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IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 13, No.

4, October 1998


ult Location Using Wavelets

Fernando H. Magnago and Ali Abur

Department of Electrical Engineering Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843, U.S.A.
Abstract - This paper describes the use of wavelet transform for analyzing power system fault transients in order to determine the fault location. Traveling wave theory is utilized in capturing the travel time of the transients along the monitored lines between the fault point and the relay. Time resolution for the high frequency components of the fault transients, is provided by the wavelet transform. This information is related to the travel time of the signals which are already decomposed into their modal components. Aerial mode is used for all fault types, whereas the ground mode is used to resolve problems associated with certain special cases. Wavelet transform is found to be an excellent discriminant for identifying the traveling wave reflections from the fault irrespective of the fault type and impedance. EMTP simulations are used to test and validate the proposed fault location approach for typical power system faults. Keywords: Power System Faults, Electromagnetic Transients, Wavelet Transform, Fault Location, Traveling Waves.
Among the limitations of the traveling wave methods, the requirement of high sampling rate is frequently stated. Other stated problems include the uncertainty in the choice of sampling window and problems of distinguishing between traveling waves reflected from the fault and from the remote end of the line. Recent developments in optical current transducers technology enabled high sampling rate recording of transient signals during faults [7]. Availability of such broad bandwidth sampling capability facilitates better and more efficient use of traveling wave based methods for fault analysis. The correlation based fault location method introduced in [ 2 ] , is very effective as long as the width of the time window to save the forward moving wave is properly selected. Since this selection depends on the fault location which is unknown, the window width selection remains an unresolved issue for the practical implementation of this method. Combined use of a short and a long window has been proposed as one solution for this problem in [4]. In this paper, a different approach, based on the wavelet transform of the fault transients, is presented. Wavelet transform possesses some unique features that make it very suitable for this particular application. It maps a given function from the time domain into time-scaling domain. The wavelet, the basis function used in the wavelet transform, has bandpass characteristics which makes this mapping similar to a mapping to the time-frequency plane. Unlike the basis functions used in Fourier analysis, the wavelets are not only localized in frequency but also in time. This localization allows the detection of the time of occurence of abrupt disturbances, such as fault transients. Fault generated traveling waves appear a:; such disturbances superposed on the power frequency signals recorded by the relays. Processing these signals using the wavelet transform reveals their travel times between the fault and the relay locations. The potential benefits of applying wavelet transform for analysis of transient signals in power systems have been recognized in the recent years. Robertson et al. present a comparative overview of Fourier, short time Fourier and wavelet transforms, give examples of applying wavelet transform to analyze power system transients and extraction of their particular features in [8]. A similar overview along with application of wavelet transform to detect and classify power quality disturbances, are given in [9]. Advantages of using wavelet transform for analyzing transients and solution of linear time-invariant differential equations using wavelet transform is demonstrated in [ 101. In this paper, another
useful application of the wavelet transform in solving the prob-

1 Introduction
Transmission line fault location has long been one of the primary concerns of the power industry. Methods of locating power system faults introduced so far, can be broadly classified under two categories: one based on the power frequency components, and the other utilizing the higher frequency contents of the transient fault signals. The latter is also referred to as traveling wave or ultra high speed fault location method, due to its use of traveling wave theory and shorter sampling windows. The use of traveling wave theory for fault detection was initially proposed by Dommel and Michels in [I], where a discriminant was defined based on the transient voltage and current waveforms in order to detect a transmission line fault. McLaren et al. have later developed a correlation based technique where the cross correlation between stored sections of the forward and backward traveling waves were used to estimate the travel times of transient signals from the relays to the fault point [2,3,4]. An overview of traveling wave based fault location methods can be found in [ 5 , 6 ] .
PE-303-PWRD-0-12-1997 A paper recommended and approved by the IEEE Transmission and Distribution Committee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery. Manuscript submitted July 28, 1997; made available for printing December 12, 1997.

lem of fault location, will be presented. A brief introduction to wavelet transform will be given before formulating the problem and presenting the proposed solution method. 0885-8977/98/$10.00 0 1997 IEEE


Wavelet transform has been introduced rather recently in mathematics, even though the essential ideas that lead to this development have been around for a longer period C P time. ~ It is a linear transformation much like the Fourier transform, however with one important difference: it allows time localization of different frequency components of a given signal. Windowed Fourier transform also partially achieves this same goal, but with a limitation of using a fixed width windowing function. As a result, both frequency and time resolution of the resulting transform will be apriori fixed. In the case of the wavelet transform, the analyzing functions, which are called wavelets, will adjust their time-widths to their frequency in such a way that, higher frequency wavelets will be very narrow and lower frequency ones will be broader. This property of multi resolution is particularly useful for analyzing fault transients which contain localized high frequency components superposed on power frequency signals. Thus, wavelet transform is better suited for analysis of signals containing short lived high frequency disturbances superposed on lower frequency continuous waveforms by virtue of this zoom-in capability. Given a function f ( t ) , its continuous wavelet transform (WT) will be calculated as follows:

at a distance x from bus A, this will appear as an abrupt injection at the fault point. This injection will travei like a surge along the line in both directions and will continue to bounce back and forth between the fault point, and the two terminal buses until the post fault steady state is reached. Hence, the recorded fault transients at the terminals of the line will contain abrupt changes at intervals commensurate with the travel times of signals between the fault to the terminals. Using the knowledge of the velocity oftraveling waves along the given line, the distance to the fault point can be deduced easily. This is the essential idea behind traveling wave methods. Unlike the correlation based methods where the forward and backward traveling wave components are computed and used for the cross correlation, in the wavelet based approach, the composite signal (voltage or current) at the relay location is directly analyzed. In three phase transmission lines, the traveling waves are mutually coupled and therefore a single traveling wave velocity does not exist. In order to implement the traveling wave method in three phase systems, the phase domain signals are first decomposed into their modal components by means of the modal transformation matrices. In this study, all transmission line models are assumed to be fully transposed, and therefore the well known Clarke's constant and real transformation matrix given by:

where, a and b are the scaling (dilation) and translation (time shift) constants respectively, andQ ,I is the wavelet function which may not be real as assumed in the above equation for simplicity. The choice of the wavelet function (mother wavelet) is flexible provided that it satisfies the so called admissibility conditions P11. Wavelet transform of sampled waveforms can be obtained by implementing the discrete wavelet transform which is given by:

is used. The phase signals are transformed into their modal components by using this transformation matrix as follows:

= TSphase


where, the parameters a and b in Eq.( 1) are replaced by a; and ka?, k and m being integer variables. In a standard discrete wavelet transform, the coefficients are sampled from the continuous WT on a dyadic grid, a0 = 2 and bo = 1, yielding a: = 1, U;' = etc. b = k x 2-', i being an integer variable. Actual implementation of the discrete wavelet transform, involves successive pairs of high-pass and low-pass filters at each scaling stage of the wavelet transform. This can be thought of as successive approximations of the same function, each approximation providing the incremental information related to a particular scale (frequency range), the first scale covering a broad frequency range at the high frequency end of the spectrum and the higher scales covering the lower end of the frequency spectrum however with progressively shorter bandwidths. Conversely, the first scale will have the highest time resolution, higher scales will cover increasingly longer time intervals. While, in principle any admissible wavelet can be used in the wavelet analysis, we have chosen to use the Daubechies4 [9],[12] wavelet as the mother wavelet in all the transformations.


where, Smo& and are themodal and phase signals (voltages or currents) vectors respectively. Clarke's transformation is real and can be used with any transposed line. If the studied line is untransposed, then an eigenvector based transformation matrix, which is frequency dependent, will have to be used. This matrix should be computed at a frequency equal or close to the frequency of the initial fault transients. Recorded phase signals are first transformed into their modal components. The first mode (mode l), is usually referred to as the ground mode, and its magnitude is significant only during faults having a path to ground. Hence, this component can not be used for all types of faults. The second mode (mode 2), also known as the aerial mode, however is present for any kind of fault. Accordingly, the fault location problem is formulated based essentially on the aerial mode, making occasional use of the ground mode signal for purposes of distinguishing between certain peculiar situations, which will be discussed in the next section. Depending on the existing communication scheme between the two ends of the line, fault location problem can be solved in two different ways described below.

Two ended sync ronized recording

Fault signals are recorded simultaneously at both ends of the line by two separate channels both of which are using the same time reference synchronized using Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receivers. The recorded waveforms will be transformed into modal signals, after which the modal signals will be analyzed using their wavelet transforms. Let t~ and t g correspond to the times at which the modal signal wavelet coefficients in scale 1, show their initial peaks for the signals recorded at bus A and B respectively. Assuming that the recorded signals at the two ends of the line are fully synchronized, the delay between the fault detection times at the two ends, i.e. t d = t g - t A , can be

Consider a single phase lossless transmission line of length connected between buses A and B, with a characteristic impedance 2, and traveling wave velocity of U . If a fault occurs



determined [13]. The distance between the fault point to bus A will then be given by:
X =

e - v,


e is the length of the line, x is the distance to fault from bus A,

and U , is the speed of the traveling waves for mode m.


Insignificant coefficients will imply that the fault is in the remote half of the line, and vice versa. If the fault is determined to be in the near half ofthe line, then td in Eq.(6) will simply be the time interval between the first two peaks of the scale 1 WTCs for the aerial mode. If the fault is suspected to be in the second half of the line, then td in Eq.(6) will be replaced by:

= 2t - tx


3.2 Single ended recording

A more robust configuration that does not require remote end synchronization is when the fault location is determined based solely on the recorded signals at one end of the line. However, in such a case, due to the lack of any other time reference, all time measurements will be with respect to the instant when the fault is first detected. Therefore, fault location calculations will be based on the reflection times of the traveling waves from the fault point. Unfortunately, for faults involving a ground connection, not only those reflections from the fault point, but also from the remote end bus will be observed at the sending end of the line. Proper algorithms should therefore be devised in order to distinguish between close-in and remote faults which may produce similar reflection patterns for the grounded faults. The following sections describe our proposed approach to accomplish this task.
3.2.1 Approach I: Ungrounded faults

where: t is the travel time for the entire line length, and e, is the time interval between the first two peaks of aerial mode WTCs in scale 1. Figure 1 shows the flowchart for the proposed fault location algorithm based on the wavelet transform coefficients. Next section contains results of simulations used to test this proposed algorithm for various fault types and line configurations.
Transducer output



It has long been observed that ungrounded faults such as line-toline or ungrounded three-phase, do not cause significant reflections from the remote end bus during the fault transients. Thus, by measuring the time delay between the two consecutive peaks in the wavelet transform coefficients of the recorded fault signal at scale 1, and taking the product of the wave velocity and half of this time delay, the distance to the fault can easily be calculated for these kinds of faults. The fault distance will be given by the equation:


Ungrounded Fault

where, x is the distance to the fault, v is the wave velocity (for the mode used), and td is the time difference between two consecutive peaks of the wavelet transform coefficients. 3.2.2 Approach 11: Grounded faults

calculate the fault loc. as in Section 3.2.1

I I r
Grounded Faull Remote half of the line. Based on Scale 1 Mode 2 calculate td as in Eq. (7) then calculate the fault Grounded Fault Near half of the line. Based OD Scale 1 Mode 2 calculate the fault loc. as in Section 3.2.1

When the fault involves a connection to ground, then sending end signals may contain significant reflections from the remote end bus in addition to the ones from the fault point. Also, depending on the location of the fault, the reflections from the remote end may arrive before or after those reflected from the fault point. It can be easily verified by using the Lattice diagram method, that the remote end reflections will arrive later than the fault reflections if the fault occurs within half the length of the line, close to the relay location. The opposite will be true if the fault is situated in the second half of the line. It is observed that, in the former case the ground mode wavelet transform coefficient (WTC) for scale 1, shows significant peaks, while the latter case ground mode WTC for scale 1 remains insignificant below the chosen detection threshold.
Therefore, first a decision is made on whether or not the

Figure 1: Flowchart of the proposed fault location algorithm

4 Simulation results
The ATFEMTP program [ 141 is used to calculate the transient signals in the power system. Figure 2 shows the system configuration used in the simulations. The frequency dependent model is used to model the line [ 151. The relays are located a t hushar A and B for the double ended configuration and at busbar A for the single ended configuration. For this tower configuration, mode 2 (aerial mode) has a propagation velocity of 1.8 182 x lo5 miles/sec. A sampling time of l o p s is used. The system is simulated using double and single

fault is grounded, based on scale 2 WTCs of the ground mode signals. If these coefficients are found significant, then the fault will be assumed to be a ground fault. Next decision will be made on which half of the line the fault is actually located. This is done by observing scale 1 WTCs of the ground mode signals.

1 = 200 miles

1-x 345 Kv

Scale 1, mode 2 (aerial mode)

345 KV
I (



Figure 2: Schematic diagram of the simulated system

ended configurations under various kind of faults. Different type of balanced and unbalanced faults at different locations along the line and at different inception angles are simulated. Results of single phase to ground, phase to phase and three phase to ground faults for an inception angle of 108 degrees are reported to illustrate the method. The modal signals are decomposed using the Daubechies4 wavelet where number 4 represents the number ofwavelet coefficients. Only the first two scales, scale 1 and scale 2 of the WTC are used in the proposed fault location method. In order to minimize the noise effect, we squared the wavelet coefficients at each scale as also done in [9]. A lattice diagram illustrating the reflection and refraction of traveling waves initiated by the fault transients, is shown in Figure 3. On the left side of the figure, a line connecting buses A and B is drawn vertically. The line is 200 miles long. A single phase to ground fault is assumed to occur at point F,120 miles from bus A. The horizontal axis starting from point F, represents the time. A set of arrows are shown below the lattice diagram, indicating the arrival times of various waves reflected from the fault as well as bus B. Mode 2 (aerial mode) is considered only. The travel times from the fault to bus A, and from the fault to bus B are designated by TI and T2 respectively. Given the traveling wave velocity v 2 for mode 2, TI and T2 will be given by 120 mi I v 2 and 80 mi 1 U:! respectively. Figure 4 shows the WTC at scale 1 calculated for the example of Figure 3. Comparing the WTC peak times with the arrival times of waveform reflections at bus A, it can be observed that there is a one to one correlation between them. Simulation results for both the two ended and single ended fault location approaches will now be given.

20 5

21 21 5




time (ms)

Figure 4: Single phase to ground fault at 120 miles from A. Peaks correspond to the predicted ones in Fig. 3.

5(a) and (b) show the WTC for scale 1, of the voltage transients recorded at bus A and B respectively. In this example, the first WTC peak at bus A occurs at tA = 20.15 ms, and at bus B at t B = 21 ms, yielding f d = 0.85 ms and using Eq.(5):


200- 1.81 x io5 x 0.85 x 1 0 - ~ = 22.99 miles. 2

Bus A: Scale 1, mode 2


2 1


2Tl+T2 5T2
3 1

B u s B: Scale 1, mode 2
5 3 j



. .

T 1


time (ms)
3 T 1 T1+4T2

Figure 5: Three phase fault at 20 miles from A.

* I l j
Figure 3: Lattice diagram for a single phase to ground fault at 120 miles from A.

The arrival time of the first transient peak depends on the velocity of the line and the fault distance, it is independent of the type of fault, hence the method applies to all type of faults provided the two terminal recordings are synchronized in time.

4.2 Single ended recording


ronized recording

4.2-1 Ungrounded faults: Figure 6 shows the WTCs for an example of a phase to phase fault at 30 miles from A. It can be seen from the figure that mode 1 (ground mode) signals are zero, therefore mode 1 WTCs can be used to identify this as an ungrounded fault.

Assuming synchronized recording of fault transients at both ends of the line, a three phase fault is simulated at 20 miles away from bus A. Mode 2 (aerial mode) voltage signals are used only. Figure


In this case, td will be directly obtained by measuring the time difference between the first two peaks in Figure 6(a) and using Eq.(6) of Approach I described in section 3.2.1.
a)Scale 1, mode 2 c)Scale 1, mode 1

a)Scale 1, mode 2

c)Scale 1, mode 1





time (ms) d)Scale 2, mode 1






time (ms) b)Scale 2, mode 2


time (ms) d)Scale 2, mode 1



x 3

time (ms)

< 2

20 21



time (ms)

Figure 7: Phase to ground fault at 30 miles from A.

20 21 22 23

time (ms)

time (ms)

Figure 6: Phase to phase fault at 30 miles from A.

on the td measurement of Eq.(7) per the flowchart of Figure 1. Calculations for the fault location are as follows:

= 2 x 5.5 x

x 200 - 0.32 x 1 0 - ~= 0.0019 ms.

x 1.8182 x lo5 = 172.72 miles.


Grounded faults:
X =

In the case of ground faults, it is observed that WTC contains the signatures of not only the reflections from the fault point, but also those from the remote end bus. The former and the latter reflections can not be distinguished and identified only based on the aerial mode WTCs. In this case, a fault at distance x and a fault at distance I - x will yield similar WTCs for the aerial mode signals. However, the true fault location can be determined based on the information provided by the ground mode WTCs. This can be illustrated by the following example. Consider a single phase to ground fault at 30 miles from bus A. The WTCs obtained for this case are shown in Figure 7. The same type of fault occuring at 170 miles from bus A yields the WTCs shown in Figure 8. In these figures, subplots (a) and (b) show the aerial mode WTCs at scales 1 and 2, while (c) and (d) are the ground mode WTCs at scales 1 and 2, respectively. Following the steps of the fault location algorithm given in Figure 1, the following results will be obtained:
Case 1: Fault at 30 miles from bus A.

1.9 x

4.3 Mutually coupled lines

Mutual coupling between lines mostly affect the ground mode signals, the effect on the aerial mode is not significant. In order to investigate the effect of mutual coupling on the fault location calculation, the test system shown in Figure 9 is considered. It is noted that, since the ground mode WTCs are used only to discriminate between different types of faults (ungrounded, grounded near-end, grounded far-end) and not to obtain any time measurements, their strong mutual coupling to the parallel lines will not hinder the fault location calculations. Aerial mode WTCs are not significantly affected by the presence of mutually coupled lines, therefore the distance calculation based on the proposed algorithm of Figure 1 remains valid for these cases. Simulation results support this claim. Comparing the aerial mode WTCs obtained for the mutually coupled lines and those where mutual coupling is ignored, it is seen that they remain rather insensitive to the existence of mutual coupling between lines.

Figure 7(c) shows that mode 1 (ground mode) scale 1 WTCs are not zero. Hence, according to the flowchart in Figure 1 , fault distance should be calculated using Eq.(6) where td is simply the difference between the first two peaks in Figure 7(c). The calculated fault distance for this example is:
X =

4.4 Series capacitor compensated lines

Series compensation capacitors are known to affect the fault location methods that are based on effective impedance seen from the sending end of the line. The proposed method, which is based on wavelet transform coefficients at low scales (scales 1and 2), will reman unaffected by the presence of series capacitors since the impedance modification at high frequencies (low scales) due to the series capacitor will be negligible. Simulation results confirm this observation. The wavelet transform coefficients obtained for compensated and uncompensated line faults look almost identical for all the simulated test cases.

1.8182 x lo5 x 0.32 x 2

= 29.09 miles.

Case 2: Fault at 170 miles from bus A.

In this case mode 1 scale 1 WTCs are zero as shown in Figure 8(c). Figure 8(d) however shows that scale 2 WTCs for the same mode are not zero, indicating that the fault is a ground fault but it occured at a point closer to the remote end than the sending end. Hence, the fault distance will be calculated based

d)Scale 1, mode 2
101 1,

c)Scale 1, mode 1

[2] S. Wajendra and P.G. McLaren, Traveling-Wave Techniques Applied to the protection of Teed Circuits: Principle of Traveling Wave Techniques, IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol. PAS-104, no. 12, pp.3544-3550, Dec. 1985. [3] S. Rajendra, and P. G. McLaren, Traveling Wave Techniques Applied to the Protection of Teed Circuits: - Multi Phase I Multi Circuit System, IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol. PAS- 104, no. 12, pp.355 13557, Dec, 1985.

time (ms) b)Scale 2. mode 2

time (ms) d)Scale 2, mode 1


? I



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345 Kv

Figure 8: Phase to ground fault at 170 miles from A.

345 KV
345 Kv

345 KV


100 miles

100 miles


[SI D. C. Robertson, 0. I. Camps, J. S. Mayer, and W. B. Gish, Wavelets and Electromagnetic Power System Transients, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol.11, No.2, pp. 1050-1058, April 1996. [9] S. Santoso, E. Powers, W. Grady, and P. Hoffmann, Power Quality Assessment via Wavelet Transform Analysis, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol.11, N0.2, pp. 924-930, April 1996. [lo] 6. T. Heydt, and A. W. Galli, Transient Power Quality Problems Analyzed Using Wavelets, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, V01.12, No.2, pp. 908-915, April 1997.
[ 111 I. Daubechies, Ten Lectures on Wavelets, SIAM, Philadel-

Figure 9: Circuit diagram of the simulated system with mutually coupled lines.

This paper presents a new, wavelet transform based fault location method. Using the traveling wave theory of transmission lines, the transient signals are first decoupled into their modal components. Modal signals are then transformed from the time domain into the time-frequency domain by applying the wavelet transform. The wavelet transform coefficients at the two lowest scales are then used to determine the fault location for various types of faults and line configurations. The proposed fault location method is independent of the fault impedance and is shown to be suitable for mutually coupled tower geometries as well as series capacitor compensated lines. The method can be used both with single ended and synchronized two ended recording of fault transients. The fault location estimation error is related to the sampling time used in recording the fault transient. Furthermore, for grounded faults near the middle of the line, mode 1 signals from the fault and from the far end become comparable increasing the error of the fault location algorithm. Simulation results are given to demonstrate the performance of the method.

phia, Pennsylvania, 1992. [12] MATLAB Users Guide, The Math Works Inc., Natick, MA.
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Transmission Lines in Electromagnetic Transient Simulations, IEEE Trunsactlons on Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol. PAS-101, no. l,pp.147-155, Jan. 1982. Fernando N. Magnago obtained the B.S. degree from UNRC, Argentinain 1990 and his M.S. degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX in 1997. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University. Ali Abur (SM90) received the B.S. degree from M E W , Turkey in 1979, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, in 1981 and 1985 respectively. Since late 1985, he has been with the Dept. of Elect. Eng. at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, where he is currently an Associate Professor.

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