Home > ABB launches new generation fibre optic current sensor for high voltage applications

ABB launches new generation fibre optic current sensor for high voltage applications

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Leading power and automation technology company ABB Australia announces the launch of its latest generation fibre optic current sensors (FOCS-FS) featuring an innovative freestanding design.

Part of ABB’s portfolio of optical sensors, the new FOCS-FS offers digital interface capability for deployment in digital substations and facilitating adaptability to future substation automation needs. Compliance with IEC 61850 open systems communication protocol enables the sensor’s interoperability with equipment from other vendors. The new FOCS will be suitable for current measurement applications in 245 kV to 800 kV substations.

Current and voltage measuring devices conventionally used in substations comprise of oil and SF6 based instrument transformers that are not only heavy, weighing up to several tons but also occupy significant amount of space.

Giandomenico Rivetti, head of ABB’s High-Voltage business, a part of the company’s Power Products division explains that ABB’s new FOCS-FS ‘free standing’ digital fibre optic current sensor solution will facilitate the development of digital substations and enable the grid to get smarter. Benefits also include greater eco-efficiency and a design that minimises footprint and enhances safety.

The new FOCS fibre optic current sensor addresses the demanding performance requirements for accuracy across a wide temperature range. Being inherently free of magnetic saturation, the sensor is ideal for capturing fast transient currents, short circuit currents, and alternating current (AC) with direct current (DC)-offset. The compact design helps achieve reduced substation footprint as it requires much smaller space compared to conventional instrument transformers. Its eco-efficiency comes from not using oil or gas, eliminating the risk of explosion.

ABB’s fibre optic current sensors (FOCS) are based on the Faraday effect principle, whereby light is used to deduce the precise magnitude of current creating the magnetic field. ABB’s FOCS series for high-voltage substations includes FOCS integrated with DCB (Disconnecting Circuit Breakers), and FOCS kits for integrating with other high-voltage equipment such as gas-insulated switchgear and generator circuit breakers. 

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