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Appl. Sci. 2012, 2(3), 602-628; doi:10.3390/app2030602

Optical Current Sensors for High Power Systems: A Review

Received: 23 May 2012 / Revised: 15 June 2012 / Accepted: 18 June 2012 / Published: 2 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)


The intrinsic advantages of optical sensor technology are very appealing for high voltage applications and can become a valuable asset in a new generation of smart grids. In this paper the authors present a review of optical sensors technologies for electrical current metering in high voltage applications. A brief historical overview is given together with a more detailed focus on recent developments. Technologies addressed include all fiber sensors, bulk magneto-optical sensors, piezoelectric transducers, magnetic force sensors and hybrid sensors. The physical principles and main advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Configurations and strategies to overcome common problems, such as interference from external currents and magnetic fields induced linear birefringence and others are discussed. The state-of-the-art is presented including commercial available systems.
Keywords: optical current sensors; magnetooptic current sensors; fiber optic current sensors; Faraday effect optical current sensors; magnetooptic current sensors; fiber optic current sensors; Faraday effect
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Silva, R.M.; Martins, H.; Nascimento, I.; Baptista, J.M.; Ribeiro, A.L.; Santos, J.L.; Jorge, P.; Frazão, O. Optical Current Sensors for High Power Systems: A Review. Appl. Sci. 2012, 2, 602-628.

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