Principal Investigators: Dr. Yong-June Shin, Dr. Herb Ginn
This project has two primary goals aimed at the design of the next generation of reclosers with enhanced fault detection capabilities and semiconductor switches.
The first goal of this project is to design a detection technique for high impedance faults (HIFs) in distribution networks. HIFs are one of the most challenging types of faults in power system networks, since HIFS don’t produce any significant changes that could be detected using traditional power system protection techniques. In this project, our technical approach is time-frequency analysis (TFA), a well-known tool for investigating transient and stationary signals by simultaneous use of time and frequency. We will apply TFA techniques in order to extract signatures from HIFs. The extracted features will be classified using pattern recognition techniques in order to achieve detection of the HIF. The detection method will be evaluated by means of four criteria: dependability, security, speed and cost. Next we will pinpoint the faulted feeder and locate the HIF using provided time-synchronized voltage and current data in the distribution network.
The second goal of the project is the exploratory scoping of the feasibility, technical competitiveness, and system requirements for a hybrid circuit recloser having both power electronic and mechanical elements. The hybrid recloser could (1) enable controlled current testing of a circuit prior to reclosing, so as to avoid reclosing into a persistent hard fault, and (2) permit soft restart of the disconnected grid segment.