Locating faults

Jonathan Hopkins, sales director EMEA at S&C Electric Company, highlights the importance of locating faults on cable sections of both mixed and underground circuits.

Locating faults

Traditionally, options for reclosing on mixed and underground circuits to locate faults have been limited. Mixed feeders are the most difficult to manage for reliability and protection, and they contribute highly to customer interruptions and customer minutes lost. They also are expensive to own and operate. Underground circuits have large numbers of customers, so utilities tend to prioritise repairing them for rapid restoration.

As such, how faults are located is important. High fault currents on cable sections of both mixed and underground circuits create the potential for reclosing to damage the power system. The typical overcurrent-protection system for such feeder sections uses a one-shot-to-lockout approach. Locating faults using this method is difficult, and the process involves thumping cables and trial-and-error switch-closing.

Protection of overhead and underground circuits is handled differently. On overhead lines, reclosing is used regularly to manage transient faults. However, on underground cables, no auto-reclosing is performed because of the harm it can cause equipment. But the damage still can occur with human-initiated reclosing, which can be performed many times in search of each underground fault.

PulseClosing Technology overcomes the equipment stress by using 95 per cent less energy than reclosing when locating faults, preventing damage to the system. Whereas most technologies are for either overhead or underground protection, PulseClosing Technology is field-proven and applies equally to both, including mixed feeders.

For further information on how PulseClosing Technology could benefit your network, contact jonathan.hopkins@sandc.com


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