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Opti Sensor : community

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How did this design improve life?:
Opti Sensor has the potential to improve life for everybody who uses electricity. Until now, in case of a power failure on the main network, the whole electricity system of an area would shut down, leaving towns and cities in total darkness until the failure was detected and repaired. The Opti Sensor is a little device that is mounted on the cables of the transformer stations and accurately tells which cable has a problem. This eliminates the problem of large areas being left without power, since the failure is detected immediately and the specific problematic power cable is identified
Name of Designer(s):
Marianne Tuxen - Marianne Tuxen Industriel Design
Designers professional status:
Professional
Status of realization:
Realized
Kind of design:
Tangible
Year of production, realization or publishing:
2004
Designed in country:
Denmark
Used on continents:
Europe
Short description of design:
Simple, easy to use and cost-efficient to produce. The Opti sensor's design has specifically been developed to provide simple and easy use for the power specialists who applicate and monitor the electricity system.
As the sensor is manufactured from temperature resistant materials, the curved surface part of the sensor housing is capable of being clamped directly onto the cable surface.
The Opti Sensor is a small device, making it easy to carry several in, say, a pocket.
Functionallity and use of design:
The core component of the power measuring system is an optical Faraday sensor built
entirely from glass and plastics. The sensor, which measures about 5 cm in
length, uses the Faraday principle that the plane of a polarized
incident light undergoes a rotation which is a function of the magnetic
field created by the electric current to be measured. The current to be
measured can then be established by determining the angle of rotation of the
polarization plane. These properties have been built into the Opti Sensor,
which is mounted on the cables in the transformer stations. As the sensor is
manufactured from temperature resistant materials, the curved surface part
of the sensor housing is capable of being clamped directly onto the cable
surface. A total of nine Opti Sensors will typically go into every power measuring
system.
Drawbacks of life improvement:
None
Research and need:
Research into the need for the Opti Sensor has been quite limited, as the problem it solves is obvious: Power failures are globally recognised as dangerous hazards. Especially, when a power breakdown hits a major city, the potential threat often becomes a nightmare, and whole communities are affected. Not only are the most basic community services affected, but this - sadly - often results in riots and looting.
The actual need for this product is self-evident. However, the actual design of the Opti Sensor is based on careful work-flow studies incorporating an understanding of both its functionality as well as studies of technical and production possibilities and limitations.
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