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  • MVLA MVLA Jul 22, 2002 1:47 PM Flag

    Current Sensor

    Maybe so...

    ABB Australia wins High Commendation for fibre optic current

    Sydney Australia, 29 November - ABB Australia, part of the global power and
    automation technology company, announced today that the fibre optic current
    transducer (FOCT) it has been co-developing with the Australian Photonics
    Cooperative Research Centre in Sydney has won a prestigious High
    Commendation in the Innovation and Inventions category at the 2001
    Engineering Excellence Awards of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

    The FOCT development won the award against 15 other contenders, all of them
    large-scale institutional entrants. It also won an Excellence Award from the
    Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers��� Association (AEEMA) in the
    Environmental Products category in 2000.

    The FOCT is the result of a development project led by ABB in co-operation with
    TransGrid, the NSW high voltage electricity network owner and Australia���s largest
    electricity network service provider, and the Australian Photonics Cooperative
    Research Centre based at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney.

    The transducer is a novel optical fibre and digital processing system that measures
    changes in the phase-shift of a light source caused by the magnetic field produced by
    the electrical current in high voltage networks. The system then analyses light from
    the sensor to measure the magnetic field and hence the current in the high voltage
    circuit. The configuration of the sensor coil minimises the interfering environmental
    effects of temperature and vibration.

    The wide dynamic range of the FOCT makes it the first system of its kind to offer a
    practical solution for driving protection, control and metering devices from a single
    transducer. In addition, because its performance is not limited by the geometry of the
    coil, it is suitable for a wide range of high voltage applications.

    Its accuracy, bandwidth, dynamic range and environmental performance are
    equivalent, and in some areas, superior to conventional current transformer
    technology, and well able to meet the demands of new electricity markets. At the
    same time, it is compact, light and therefore has potential to be easily integrated with
    other high-voltage equipment.

    Its benefits also include reduced use of resources such as steel support structures,
    concrete foundations, copper cabling and insulation; reduced generation of
    environmentally sensitive waste products; improved isolation of secondary systems
    in substations, and lower transport and installation costs.

    The FOCT is the result of seven years��� co-operative research through the CRC. Key
    members of the team included Margareta Bjarme, who was seconded from ABB in
    Sweden to project manage the research; Dr Ian Bassett from the University of
    Sydney (CRC); Tony Lee, project coordinator from ABB Australia, and John Hoore
    and Steve Jones from TransGrid.

    Having passed performance tests in laboratory and field trials a pre-commercial
    version of the FOCT has been installed at a TransGrid substation since July 2001
    and is recording excellent results.

    Douglas Pitt, Senior Vice-President, Utilities Division, ABB Australia, said: "The
    project demonstrates the ability of ABB researchers and engineers to co-operate
    across institutional, company and global boundaries to produce world-leading
    technology wherever they may be."

    ABB ( is a global leader in power and automation technologies that
    enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering
    their environmental impact. ABB has 160,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

11.65-0.50(-4.12%)1:49 PMEDT