Practical high-impedance fault detection on distribution feeders Conference Paper uri icon


  • Distribution protection systems must balance dependability with security considerations to be practical. This is quite difficult for high impedance faults. Only highly sensitive algorithms can achieve absolute dependability in detecting very low current faults. This high sensitivity results in a propensity for false tripping, creating a less secure system and resulting in the potential for decreased service continuity and lower reliability. Researchers at Texas A&M University have balanced fault detection with fault discrimination, resulting in a practical combination of detection algorithms in a commercially viable system. This device has many `intelligent' features, including the ability to analyze and correlate numerous fault characteristics in real time so that it can make a correct determination of the status of the feeder with a high degree of accuracy. This paper describes this system, which uses multiple algorithms to detect various types of faults and an expert decision maker to decipher incoming data to determine the status and health of a distribution feeder. Requirements for a practical, secure high impedance fault relay are also discussed. Finally, Texas A&M has licensed this technology to a commercial partner, which manufactures a device that detects high impedance faults in addition to performing numerous other monitoring and protection functions.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Benner, C. L., & Russell, B. D.

citation count

  • 104

complete list of authors

  • Benner, CL||Russell, BD

publication date

  • January 1997