Pre-built fibre optic links for HV equipment

July 31, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
OMC’s Active Alignment based fibre optic links solve consistency problems for High Voltage applications; the fibre optic specialist produces production quantities of complete fibre optic links with 100% consistency

OMC offers a fibre optic link service specifically tailored to meet the requirements of the high voltage market. HV applications such as power distribution networks and power supplies often require optical isolation because of the voltages present, however, achieving consistency of performance has proven a challenge, the company says.

Using both glass and polymer fibre optic cable, Active Alignment technology ensures that fibre-optic data links perform consistently and reliably from link to link. During manufacture of its housed optical transmitters (Tx) and receivers (Rx), OMC powers each active element and tunes the performance of the device to ensure that the electro-optical characteristics of each and every device fall within a customer-specific performance window, exactly matching the required performance specification.

Equally, when manufacturing the corresponding optical fibre cable assembly, production techniques can ensure a very high level of consistency of link attenuation which is matched to the Tx/Rx performance window, meaning that every link will function regardless of how the transmitters, receivers and cables are paired during assembly/installation.

William Heath, OMC’s commercial director comments, “Most manufacturers of optical fibre cables don’t touch the transmitter/receiver part of the link – similarly, few Tx/Rx providers produce fibre cable assemblies. In our experience, most customers don’t want to get involved in either area; they simply have an electrical signal at point A and want to procure a link that will convert it to an optical signal, transmit it, and convert it back to an electrical signal at point B safely, reliably and consistently from link to link. The problem is particularly apparent in high voltage applications where tolerances can be very tight, and a lack of consistency between transmitter, receiver and cable characteristics means that customers often have to go through a lengthy and costly selection process to yield sufficient complete links to satisfy a production demand. By tailoring one of our existing processes we are now able to supply production quantities of fully-characterised