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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Egypt: Power utility building 1000 km aerial fiber link

"Egyptian electricity company awards Alcatel a 16 million Euro contract to deploy its telecommunication network"

"The 16 million Euro contract fits in the frame of EETC's main objective to provide telecommunications to serve the electricity transmission system in a secure and redundant way throughout the Western Nile delta area in Egypt. The project will provide high-speed data and voice links between High Voltage Substations and the WDRCC (West Delta Regional Control Center) which monitors power delivery throughout the relevant power network."


Alcatel may have to install optical groundwire (OPGW) on this route instead of all-dielectric self-supporting (ADSS) fiber cable if the area suffers from high rates of cable and insulator contamination due to pollution. ADSS cables in some parts of Egypt have been damaged by dry-band arcing (DBA) due to extraordinarily high rates of contamination (basically, deposits of air pollution that settle on the cable).

Really high rates of ADSS jacket contamination are rare in the U.S. -- I'm only aware of one ADSS cable DBA problem on power lines under 100 kV in this country. ADSS cable damage at voltages <100 kV has been reported in parts of Britain, the Middle East and South Africa. One common sense way to determine if an ADSS cable is going to be subjected to heavy contamination (and possible DBA) is to look at conductor insulator contamination.

Even if contamination rates are heavy or line voltages high, ADSS can still be used, but the installation must be designed based on a careful electric field study.


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