ABB says fiber-optic current sensors boost Smart Grid's IQ
ABB announced the launch of its latest generation Fiber Optic Current Sensor (FOCS-FS) platform.
Adding to its portfolio of optical sensors, ABB announced the launch of its latest generation Fiber Optic Current Sensor (FOCS-FS) platform. A key feature of the FOCS-FS is its digital interface capability, notes the company, making it ideal for deployment in digital substations and facilitating adaptability to future substation automation needs. The system also complies with the IEC 61850 open systems communication protocol, enabling interoperability with equipment from other vendors.
The new FOCS system is suitable for current measurement applications in 245 kV to 800 kV substations. Conventional current and voltage measuring devices in utility substations are ususally comprised of oil and SF6 based instrument transformers. However, these devices are heavy, weighing up to several tons; they also consume significant amount of space, notes ABB. Conversely, the FOCS-FS platform derives its name from the system's innovative "free standing" design, asserts the company.
The FOCS-FS addresses demanding performance requirements for accuracy across a wide temperature range. It is inherently free of magnetic saturation, making it 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. It is also an eco-efficient solution that uses no oil or gas, eliminating the risk of explosion.
ABB says its FOCS devices are based on the Faraday effect principle, whereby light is used to deduce the precise magnitude of current that is 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. The FOCS-FS will add to this product offering.
“ABB’s new FOCS-FS free standing digital fiber-optic current sensor solution will facilitate the development of digital substations and enable the grid to get smarter,” contends Giandomenico Rivetti, head of ABB’s High-Voltage business, a part of the company’s Power Products division. “It is also more eco-efficient and is designed to minimize footprint and enhance safety.”