Apr 2015
Electricity Distribution
Portable Radiometric Arc Fault Locator (RAFL)
Apr 2015
Oct 2016
SP Energy Networks
Nicol Gray & Andrew Park
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Network Innovation Allowance
This scope of this proof of concept project will aim to modify an existing partial discharge (PD) monitor, which will then be tested in the field on a poorly performing circuit.

The key stages of the project are as follows:

  • Hardware Modification

  • Software Modification

  • Laboratory simulation and factory testing followed by on-site installation and development

At each stage of the project the following objectives have been identified.

Stage 1 Objectives

Redesign of the enclosure and components to allow for external operation. Specifically for use on a typical 11kV wood pole overhead network. Incorporation of a suitable HF band antenna and pre-amplifier with regards to on-site suitability and technical suitability. Identification of suitable deployment locations will also be carried out at this stage.

Stage 2 Objectives

Successful modification of software to allow real-time sampling from antenna and for the analysis software to be able to respond to partial discharge fault events.

Stage 3 Objectives

Laboratory testing and simulation will be carried out, followed by on-site testing with a mobile prototype system for calibration and reliability of measurement purposes through HV switching on the DNO network. FAT testing will be carried out with any identified improvements implemented and the system will then be deployed on the 11kV network. The first genuine 11kV fault will determine any further developments required and potential future project.

Successful completion of this project will provide a system that will provide the following benefits:

  • The ability to accurately detect and locate arc faults

  • The ability to monitor and trend arc fault occurrence over time

  • Faster resolution to fault situations

  • A reduction in CI / CML penalties