PMU-voltage drop based fault locator for transmission backup protection

Jose J. Chavez, Nidarshan Veera Kumar, Sadegh Azizi, Jose L. Guardado, Jose Rueda, Peter Palensky, Vladimir Terzija, Marjan Popov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Local protection elements such as fuses and relays are the first protective mechanism to clear the fault and isolate the affected part of the power grid. Although the selectivity, speed, and sensitivity of these primary protection devices are relatively high, they cannot be considered flawless. There is a small percentage of events for which relays experience blinding effects. For these scenarios, a redundant arrangement can be made through backup protection. This paper proposes a centralized remote backup protection method based on two techniques, the delta algorithm and the least-squares technique. The proposed method successfully detects the faulted transmission line, fault type, and the distance to the fault. Besides, it makes use of phasor measurement unit data and it is non-iterative. The grid is split in a user-determined number of subareas based on the phasor mesurement unit locations, in order to accurately determine the fault location. Firstly, the faulty area is located and thereafter an in-depth search is carried out on the faulted area to determine the faulted line. Finally, the fault distance is determined based on the distributed parameter model of the transmission line. The method is demonstrated and validated in an RTDS-Matlab co-simulation platform. Extensive simulation studies are carried out on the IEEE 39-bus system to validate the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107188
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Delta current method
  • Least-square technique
  • Phase measurement unit
  • RTDS
  • Wide-area fault location


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