Improving Fault Location and Identification using Time-Synchronized Phasor Measurements

With the current trend of the active distribution network and the integration of inverter-based resources (IBRs) at the distribution level, distribution utilities need to precisely monitor power flows and grid constraint violations in order to guarantee quality and reliability of supply to the end customer.

One key challenge facing the utilities is the proper functioning of protection and fault indication, especially when local generation/load behaviors have an important influence on the fault current. A threshold-based, static protection and fault detection scheme is no longer sufficient to ensure successful operation under all grid conditions. In this article, we discuss how utilities could leverage time-synchronized phasor measurements from distribution PMUs to achieve robust SAIDI/SAIFI numbers under high penetration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs).