Photonic sensorized high voltage switching devices for implementing the smart electric power transmission grids.

Phosens's aim is to develop a novel fiber optic sensor system to enable the hv switching devices be sensorized and the functionalities for the hv installations will be improved, attending the switchgear monitoring and the integration of the system within the iec 61850 communication protocol.

The EU has agreed on ambitious energy targets for 2020 and beyond to increase energy efficiency. Achieving such targets sets Europe along the path to an energy system that will deliver a competitive, sustainable and secure energy supply. New technologies and solutions must compete on cost and reliability against conventional operations/methods. Innovation is critical to take efficient energy solutions commercially. Consequently, electric power utilities are asking to their HV equipment suppliers for new solutions to monitor the real status of their systems to optimize the electric asset management to predict and to solve the problems hampering the operation HV transmission grids. In this context, High Voltage equipment, critical point in the transmission and distribution system, as switching devices (disconnectors and switchers) are requiring innovative and disruptive technological solutions to adequate their functionalities to the power smart grid. Electric power utilities are requesting to their HV equipment suppliers, new solutions to monitor the real status of their systems to optimize the electric asset management of HV transmission grids. The change of the traditional elements to monitor equipment approach for HV transmission grids will make the power system more efficient and more reliable. The integration of these future smart elements into the substation´s communication network is convenient because the market is requiring more and more the IEC61850 communication standard. Actually, the communication is made through secondary equipment but it would be more useful and convenient that the switchgear manufacturer integrate it. Optical current transformers offer many improvements over traditional solutions. These advantages include linear performance, wider dynamic range and in particular lighter weight, smaller size and improved safety. Due to their small footprint and lightweight, these pieces of equipment can even allow their use in emergency mobile substations that are deployed on site by trucks and start working in a time of few hours. Since fiber optic sensors are insulating elements by nature and immune to the intense electromagnetic interference to which these elements are subjected, they turn out to be the most appropriate systems for sensing. The main control parameters in any power substation are the current, the voltage and the temperature which is normally a consequence of the current, and must be kept under close observation because if it rises above 100 °C it may accelerate the aging of polymeric and paper oil insulating materials or even destroy them. Then, optical sensors for current and temperature measurement could be integrated into the HV devices for these critical parameters monitoring. This implementation will allow the environment constraints control, the reliability increment and the maintenance operations improvement for the manufacturer and final user. These sensors are managed by an optical element, called interrogator, which can be located at an electric substation, using existing fibres as a link between interrogators and sensors. Finally in those interrogators is possible to establish certain predictive maintenance algorithms, for example by analyzing increases in temperature, presence of leakage current, etc ... and always looking for the possibility of degradation of the active sensed. High voltage sensorized switchgears or disconnector, using optical sensors integrated, will give the following benefits to the manufacturer and customer: i) to provide information of asset’s real status, the life cycle and actual health status of the equipment for developing its function; ii) to facilitate useful information of the electrical system for reducing costs, space, to anticipate the maintenance program and improve also the reliability of the system; iii) to be useful as a way for the implementation of fiber optic sensors into other elements of the substation. As result of this project, the HV switching devices, will be sensorized and the functionalities for the HV installations will be improved attending three goals: 1) to implement the switchgear (disconnectors and switchers) monitoring; 2) to create optical current transformers with IEC61850 output and integrate them in combined switches – optical current measurement transformers to optimize the cost in and the space in the substations; and 3) to integrate this development with previous know how on cable monitoring, to create a new activity on monitoring at substation level using new possibilities given by IEC61850. Moreover, final challenges of the project will be: 1) the implementation of the control of this critical equipment of HV transmission grids and enable the equipment manufacturer to offer a superior performance guarantee; 2) to offer to the electric power utilities and the switching equipment manufacturers the possibility to perform the improved maintenance of the HV transmission grids.
Project ID: 
11 140
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
850 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Transmission of electricity
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.