April 2, 2002--The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board has approved the start of work on three new fiber-optic standards for all-dielectric, self-supporting, and helically applied cables used for communications in power grids.
The IEEE-SA Standards Board also reaffirmed the validity of the IEEE 1138-1994 standard for "Construction of Composite Fiber Optic Overhead Groundwire (OPGW) for Use on Electric Utility Power Lines."
The new standards will cover such items as mechanical and electrical performance, testing requirements, environmental considerations, and acceptance criteria. They provide support for manufacturing, testing, procurement, and quality assurance, as well as an aid in using the cable. The new standards to be developed are:
"Taken together, the standards just begun and the one reaffirmed encompass the most important fiber-optic telecommunication cables used in the power industry," says William Byrd, co-chairman of the IEEE 1591 Working Group and president of PrivaCom Ventures, Inc. "This is a significant market. The Utilities Telecommunications Council estimates that much of the $3.5 billion power utilities spend annually on telecommunications goes to purchase transport networks, which include the installation and maintenance of the cables in these specs."
The new standards are sponsored by the Power System Committee of the Power Engineering Society. IEEE-SA Working Groups consist of volunteers from industry, government and academia, as well as from trade, scientific and IEEE organizations. Anyone with expertise in the fiber optic cable systems used by power utilities is invited to help develop these standards. Information is available at http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1591/.