Transmission Reliability Improvement

Fault Location in Transmission Networks

Finding a fault quickly is the key to reducing outage duration

Transmission Line Monitoring & Reliability Improvement

Faults on transmission lines can cause significant outage times over a large geographical area if the faults are not detected, isolated, and repaired as quickly as possible. These transmission outages result in lost revenue for the utility and lost power for the consumer. Conventional techniques used to detect and isolate permanent transmission faults frequently require closing breakers into a fault multiple times; particularly when there are multiple transmission taps between breakers. This time-consuming process inflicts harsh fault transients on the power system and often requires the restoration crew to patrol multiple transmission line sections looking for the root cause of the fault.

Smart Tap by Southern States, LLC is an innovative fault detection and diagnosis technology that quickly and correctly identifies the faulted transmission line section, which improves transmission line reliability, reduces transmission line outage area and duration, extends the life of power system equipment, and saves the repair and restoration crew valuable time and energy.

Smart Tap provides fault detection and direction indications, which may be reported locally or communicated remotely to a system operator.

Fill out this form to contact us, or call 1-866-578-7277 to learn more about Smart Tap.

Improving Transmission Reliability with Smart Tap®

Smart Tap is an innovative technology that correctly identifies the faulted section for momentary and permanent faults, low current and over current faults.

Smart Tap® Transmission Network

For example, in the picture above, if a transmission network has four taps between breakers, there are nine possible sections where a fault could occur. Using traditional methods:

  1. The fault is detected by the breakers, which then trip either sequentially or simultaneously by a transfer/pilot scheme.
  2. The specific faulted section is not identified
  3. If the fault is momentary, the breakers will reclose and restore power, leaving the utility unaware of where and what caused the fault.
  4. If the fault is permanent, the breakers will trip immediately after closing back into the fault.
  5. The system operator or repair crew must then operate a sectionalizing switch, if available, to isolate the fault. Without knowledge of where the fault is, an educated guess is often the only option available.
  6. This trial and error approach is repeated until the faulted section is correctly identified or the breakers lockout, forcing the repair and restoration crew to patrol the entire length of the transmission lines.

 

Applying Smart Tap units at each tap location results in the following solution:

  1. The fault is detected by the breakers, which then trip either sequentially or simultaneously by a transfer/pilot scheme.
  2. The faulted section is immediately identified.
  3. If the fault is momentary, the breakers will reclose and restore power. Using the Smart Tap® data, the repair and restoration crew may travel directly to the faulted section and eliminate the source of the fault and prevent similar faults from happening again.
  4. If the fault is permanent, the breakers will trip immediately after closing back into the fault.
  5. Using Smart Tap® data, the operator or repair crew may operate the correct switch to isolate the fault, restore power to the remainder of the line, and find the root cause of the fault.

 

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Smart Tap® Block Diagram

The Smart Tap fault detector unit takes input from:

  1. Any CT-type device that is capable of providing an analog current signal proportional to the current in the overhead line.
  2. Any AC voltage reference. This voltage may come from a line-mounted PT, station-service voltage, nearby distribution, or any other 60 Hz AC voltage.

 

The Smart Tap fault detector outputs the fault measurement to any number of devices that may be useful to the operator; a local LED display, a local RTU, cell modem, fiber link, etc.

Features & Benefits of Smart Tap Technology

  • Reduces outage duration (SAIDI)
  • Detects low current and over current faults
  • Detects momentary and permanent faults
  • Does not require PTs to determine fault direction
  • Detects magnitude and direction of faults
  • Direction indication points to faulted section
  • Reports data locally and to SCADA operator
  • Works on looped transmission lines with load taps and network configurations.
  • Can be configured for automatic sectionalizing operation.
  • Increases uptime reliability
  • Reduces field crew time to find faults
  • High impedance fault detection

 

Applications

  • Substations and Switching Stations
  • Manual and Remote Controlled Switches
  • Circuit Switchers

 

Smart Tap is your solution for fault detection in transmission lines.

Fill out this form to contact us, or call 1-866-578-7277 to learn more about Smart Tap.

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