Fault Passage Indicators (FPIs) are devices used in distribution networks to detect where faults occur. These devices are typically attached to overhead lines to measure if a fault has occurred in the downstream direction. FPIs are generally classified into two types: non-communicable and communicable devices. Non-communicable FPIs do not support external communication and will only provide an on-site physical alarm by blinking a red light. Communicable FPIs, on the other hand, can provide an on-site physical alarm and also send a message to a SCADA system. However, the message sent is typically limited to notifying the SCADA system that a fault has occurred between FPI devices, without providing detailed information on the fault’s location or type.
In contrast, Safegrid’s Intelligent Grid SystemTM (IGS) takes FPI technology to the next level by using modern IoT sensors and cloud system-approach The IGS system’s sensors sends data on grid events and measurements to the cloud, where powerful analytical tools are used to continuously monitor and analyze the grid’s performance and condition. The IGS system can accurately locate faults to within 100 meters (330ft) and identify the exact fault type, such as an earth fault or short circuit.
Knowing the exact location of faults enables operational personnel to quickly navigate to and fix the issue, resulting in reduced costs and downtime. The IGS system’s fast fault location identification and minimized outage times improve customer satisfaction and operational economics. Furthermore, the system’s modern data science tools enable preventive maintenance features, such as identifying cable insulation failures in advance. This information can help network operators move from time-based maintenance plans to condition-based maintenance plans.