Beyond Fiber

Industrial Monitoring of Underground Cable with DTS

December 05, 2017

ReEnergy Holdings operates facilities that utilize forest-derived woody biomass and other wood waste residues to generate renewable energy.  As part of the process, steam is created to power the generators, which are controlled by heavy duty optical fiber cables. Over the past few years, the cables would fail within about a year of installation due to a suspected steam leak. The Lyonsdale team spotted the steam leak when certain areas along the pipeline showed signs of melted snow during the winter months.

Berkshire designed a direct burial cable consisting of factory automation control fibers as well as inexpensive sensing fibers.  After the cable was installed and the plant was brought on line, a Berkshire team equipped with a FTR3000 Distributed Temperature Sensing system, was able to quickly and accurately identify the location and temperature of the steam leak.  This information assisted the Lyonsdale plant in developing a plan to repair the steam lines and stop the damage to their cables.  The FTR3000 was able to identify not one but two leaks, both of which reached temperatures that far exceeded the cable temperature rating.