IEEE begins standards for all-dielectric self-supporting and helically-applied fiber optic cables used on power grids

PISCATAWAY, N.J., April 2, 2002 — The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board has approved the start of work on three new fiber optic standards for all-dielectric, self-supporting and helically-applied cables used for communications in power grids.

The IEEE-SA Standards Board also reaffirmed the validity of the IEEE 1138-1994 standard for “Construction of Composite Fiber Optic Overhead Groundwire (OPGW) for Use on Electric Utility Power Lines.”

The new fiber optic cable standards will cover such items as mechanical and electrical performance, testing requirements, environmental considerations and acceptance criteria. They provide support for manufacturing, testing, procurement and quality assurance, as well as an aid in using the cable. The new standards to be developed are:

“- The IEEE P1591.2 Standard for “Testing and Performance of Hardware for All-Dielectric Self-Supporting (ADSS) Fiber Optic Cable” applies to clamps, brackets, fixtures and other hardware for self-supporting ADSS cables used in local or long-distance utility aerial applications.

“- The IEEE P1591.3 Standard for “Qualifying Hardware for Helically-Applied Fiber Optic Cable Systems (WRAP Cable)” involves the hardware used with the cable described in the IEEE 1594 standard.

“- The IEEE P1594 Standard for “Helically-Applied Fiber Optic Cable Systems (WRAP) for Use on Overhead Utility Lines” involves all-dielectric fiber optic cable that is helically wrapped around a conductor or another messenger on overhead power transmission lines.

“Taken together, the standards just begun and the one reaffirmed encompass the most important fiber optic telecommunication cables used in the power industry,” says William Byrd, Co-Chairman of the IEEE 1591 Working Group and President of PrivaCom Ventures, Inc. “This is a significant market. The Utilities Telecommunications Council estimates that much of the $3.5 billion power utilities spend annually on telecommunications goes to purchase transport networks, which include the installation and maintenance of the cables in these specs.”

The new standards are sponsored by the Power System Committee of the Power Engineering Society. IEEE-SA Working Groups consist of volunteers from industry, government and academia, as well as from trade, scientific and IEEE organizations. Anyone with expertise in the fiber optic cable systems used by power utilities is invited to help develop these standards. Information is available at:

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), a globally recognized standards-setting body, develops consensus standards through an open process that brings diverse parts of an industry together. It has a portfolio of more than 870 completed standards and more than 400 in development. IEEE-SA promotes the engineering process by creating, developing, integrating, sharing and applying knowledge about electro- and information technologies and sciences for the benefit of humanity and the profession. For further information on IEEE-SA see:

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