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Practical high-impedance fault detection on distribution feeders

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2 Author(s)
C. L. Benner ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX, USA ; B. D. Russell

Distribution protection systems must balance dependability with security considerations to be practical. This is quite difficult for high-impedance faults. Only highly sensitive algorithms can achieve absolute dependability in detecting very low current faults. This high sensitivity results in a propensity for false tripping, creating a less secure, system and resulting in the potential for decreased service continuity and lower reliability. Researchers at Texas A&M University have balanced fault detection with fault discrimination, resulting in a practical combination of detection algorithms in a commercially viable system. This device has many “intelligent” features, including the ability to analyze and correlate numerous fault characteristics in real time, so that a correct determination of the status of the feeder can be made with a high probability of accuracy. This paper describes the use of multiple algorithms to detect various types of faults and the use of an expert decision maker to decipher incoming data, to determine the status and health of a distribution feeder. Requirements for a practical, secure high-impedance fault relay are also discussed. Finally, Texas A&M has licensed this technology to a commercial partner, which manufactures a device that detects high-impedance faults, in addition to performing numerous other monitoring and protection functions

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 3 )