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Fault location on Transmission Lines helps to speed up the restoration time. The quicker a fault
location can be determined the earlier crews can be dispatched to repair the fault and restore

Even in instances where the feeder has successfully reclosed it is prudent to send out crews to
the suspected location to assess the installation and initiate appropriate action.

We will look at Impedance based fault location techniques here. There are multiple impedance
based fault location techniques. Takagi, Erickson, Novosel are some of the more commonly
used techniques. Two ended fault location techniques consisting of synchronised and
unsynchronised methods can improve the fault location accuracy.

Most distance relays use this method. This is because each relay in the protection scheme
(let’s use two ended for simplicity) only has information from one end. Therefore these relays
are limited to calculating the apparent impedance from one end. The relay must have phase
currents and voltages available to it to determine the fault location. The Zero Sequence line
impedance is required to locate phase to ground faults. Modern Numerical relays will calculate
the fault distance using this data and the embedded fault location algorithms. Some of the more
common methods are:

Simple Impedance Method:

If we have a bolted fault where the fault resistance is zero we can use the following algorithm
for an “A” phase to ground fault.


m is the fault location as a fraction of the feeder.

Va is the A phase to ground voltage.
Io is the zero sequence current
ko is the zero sequence compensation factor
Z1line is the positive sequence line impedance

Simple Reactance Method:

This method aims to minimise the effect of the fault resistance.

The effective equation for this method is:

For an A phase fault Vs = Va which is the A phase to ground voltage at the relay.
m is the fault location as a fraction of the feeder.

X1L is the positive sequence line reactance.

One ended fault location methods are affected significantly affected by zero sequence mutual
coupling and remote end infeed factors.

Load and system non homogeneity will also affect single ended fault location methods.

Mutual coupling and infeed errors be largely compensated by the use of fault correction charts.
These charts can be produced from properly modelled system studies. However, system
modelling errors will affect the accuracy of the fault correction charts.

This method addresses some of the errors that are inherent in the above methods. The Takagi
method uses the superposition method and is based on pre fault and fault data. This method
has no errors for two sourced homogeneous systems.

The example below is an extract from a Schweitzer distance relay and is presented as a tutorial
on the SEL website.:

While the above methods are useful they have their limitations as stated earlier. Two ended
fault fault location algorithms attempt to minimise these limitations. The Schweitzer two ended
fault location method introduced in 1999 is a simple and effective method.

SEL Negative Sequence Method

This method works for unbalanced faults and has the advantage of being unaffected by:


Fault resistance

Zero sequence effects

It also had the advantage of not requiring the fault type and it does not require precise
alignment of analog quantities with the remote end. Its basic premise is that the negative
sequence voltage at the fault point (V2F) is the same when measured from each end of the
protected line. The total line length is shown as 1 unit length. Unsurprisingly, it does not work
for three phase faults.


The SEL Two Ended data (

ended-data/) is for the Local (L)and Remote (R) ends. They have been extracted from
protection relays from both ends of the line and is sampled at 4 times per cycle.

The A,B & C phase currents are shown in columns 1 to 3 respectively. Similarly the A,B & C
phase voltages are in columns 4 to 6 respectively.

The currents and voltages are in primary values. The units for the current and voltage are A
and kV respectively.

The sampled data needs to be converted to phasors. If the analog data is not a pure sinusoid
then the phasor represents its fundamental frequency component over the sampling window.

Given the negative sequence line impedance we need

to solve the following simultaneous equations:

Using the method shown in Impedance Based Fault Locating Experience (Zimmerman and
Costello) eliminate from equations 4 & 5 and rearrange as below. Take the magnitude of

both sides to eliminate alignment requirements of the local and remote data.

Simplify further by creating the following variables:

Take the square of both sides of the equation and rearrange in the format:

Coefficients of the above equation are given as:

Show an Example (

Using the above we finally end up with a fault location slightly above 20% of the feeder from the
local end. See plot here. (