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Project: T173700 #33/114

Overhead Optical Ground Wire, or OPGW, serves two (2) main systems – i) power delivery and ii) telecommunications – with the following functions: i) provide protection to overhead lines against lightning strikes and provide a return path to short circuit currents during system faults, and ii) provide a high capacity optical communications network. OPGW is considered an integral part of the power network system. The OPGW network must withstand various installation and in-service stresses to ensure safe continuous and reliable operation.

The main objective of this project is to prepare a state-of-the-art report on current design and installation practices of OPGW and associated hardware on existing and/or new overhead high voltage transmission lines. The study provides an overview of industry standards, current “knowledge gaps” on both cables and hardware design, and recommends mitigation strategies to close these gaps.

A questionnaire survey of utilities was conducted to achieve these objectives. In addition, a literature search and the authors’ experience helped establish “best practices”, which should improve the utility members’ knowledge of OPGW construction, design constraints, performance-driven specifications, compliant hardware, and specific installation parameters. These provide an overview of lessons learned and “best practice” guidelines that will support the utility to optimize their OPGW networks and maximize their useful life.


OPGW, Hardware, Design, Testing, Deployment, Installation, Maintenance, Lessons learned, Best practices, Knowledge gaps, Mitigation strategies