Feb 2013
Electricity Distribution
Active Fault Current Management
Feb 2013
Western Power Distribution
WPD Future Networks Team (01332 827446)
Click here to send a question to the contact.
Innovation Funding Incentive
Network Monitoring
A development and demonstration project regarding the potential for Active Fault Current Management.
Distribution networks have to manage ever increasing load demand and penetration of Distributed Generation (DG), while having to maintain high security and reliability standards set out by the regulator. There are increasingly situations where fault current levels exceed the ratings of existing switchgear and transient current ratings of other equipment such as cables, lines and transformers. This overstressing can cause disruptive failure of switchgear or other equipment under fault conditions.

The traditional method to overcome this problem is to replace relevant assets with higher rated components. An alternative to this passive approach is to install a fault current limiter. This has the effect of reducing the current during the fault, but needs to have minimal voltage drop during normal operation. There have been recent developments in active fault current management techniques by various suppliers including:

  • A fault current limiter using novel super-conducting materials

  • A fault current limiter using permanently magnetised cores

  • A fault current management using conventional L / C components.

This project seeks to evaluate the technical and economical viability of different active fault current management technologies and identify a preferred option that will facilitate active fault level management in a distribution network.

This will be followed by the construction of a prototype device, which will be demonstrated in a real application on WPDs network to prove the fault management operation and enable knowledge of the technical performance, costs, operational and maintenance issues to be experienced in a controlled environment.