Mid-South Synergy Electric Cooperative (MSEC) avoided a significant outage and reduced other risks, including potential wildfire ignition, by using Distribution Fault Anticipation (DFA) technology to discover a detached conductor lying directly on a wooden crossarm. Conventional technologies did not alert MSEC to the problem.
MSEC is one of seven utility companies participating in the Texas Power Line-Caused Wildfire Mitigation project, a field demonstration supported by the Texas legislature. As part of that effort, MSEC has instrumented ten circuits, primarily long, rural circuits, with DFA technology. Each is fitted with a single, substation-installed DFA device, which detects faults, failures, and other events along the circuit’s length and automatically reports them to a central master station server computer for access by personnel.
Latent power line conditions can cause recurring faults. Some such conditions are influenced by weather conditions, such as wind and moisture, and cause faults only intermittently. Such conditions are difficult to discover with conventional technologies and can exist for days or weeks without notice.