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This study investigates how the model-based fault detection and location approach of structural analysis can be adapted to meet the needs of power systems, where challenges associated with increased system complexity make conventional protection schemes impractical. With a global view of the protected system and the systematic and automated use of the system's analytical redundancy, faults are detected and located by more than one means. This redundancy can be used as a confirmation mechanism within a wide-area protection scheme to avoid unnecessary or false tripping due to protection component failure or disturbance. Furthermore, this redundancy turns the sensor configuration problem into an optimization problem with regard to fault detection and location. The effectiveness of different system topologies can then be compared on the basis of the optimal number of sensors they require. The principle of structural analysis is described in detail and illustrated on a simple power system model. Pertinence of the approach is demonstrated through simulation.