Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor 1

Chee-Wooi Ten

Committee Member 1

Kuilin Zhang

Committee Member 2

Laura Brown


The electrical distribution system has evolved with embedded computer systems that can better manage the electrical fault that occurred around the feeders. Such random events can affect the reliability indices of overall systems. Computerized management system for distribution operation has been improving with the advanced sensing technologies. The general research question is here to articulate is the responsiveness for utility crew to pinpoint the exact location of a fault based on the SCADA fault indicators from pole-mounted feeder remote terminal units (FRTUs). This has been a tricky question because it relies on the information received from the sensors that can conclude fault with logic's of over currents. The merit of this work can benefit at large the grid reliability because of time-saving in searching the exact location of a fault. The main contribution of this thesis is to utilize the 3-phase unbalanced power flow method to incrementally search for narrowing the localization of electrical short circuits. This is known as the reversal of the typical short circuit approach where a location of the fault is presumed. The 3 topological configurations of simulation studied in this thesis exhibit the typical radial configuration of a distribution feeder have been researched based on unidirectional and bidirectional power flow simulation. The exact fault location is carried in two steps. Firstly, a bisection search algorithm has been employed. Secondly, an incremental adjustment to match the simulated currents of fault with the measurements is conducted. Finally, the sensitivity analysis of a search can be improved with the proposed algorithm that leads to matching of telemetered and calculated values. The analysis of exact fault location is carried in unidirectional and bidirectional flow of power. Distributed energy resources (DER) such as residential PV at a household level as well the wind energy changes affect the protective relaying within a feeder as well as the reconfigurability of the switching sequences. Furthermost, the bidirectionality of power flow in an unbalanced manner would also be a challenging issue to deal with the power quality in automation. Finally, the simulation results based on unidirectional and bidirectional power flow are extensively discussed along with the future scope.