Renewable energy plants and power grids are increasingly being equipped with smart monitoring systems in order to achieve higher efficiency and minimise downtime, a necessary step to reduce the cost of low-carbon electricity supply. However, sensors are usually electrical, hence not safe to operate in electrically harsh environments, e.g. inside wind turbine blades due to lightning discharge risk. This is mainly due to the conductive nature of copper cabling, commonly used to power remote electronics and transfer sensor data, which can become subject to dangerous overvoltage or electromagnetic interferences and damage critical electronic equipment.
FIBERGY, a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, eliminates now this danger with its Power-by-Light (PbL) technology. PbL uses a non-conductive optical cable, instead of copper cable, for the delivery of electrical power to remote electronics, along with data transmission, providing this way 100% electrical isolation. The wind energy market is the first to profit from the inherent PbL advantages. FIBERGY has developed a lightning-safe system for the condition monitoring of wind turbine rotor blades, the first worldwide of this kind, that overcomes all the limitations of existing solutions.
Text from Fibergy website.