Distributed sensing for marine electrical system monitoring and protection applications

Booth, C D and Niewczas, P and Orr, P and Gordon, N (2017) Distributed sensing for marine electrical system monitoring and protection applications. In: Marine Electrical and Control Systems Safety Conference, 2017-11-22 - 2017-11-23, University of Strathclyde.

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In this paper, technology developed at the University of Strathclyde which has resulted in the commercialisation of distributed point sensors for electrical and mechanical parameters will be described. While primarily targeted at terrestrial power system applications to date, this technology has significant potential for realising novel and effective monitoring and protection solutions for marine electrical systems. In the paper, the technology and its capabilities will be reviewed, and a number of potential applications will be described and discussed briefly. Many of these applications can assist in reducing the levels of risk associated with marine electrical systems, through delivering comprehensive monitoring and protection functions that benefit from the distributed nature of the measurement system. The measurement system will be outlined and it will be shown how it consists of a central interrogator that uses optical fibre to collect several measurements from a distributed, and, importantly, completely passive, array of sensors that are connected along the length of the fibre, which can be up to 100 km in length (clearly adequate for any marine applications). Finally, the paper will describe a number of distributed monitoring and protection applications in marine electrical systems that can be facilitated by the distributed measurement system.