Optical fibre accelerates data transfer between the various electricity system facilities and the Electricity Control Centre (CECOEL)
This will be the first time in the Canary Islands, and the second in Spain, that fiber optics are embedded in the conductors of a power infrastructure
Red Eléctrica de España has commenced the works of an innovative project on the 66 kV (kilovolts) Cuesta Villa-Icod-1 line in Tenerife aimed at improving the security and quality in the data transfer regarding the electricity system through the use of a fiber optic system that enables the simultaneous transmission of data and energy via electricity lines.
The Cuesta de la Villa Icod-1 line on which the project is being carried out is a double-circuit line and has one overhead section and two underground sections at either ends. The overhead section consists of 65 towers, most of which have a tubular structure design.
Therefore, the lower phase conductor of the line is being replaced with an OPPC conductor (Optical Phase Conductor), as it was determined that it was impossible to install ‘guard’ cables (those through in which fibre optic cable is normally integrated) in this type of tower due to its particular structural design.
This is the first time this type of conductor is used for installations in the Canary Islands electricity system. Nevertheless, Red Eléctrica has already installed these conductors in the Fuendetodos-María 220 kV line in Aragón.
This project stems from the need to provide fibre optics for the future Los Realejos substation, as this technology has better performance than other alternative communication systems such as VSAT or radio links.
This type of conductor integrates fibre-optic cables together with the steel core inside the conductor cable. Once operative, the OPPC will fulfill not only the function of electricity transmission, but also will enable substations to communicate with each other and also with the control centres. One of the main advantages of this solution is that it does not increase the mechanical load of the overhead section of line.
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