MIDDLETOWN, R.I., July 23 -- KVH Industries announced it has signed a product development agreement with the ABB high-voltage business area to jointly develop a fiber optic current sensor. The agreement follows a series of joint research projects during which the companies explored using fiber optics to measure current in high-voltage power lines.
The companies say the new fiber optic sensors allow more accurate energy metering and wider bandwidth, they decrease the number of variances and thus reduce delivery times and are environmentally "friendlier" and are safer than conventional technologies.
The conventional instrument transformers used to measure currents and voltages in high-voltage grids are oil- or gas-filled systems that provide analog outputs. The new fiber optic current sensor is expected to be significantly smaller and more accurate than existing devices, and it will provide instantaneous digital measurement of the current; furthermore, the transmission of the sensor signal via optical fibers provides an inherent insulation against high voltages, the companies said.