Smart Grid is a promising power delivery infrastructure integrated with communication and information technologies.
By incorporating monitoring, analysis, control and communications facilities, it is possible to optimize the performance
of the power system, allowing electricity to be delivered more efficiently. In the transmission and distribution sector, online
monitoring of transmission lines and primary equipments is of vital importance, which can improve the reliability of
power systems effectively. Optical fiber sensors can provide an alternative to conventional electrical sensors for such
applications, with high accuracy, long term stability, streamlined installation, and premium performance under harsh
environmental conditions. These optical fiber sensors offer immunity to EMI and extraordinary resistance to mechanical
fatigue and therefore they will have great potential in on-line monitoring applications in Smart Grid. In this paper, we
present a summary of the on-line monitoring needs of Smart Grid and explore the use of optical fiber sensors in Smart
Grid. First, the on-line monitoring needs of Smart Grid is summarized. Second, a review on optical fiber sensor
technology is given. Third, the application of optical fiber sensors in Smart Grid is discussed, including transmission line
monitoring, primary equipment monitoring and substation perimeter intrusion detection. Finally, future research
directions of optical fiber sensors for power systems are discussed. Compared to other traditional electrical sensors, the
application of optical fiber sensors in Smart Grid has unique advantages.