UK Power Networks confirms ‘first-ever’ trial of fibre optic temperature sensing cables in North Surrey.
It comes off the back of intense heatwaves that plagued the UK energy system in recent months, impacting both the generation and transmission of power.
The network operator has been running the trial of the technology for the past 18 months in two North Surrey-based substations.
It allows the temperature of the network to be continually monitored, with lengths of fibre-optic cable that is wound around electrical equipment such as circuit breakers.
The project found that the cables are able to detect heat differences down to as little as half a degree Celsius for every 50cm of cable.
In doing so, UK Power Networks will be able to proactively address and repair any hot spot issues before they cause faults.
“It’s our job to make sure our customers can rely on a safe and secure network. By innovating – we are able to deliver on our clear public purpose,” said Ian Cameron, head of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks.
The heat monitoring system was designed, installed and is managed by Infrastructure Services Group, a UK-based fibre optic sensing solutions provider.
The technology could help avoid increased strain on the energy grid by recognising areas that require repair before they become large-scale issues.