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Automatic Fault Location on Distribution Networks Using Synchronized Voltage Phasor Measurement Units

[+] Author Affiliations
Jonathan Lee

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Paper No. POWER2014-32231, pp. V002T14A008; 8 pages
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 2: Simple and Combined Cycles; Advanced Energy Systems and Renewables (Wind, Solar and Geothermal); Energy Water Nexus; Thermal Hydraulics and CFD; Nuclear Plant Design, Licensing and Construction; Performance Testing and Performance Test Codes; Student Paper Competition
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4609-4
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Automatic fault location on the distribution system is a necessity for a resilient grid with fast service restoration after an outage. Motivated by the development of low cost synchronized voltage phasor measurement units (PMUs) for the distribution system, this paper describes how PMU data during a fault event can be used to accurately locate faults on the primary distribution system. Rather than requiring many specialized line sensors to enable fault location, the proposed approach leverages a PMU data stream that can be used for a variety of applications, making it easier to justify the investment in fault location. The accuracy of existing automatic fault location techniques are dependent either on dense deployments of line sensors or unrealistically accurate models of system loads. This paper demonstrates how synchronized voltage measurements enable sufficiently accurate fault location with relatively few instrumentation devices and relatively low fidelity system models. The IEEE 123 bus distribution feeder is examined as a test case, and the proposed algorithm is demonstrated to be robust to variations in total load and uncertainty in the response of loads to voltage sags during a sample set of varied fault conditions.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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