OPGW is primarily used by the electric utility industry, placed in the secure topmost position of the transmission line where it “shields” the all-important conductors from lightning while providing a telecommunications path for internal as well as third party communications. Optical Ground Wire is a dual functioning cable, meaning it serves two purposes. It is designed to replace traditional static / shield / earth wires on overhead transmission lines with the added benefit of containing optical fibers which can be used for telecommunications purposes. OPGW must be capable of withstanding the mechanical stresses applied to overhead cables by environmental factors such as wind and ice. OPGW must also be capable of handling electrical faults on the transmission line by providing a path to ground without damaging the sensitive optical fibers inside the cable.
AFL was a leader in the development and launch of this product back in 1985, when there was a realization that the electric transmission lines provided an ideal right of way for a telecommunications path. Today, AFL boasts the world’s largest OPGW product portfolio and highest total capacity with facilities situated throughout the world to satisfy the needs of the global market. AFL’s OPGW product line up includes the ever popular AlumaCore design with the central aluminum pipe and color-coded optical tubes, the HexaCore family which incorporates the use of stranded stainless steel tubes to allow for higher fiber counts, and the CentraCore family which blends together the stainless steel technology with AFL’s aluminum pipe benefits, among other options. AFL Applications Engineers can assist with determining which design best suits the unique conditions and challenges for each opportunity.
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