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A New Approach to Find Fault Locations on Distribution Feeder Circuits

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2 Author(s)
Shawn Bagley ; principal engineer with Xcel Energy, Inc., stationed at, 825 Rice Street, Saint Paul, MN 55117 USA, (651.265.4800Main, e-mail: ; Denny Branca

Sustained outages on mainline distribution feeder circuits often require long patrol times to visually find the root cause, due to the sheer length of the mainline circuit. Utilities interested in improving their reliability performance, namely customer average interruption duration index (CAIDI), continually look for ways to reduce the time involved in these patrols. Xcel Energy, Inc. began to look for new approaches to provide reliable remote fault location detection on its mainline distribution feeder circuits. A new approach was proposed, based on real-time monitoring of current levels in the neutral-return and pole-ground current paths at dispersed key locations along a distribution feeder. Whenever a local unit detects a fault condition, it quickly communicates fault and location data back to utility operators so they can direct crews to the problem area. This paper will focus on the fault location techniques applied, the local detection platform, the control center operator interface, real-world results to-date, and going-forward applications of this cost-effective technology

Published in:

2007 IEEE Rural Electric Power Conference

Date of Conference:

6-8 May 2007