Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fiber Optic Cable for a Wind Farm? What cable to use?

Recently we've been been moving fiber optic cables into the green energy market and in a previous post we got into it regarding Solar Power Towers . The long term view from the US department of Energy is a commitment to renewable energy, so not only will you see the expansion of these solar power towers but also wind farms.

Are wind farms a new thing? No, the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm development began in the early 80's. You figured a standardized fiber optic cable type by now would have been established but it doesn't appear that way. I looked into Corning, AFL and General Cable and I don't see any type of fiber optic cable designed for this specific application.

So what fiber cable is going to be a good fit for your wind farm application? I'm going to put money down on a tight buffered indoor/outdoor cable.

Why not! The majority of the cable is not exposed externally, cable runs from the top in the pole to the base then runs underground with other cables. The most commonly installed cable for cell tower applications is the indoor/outdoor tight buffered construction. Because it runs vertically you don't want a loose tube and since it has no aluminum, copper or any metal your don't have to worry about interference from the electrical cables from the wind farm.

The data rates look to be 10/100 so a 62.5 multimode cable will cover you up to around 2 kilometers, anything over that singlemode get's involved. I don't think the fiber cable should be a complicated part of this type of installation. Fiber cable from a cell tower, data center, home, wind farm all does the same thing by getting a signal from point A to B.

I'm going to work on getting my foot in the door at the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm since they're right down the street from me, I could be wrong and maybe it's a completely different cable. I'll work on verifying the cable that's being installed and if you work at a wind farm please comment! It'll be much appreciated.

"By Mercy Salinas"