Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Bourgeois, Edit

Second Advisor

Alciatore, Henri

Third Advisor

Jilkov, Vesselin


Power system fault detection is conventionally achieved using current and potential measurements. An alternate and unconventional form of protective relaying is feasible using rigid bus conductor motion as the means of detection. The research presented focuses on the detection of power system faults using visual displacement of conductor spans. Substation rigid bus conductor motion is modeled using dual spring-mass systems for accurate representation of conductor response to electromagnetic forces generated during system faults. Bundled rigid conductors have advantages including detection independent of system load currents and improved ability to detect polyphase and single phase faults. The dynamic motion of the conductors during the fault is optically monitored with a laser detection system. Timeovercurrent characteristics are derived for the application of fault detection. The response time of the conductor detector system is slower than conventional relays due to the natural frequencies of the conductor span limiting the speed of its displacement. This response time makes the fault detection system using conductor displacement an ideal candidate for a backup relay in power system protection schemes.


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