Transmission Incipient Detection & Fault Location- TID&FL

Period of Performance: 07/27/2015 - 07/26/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Underground Systems, Inc.
84 Business Park Drive Suite 109
Armonk, NY 10504
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


In order to optimize the operating efficiency of transmission systems utilities must be able to quickly restore service after a failure. Locating faults with current technologies can be a time consuming, skill and labor intensive process. Underground transmission systems are hidden from view and fault location can take sometimes days or weeks. Detecting and locating incipient faults prior to failure can permit intervention by the operator to prevent damage or unsafe condition and reduce cost. Branched overhead transmission systems in rural areas can be beyond the reach of accurate fault locating SCADA systems increasing time of location and repair. The proposed solution for these challenges will allow the operator to: Reduce time and skill level for fault location and repair Expand the reach of quick and accurate fault responses in rural areas Identify and correct incipient faults in transmission systems. To execute the above, USi intends - for pipe-type cable systems - to develop a partial discharge detection system for location of faults and incipient faults. Pipe-type cable represent more than 80% of transmission cable systems installed in the US. Additionally a fault location system using hydraulic transients will be developed for pipe-type cable systems. For overhead transmission systems expanded capabilities of the newly developed USi PD3 Power Donut sensor platform for fault location applications will be analyzed and a software application design will be provided. Design of test procedures for fault location will be provided as fault demonstrations in actual systems are not practical. USi is a leader in advanced diagnostics for underground and overhead transmission systems with over 30 years experience in the design, manufacture and field application of monitoring, rating, diagnostics and control systems. USi has also successfully deployed worldwide the Power Donut system - a distributed dynamic line rating system for overhead lines. Successful implementation of the proposed systems has social, technical, and economic benefits to the U.S. The social benefit to the U.S. is the security and comfort that the public derives in knowing that the U.S. has the most technologically advanced electric power transmission grid. The technical benefit to the U.S. includes establishing a leadership role in the development of next-generation of fault locating devices delivering increased system availability and safety. The economic benefit to the U.S. is created through faster, more accurate fault location in both underground and overhead transmission systems to reduce unavailability of important transmission circuits. The availability of advanced sensors and systems will also enhance the United States competitive position into a market that is becoming increasingly dominated by foreign-based technologies.