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IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

IEEE Power Engineering Society


Sponsored by the Insulated Conductors Committee

1234

TM

IEEE 3 Park Avenue New York, NY 10016-5997, USA 16 November 2007

IEEE Std 1234-2007

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IEEE Std 1234-2007

IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems


Sponsor

Insulated Conductors Committee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society

Approved 17 May 2007

IEEE-SA Standards Board

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Abstract: Tests and measurements that are performed on shielded power cables to identify the location of a fault are described. Whenever possible, the limitations of a particular test and measurement to locate a fault are provided and recommendations are made regarding specialized fault-locating techniques. A fault characterization chart is included as an aid to select a fault-locating technique. Keywords: arc reflection, cable fault locating, cable testing, grounding, safety, sectionalizing, thumping, time domain reflectometry (TDR)

_________________________ The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 3 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5997, USA Copyright 2007 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Published 16 November 2007. Printed in the United States of America. IEEE is a registered trademark in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, owned by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. National Electrical Safety Code and NESC are both registered trademarks and service marks of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Print: PDF: ISBN 0-7381-5631-0 ISBN 0-7381-5632-9 SH95696 SS95696

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, in an electronic retrieval system or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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IEEE Standards documents are developed within the IEEE Societies and the Standards Coordinating Committees of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board. The IEEE develops its standards through a consensus development process, approved by the American National Standards Institute, which brings together volunteers representing varied viewpoints and interests to achieve the final product. Volunteers are not necessarily members of the Institute and serve without compensation. While the IEEE administers the process and establishes rules to promote fairness in the consensus development process, the IEEE does not independently evaluate, test, or verify the accuracy of any of the information contained in its standards. Use of an IEEE Standard is wholly voluntary. The IEEE disclaims liability for any personal injury, property or other damage, of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance upon this, or any other IEEE Standard document. The IEEE does not warrant or represent the accuracy or content of the material contained herein, and expressly disclaims any express or implied warranty, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a specific purpose, or that the use of the material contained herein is free from patent infringement. IEEE Standards documents are supplied AS IS. The existence of an IEEE Standard does not imply that there are no other ways to produce, test, measure, purchase, market, or provide other goods and services related to the scope of the IEEE Standard. Furthermore, the viewpoint expressed at the time a standard is approved and issued is subject to change brought about through developments in the state of the art and comments received from users of the standard. Every IEEE Standard is subjected to review at least every five years for revision or reaffirmation. When a document is more than five years old and has not been reaffirmed, it is reasonable to conclude that its contents, although still of some value, do not wholly reflect the present state of the art. Users are cautioned to check to determine that they have the latest edition of any IEEE Standard. In publishing and making this document available, the IEEE is not suggesting or rendering professional or other services for, or on behalf of, any person or entity. Nor is the IEEE undertaking to perform any duty owed by any other person or entity to another. Any person utilizing this, and any other IEEE Standards document, should rely upon the advice of a competent professional in determining the exercise of reasonable care in any given circumstances. Interpretations: Occasionally questions may arise regarding the meaning of portions of standards as they relate to specific applications. When the need for interpretations is brought to the attention of IEEE, the Institute will initiate action to prepare appropriate responses. Since IEEE Standards represent a consensus of concerned interests, it is important to ensure that any interpretation has also received the concurrence of a balance of interests. For this reason, IEEE and the members of its societies and Standards Coordinating Committees are not able to provide an instant response to interpretation requests except in those cases where the matter has previously received formal consideration. At lectures, symposia, seminars, or educational courses, an individual presenting information on IEEE standards shall make it clear that his or her views should be considered the personal views of that individual rather than the formal position, explanation, or interpretation of the IEEE. Comments for revision of IEEE Standards are welcome from any interested party, regardless of membership affiliation with IEEE. Suggestions for changes in documents should be in the form of a proposed change of text, together with appropriate supporting comments. Comments on standards and requests for interpretations should be addressed to: Secretary, IEEE-SA Standards Board 445 Hoes Lane Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA Authorization to photocopy portions of any individual standard for internal or personal use is granted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., provided that the appropriate fee is paid to Copyright Clearance Center. To arrange for payment of licensing fee, please contact Copyright Clearance Center, Customer Service, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA; +1 978 750 8400. Permission to photocopy portions of any individual standard for educational classroom use can also be obtained through the Copyright Clearance Center.

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Introduction
This introduction is not part of IEEE Std 1234-2007, IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems Many fault-locator personnel are experienced in locating short and open circuits on shielded power cables. Proper locating of high-resistance or intermittent cable faults, which are the majority of the faults on cables with extruded dielectric insulation, is considered tedious, inconsistent, and time-consuming. Therefore, re-closing, re-fusing, burning, and thumping at unnecessarily high voltage and energy levels, in order to generate an open or short circuit, are frequently used without consideration of cable and equipment properties. The danger of activating dormant faults, generating new faults, or damaging utility and customer equipment by improper locating methods is not always recognized. By establishing cable fault-locating guidelines and training programs that incorporate recommended cable fault-locating measurements and techniques, cable owners can realize substantial savings in manpower and cable and equipment replacement, and minimize losses from customer outages. Some information and figures in Clause 4, Clause 5, Clause 6, and Annex B, Annex C, and Annex D are copyrighted by Gnerlich, Inc. and used with permission.

Notice to users Errata


Errata, if any, for this and all other standards can be accessed at the following URL: http:// standards.ieee.org/reading/ieee/updates/errata/index.html. Users are encouraged to check this URL for errata periodically.

Interpretations
Current interpretations can be accessed at the following URL: http://standards.ieee.org/reading/ieee/interp/ index.html.

Patents
Attention is called to the possibility that implementation of this guide may require use of subject matter covered by patent rights. By publication of this guide, no position is taken with respect to the existence or validity of any patent rights in connection therewith. The IEEE shall not be responsible for identifying patents or patent applications for which a license may be required to implement an IEEE standard or for conducting inquiries into the legal validity or scope of those patents that are brought to its attention.

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Participants
At the time this guide was submitted to the IEEE-SA Standards Board for approval, the C3TF1 Working Group had the following membership:
Hans R. Gnerlich, Chair Wolfgang B. Haverkamp, Vice Chair Ted. A. Balaska Earle C. Bascom Vern Buchholz Tom C. Champion Jack E. Cherry Frank DiGuglielmo

Bill Larzelere Matthew S. Mashikian James D. Medek Dale T. Metzinger John T. Nierenberg

John S. Rector Ewell T. Robeson Lawrence W. Salberg Nagu N. Srinivas Gordon W. Whitten T. Shayne Wright

deceased

The following members of the individual balloting committee voted on this guide. Balloters may have voted for approval, disapproval, or abstention.
James Fitzgerald Arthur R. Fitzpatrick Marcel Fortin Robert B. Gear Hans R. Gnerlich Richard L. Harp Wolfgang B. Haverkamp Stanley V. Heyer Lauri Hiivala Richard A. Huber Lawrence J. Kelly Albert Kong Carl Landinger Gabor Ludasi Gregory Luri Glenn Luzzi Matthew S. Mashikian Spiro G. Mastoras L. Bruce McClung J. D. Medek John E. Merando Jr Gary L. Michel Daleep C. Mohla Shantanu Nandi James J. Pachot Arthur V. Pack Jr Neal K. Parker Gary Polhill Dennis C. Pratt Radhakrishna V. Rebbapragada Robert A. Resuali Joseph H. Snow Nagu N. Srinivas Frank Stepniak John Tanaka William A. Thue Stephen E. Turner Gerald L. Vaughn Donald A. Voltz Daniel J. Ward Carl Wentzel William D. Wilkens Joe Zimnoch

When the IEEE-SA Standards Board approved this Standard on 17 May 2007, it had the following membership: Steve M. Mills, Chair Robert M. Grow, Vice Chair Don F. Wright, Past Chair Judith Gorman, Secretary
Richard DeBlasio Alexander D. Gelman William R. Goldbach Arnold M. Greenspan Joanna N. Guenin Julian Forster* Kenneth S. Hanus William B. Hopf *Member Emeritus Richard H. Hulett Hermann Koch Joseph L. Koepfinger* John D. Kulick David J. Law Glenn Parsons Ronald C. Petersen Tom A. Prevost Narayanan Ramachandran Greg Ratta Robby Robson Anne-Marie Sahazizian Virginia C. Sulzberger Malcolm V. Thaden Richard L. Townsend Howard L. Wolfman

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Also included are the following nonvoting IEEE-SA Standards Board liaisons:
Satish K. Aggarwal, NRC Representative Alan H. Cookson, NIST Representative

Lorraine Patsco IEEE Standards Program Manager, Document Development

Matthew J. Ceglia IEEE Standards Program Manager, Technical Program Development

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Contents
1. Overview .................................................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 General ................................................................................................................................................ 1 1.2 Scope ................................................................................................................................................... 1 1.3 Purpose ................................................................................................................................................ 1 2. Normative references.................................................................................................................................. 1 3. Definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations .................................................................................................. 2 3.1 Definitions ........................................................................................................................................... 2 3.2 Acronyms and abbreviations ............................................................................................................... 3 4. Safety.......................................................................................................................................................... 4 4.1 Safety practices.................................................................................................................................... 4 4.2 Responsibility ...................................................................................................................................... 4 4.3 Precautions .......................................................................................................................................... 5 4.4 Grounding............................................................................................................................................ 5 5. Cable system fault characteristics............................................................................................................... 6 5.1 Radial distribution ............................................................................................................................... 6 5.2 Network distribution............................................................................................................................ 8 5.3 Cable system faults .............................................................................................................................. 9 6. Cable system fault locating....................................................................................................................... 10 6.1 Fault-locating preferences chart......................................................................................................... 10 6.2 Sectionalizing .................................................................................................................................... 11 6.3 Insulation Resistance ......................................................................................................................... 12 6.4 Time domain reflectometry ............................................................................................................... 13 6.5 Capacitive discharge (thumping) ....................................................................................................... 14 6.6 Burning (fault conditioning) .............................................................................................................. 14 6.7 Surge arc reflection............................................................................................................................ 15 6.8 Burn arc reflection ............................................................................................................................. 16 6.9 Surge pulse reflection ........................................................................................................................ 16 6.10 Decay method .................................................................................................................................. 17 6.11 Bridge techniques ............................................................................................................................ 17 6.12 Tracing/locating/pinpointing ........................................................................................................... 18 Annex A (informative) Bibliography ........................................................................................................... 21 Annex B (informative) First response cable system fault location in URD ................................................. 22 Annex C (informative) Fault location in network feeders ............................................................................ 24 C.1 Fault tracing ...................................................................................................................................... 24 C.2 TDR Assisted fault location.............................................................................................................. 24 Annex D (informative) Fault location on cable systems with concentric neutral corrosion......................... 26 Annex E (informative) Recommended minimum of fault-locating tools ..................................................... 27

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IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

1. Overview
1.1 General
This guide has been developed as a guide for cable fault-locating techniques on shielded power cable systems. It is intended to emphasize those fault-locating techniques that maintain cable integrity, reduce customer outage time, and consider customer equipment sensitivity and safety. This guide applies to all insulated, shielded power cable systems.

1.2 Scope
The introduction of cables with extruded dielectric insulation and of modern splicing technology has imposed new conditions and restrictions on cable fault locating. The use of excessive high voltages and energies during ac, dc, and surge testing of service-aged power cable systems with extruded dielectric insulation may overstress insulation, creating defects that become faults after the cables are returned to service. This guide is intended to be applied to medium-voltage distribution cables. Medium-voltage distribution systems generally operate at system voltages above 1 kV and up to 34.5 kV nominal. The end user of the cable circuit should evaluate the necessity for verifying the integrity of extruded dielectric insulated cables, and, if they are in critical service, proceed to perform the high-voltage/energies testing. If not detected during dielectric tests, defects in dielectric materials may result in cable failures during the transient voltage surge episodes while in service.

1.3 Purpose
This guide is intended to provide trouble-shooting and testing personnel with information to quickly identify a faulted cable section and/or locate a cable fault with minimum risk of further damaging serviceable cables, terminations, and equipment.

2. Normative references
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments or corrigenda) applies.
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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

IEEE Std 510-1983, IEEE Recommended Practices for Safety in High-Voltage and High-Power Testing (Reaff 1992). 1, 2 , 3

3. Definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations


3.1 Definitions
For the purposes of this guide, the following terms and definitions apply. The Authoritative Dictionary of IEEE Standards, Seventh Edition [B9] 4 , should be referenced for terms not defined in this clause. 3.1.1 aerial installation type: An assembly of insulated conductors installed on a pole or similar overhead structure; it may be self-supporting or installed on a supporting messenger cable. 3.1.2 bolted fault: A cable fault having a resistance value of less than 5 . 3.1.3 branch circuits: A cable system in which independent cables branch out radially from a common source of supply. (See also: radial feed) 3.1.4 breakdown: A disruptive discharge through insulation. 3.1.5 cable tray installation type: A structure of ladders, troughs, channels, solid bottom, and other similar devices through which cables systems may be routed. 3.1.6 characteristic impedance: The driving impedance of the forward-traveling transverse electromagnetic wave. In cable fault locating, an incident wave on a cable (time domain reflectometer [TDR], thumper, etc.) is reflected back to the source positively, negatively, or not at all by discontinuities and inhomogenities in the cable where impedance values differ from the characteristic cable impedance, respectively. 3.1.7 concentric neutral shield (metallic shield type): Wires helically applied over the semi-conducting insulation shield to carry charging, fault, and neutral currents. 3.1.8 conduit installation type: A structure containing one or more ducts.
NOTEConduit may be designated as iron pipe conduit, tile conduit, etc.

3.1.9 direct buried installation type: Cable laid in a trench or pre-cast trough and covered with sand, specially prepared backfill material, and/or excavated material; or, cable plowed directly into the earth or installed into the earth with guided boring techniques. 3.1.10 direct distribution: A primary feeder or cable that supplies energy directly to a consumer. 3.1.11 drain wires shield (metallic shield type): Wires helically applied over the semi-conducting insulation shield to carry charging currents only. 3.1.12 extruded dielectrics: Insulation like polyethylene (PE), crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE), tree retardant crosslinked polyethylene (TR XLPE), ethylene propylene rubber (EPR), etc. 3.1.13 flashover: A disruptive discharge through air around or over the surface of a solid or liquid insulation, between parts at different potential, produced by the application of voltage wherein the breakdown path becomes sufficiently ionized to maintain an electric arc.

1 IEEE publications are available from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA (http://standards.ieee.org/). 2 The IEEE standards or products referred to in this clause are trademarks of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 3 IEEE Std 510-1983 has been withdrawn; however, copies can be obtained from Global Engineering, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112-5704, USA, tel. (303) 792-2181 (http://global.ihs.com/). 4 The numbers in brackets correspond to those of the bibliography in Annex A.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

3.1.14 installation types: See: aerial installation type, cable tray installation type, conduit installation type, direct buried installation type, and submarine installation type. 3.1.15 laminated dielectrics: Insulation like paper used in PILC cable design. 3.1.16 LC (longitudinally corrugated) shield (metallic shield type): A longitudinally-applied, corrugated shield of copper or aluminum. LC shields are typically designed to carry both charging and fault currents, and sometimes neutral currents. 3.1.17 lead sheath shield (metallic shield type): An extruded layer of lead that serves as a metallic shield and also as a hermetic moisture barrier. 3.1.18 loop feed: A number of tie feeders in series, forming a closed circuit. 3.1.19 metal tape shield (metallic shield type): A tape helically applied over the semi-conducting insulation shield. Tape shields are typically designed to carry charging currents and limited fault currents. 3.1.20 network distribution: See: network feeder. 3.1.21 network feeder: A primary feeder that supplies energy to a secondary network. 3.1.22 pinpoint: To locate exactly the fault site for excavation and repair. 3.1.23 pre-locate: Locating the general area of a fault as a distance from cable start, end, splice transformer, change in cable type, etc. Identifying a faulted section of cable between two transformers, junction boxes, manholes, etc. 3.1.24 propagation velocity: The velocity at which an electric signal travels through a cable. Propagation velocity is usually expressed in feet, yards, or meters per microsecond or as a percentage of the speed of light. The value of the propagation velocity depends on the (relative) dielectric constant of the insulation material used, the characteristic of the semicon shields, and the cable construction; it is assumed constant for all practical purposes. 3.1.25 radial feed: A cable system in which independent feeders branch out radially from a common source of supply. 3.1.26 reflection coefficient: A measure of how much of an incident wave is reflected back to the source. 3.1.27 shield (metallic shield types): See: concentric neutral shield (metallic shield type), drain wires shield (metallic shield type), LC shield (metallic shield type), metal tape shield (metallic shield type), and lead sheath shield (metallic shield type). 3.1.28 shield interrupt: An insulated break installed in a cable shield so as to interrupt the flow of induced current in the metallic shield. 3.1.29 shielded cable: A cable in which each insulated conductor or conductors is/are enclosed in a conducting envelope(s). 3.1.30 submarine installation type: A cable designed for service under water.

3.2 Acronyms and abbreviations


EPR: ethylene propylene rubber

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

HV: high voltage LC: longitudinally corrugated PE, XLPE: polyethylene, crosslinked polyethylene, cable insulation. PILC: paper insulated lead covereda cable design. TDR: time domain reflectometer, frequently referred to as cable radar in the power industry. URD: underground residential distribution

4. Safety 5
4.1 Safety practices
When testing, personnel safety and service reliability of the electrical systems are of utmost importance. All cable and equipment tests must be performed on isolated and de-energized systems, except where otherwise specifically required and authorized. The safety practices must include, but are not limited to, the following requirements: a) c) Applicable user safety operating procedures Applicable state and local safety operating procedures b) IEEE Std 510-1983 d) Protection of utility and customer property While testing, one or more cable ends will be remote from the testing site, therefore: Cable ends must be cleared and guarded Cables must be de-energized and grounded before testing is begun At the conclusion of high-voltage (HV) testing, attention should be given to the following: Special techniques required for discharging cables and cable systems Grounding requirements for cables to eliminate the aftereffects of the cables dielectric absorption and capacitance characteristics

4.2 Responsibility
Training requirements for cable fault-locating and trouble-shooting personnel will vary with cable type, installation, system, environment, and the equipment and instruments used. Operations and cable faultlocating departments should establish initial and continuing education training programs to qualify their cable fault-locating and trouble-shooting personnel. The minimum qualification for the responsible, on-site cable fault locator or trouble-shooter should include, but is not limited to the following: Initial training in the use of cable fault-locating instruments and devices with thorough understanding of their advantages and limitations Familiarity with all applicable user, state, and local safety operating procedures

Some of the material appearing in this document is adapted with permission from Gnerlich, Inc. training courses. [B5], [B6]

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

Knowledge of cable and equipment specifications and the ability to select cable fault-locating techniques, instruments, and devices that minimize the risk of damaging cable, joints, terminations, and equipment

4.3 Precautions
Many cable fault locators and trouble-shooters use a high-voltage dc test (see IEEE Std 400 [B11] 6 ) as part of their standard fault-locating procedure. In the late seventies, it became apparent that dc testing may exacerbate cable defects in service-aged extruded dielectric insulation lacking tree-retardant properties. Such cables may ultimately fail sooner than they would have if dc testing had not been performed. Therefore, proof testing of service-aged cables with extruded dielectric insulation lacking tree-retardant properties is not recommended. If dc proof testing of service-aged cables should become necessary for a justifiable reason, the cable manufacturer should be consulted for the maximum dc maintenance test value. For example, testing of cables by qualified cable fault-locating and trouble-shooting personnel, in critical service areas such as hospitals, continuous-process industries, and cold-storage units, still provides the advantage of identifying deteriorated cables prior to their failure, and enabling repairs/replacement to be done, under planned conditions, without sudden interruption of service.

4.4 Grounding
Cables can only be considered de-energized and grounded when the conductor and the concentric shield are connected to the system ground at the test site, and if possible at the far end of the cable. When fault-locating on a defective cable, installation, or system, a single system ground at the test site is recommended (see Figure 1). The shield or concentric conductor of the faulted cable is connected to system ground. If this connection is missing, deteriorated, or has been removed, it must be replaced at this time. A safety ground cable must connect the instrument case with system ground. If the test instrument is an HV device, the safety ground cable should be at least a braided or stranded #2 copper cable. Only after the safety ground cable is in place should the test cable be connected to the center conductor and concentric shield; the center conductor-to-ground connection can then be removed. Should a local ground be advisable or required for the test equipment, the case ground must remain connected to the system ground in order to maintain an acceptable single ground potential. All ground connections must be screw-type connections, which cannot accidentally be disconnected.

Copyright Gnerlich, Inc. Used with permission.

Figure 1 Single system ground at test site


6

The numbers in brackets preceded by the letter B correspond to those of the bibliography in Annex A.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

5. Cable system fault characteristics


Cable faults vary, and even similar faults may exhibit different symptoms in different environments, cable systems, cable types, or applications. To be able to more readily diagnose a fault and select the proper operating procedure, cable fault locating can be divided into direct radial distribution and network distribution categories. Cable fault-locating procedures in radial distribution can be tailored to a particular problem and are easily controlled (see Figure 2). In Network Distribution, fault-locating procedures depend on many interrelated parameters that make solving a particular problem more complex.

Cable fault-locating operating environment Radial distribution


Cables are isolated (sectionalized) Cable loop systems with transformers, lightning arrestors, etc. connected

Network distribution
Overall circuit length and number of branches Lumped cable system capacitance

Radial, single conductor cable systems with a few branches

Insulation type Fault resistance

Three conductor submarine, armored, and pipe-type cables

Transformer primary connection

Figure 2 Radial distribution and network distribution categories, which determine cable faultlocating operating procedures.

5.1 Radial distribution


In radial distribution, verifying cable length, presence of transformers in a loop, short or open circuits, and concentric neutral corrosion with a TDR are the recommended diagnostic procedures on which to base the selection of fault-locating tools and methods. It should be the cable fault locators ultimate goal to efficiently restore customer service while maintaining cable and equipment integrity. Procedures for cable fault locating are listed as follows, and techniques for determining the location of the fault are described in Clause 6. a) Cables are isolated (sectionalized) 1) With a TDR, the cable length and the location of splices should be verified. 2) With an insulation resistance tester/ohmmeter, the fault resistance, R, may be measured.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

3) If R < 5 , the distance to the fault can be measured with a TDR, the faults location pinpointed with audio frequency (tone) tracing equipment. 4) If R > 500 , a thumper, HV coupler, and TDR combination may be used to measure the distance to the fault. Acoustic and/or electromagnetic detectors will facilitate the verification of the faults location. 5) If 5 < R < 500 , method d or e (Table 1) may be selected. Preference should be given to the method with the lower test or thump voltage. b) Cable loop with transformers, surge arrester, etc. connected 1) With a TDR, the cable length and cable landmarks, such as cable start, splices, transformers, cable transitions, cable end, etc. should be verified. 2) A thumper, HV coupler, and TDR combination should be used to determine the location of the fault and measure its distance from cable landmarks. 3) The precise location of the fault can be verified with acoustic and/or electromagnetic detectors. c) Radial single conductor cable system with a few branches 1) With a TDR, cable length and cable landmarks, such as cable start, splices, Y (T)-splices, branch ends, cable end, etc. should be verified. 2) A thumper, HV coupler, and TDR combination should be used to determine the location of the fault and its distance from cable landmarks. 3) Branches and the precise location of the fault can be verified with acoustic and/or electromagnetic detectors. d) Three conductor submarine, armored, and pipe-type cables
T

1) Standard techniques i) ii) iii) With a TDR, cable length and cable landmarks, such as cable start, splices, cable transitions, cable end, etc. should be verified. With an insulation resistance tester/ohmmeter, the fault resistance, R, should be measured. If R < 5 , the distance to the fault should be measured with a TDR. The fault location can be verified with audio frequency fault-locating instrumentation, ac or dc current tracers. If R > 500 , a thumper and/or burner, HV coupler, and TDR combination should be used to measure the distance to the fault. The precise fault location can be verified with acoustic and/or electromagnetic instrumentation. If 5 < R < 500 , the fault-locating technique d or e (Table 1) may be used. Preference should be given to the technique that permits locating the fault at a lower test thump or burn voltage. Using a TDR with two or three inputs or a digital TDR will permit comparison of a faulted phase with good phases and thus simplify fault locating. Low- or high-voltage bridges may be used in combination with a TDR to determine the distance to a fault. Low- or high-voltage bridges can be used to determine the distance to a fault on all cables with fault current interrupters in the sheath.

iv)

v)

2) Alternative techniques i) ii) iii)

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

5.2 Network distribution


Network cable systems form the backbone of most three-phase underground distribution systems in areas of high load density and maximum reliability requirements. A network cable system is characterized by circuits with multiple branches and service taps. It is installed within a duct/manhole system. Transformer primaries are connected either directly to the cable via oil-filled termination boxes and preformed elbows, or through sets of disconnect switches. The secondaries of network transformers, fed from multiple primary circuits, are paralleled. Each transformer secondary can be isolated via a network protector. 5.2.1 Safety consideration Network cable systems require mention of several additional safety issues, since the secondaries of transformers are tied to a common bus. With transformer primaries connected in a delta configuration, a primary cable could be energized via a closed network protector due to a faulty master relay within the protector. To avoid backfeeding of transformer primaries and cable, all network protectors must be locked in the open position before connecting fault-locating equipment. After verifying the status of all protectors, the primary cables must be checked for voltage and must be grounded. 5.2.2 Fault-locating parameters

In network distribution, fault-locating efforts often will require more than one fault-locating method. In a specific network, to select the right tool, the following factors should be considered and weighed:
a) The overall circuit length, number of branches, and the number of connected transformers will determine the effectiveness of a fault-locating method. For efficient fault locating with TDR techniques, more than one access point should be available in each network circuit. As a general rule, one access point for every three to four branches is desirable.

b) Direct access to the defective cable is necessary for effective use of TDR, surge and burn arc reflection, surge (current) pulse, and voltage decay techniques. An impedance mismatch between test equipment and test object will limit or prevent the use of TDR techniques. c) The total lumped capacitance of the cable system limits the effective use of surge generators. When using a surge arc reflection method, a surge generator with internal capacitor of 10 times the cable capacitance is necessary. Burn arc reflection with an ac or dc burn set capable of maintaining an arc current of 4 A to 5 A is also very effective in locating a faulted cable section with a TDR.

d) The type of cable insulation restricts the use of burning and dc test voltages. Oil-paper insulated cables often are subjected to burning in order to reduce the fault resistance for ease of identification. Burning of solid dielectrics usually does not result in a reduced fault resistance. More importantly, burning of cables with solid dielectric insulation for relatively short periods of time may lead to explosions; if the insulation ignites, manhole or duct fires can destroy unfaulted and energized cables in the vicinity of the fault. In general, burning should only be applied to paper insulated cables or cables submerged in water. Burning of cable faults should always be monitored with a TDR, thus minimizing burning time and possible damage. e) Transformer primary connections must be considered when selecting a cable fault-locating method in situations where the cables cannot be isolated. Many network circuits utilize deltaconnected transformer primaries, which are permanently connected to the cables. All phases are tied together, causing unwanted paths and reflection points for TDR-type fault-locating equipment. A grounded, unfaulted phase will eliminate the use of fault-locating methods using dc equipment. Grounded wye-connected transformer primaries also will preclude the use of dc fault-locating equipment. Whenever possible, the fault resistance should be measured using an insulation resistance tester/ohmmeter combination.

f)

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

5.2.2.1 Tracer methods The lack of direct access to a faulted cable, a large number of branches, and transformers that cannot be disconnected will not permit the selection of TDR or bridge-based fault-locating methods. Therefore, ac, dc, or pulse (surge) tracing methods are used to identify a faulted cable section. In tracer-type cable fault locations, Walking the Route and entering manholes to locate an audible or electromagnetic signal are necessary. Tracing methods are very popular since they require minimal training. They are, however, manpower- and time-intensive. 5.2.2.2 Terminal methods When direct access to a faulted cable exists and TDR and bridge-type fault-locating techniques are possible, the measured fault resistance value will suggest which fault-locating method(s) to attempt first. Table 1 may be used as a guide for preferred techniques. Table 1 Locating methods for various fault resistance values
Insulation resistance test R < 0.1 M Ohmmeter test 5 < R < 1 k a. N/A b. Comparison and difference methods c. Surge arc reflection d. Burn arc reflection e. Surge pulse method f. Bridge techniques g. N/A R > 0.1 M R > 1 k a. N/A b. Comparison and difference methods c. Surge arc reflection d. N/A e. Surge pulse method f. Bridge techniques g. N/A R < 500 M a. N/A b. N/A c. Surge arc reflection d. N/A e. Surge pulse method f. N/A g. N/A R >> 500 M a. N/A b. Comparison and difference methods c. Surge arc reflection d. N/A e. Surge pulse method f. N/A g. Decay method

R<5 a. TDR Direct b. Comparison and difference methods c. N/A d. N/A e. N/A f. Bridge techniques g. N/A

NOTETDR direct, comparison and difference, surge and burn arc reflection, surge pulse, and decay methods are available in the majority of power utility TDRs and HV couplers. These techniques are not available on telecommunication TDRs. 7

5.3 Cable system faults


A fault can be described as a sparkgap in parallel with a nonlinear resistance. The sparkgap-nonlinear resistance equivalent circuit can be thought of in shunt or in series with a cable section (see Figure 3). Actual faults may be a combination of shunt and series faults.

Adapted from figure copyright Gnerlich, Inc. Used with permission.

Figure 3 Models of shunt (left) and series (right) cable faults


7 Notes in text, tables, and figures of a standard are given for information only and do not contain requirements needed to implement the standard.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

Cable faults may be categorized as series or shunt, short or open circuit, phase-to-ground or phase-to-phase, and nonlinear voltage dependent or nonlinear current dependent. Table 2 lists possible fault types based on their electrical characteristics. Table 2 Cable fault categories based on their electrical characteristics Shunt faults To detect a shunt fault, an insulation resistance test is performed. The cable end remains open-circuited. Short circuit a) Mechanical damage has forced center conductor and concentric into contact. b) Burnt cable insulation; a low resistance, R < 5 , carbon-metal bridge exists between conductor and concentric. c) Evaporated insulation permits a low-resistance path between conductor and concentric. Series faults To detect a series fault, a continuity test is performed. The cable end remains shortcircuited. Open circuit a) Mechanical damage. Concentric, sheath or conductor is severed; separated splice. b) Electrical damage. Cable, joints, or terminations are blown apart.
NOTEThis kind of cable system damage is often caused when sectionalizing via re-closing or re-fusing is practiced.

Nonlinear (voltage dependent) Nonlinear (current dependent) a) Most faults on cables with extruded dielectric a) Concentric neutral corrosion insulation fall into this category; at low voltage, b) Deteriorating splice or termination V < 500 volts, cable exhibits characteristics of an c) Burnt conductor unfaulted cable; at a voltage, V > 500 volts, the cable d) Water-soaked blown-out fault fault flashes over, or the cable fault exhibits the characteristics of a nonlinear voltage-dependent resistance. b) In submerged cable faults, the shunt resistance changes with applied voltage. Open circuit Cable will often hold a dc voltage greater than the conductor-toground voltage. a) Mechanical damage, open termination, or separated splice. b) Through re-closing, conductor is blown apart and the conductor end is electrically sealed off.

6. Cable system fault locating


By eliminating re-closing, re-fusing, and unnecessary or excessive thumping, cost savings will be realized due to reduced stress on cable insulation, cable accessories, transformers, and customer and utility equipment. The following paragraphs describe various cable fault-locating devices and techniques. Various cable fault-locating devices and techniques are described in 6.1 through 6.12.

6.1 Fault-locating preferences chart


To reduce the HV stress on service-aged cables, faults should be diagnosed. Fault-locating techniques that enable fault locating at the lowest possible voltage in the shortest amount of time should be selected. Table 3 lists preferred pre-locating techniques for the most common types of cable faults. Re-closing or re-fusing are not acceptable fault-locating methods.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

Table 3 Preferred pre-locating techniques


Bolted fault, short circuit faults Open conductors, concentric neutral corrosion Oil- or watersoaked faults HV flashover faults, highresistance faults Conductorto-ground faults Very high HV flashover faults, intermittent faults

Conventional TDRs Comparison and difference TDRs Surge arc reflection method Surge pulse reflection method Burn arc reflection method Decay method voltage coupled Bridge methods

TDR and bridge methods permit fault locating with the highest benefit / cost ratio. However, fault locating with TDR and bridge techniques is not possible for all cable installations. Powerful thumpers and ac or dc burnsets inject fault currents into the defective cable system. AC, DC, or pulse (surge) tracing instruments are used to follow the fault current signal to the fault. Fault conditioning, a euphemism for burning the cable fault for hours or days into a low-resistance state, is often required when using current-tracing techniques. Current-tracing methods are quite destructive and may result in cable system fires in the vicinity of the fault.

6.2 Sectionalizing
The cut and try method involves actual cutting or separation of a length of cable. The cut sections are individually tested using a dc hipot or other tests. The method is repeated until a small enough section of cable containing the fault is identified and removed. This is a very crude and costly method. The sectionalizing by re-fusing method presently used on URD loops is very similar to the cut and try method in that fuses and cable are sacrificed. Portions of a cable loop are isolated, and system line-toground voltage is used for testing the remaining cable system section. This method typically results in damage to customer and utility equipment due to switching surges and fault currents. Therefore, this is not a recommended fault-locating method. Rather than closing in on a section of cable in order to determine if it is good or bad, dc testing of the cable section may be performed in which portable dc test sets with several mA of current are used. Also popular is the use of rectified system line-to-ground voltages. In this method, the rectified voltage is applied to the cable to be tested. While the cable charges, a current will flow. The current will stop flowing when the cable has charged. If the cable has a fault, the current continues to flow. However, using rectified system line-to-ground voltages has drawbacks. For example, cable systems with leakage currents comparable to the available current from the rectifier may appear to have a fault when none exists. Furthermore, the method is very time consuming. Since the dc resistance of a transformer is only a few ohms, all transformers have to be disconnected before the test on a piece of cable can be performed. Even

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

though the method is time-consuming and not always reliable, it has been very popular since little personnel training is required. Fault indicators are devices that sense the magnetic field produced by the fault current. They have been used by utilities for many years and can be a great help in pre-locating the section of cable with the fault. A reason that fault indicators are quite popular is again that very little personnel training is required. In addition, fault locating is at a minimum if the section of cable is in a conduit and will categorically be replaced when it is suspected to be defective. A major drawback to the use of fault indicators is cost; not just the installation and maintenance cost, but also the man-hours required interrogating the devices.

6.3 Insulation resistance


An insulation resistance tester/ohmmeter may be used as a diagnostic tool for locating cable faults. At insulation resistance test voltage levels of 500 V to 2500 V, and ohmmeter test voltage levels of 1.5 V to 9 V, a cable fault can be categorized and the effectiveness of a cable fault-locating technique can thus be predicted. In Table 4 and Table 5, cable faults are diagnosed from series resistance (continuity) and shunt resistance measurements. Table 4 Fault diagnosis from series resistance (continuity) measurements R Problem High-resistance shunt fault. R<5 5 < R < 1 M High-resistance shunt fault. Solution Measure fault shunt resistance. Measure fault shunt resistance. A HV fault-locating technique or a bridge technique for three conductor cables must be used. With a TDR, the exact problem shall be determined and the appropriate fault-locating procedure and technique selected. With a TDR, the exact problem shall be determined and the appropriate fault-locating procedure and technique selected.

R > 1 M

Concentric neutral corrosion. Corroded termination or splice. Corroded or burnt conductor. Water soaked, burnt cable section. Sealed off conductor. Separated splice or termination. Missing concentric or sheath.

Table 5 Fault diagnosis from shunt resistance measurements R R > 1 M Problem High-resistance shunt fault. Solution A HV fault-locating technique such as arc reflection, surge pulse, or voltage decay must be used.

Disintegrated concentric. With a TDR, the exact problem shall be determined Separated splice. and the appropriate fault-locating procedure and Open conductor. technique selected. With an ohmmeter the fault resistance, R, shall be measured. R < 1 M Solid shunt fault. A HV fault-locating technique or a bridge technique R > 500 for three conductor cables shall be used. With a TDR, the exact problem shall be determined 5 < R < 500 Destroyed and burnt cable section. Conductive path between conductors. and the appropriate fault-locating procedure and Water soaked fault. technique selected. Bolted fault. With a TDR, the exact problem shall be determined R<5 Grounds connected. and the appropriate fault-locating procedure and Transformer connected. technique selected.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

6.4 Time domain reflectometry


Time domain reflectometers (TDRs) transmit short-time-duration pulses into the cable to be tested. The elapsed time of a transmitted pulse traveling the entire length of a cable and the pulse reflections produced by deviations from the homogenous structure of the cable are displayed on a display screen. Any reflecting surfaces, cable start, joints, splices, transformers, faults, changes in cable type, as well as cable end, are shown in time sequence. When the propagation velocity of a pulse through a cable is programmed into a TDR, the distance between cable start and any discontinuity or irregularity can be determined from the reflection-time display. A TDRs digital readout provides distance to the fault, as well as cable length measurements. 6.4.1 Limitations to time domain reflectometry The magnitude of the pulse reflections produced by deviations from the homogeneous structure of the cable are determined by the reflection coefficient shown in Equation (1): R = (Z - Zo ) / (Z + Zo ) (1)

R is resistance; Zo is the cables characteristic impedance and Z an impedance value electrically describing cable start, joints, splices, faults, changes in cable type, as well as cable end. For shunt cable faults on concentric cables where the fault impedance Z is in parallel to the characteristic impedance, Zo, the reflection coefficient derives from Equation (1) to be as follows in Equation (2): R = (- Zo ) / (2Z + Zo ) (2)

Shunt cable faults between center conductor and concentric with resistance values much greater than the characteristic cable impedance have small reflections [see Equation (2)], and cannot be distinguished from reflections of naturally-occurring cable irregularities. 6.4.2 Recommendations for time domain reflectometry TDRs make it possible to see into a cable to locate cable faults and identify cable landmarks such as splices, transformers, joints, and cable transitions, in addition to locating the cable start and the cable end. TDRs are well-suited to locate series cable faults such as broken conductors, concentric neutral corrosion, separated splices, sealed off cable ends, etc. TDRs may also be used to locate shunt cable faults with resistance values of less than ten times the characteristic impedance of the cable to be tested. With a TDR alone, it is not possible to locate faults with resistance values greater than ten times the characteristic impedance, or high-voltage and intermittent cable faults. Auxiliary equipment and techniques must be used to convert high resistance and intermittent shunt cable faults temporarily into low-resistance (flash over) faults, which can be located with a TDR or digital oscilloscope. The techniques, often referred to as high-voltage radar, are as follows: a) c) Surge arc reflection Surge pulse (current coupled) method b) Burn arc reflection d) Decay (voltage coupled) method For multi-conductor cable systems, differential high-voltage cable radar techniques are also available.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

6.5 Capacitive discharge (thumping)


Thumper, capacitive discharge device, and HV surge generator are alternate terms for an HV device generating an audible thump at the location of a cable fault. The most frequently used fault-locating tool for shielded power cables has been the thumper. A HV capacitor is charged to an HV dc voltage. The energy stored in the capacitor [as defined in Equation (3)] is discharged periodically via an electronically-operated or manually-set spark gap into the faulty cable. W=CV (3)

where: W = energy C = capacitor V = voltage This capacitive discharge generates a traveling voltage surge between center and concentric conductor. When the voltage surge exceeds the fault breakdown voltage, a flashover occurs. The fault location may be verified by tracing the electro-magnetic signal generated by the arcing and /or by listening for the acoustical signalthe thumpassociated with every flashover. Thumpers come with a wide variety of features. For cable fault-locating, thumpers should be selected by operating voltage range and available energy at a particular operating voltage. To reduce the use of unnecessary high voltage and excessive energy when fault locating, preference should be given to controlled energy thumpers. These devices feature a variable HV capacitance so that the thumping voltage can be set to within 2 kV to 3 kV of the fault flashover voltage without loss of energy at the fault. 6.5.1 Limitations to capacitive discharge A thumper does not give the location of a fault. To find it, the entire cable length has to be searched. Since cable fault characteristics, cable construction, and soil condition greatly influence the thumps loudness, the fault location can easily be missed. When concentric neutral corrosion exists, finding the fault location is haphazard at best. 6.5.2 Recommendations for capacitive discharge A thumper should rarely be used as a stand-alone cable fault-locating device. It is recommended to prelocate the fault location with a thumper-TDR combination. Pinpointing is then accomplished quickly and efficiently with acoustic and/or electromagnetic instruments.

6.6 Burning (fault conditioning)


Using an ac or dc burn set of sufficient voltage and current output, a high-resistance or intermittent fault can temporarily or permanently be converted into a low-resistance fault. First, arcing is induced at the fault point, then current flow is maintained, until through charring or metal fusion, a permanent low-resistance path at the fault location, exists. If burning is continued, the cable may finally burn apart. 6.6.1 Limitations to burning The change from lead-paper to solid dielectric-type cables and modern splicing technology has imposed limitations on burning. Space charge build-up and multiple flashover during burning may activate dormant faults or generate new defects. The benefits and disadvantages associated with burning in order to generate a short or open circuit should be carefully weighed. There is a high risk of fire damage to the cable and equipment, and appropriate safety precautions must be taken.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

6.6.2 Recommendations for burning While burning was originally used to permanently change high-resistance and intermittent cable faults into short or open circuits that could then be pre-located with TDRs or bridges, and pinpointed with acoustical, coincidence, electro-magnetic, or current or voltage gradient-type pinpointers, todays applications for burning should be limited as follows (taking appropriate safety precautions): a) When burning is used on lead-paper, pipe-type, water-soaked, or submarine cables, a TDR should be connected across the cable (see 6.8). Monitoring the burning of the cable with a TDR will pre-locate the distance to the fault at the instant the fault breaks down, thus minimizing burning time and current.

b) On large capacitance cables, burn sets may be used to quickly charge the cable until it arcs over and the cable fault can be pre-located with the Decay or Surge Pulse methods. c) On all cable types, burning may be used to reduce the breakdown voltage of a fault to within the range of a thumper.

Additional applications for burn sets are as follows: Ground fault detection of pressurized oil-filled cables or pipes, cable identification, and tracing.

6.7 Surge arc reflection


Surge arc reflection permits locating of faults in power cables at lowest possible HV levels with minimum risk to serviceable cable. With a surge generator, high-resistance or intermittent cable faults can temporarily be converted into faults having resistance values much less than the characteristic impedance. Combining a TDR with the surge generator permits locating of the temporarily low-resistance faults. A coupler isolates the TDR from the HV pulses and ensures that the high-frequency test pulses sent into the cable by the TDR are not short-circuited by the surge generator. During the first phase of the measurement, the TDR pulses are not reflected by the high resistance or intermittent fault, and only cable start, joints, splices, transformers, irregularities, and cable end are visible. In the second phase, the surge generator is switched on. The surge pulse amplitude is made just high enough to break down the fault and generate arcing at the fault location. The TDR pulse will be reflected by the arc and an image of the temporary low-resistance fault, a negative deflection, will indicate the fault location on the display. Once arcing ceases, the fault reverts back to its high-resistance state. A comparison of the cable with and without HV applied is observed. During the intervals between arcing, when the surge generator is in the charge mode, the reflected image of the cable, start to end, is displayed with all inherent cable landmarks. During arcing, the high-resistance fault is converted to a low-resistance state and the negative deflection is overlaid on the low voltage display. The fault location is easily determined, not only as a distance in feet, yards. or meters from the beginning or the end of the cable, but also in relation to the other landmark reflection points. 6.7.1 Limitations to surge arc reflection Arc reflection cannot be used where a flashover between conductors cannot be established (conductor to ground faults). Cable faults on PILC cables and faults under water may have intermittent fault breakdowns, and that may be difficult to capture with a TDR. Long cables with very lossy insulation, and radial cable systems with many branches, may absorb the reflected TDR pulses and the temporary low-resistance state of the fault cannot be observed. Surge arc reflection cannot be used on cables with fault current interrupters in the sheath (sheath gaps). 6.7.2 Recommendations for surge arc reflection For cables with extruded dielectric insulation, the application of surge arc reflection is, in general, not limited by cable length or type, the number of transformers in a loop, or by cable operating voltage range. Since surge arc reflection is the simplest and quickest of the HV TDR techniques, it should be tried first.

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IEEE Std 1234-2007 IEEE Guide for Fault-Locating Techniques on Shielded Power Cable Systems

6.8 Burn arc reflection


Burn arc reflection is frequently used on HV cable faults where a surge-generated flashover cannot be observed with a TDR. These faults frequently occur on lead-paper, submarine, and water- or oil-soaked cables, and pressurized oil-filled pipes. Arcing is induced at the fault point and a sufficient current flow, usually 4 A to 5 A, is then maintained to sustain arcing. The arcing is monitored with a TDR, which is connected to the cable through a HV coupler. The distance to the fault is measured using standard TDR techniques. Current tracing is usually used to verify the location of the fault. 6.8.1 Limitations to burn arc reflection The burn set must be capable of ionizing the fault and maintaining a burn current of at least 4 A to 5 A. 6.8.2 Recommendations for burn arc reflection The application of burn arc reflection is an excellent adjunct to surge arc reflection. Conditioning of a cable fault may be monitored and the distance to the fault recorded when the fault reaches a low-resistance state. The time required to identify an approximate fault location is in general less than five minutes.

6.9 Surge pulse reflection


The surge pulse method effectuates the location of high-resistance and intermittent cable faults. It is a surge generator technique and not a TDR technique, even though TDRs are frequently used as reflection-time display terminals. The surge generator sends a HV pulse into the faulty cable where it produces arcing at the fault location. Part of the HV pulse energy is reflected to the cable start where it is partially reflected back into the cable by a choke. The signal bounces back and forth until all its energy is dissipated. This process can be observed by coupling a synchronized monitoring instrument, such as a digital oscilloscope or TDR, to the cable. The spacing of the reflections displayed on a screen is a measurement of the distance to the fault. 6.9.1 Limitations to surge pulse reflection It should be understood that the surge pulse technique has nothing in common with the TDR technique. A TDR pulse width may be as narrow as 10 ns, providing excellent resolution and accuracy of the measurement. Surge pulse widths are determined by the following: a) the surge generator b) the characteristic impedance of the cable, and c) the fault The accuracy of the measurement often depends on the skill of the operator. A major limitation of the surge pulse method lies in the methods inability to distinguish between naturally occurring reflection points such as Y-splices, cable transitions, etc., and faults. Furthermore, reflection points such as splices, joints, transformers, and cable transitions, which could assist in the identification of the fault location, are lost. Further complicating factors: Surge pulse is inadequate when concentric neutral corrosion exists, or when fault current interrupters are installed in the cables sheath. 6.9.2 Recommendations for surge pulse reflection The surge pulse method is a good back-up technique for surge arc reflection. It should be used on cable faults where an arc between conductor and concentric cannot be established (splice to ground faults), and on long and highly-attenuating cable runs where a TDR pulse has insufficient energy to produce a reflection-time display.

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6.10 Decay method


The decay method permits locating of high-resistance and intermittent cable faults where the fault breakdown voltage is greater than the maximum available surge generator voltage, or where the cable capacitance approaches or exceeds a thumpers capacitance. A dc test set or burner will continuously charge the cable until the fault arcs over. At each arc-over, a traveling wave is generated, which reflects back and forth between cable start and fault until its energy is dissipated. This process can be observed by coupling a synchronized monitoring instrument, such as a digital oscilloscope or a TDR, to the cable. The spacing of the reflections displayed on a screen is a measurement of the distance to the fault. 6.10.1 Limitations to decay method The fault breakdown voltage and cable capacitance must be sufficiently high to produce a good flashover at the fault. 6.10.2 Recommendations for decay method The decay method should be used on cable faults where an arc between conductor and concentric cannot be established with a thumper. When the energy released at the arc-over is sufficiently high (400 J to 1000 J), the cable fault can also be pinpointed acoustically. On three conductor cables, all three phases may be connected in parallel to increase the total fault-locating capacitance.

6.11 Bridge techniques


Bridge techniques are one of the earliest forms of cable fault location. They have been very successful in locating faults on PILC cables where faults had been conditioned to be either an open or a bolted fault. Various bridges are in use today. A bridge is usually known by the name of the person who invented it or used it first. For example, one well-known fault-locating bridge is the Murray Loop. In order to use a bridge fault-locating technique, fault resistance and continuity must be measured. a) With an insulation resistance tester, the conductor-to-sheath (ground) or the conductor-toconductor resistance is measured. If this resistance is in the hundreds of megohms, the fault must be conditioned with a burn-set to lower the fault resistance value, preferably in the ohm or low K-ohm range.

b) With an ohmmeter, the resistance of the loop created by the faulty conductor and a good conductor connected together at the far end is measured. If cable continuity and a low fault resistance exist, a bridge can be used to measure the distance to the fault. If the continuity test shows an open circuit, a TDR shall be used to locate the fault.
NOTEIn the past, a capacitance bridge may have been used for open circuit faults instead of a TDR.

6.11.1 DC bridge techniques The Murray Loop measures the distance to a low-resistance fault by joining one or two good conductors with a faulted conductor, applying a dc voltage to the conductors, and adjusting two variable resistors until a galvanometer placed across the joined conductors is nulled. From the known cable lengths and a ratio of adjusted variable resistors, the distance to the fault can be calculated.

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6.11.2 Limitations to bridge techniques Even though modern fault-locating bridges often are microprocessor-based and calculate and display the distance to the fault in feet or as a percentage of the total cable length, it should be understood that the measurements are often time-consuming. Special attention must be given to the following factors: a) All bridge methods require at least one good conductor in addition to the faulted cable, unless the measurement can be performed on both ends simultaneously. Contact resistances and connecting wire resistance must be much less than the conductor resistance. Stray dc and ac currents in the ground and on the cable will affect the measurement. An unstable fault resistance will affect the measurement.

b) Access to both cable ends is required. c)

d) Variations in resistance of the faulted conductor must be considered. e) f)

g) The total conductor length, not the above ground cable length, must be known. h) Multiple faults on the faulted core will distort the measurement. An effective pre-locating method optimizes the amount of time and work required to locate a fault or isolate a faulted cable span. 6.11.3 Recommendations for bridge techniques Bridge techniques are excellent fault-locating tools after TDR-based techniques have been exhausted. If the fault is a bolted fault or the fault resistance is low, a low-voltage bridge should be used. If the fault has a high-resistance value to ground, then a) a high-voltage bridge can be used to establish current flow and overcome the high-resistance value of the fault, or b) a high voltage is used to convert the fault to lowresistance state. 6.11.4 Capacitance ratio techniques The capacitance ratio method can be used to locate an open conductor fault when a TDR method is not available. The capacitance of the cable from one terminal to the fault is measured. The ratio of faulted cable capacitance to the capacitance of an identical unfaulted cable, multiplied by the total cable length, determines the distance to the fault. Making a second measurement from the second end fences the fault in and improves the accuracy of the measurement. 6.11.5 Ratiometric voltage division techniques Ratiometric voltage division is used on three conductor cables with sheath current interrupter gaps or on low- or high-pressure oil filled cables, where the use of high-voltage thump and burn equipment is restricted in order to minimize contamination. The faulted phase is identified with an insulation resistance tester. A current is injected into the faulted phase via one of the good conductors. The second good conductor is the voltage-sensing lead, connected to the far end. The ratio of the voltages measured at the near and far ends of the faulted cable, multiplied by the total cable length, yields the distance to the fault.

6.12 Tracing/locating/pinpointing
When tracing or locating a faulted cable, or pinpointing a fault, a transmitter sends a signal into the cable. A receiver senses the amplitude, frequency, changes in magnitude, or response of the transmitted signal. A
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skilled person can interpret the measurements and identify cables, locate cable routes and depth of cables, and pinpoint cable fault locations. Many different signals are used. They are classified as high voltage or low voltage and audio frequency (tone), radio frequency or the signals can be continuous, pulsed, or highvoltage surges. The detection methods can be grouped into galvanically and magnetically coupled, and acoustic methods, as well as their combinations. Many methods are available and their successful use most often depends on the operators skill. The principles of the major methods are described in 6.12.1 through 6.12.5. 6.12.1 AC and DC current tracing Tracing methods using ac or pulsed dc currents may well be the oldest cable fault-locating techniques. A low or high voltage, ac, dc, or surge voltage source is connected between the faulted cable and earth ground. Current will flow through the conductor, the fault, and back to the source through the parallel combination of outer cable conductor and ground. An antenna placed directly above the cable will sense a magnetic field, which is proportional to the magnitude of the current flowing toward the fault. Once the fault point is passed, a drop in conductor current is detected. In a duct/manhole system, the method is excellent for verifying a faulted cable span. A variation is the sheath pick method. A sensitive instrument (galvanometer) is used to measure the direction and magnitude of the sheath current. A reversal of the sheath currents direction frames the fault. The tracing current methods are very often used for long feeder circuits with multiple branches, and when transformers cannot be isolated, the ac or dc current sources are usually quite large, and the sensing devices specialized. 6.12.2 Audio and radio frequency methods Audio (tone) and radio frequency tracing methods are very similar to ac or dc current tracing methods. A frequency generator, typically in the range of 60 Hz to 200 kHz, is connected between cable conductor and concentric. A current path for the signal is provided by the conductor, fault, and concentric. Additional paths exist through the earth. The magnetic field generated by the injected current is detected with a tuned, directional antenna. Depending on the polarization of the antenna with respect to the cable route and cable, either a null or peak signal is detected directly above the cable. The measurements of signal changes, especially in the null reading, are used for splice locating, concentric neutral corrosion detection, and the location of faults that will not thump. 6.12.3 Sheath fault location Sheath fault location, earth gradient, and voltage gradient methods of fault locating can only be used on direct buried cables. A dc source, often a thumper, hipot, or burner, forces a current through the fault and surrounding ground back to the source. The current through the ground establishes an earth potential, which can be measured with a voltmeter. The voltmeter indication changes polarity when one walks beyond the fault. When the voltmeter probes are positioned at equal distances from the fault, the indication is zero. 6.12.4 Acoustic methods Turning the thumper on and listening for the thump in the ground is the most popular pinpointing technique. Traffic cones, shovel handles, stethoscopes, etc. have been used when searching for the elusive pop in the ground. Geophones and directional acoustic detectors facilitate fault pinpointing and are preferred listening devices. 6.12.5 Coincidence methods A capacitor (thumper) is discharged into a faulted cable. An electromagnetic detector traces the thumper pulse down the cable. An acoustic detector detects the thump caused by the flashover. In the vicinity of the fault, the flashover is used to start a timer, and the thump to stop it. The measured elapsed time is an
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indication of the distance to the fault. The operator is directly above the fault when the elapsed time between flashover and thump is at minimum.

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Annex A (informative) Bibliography


[B1] Accredited Standards Committee C2-2007, National Electrical Safety Code (NESC). 8 [B2] Almonte, R. L., URD Cable Fault Locating for the 1990s, Forty-Second Annual Power Distribution Conference, 10 24 1989, Austin, TX. [B3] Bascom, III, E. C., Von Dollen, D. W., Ng, H.W., Computerized Underground Cable Fault Location Expertise, Transactions of the T&D Conference, Chicago, IL, April 1994. [B4] EPRI TR-105502, Underground Cable Fault Location Reference Manual, Project 7913-03, 1995. [B5] Gnerlich, H. R., Underground Distribution & Transmission: Cable System Diagnostic Services and Thumper (Capacitive Discharge Device) Training. Cable Fault Locating, Cable & Cable System Testing Training Course. Bethlehem, PA: Gnerlich, Inc., 1993. [B6] Gnerlich, H. R., Underground Distribution & Transmission: Time Domain Reflectometer (Cable Radar). Cable Fault Locating, Cable & Cable System Testing Training Course. Bethlehem, PA: Gnerlich, Inc., 1993. [B7] IEEE Std 4-1995, IEEE Standard Techniques for High-Voltage Testing. 9 [B8] IEEE Std 80-2000, IEEE Guide for Safety in AC Substation Grounding. [B9] IEEE 100, The Authoritative Dictionary of IEEE Standards Terms, Seventh Edition, New York, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. [B10] IEEE Std 141-1986, IEEE Recommended Practice for Electric Power Distribution for Industrial Plants. (IEEE Red Book). [B11] IEEE Std 400-1999, IEEE Guide for Making High-Direct-Voltage Tests on Power Cable Systems in the Field. [B12] Kuffel, E., Zaengl, W. S., High Voltage Engineering: Fundamentals, Pergamon Press, 1988.

8 The NESC is available from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331, USA (http://standards.ieee.org/). 9 IEEE publications are available from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA (http://standards.ieee.org/).

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Annex B (informative) First-response cable system fault location in URD


First-response cable fault location is a new concept for trouble-shooting URD loops. It uses a selfcontained, portable, battery operated TDR/thumper device which enables technicians to respond to a reported outage, isolate a faulted cable span, or locate a fault with one or two capacitive discharge surges, and quickly restore electrical service. In a typical URD power outage, part of a development is without electrical service. Any number of transformers may be affected by the outage. To explain the method of first-response cable fault location see Figure B.1. Assume transformer 1 is the most convenient access point at which the test equipment can be connected. The cable end at transformer 5 is parked. Assume that a cable fault exists at the cable end either below the transformer or in the elbow. Transformers and lightning arrestors need not be disconnected in the cable system to be tested.

Copyright Gnerlich, Inc. Used with permission.

Key: 552 ft = 168.25 m 578 ft = 176.17 m 378 ft = 115.21 m

295 ft = 89.92 m 1330 ft = 405.38 m 1508 ft = 459.64 m

1803 ft = 549.55 m 2698 ft = 822.35 m 264 ft = 80.47 m

Figure B.1Example of a TDR display of a faulted URD power cable loop section
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Using an arc reflection technique, the cable system signature is recorded; the open cable end appears as a positive pulse deflection. A single HV pulse is now discharged into the cable. When the fault flashes over, the TDR will record the flashover as a temporary short circuit to ground; the typical signature of a short circuit is a negative pulse deflection. A comparison of low voltage and high voltage traces indicates the location of the fault where the two signatures depart from each other. The distance to the fault is displayed by the TDR as 549.55 m (1803 ft). On the primary side, transformers act as very large shunt impedance with respect to the HV surge, and do not interfere with the measurement. On the secondary side, the transformed surge voltage will be small in comparison to the nominal voltage. In first-response cable fault location, customer service is restored in a short time with minimum man-hours and the least amount of stress on customer and utility equipment. Checking fault indicators, isolating transformers, and disconnecting lightning arrestors is unnecessary. A faulted cable section or the fault can be identified with one or two thumps. Cable section replacement or fault repair can be performed when work schedules permit.

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Annex C (informative) Fault location in network feeders


C.1 Fault tracing
Tracing or pulsed currents along cable routes towards a fault require access to the cable along the cable route. Manholes and vaults have to be entered and cables identified, which is a time-consuming process. Typically, measurements are made on a shielded cable in front of and behind a ground bond. A current coupler placed around the shielded cable measures the sum of conductor and sheath currents; a cable sheath shunt measures the amount of sheath current. By comparing the conductor and sheath current measurement with the shunt sheath current measurement, the field operators conclude they have not yet reached the fault location or they have already passed it. Tracing capacitive (thumper) discharges or fault flashover along the cable route towards the fault can sometimes be done from the surface. An electromagnetic detector with digital signal processing instrumentation is used to predict the possible existence and probable location of the fault. When a network feeder fault condition exists, the field operator calibrates the test set with respect to available thumper discharge or fault flashover above the cable route in the substation vicinity. From the feeder map, the operator determines the location of the various feeder branches. Measurements are then made in the vicinity of the Y (T) branch points. A comparison of the branch point measurements with the original calibration measurement determines if the fault is ahead or behind, or if the operator has chosen the wrong branch. Good feeder bonding and grounding are necessary for this method to work. In addition, the cables cannot be in metallic ducts, and the thumper capacitance must be large compared to the feeder capacitance for the method to work.

C.2 TDR-Assisted fault location


In order to use TDR-assisted cable fault location on network feeders, it is essential that an optimum impedance match exists between HV test cable, and the faulted cable to be tested. Before using the TDR/thumper/burner combination for fault-locating network feeder circuits, base line feeder signatures should be recorded with the TDR in order to establish hook-up requirements, propagation velocities, and network feeder landmarks such as Y (T)-splices and various cable ends. Figure C.1 shows an example.

Copyright Gnerlich, Inc. Used with permission.

Key: 2374 ft = 723.6 m 2910 ft = 886.97 m

10 547 ft = 3214.73 m 5717 ft = 742.54 m

258 ft = 78.64 m

Figure C.1TDR signature of a feeder circuit


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A good impedance match at the hook-up point allows the TDR pulse to enter and exit the cable to be tested. Four splice signatures are clearly visible. One Y (T)-splice is identified 723.6 m (2374 ft) from the hook-up point, and a second Y (T)-splice is identified at 886.97 m (2910 ft). The furthest distance on the feeder, 1 742.54 m (5717 ft), is verified by opening and short-circuiting a cable end. Should a failure occur on this feeder section, it can be reasonably assumed that the fault can be located using a TDR technique. The prerecorded cable signature can be made available to the fault locator as an addition to the feeder map.
NOTETraining courses, manufacturers application notes, and TDR operating manuals may be consulted for impedance matching when fault-locating shielded power cable systems.

In Figure C.2, an open cable end is visible at 2666.09 m (8747 ft). A 12 kV thumper discharge into the cable causes a fault flashover at approximately 1554.18 m (5099 ft) from the hook-up point. Since the location of a Y (T)-splice at 1328.01 m (4357 ft) from the hook-up site is known, the distance to the fault is measured as 224.94 m (738 ft) from the Y (T)-splice location. The exact fault location will be verified with electromagnetic, acoustic, or coincidence locators.

Copyright Gnerlich, Inc. Used with permission.

Key: 738 ft = 224.94 m 4357 ft = 1328.01 m

1090 ft = 332.23 m 8747 ft = 2666.09 m 232 ft = 70.71 m

9484 ft = 2890.72 m 5099 ft = 1554.18 m

Figure C.2TDR signature of a fault flashover in a network feeder circuit

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Annex D (informative) Fault location on cable systems with concentric neutral corrosion
When concentric neutral corrosion is suspected in a cable system, a TDR signature of the cable will help establish the severity and extent of the corrosion problem.

Copyright Gnerlich, Inc. Used with permission.

Key: 307 ft = 93.57 m 69 ft = 21.03 m

183 ft = 55.78 m 266 ft = 81.08 m 244 ft = 74.37 m

1247 ft = 380.09 m 573 ft = 174.65 m

Figure D.1Cable signature of a cable system with transformers, splice and concentric neutral corrosion In Figure D.1, two areas of concentric neutral corrosion can be seen. In the cable section between transformer 1 and transformer 2, the corrosion seems negligible; a splice at 93.57 m (307 ft) and transformer 2 at 174.65 m (573 ft) can be identified. Between transformer 1 and transformer 2, a cable fault could quickly be located with a thumper/TDR technique. This is not so in the cable section between transformer 2 and transformer 3. Concentric neutral corrosion is severe. Transformer 3 is not visible in the reflectogram. A thumper/TDR technique may work if the fault is within 55.78 m (183 ft) from transformer 2, but most probably not if the fault is beyond 81.08 m (266 ft) from transformer 2. Therefore, the faultlocating equipment should now be moved to the transformer 3 location to establish the extent of corrosion from transformer 3 towards transformer 2. If no flashover fault can be recorded between conductor and remaining concentric, it must be assumed that the fault discharges into the surrounding earth. Audio (tone) frequency tracing and step voltage techniques may be required to locate the fault. Fault excavation based solely on acoustic measurements is not recommended.

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Annex E (informative) Recommended minimum of fault-locating tools

It is recommended that, at a minimum, personnel should have the following fault-locating tools: Cable fault locator consisting of: Digital TDR with cable signature storage HV coupler Thumper Insulation resistance /continuity tester Cable tracer and locator Electromagnetic/acoustic listening device Measuring wheel

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