Modeling, Detection, and Localization of High-Impedance Faults In Low-Voltage Distribution Feeders

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Virginia Tech


High-impedance faults (HIFs) on distribution feeders are abnormal electrical conditions that cannot be detected by conventional protection schemes. These faults pose a threat on human lives when neighboring objects become in contact with the line's bare and energized conductors. An accurate electrical model for a HIF is implemented to investigate typical patterns in the line's current that allow for the detection of these faults. The occurrence of HIFs is detected with harmonic-current phase analysis and localized with recloser-sectionalizer technology as presented in this work. A sectionalizer algorithm is then presented showing the decision criteria for HIF declaration and shown to discriminate against nominal behavior in distribution feeders of similar harmonic content. Finally, it is shown that the algorithm will not produce a misreading when a current transformer enters saturation.



HIF, Power Distribution System, Sectionalizer, Phase Angle, Harmonics