Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Yuan Liao


Power outages usually lead to customer complaints and revenue losses. Consequently, fast and accurate fault location on electric lines is needed so that repair work can be carried out as fast as possible.

Chapter 2 describes novel fault location algorithms for radial and non-radial ungrounded power distribution systems. For both types of systems, fault location approaches using line to neutral or line to line measurements are presented. It’s assumed that network structure and parameters are known, so that during-fault bus impedance matrix of the system can be derived. Functions of bus impedance matrix and available measurements at substation are formulated, from which the unknown fault location can be estimated. Evaluation studies on fault location accuracy and robustness of fault location methods to load variations and measurement errors has been performed.

Most existing fault location methods rely on measurements obtained from meters installed in power systems. To get the most from a limited number of meters available, optimal meter placement methods are needed. Chapter 3 presents a novel optimal meter placement algorithm to keep the system observable in terms of fault location determination. The observability of a fault location in power systems is defined first. Then, fault location observability analysis of the whole system is performed to determine the least number of meters needed and their best locations to achieve fault location observability. Case studies on fault location observability with limited meters are presented. Optimal meter deployment results based on the studied system with equal and varying monitoring cost for meters are displayed.

To enhance fault location accuracy, an optimal fault location estimator for power distribution systems with distributed generation (DG) is described in Chapter 4. Voltages and currents at locations with power generation are adopted to give the best estimation of variables including measurements, fault location and fault resistances. Chi-square test is employed to detect and identify bad measurement. Evaluation studies are carried out to validate the effectiveness of optimal fault location estimator. A set of measurements with one bad measurement is utilized to test if a bad data can be identified successfully by the presented method.