News Release from BGB Engineering Ltd


Wind Industry Profile of

This week: High speed data transfers aided by fibre optic technology

The new BGB Axial Multimode Optilinc system has been produced to revolutionise the wind turbine slip ring market. Optilinc is the first of the new generation of contactless slip rings to be produced by BGB Engineering Ltd.

The Fibre Optic Rotary Joint (FORJ) is the optical equivalent of the electrical slip ring. It allows uninterrupted transmission of an optical signal while rotating along the fibre axis. The FORJ is widely used in wind turbine nacelles, missile guidance systems, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and many other field applications where a twist-free fibre cable is essential.

The Fibre Optic Rotary Joint is ideal for high speed data-transfer on many applications, in particular, data transfer from the nacelle of a Wind turbine. Constructed in stainless steel, BGB’s ‘Optilinc’ has exceptional durability protecting the unit from dust and water ingress to IP65 and is not influenced by vibration, humidity, heat, magnetism or other typical disturbances. The unit can transfer bi-directional data at a rate up to 1Gb per second and can be offered with media converters to suit users’ protocols and requirements.

“Multimode units are now in production together with bespoke units and media converters manufactured to customers’ needs and environmental requirements,” Mark Chappell, R&D Manager at BGB Engineering said. “A singlemode unit will also be available later in the year.”

Optical fibre is proven to have far wider bandwidth than any other media known such as wireless, copper wire, and sonar. A single strand of optical fibre can easily replace a large bundle of copper wires while boosting system bandwidth.

The basic concept of the FORJ is essentially very simple, although a practical implementation requires considerable expertise and attention to detail. This simplicity does however lead to robust and reliable products that can be adapted to a wide variety of applications.

Unlike its counter parts an optical fibre is extremely secure. Even when the fibre is interfered with successfully, it would have created enough disturbances in the system to be detected. Optical fibre has been the most preferred transmission medium in secure systems worldwide especially military and telecom applications.

Electrical current can be extremely harmful in the environment where flammable or explosive materials are used or stored. Optical fibre provides an ideal channel to collect useful information such as temperature, pressure, and humidity.

Combined with electrical slip rings, FORJ’s add a new dimension to traditional rotary joints. BGBs Optilinc FORJ can be combined with existing traditional long standing proven BGB slip ring packages to bridge the gap of older units and to future-proof systems allowing ample bandwidth to the end user.

By providing an optical slip ring together with media converters to suit the customer’s existing data network, the Optilinc FORJ provides a transparent route for the user to extend his bandwidth and data integrity.

BGB have married the high bandwidth of an optical slip ring with their extensive background in power slip rings to offer now an integrated unit with power and data transfer as well as an optional shaft position encoder.

Optilinc is the latest product to be manufactured by UK based high precision electro-mechanical engineering company BGB Engineering. The company, which has served the wind industry for over 15 years, supplies Hub and Power control slip ring systems, Generator brush holders, Generator slip rings, Earth Dissipation systems, Lightning protection, cable looms and harnesses along with standard slip rings and brush holders to the major players in the wind industry.

BGB currently supplies slip ring units to major wind turbine manufacturers, Vestas, Siemens, Gamesa, Suzlon, ABB and WinWind and can claim over 93 per cent of turnover from worldwide export, making them European leader in the wind turbine slip ring market. “The new Optilinc system is a major technological step forward for BGB,” says David T Holt, Managing Director of BGB. “The unit will expand our already large product offering to the wind industry and also increase our world market share in other applications. Our customers expect us to lead and keep at the forefront of modern technology and the Optilinc system shows that not only can we achieve outstanding innovation, but also provide it to the market at a very low cost.”

The Optilinc system has been thoroughly developed over the past three years in BGB's R&D ‘Clean’ room and is now being implemented in the design stage of leading wind turbine manufacturers. BGB has invested heavily in the new system and has worked in collaboration with the UK’s leading Optical Physicists to develop a highly innovative Fibre Optic Rotary Joint.

As Fibre optic technology advances, more and more traditional slip ring users will benefit from Fibre Optic Rotary Joints in their new systems as the need for bandwidth continually increases.
BGB Innovation
James Tupper

Alle Meldungen Von BGB Engineering Ltd


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