Distributed sensing technology includes distributed temperature sensing, distributed acoustic sensing, and to a lesser degree distributed strain monitoring. Distributed sensing technology has been prevalent in the power and utility sector since the 1980s and the largest area where this technology is commonly used is in the power cabling monitoring. Due to the evaluation of the technology most power cable condition monitoring applications have historically been associated with distributed temperature sensing, but nowadays engineers and scientists are increasingly using distributed acoustic sensing in different applications.
The applications for distributed temperature sensing in power cable monitoring includes:
- Real-time thermal rating of cables (also known as dynamic cable rating). This has primarily been for buried cables, subsea cables, and cable tunnels, but there also has been applications for overhead cables;
- Hotspot detection;
- Fire detection for cables.
One of the key factors in the configuration of the distributed temperature sensing systems has been the position of the fiber optic sensing cable in relation to the power cable. At its best, DTS fiber optic sensing element would be located within the construction of the power cable itself. However, in many cases, the DTS fiber sensing element is attached to the surface of the power cable configuration (or in the vicinity), because of cable construction design or installation issues around splice joints.
There are various areas, types of cables and applications covered by distributed sensing technology including:
- Buried (underground) cable monitoring;
- Tunnel cable monitoring;
- Subsea power cable monitoring (subsea cables are difficult to access and expensive to repair);
- Overhead cable monitoring.
Power cable links can be critical assets in project commercial liabilities. Power links, for example, are used to energize offshore installation in the oil and gas pipeline monitoring market. Outages have tangible commercial implications, so that project risks are managed more effectively through better asset life management.
Optromix is a fast-growing seller of such products from the fiber Bragg grating (FBG) line of products: fiber Bragg grating sensors, FBG interrogators, and multiplexers and, of course, Distributed Temperature, Acoustic, and Strain Sensing systems (DTS). Our major goal is to deliver the best quality of fiber optic sensors to our clients. Optromix creates and supplies a broad variety of excellent fiber-optic solutions for monitoring of various facilities all over the world.