Hydro-Québec operates over 60 hydroelectric power plants in Canada, including the ninth largest in the world, with a total installed capacity of over 36,000 MW. Its use of the latest technology includes RF over fiber links from ViaLite.
With hydroelectric plants, accurate regulation of the speed of power generator units is crucial as all the other systems depend on this performance. The systems regulating this can be highly automated and need to be precisely timed.
To accomplish this, Hydro-Québec uses a new Symmetricom XLi Time and Frequency System which synchronizes the frequency from the transport line and gives it a precise time stamp. The timing signal feed comes from a remote GPS antenna and is transported using RF over fiber. Hydro-Quebec chose ViaLite fiber links to ensure high-performance and accuracy, and the use of fiber instead of coaxial cable prevents distortion and loss.
Originally Hydro-Québec tried syncing the Symmetricom unit with an IRIG-B signal, but as this was not accurate enough they decided to use GPS as the primary input and IRIG-B signal as the secondary.
“Installation of the ViaLite equipment was a walk in the park, and everything is working like a charm,” commented Guillaume Lavoie, Technical Support Engineer at Hydro-Québec.