Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced reliable, integrated fiber-based distributed temperature sensing (DTS) systems that enable affordable photonic temperature sensing for a wide range of industry applications, including electrical power distributors. The rugged Agilent N4385A and N4386A DTS accurately and reliably monitor temperature over long distances to optimize production or to detect leaks or fires.

Both products' architecture uses a code correlation technique to achieve a high level of accuracy, reduce power consumption and increase the instrument's lifetime. Using the Raman effect, the Agilent N4385A indoor system for fire and power cable applications and the N4386A outdoor system for oil and pipeline applications provide a complete temperature profile across distances of up to 8 km, with a spatial resolution of less than 1 m and a temperature resolution of less than 0.1°C/0.2 °.

"We have tested the Agilent DTS unit in a special hazardous application and are very impressed," said Dr. Stephan Grosswig, CEO at the Company for Sensors, Geotechnical Environmental Protection and Mathematical Modeling (GESO), a solution provider in a variety of distributed temperature sensing applications. "Agilent rigorously designed quality into the product, and the level of integration and unique optical assembly technology ensures repeatable, accurate measurements and easy deployment."

Distributed temperature monitoring enables continuous monitoring of high-power cables. The DTS helps the asset operators detect hot spots and delivers operational status, condition assessment and power circuit rating data, optimizing the transmission and distribution networks and reducing cost of operation and capital.

Features of the N4385A include:

  • Power cable investment protection with the monitoring of alarm conditions by "in limit" operation, avoiding unplanned network failures and assisting in contingency planning.
  • Real-time monitoring based on high temperature and spatial measurement resolution (0.1°C; 1 m) and extremely high measurement repeatability, providing insights into utilization level, for example, resulting in deferment of capital expenditure or higher utilization.
  • EMI-proof fiber optic, which also allows for easy deployment to existing and new assets.