Richard Kluth

DAS Horizon fiber optic sensing technology provides cost-effective solution to the problem of intrusions and disruption to overhead power lines.

Tampering and the theft of materials on electrical distribution and transmission lines can cost utilities over $96 billion a year. As a result, this causes higher prices and costly subsidies. Therefore, reducing the scale of the problem is crucial. Fiber optic sensing can provide an answer for power cable monitoring, as Bandweaver recently demonstrated in the Dominican Republic.

Our case study, DAS Technology employed to tackle overhead power line theft in Dominican Republic , shows how a Bandweaver Horizon DAS system identified, with total precision, exactly where and when each incursion took place providing EDESUR with an instant alert. The Horizon DAS system utilized a standard fiber optic cable connected to the poles being monitored in the area around a substation in Santo Domingo.

Richard Kluth, Bandweaver, explained, “Bandweaver Horizon DAS system utilizes a standard fiber optic cable that is connected to the pole being monitored. By constantly analyzing just one fiber in the cable, the entire route can be monitored for threats 24/7.”

Jesús Muñoz, SSS Group representative, added, “we installed the system and filtered out surrounding environmental noise.  As a result, any underlying disturbances could be detected.  EDESUR employees initiated various disturbances at random locations – each were seen and located by the Horizon DAS system.”

The demonstration proved that, by using Bandweaver’s Horizon DAS technology, EDESUR was able to:
  • Identify the exact location of every disturbance
  • Pass the tampering information onto security systems for immediate action
  • Broadcast alerts to the company personnel via email and SMS

The Horizon DAS fiber optic sensing system provides a cost-effective solution to the problem of power theft and tampering with electricity lines. The demonstration emphasizes the value that the Horizon DAS technology can offer utilities. It cuts costs and increases system availability by alerting users at the commencement of potential threats. Therefore, action can be taken before significant damage is done.