Nowadays, with large-scale offshore wind power farms (WPFs) becoming a reality, more efforts are needed to maintain a reliable communication network for WPF monitoring. Deployment topologies, redundancy, and network availability are the main items to enhance the communication reliability between wind turbines (WTs) and control centers. Traditional communication networks for monitoring and control (i.e.
, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems) using switched gigabit Ethernet will not be sufficient for the huge amount of data passing through the network. In this paper, the optical power budget, optical path loss, reliability, and network cost of the proposed Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON)-based communication network for small-size offshore WPFs have been evaluated for five different network architectures. The proposed network model consists of an optical network unit device (ONU) deployed on the WT side for collecting data from different internal networks. All ONUs from different WTs are connected to a central optical line terminal (OLT), placed in the control center. There are no active electronic elements used between the ONUs and the OLT, which reduces the costs and complexity of maintenance and deployment. As fiber access networks without any protection are characterized by poor reliability, three different protection schemes have been configured, explained, and discussed. Considering the cost of network components, the total implementation expense of different architectures with, or without, protection have been calculated and compared. The proposed network model can significantly contribute to the communication network architecture for next generation WPFs.
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