A Low Cost Electromagnetic Induction Ground Fault Detector

Period of Performance: 12/12/2013 - 12/12/2015

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Machinery Control System (MCS) cabling faults can be difficult to identify and locate since as many as 3,000 to 5,000 I/O points are used and multiple junctions exist in each cable. A single MCS fault can require as many as four maintainers and a full day of troubleshooting to isolate and resolve, and MCS capability can be substantially reduced during this process. Creare is developing a low-cost Ground Fault Detector (GFD) that can reduce the time required to identify and locate the problem to just a few minutes. This method can be implemented either as a low-cost handheld diagnostic tool, or as part of an integrated real-time MCS health monitoring system. Operational costs will be reduced by (1) quickly identifying which cable has the problem, (2) determining the location of the problem, and (3) prompt remediation. During Phase I we developed and demonstrated a prototype to establish feasibility, and during Phase II we will refine the design, fabricate first-generation devices, and evaluate performance in representative environments through correlation with manual inspection results.