The utilization of power cables is increasing with the development of renewable energy and the maintenance replacement of old overhead power lines. Therefore, effective monitoring and accurate fault location for power cables are very important for the sake of a stable power supply.
The recent technologies for power cable diagnosis and temperature monitoring system are described including their intrinsic limitations for cable health assessment. Power cable fault location methods are reviewed with two main categories: off-line and on-line data based methods.
As a diagnostic and fault location approach, a new passive methodology is introduced. This methodology is based on analyzing the resonant frequencies of the transfer function between the input and output of the power cable system. The equivalent pi model is applied to the resonant frequency calculation for the selected underground power cable transmission system.
The characteristics of the resonant frequencies are studied by analytical derivations and PSCAD simulations. It is found that the variation of load magnitudes and change of positive power factors (i.e., inductive loads) do not affect resonant frequencies significantly, but there is considerable movement of resonant frequencies under change of negative power factors (i.e., capacitive loads).
Power cable fault conditions introduce new resonant frequencies in accordance with fault positions. Similar behaviors of the resonant frequencies are shown in a transformer (TR) connected power cable system with frequency shifts caused by the TR impedance.
The resonant frequencies can be extracted by frequency analysis of power signals and the inherent noise in these signals plays a key role to measure the resonant frequencies. Window functions provide an effective tool for improving resonant frequency discernment. The frequency analysis is implemented on noise laden PSCAD simulation signals and it reveals identical resonant frequency characteristics with theoretical studies.
Finally, the noise levels of real voltage and current signals, which are acquired from an operating power plant, are estimated and the resonant frequencies are extracted by applying window functions, and these results prove that the resonant frequency can be used as an assessment for the internal changes in power cable parameters such as defects and faults.