Use of Traveling Wave Signatures in Medium-Voltage Distribution Systems for Fault Detection and Location

Kumaraguru Prabakar, Akanksha Singh, Matthew Reynolds, Monte Lunacek, Lucas Monzon, Yaswanth Nag Velaga, Jonathan Maack, Soumya Tiwari, Jinia Roy, Colin Tombari, Ismael Mendoza Carrillo, Xinshuo Yang, Spatika Iyengar, William John, Dhananjay Anand, Avi Gopstein, Deepthi Vaidhynathan

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Protection systems are a critical feature for the proper operation of a power grid. Protection systems should be able to quickly detect, identify, locate, and isolate the faults within a time frame that prevents damage to grid components and reduces customer outages. As more inverter-based photovoltaics (PV) are integrated into the grid, phasor domain based protection schemes become more inaccurate due to low levels of fault current from inverters or respond too slowly to accurately identify fault conditions. This points to the need to identify and develop novel protection approaches for distribution systems with high penetration of inverter based PV. The main objective of the project is to develop new time domain-based protection schemes to enable more accurate and faster detection, identification and location of faults in distribution systems and/or microgrids with high penetration of inverter-based PV. Our approach aims to exploit the traveling waves that are generated during a fault or other disturbances in the grid.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages88
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-78057


  • Bewley lattice visualization
  • distribution system protection
  • fault location
  • frequency dependent line model
  • global positioning system
  • GPS
  • high frequency current transformers
  • high frequency voltage transformers
  • medium voltage fault experiments
  • overhead line model
  • traveling wave
  • traveling wave sensors
  • ultra-high-speed-protection relaying
  • underground cable model
  • wide band current transformers
  • wide band modeling
  • wide band modeling of distribution system components
  • wide band voltage transformers


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