5 Fast Facts About Fiber Optic Temperature Measurement in Power Transformers

Qualitrol Neoptix fiber optic temperature sensor for the power grid

Many people don’t know the value of fiber optic temperature measurement in power transformers. Recognized as the most accurate method for temperature measurement, fiber optic temperature sensors are key to maintaining reliable power in critical operations.

Fiber optic sensors are by nature, electrically non-conductive making the sensors immune to electromagnetic interference. Also known to be a good insulator, fiber optic temperature sensors can help ground loops or even lightning interference. Lastly, fiber optic temperature sensors are naturally tough enough for harsh environments.

As it relates to equipment monitoring at your operation, here are five facts and to keep in mind.

#1 Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors or Thermometers are hot items

Whether it’s for manual or automated measurements of Power Transformers, fiber optic thermometers are incredibly accurate. They support your condition-based maintenance strategy by giving you a clear picture of the actual asset condition, so you know if there’s any decreased performance before there’s a failure.

#2 Fiber Optic Sensors and probes are tougher (and more versatile) than ever

With fiber optic temperature sensors and probes designed for use in industrial labs, you never have to worry about microwaves, radiofrequency, high voltage, or harsh environments. Because fiber is non-conductive, it can take the heat. Even better, it holds up to chemicals and solvents. Made with dielectric materials, sensors and probes are capable of withstanding very high electromagnetic fields and voltages.

#3 Quick decision-making leads to long-term reliability

Get accurate and direct temperature monitoring data of transformer windings every 250 milliseconds. Plus, count on “set-it-and-forget-it” reliability, so you can focus on the proactive maintenance of your equipment and information without worrying about or questioning your conditioners.

#4 Accessories make everything easier

With the right transport cases, probe boxes, power supplies, and protective caps, your job of manually checking temperatures and maintaining power equipment gets simpler. And your monitoring devices stay protected.

#5 Fiber Optic Software shows it all

The best fiber optic sensors and monitors are even more valuable when you have task-specific software. With direct data logging of temperature information, you get accessibility from your desktop or other browser-based devices. Export your data to Excel for use in charts, graphs, or historical comparisons. In most cases, you can even control your monitoring devices remotely with a few clicks. 

“Fiber is fantastic,” says Qualitrol engineer Phil Caruso “because it can go almost anywhere. It’s so tough, it can be used to measure temperature and all the things that can jeopardize power generation. The world only started using fiber optic technology about 50 years ago. So the possibilities for measurement and preventive maintenance are still being explored and expanded every day.” For more about condition monitoring with fiber optics, talk to Qualitrol today.