Generalized fault-location methods for overhead electric distribution systems

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138 Scopus citations


Various methods have been proposed in the past for locating faults on distribution systems, which generally entail iterative procedures. This paper presents novel fault-location algorithms for overhead distribution systems that provide a unified solution that eliminates or reduces iterative procedures applicable to all types of faults. Two types of methods, respectively, for nonradial systems and radial systems have been proposed by utilizing voltage and current measurements at the local substation. The proposed methods are based on the bus impedance matrix, through which the substation voltage and current quantities can be expressed as a function of the fault location and fault resistance, a solution to which yields the fault location. The methods are developed in phase domain and, consequently, are naturally applicable to unbalanced systems. The assumptions made are that the distribution network parameters and topology are known so that the bus impedance matrix can be developed. Simulation studies have demonstrated that both types of methods are accurate and quite robust to load variations and measurement errors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5546950
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received March 08, 2010; revised May 07, 2010, June 07, 2010; accepted July 02, 2010. Date of publication August 12, 2010; date of current version December 27, 2010. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ECCS-0801367. Paper no. TPWRD-00167-2010.


  • Bus impedance matrix
  • distribution systems
  • fault location

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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