Smart grids use information and communication technology to balance power consumption and electricity generation to create an efficient, reliable and stable energy grid. Transmission and distribution must be monitored and controlled, and Swiss company HUBER+SUHNER provides the fibre-optic networks that will support the growing need for modular expansion and flexible installation in these areas.

China is the world’s largest energy consumer, which is why it is investing in building and improving its electricity infrastructure, especially in terms of renewable power. Integrating a range of irregular sources to ensure a reliable supply requires smart grids, and HUBER+SUHNER has supplied the fibre-optic networks that enable the country’s largest energy company to manage its transmission and distribution.

So far, hundreds of Masterline systems and thousands of assemblies with ODC or Q-ODC 12 connectors, both combined with pigtails, have been deployed in more than 50 transmission substations. These connect the active devices in the field cabinet with those in the control room, enabling the transfer of data that is required for monitoring and controlling the transmission and distribution of electricity.

Fibre-optic cables are ideal in this context, as they are immune to electromagnetic exposure and can transmit data reliably over long distances. The systems and assemblies are extremely robust and well insulated, and are therefore perfect for use in harsh outdoor environments. Special manufacturing techniques, such as RADOX cross-linking, ensure that cables are able to withstand extreme conditions over long periods. They are also easy and quick to install, because they are delivered in pre-assembled form, which removes the need for splicing and connector assembly at the job site.

Great outdoors
State Grid plans to build more than 5,000 additional substations in the next five years and this presents a huge opportunity for HUBER+SUHNER. Part of the China Smart Grid project is the firm’s revolutionary Q-ODC-12; based on the proven QN push-pull mating system, the new connector is identical in size to the two-fibre Q-ODC, but connects up to 12 strands in one step.
It is the smallest and most robust design with the highest fibre density in its class and features MT ferrules and the highest outdoor installation safety spec for fibre connections.

The Q-ODC-12 connectors have achieved outstanding results in a series of rigorous industry tests to ensure their durability and performance under punishing conditions. Dust-proof, the units survived 30 days’ submersion to pass extended IP68 waterproof specification and withstood stringent vibration testing without suffering any performance loss.

Extremely reliable
Masterline Ultimate (MLU), meanwhile, is the most innovative cabling system for remote radio installation. The factory-sealed fibre-optic system supports up to 12 remote radio heads and connects these with easy-to-install Q-ODC jumpers.
Its robust nature means it can be used with wind turbines, oil platforms and automation cabling, and it offers the highest variability and security for fibre-optic networks.

With its uniquely shaped top end and additional protection cover, this new system’s streamlined design reduces its wind load. A robust connector head with an integrated pulling eye allows easy cable lifting without the need for hoisting grips and the encapsulated head can be directly attached to the mast with a single ‘click’ on a pre-mounted adaptor plate. These unique features make MLU a best-in-class product in terms of ease of installation, robustness and efficiency.

Small cell deployment
Future mobile networks on an LTE level also demand a new, smarter approach and HUBER+SUHNER is developing technology that addresses small cells, focusing on fast and easy deployment with highest reliability in harsh, urban environments. The combination of high-density modular cable systems and the well-known Q-ODC connector supports flexibility and simplicity in small cells.

The worldwide ‘smart grid’ demands durable fibre-optic apparatus in every area of power generation, including water, thermal, solar and wind plants. Easy and fast deployment and modularity are primary needs.

Modern housing systems allow time-by-time expansion based on modular design principles; new flexible and futureproof networks will be based on MLU SC, Q-ODC-12 and Q-ODC-2. To futureproof existing networks, the CWDM technology can be built in MLU small cell configurations.

HUBER+SUHNER is the leading supplier of harsh-environment fibre-optic interfaces. Typical challenges for the company include providing of equipment that will work in many different types of environment, such as coastal areas, urban buildings or rural tower sites, and be able to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, salt mist, corrosive gases and humidity. Robustness and reliability are crucial for the design of such fibre-optic interfaces, which must also be able to be installed safely and quickly to reduce the likelihood of damage.

HUBER+SUHNER’s many years of experience in developing and producing tough and reliable equipment for use in unforgiving environments guarantees that its products are reliable and user-friendly.

A global company with headquarters in Switzerland, HUBER+SUHNER develops and manufactures components and systems for electrical and optical connectivity. Focusing on the three core technologies of radio frequency, fibre optics and low frequency, it serves customers in the communication, transportation and industrial sectors. Its products deliver high performance, quality, reliability and long life, under the harshest conditions, and its global production network, combined with group companies and agencies in more than 60 countries, puts HUBER+SUHNER close to its customers.