Electricity generation by wind turbine generators, or WTGs, is a proven green energy technology in both land and offshore environments. However, wind farms located either onshore or offshore are often in remote and not easily accessible locations. Additionally, their height above ground can pose unique maintenance, repair and lightning strike challenges that must be addressed to make wind power renewable energy reliable and economical.
Fiber optics (FO) technology is probably best known for use in high-speed, high-bandwidth telecommunication applications. But today fiber optics data and control links have replaced copper links in wind turbines and farms making them a critical part of a wind farm operator’s solutions for minimizing costly downtime and service interruption.
Fiber optic technology is the most suitable—and in some cases the only acceptable—technology in high electrical noise environments for electrical generator/turbine control, power conversion and wind farm wide-area communications. The characteristics and reliability benefits of FO components—receivers, transmitters, transceivers and cable—are applicable in wind farms and wind turbines, as well as overall wind farm and wind park operation.