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Electromagnetic Time Reversal Applied to Fault Location: On the Properties of Back-Injected Signals

The fault location problem has been extensively studied in the literature for many years, and numerous methods have been proposed for both transmission and distribution networks. In general, travelling-wave fault location methods can provide better location accuracy compared to phasor-based ones, and their performance is insensitive to the pre-fault conditions as well as the (unknown) fault impedance. Nevertheless, their application might be limited due to the use of multiple observation points (in general, time-synchronized). Further-more, these methods may provide multiple locations (i.e., non-uniqueness of the fault location).
Recently, to overcome these challenges, a method based on the Electromagnetic Time Reversal (EMTR) theory has been proposed [1]. This method takes ad-vantage of the time-reversal invariance of the telegraphers’ equations in transmission lines. The particular feature of the time reversal theory for closed reflecting media enables its application using a single-end measurement station [2] which provides higher reliability along with lower complexity.
The application of the EMTR to locate faults in a power network is carried out in three steps: (1) measurement of the fault-originated electromagnetic transients in a single observation point, (2) simulation of the back-injection of the time-reversed measured fault signal for different guessed fault locations and using the net-work model, and (3) determination of the fault location by computing, in the network model, the point characterized by the largest energy of the signal of the current flowing through the guessed fault location. The performance of the EMTR fault location method has been successfully validated considering different power net-work topologies [1], [3], [4].
In all these cases, the identification of the fault location has been done by assessing the signal energy criterion at different guessed fault locations. The use of the energy metric is supported by the fact that at the real fault location, the back-injected signals from the observation point will arrive in phase, resulting in the highest energy content at this point. Nonetheless, the use of this energy index to infer the fault location might not be straightforward in some applications (e.g., highly lossy medium where the back-injected transients are largely attenuated).
In this paper we explore the possibility of using other metrics in EMTR-based fault location methods to identify the fault point. More specifically, we will use the properties of the back-injected signals (injected form the observation point) and the measured signals at different guessed fault locations to consider other possible metrics to distinguish the fault location. We will also compare the performance of the defined metrics with the energy criterion.
The final version of the paper will have the following structure: first a summary of the EMTR-based fault location method is given; then, the possibility of using other metrics than the energy index will be explored. Using realistic power network topologies, the paper will analyze the performance of the proposed method as a function of the fault type and impedance in order to provide a comprehensive proof of applicability.


[1] R. Razzaghi, G. Lugrin, H. M. Manesh, C. Romero, M. Pao-lone, and F. Rachidi, “An Efficient Method Based on the Electromagnetic Time Reversal to Locate Faults in Power Networks,” IEEE Trans. Power Deliv., vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 1663–1673, Jul. 2013.
[2] R. Razzaghi, F. Rachidi, M. Paolone, “ Single-End FPGA-Based Fault Location System for Radial/Meshed AC/DC Networks based on the Electromagnetic Time Reversal Theo-ry, ” 12th IEEE PowerTech conference, Manchester, 2017.
[3] R. Razzaghi, G. Lugrin, M. Paolone, and F. Rachidi, “On the Use of Electromagnetic Time Reversal to Locate Faults in Se-ries-Compensated Transmission Lines,” in 2013 IEEE Gre-noble Conference, 2013, pp. 1–5.
[4] R. Razzaghi, M. Paolone, F. Rachidi, J. Descloux, B. Raison, and N. Retiere, “Fault location in multi-terminal HVDC net-works based on Electromagnetic Time Reversal with limited time reversal window,” in 2014 Power Systems Computation Conference, 2014, pp. 1–7.


Zhaoyang Wang    
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne-EPFL

Reza Razzaghi    
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne-EPFL

Mario Paolone    
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne-EPFL

Farhad Rachidi    
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne-EPFL


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