A ‘Binocular’ Method for Detecting Faults in Electrical Distribution Networks with Distributed Generation
The increase in the number of renewable energy generating facilities has transformed the electricity distribution network into a Distributed Generation (DG) system. This has given rise to a new monitoring scenario for protective devices already installed across radial distribution networks, which may execute unexpected and inappropriate protective actions that cause loss of supply to consumers. These devices are affected by the new condition of the electricity distribution network, as network currents vary. A common practice is to use electrical impedance-based fault localizers. This work describes a novel method for fault detection in radial networks with DG, which does not require knowing the electrical impedances of the lines that compose the network. The method only requires input data regarding the short circuit currents provided by the main feeder and the DG units in the area in which a fault has occurred. This information is sufficient to allow the area where the fault lies to be identified. The underlying idea is that the measurement of the current at two points provides a binocular view of the fault, thus allowing its location to be pinpointed. The method was tested using the IEEE 13-node test feeder system, locating different types of faults in different areas of a simulated radial network.
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