Skip to Main Content
A fast, accurate fault location solution for power distribution feeders enables utility companies to clear a fault quicker and reduce the outage duration. Traditional impedance-based fault location methods assume that all feeder sections have the same impedance characteristics. This assumption introduces errors on feeders that have branches and line sections with different conductor types and tower configurations. Automated meter reading and trouble call systems provide fault location estimation only for faults that are isolated by field devices. This paper presents a new impedance-based method that estimates all possible fault locations by using a detailed feeder model and fault event reports, complemented with information from other intelligent field devices. Field test results show significant benefits from using the new method over the traditional method. This paper also describes a real-world fault location system that implements the reported method and provides automated fault location estimation within one minute after the fault occurs.