical power reliably requires ongoing monitoring of temperatures within overhead transmission lines that are more susceptible to atmospheric changes than buried cables. Winds, direct sunshine, ambient temperature, rain, ice and snow all affect the temperature of exposed overhead lines and can dramatically impact load limits they are capable of carrying. The fibre optic monitoring system for overhead lines is an inexpensive and highly reliable method that enables real-time monitoring of an entire network or of selected critical spans.
The easy-to-install, low-maintenance system offers a multitude of advantages. By enabling dynamic analysis of network structure, it increases the overall safety and reliability of the grid. It facilitates applying dynamic reactions to transmission requests, resulting in more flexible capacity and revenue management in both the short and long term. And the potential for cost-savings is enormous: downtimes and blackouts can be avoided, and the need for new lines and upgrades (e.g. increasing the height of overhead transmission lines) can be greatly reduced.
Customers dynamically rating the critical spans of their overhead line system can also increase earnings by activating previously unused resources in existing power lines. Dynamic metering of grid capacity and maximized transmission capacity make it possible to respond quickly and dynamically to transmission requests. As new sources of energy are added to the grid, precise load predictions are possible and it is easier to react quickly to overload conditions.
With the help of dynamic network-structure analysis, temperature profile can be monitored over span fields and fittings, depending on the length of the sensor. Load parameters are bundled and transmitted to network control stations online, allowing for real time thermal rating – which means real time supervision of network capacity. This makes it possible to predict load precisely and to avoid wire fatigue caused by repeated high thermal loads. Because decisions based on thermal load often influence upgrading or installation of lines, this translates into better control of grid and wire conditions, as well as optimal sag control and line clearance without requiring new construction activities.