Underground Cable Fault Detection


Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Download PDF



Things are changing as the technology is getting advanced. So one can also understand the importance of electrical underground cables to be laid underground instead of being laid as overhead lines, specially in urban areas. This is considered to be a more efficient and effective way of transmission which occupies less space.But when any fault occurs in the underground cable, then problem arises to detect the exact location of the fault during the process of repairing. The existing methods follow some algorithms to identify the location of the faults.

The proposed which comprises of current sensors, Arduino UNO and Wifi model which creates pathway between the assembled hardware and internet so that real time data can be serially communicated towards server along with this everything becomes smart and interconnected with the help of IOT (internet of things) those real time data can be retrieved in laptops or smartphones from the server.Meanwhile by using effective platform provided by IoT any one can retrieve information whenever they required. By implementing the proposed system life of the cable will also get increased because after implementing the system the supply transmission of the power can be stopped till the fault gets repaired and through this the unnecessary losses which are developed though the leakage of current can be avoided. Keywords : Electrical cable, current sensors, of Wi-Fi modem, of IoT (internet of things).

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price


As it is known that it is very difficult to find the exact faulty location manually in urban areas, as it suddenly affects the efficiency of the cable due to losses occurred. Till now many techniques have already been implemented in order to detect cable faults. But the problem which came up is how to detect fault in cable wire when it is under ground, and how to access or retrieve those data related to faulty location whenever it is required .In order to fill these gaps, the proposed system detects the exact location of the fault and through the means of Wi-Fi modem its serially communicated towards server. Up till now many techniques have come up to provide a solution for these problems by differet researchers upto some extent. In one of the paper by K.Hasan, says that-failure and degrading of air craft wiring is a big concern which could further lead to fire and smoke because of arcing .

But the proposed technique based on TDR ,in which train of pulses are generated in order to detect the fault. Till now electrosurgical being a one of the major problem for the researchers in one of the paper proposed Robert.d.Gross, says that a problem of an electrosurgical grounding which lead to a severe burn was reduced at some extent through a technique proposed of electrosurgical grounding pad which consist of a temperature sensor and alarm.With the help of temperature sensor faulty location is being caught before it started producing burn. On the other hand alarm detects the faulty location with problem and alerts the operator in a control room about the burn.

The problems and the techniques discussed above were the best way of dealing with the problem only when considered in order to alert the personnel, what if along with the alerting about the faulty location a proper data about that location and the fault and serially communicating the data towards the server from where the information can be retrieved through IOT (Internet of things) is maintained.When discussing about the term IoT, it is the best way of mitigating any problem as through this all objects become interconnected smartly.Through previous researches a conclusion was made that when underground fault is talked about it really becomes a tough job. So in this proposed system, current sensor, that has to be placed along with the underground cable which after detecting fault will serially send the data towards the server with the help of Wi-Fi modem from where information can be retrieved through IoT ,is used.


Various methods came in existence in order to detect underground fault or fault in cable wire. Some of them are as follows: Aurthur C .Westrom stated a method in which a chirped pulse stream are being injected just after the fault established in the wire.With respect to delay time between sending and reflected pulses certain calculations were made by some correlation process which was designed specially to eliminate the effect of noise caused by voltage arcing which thus provided an accurate calculation of the faulty location. Wei-Jen Lee stated that large amount of heat and gases can be generated in some circumstances of arcing fault in underground cables.

The decomposed gases lead to fire and explode when they settled to the end of the duct of the cable.By collecting certain information and developing few algorithms he tried to solve the calculation in order to examine and get the data of the faulty location. IoT (Internet of Things) makes the world exciting. Now days everything is converged towards wireless technologies from where IoT has evolved. Y. J. Fan says that the term IoT it is the best way of mitigating any problem as through this all object become interconnected and smart.In recent years IoT based application have come up with their wide importance as they summarize present state of art IoT systematically in industry.

Collectively the previous researches or the methods mentioned above have made its vast application in recent days but those were not enough in order to gather data or to solve the problem regarding underground fault. But in this paper the proposed system gets the accurate position of the fault in underground cable and also as the fault detected the related data will be communicated to the server through Wi-Fi modem and from the server the information can be retrieved any time using IoT . IoT based techniques are widely used these days in industries.


Different components used in the system are current sensor , Arduino Uno , Wi-Fi modem , LCD display and their interfacing diagram is also shown in figure 2. Measuring the amount of current is one of the important tasks.Earlier it was achieved by placing a resistor in the current paths but due to that the heat dissipation was more so now various technologies came up which measure current without any heat loss, one of such current sensor is MEMs silicon based Piezoelectric AC current sensor, which operates at resonant frequency and gives an improved response when placed near to current carrying conductor. Here Arduino UNO is used as a microcontroller which works like Arduino NANO.

Due its miniature size it can be placed over breadboard and reads the sensed values and as per the coding done by the user it performs the specific tasks. Like in this, microcontroller (Arduino) will receive the input from the sensor and according to it, the controller circuit will perform some set operations like displaying of data in LCD display which is interfaced with it or serially communicating the real time data through Tx-pin of microcontroller.Wi-Fi module acts as a medium which connects any of the physically assembled system with internet and transmits the data in the server. Fig1. Interfacing diagram of Arduino with WIFI module[image: ]Fig. 2. Circuit diagram of Arduino and Wi-Fi module.

Wi-Fi module is usually interfaced with Arduino is ESP8266. It’s cheap and an easy way to get interfaced with any microcontroller platform wirelessly through internet. Now coming to its pin configurations, it consists of 8 pins but the pins which are actually used are Tx pin, Rx pin, CH_PD pin, Vcc, Gnd. CH_PD is the enable pin which is active high pin and by giving input HIGH it enables Wi-Fi and connects the system with internet and any of the sensed values can be serially transmitted to the server. For example, an ARM based power meter works on similar principle. An interfacing diagram of Arduino with Wi-Fi module is shown in the proteus simulation software in figure 1. And the same is seen in assembling both the components whose circuit diagram is shown in figure 2 where some resistors are placed in order to avoid the burning effect of overall circuitry.

LCD display used here is 20 X 4 which is a flat panel display which uses a group of LEDs and writes the sensed value in its display screen and in the circuitry itself there is a facility through which the LCD brightness and intensity can be controlled.Now, figure shown below is the block diagram of the system (figure 3) where current sensors are placed across the underground cable and the sensor is interfaced with arduino and further arduino is interfaced with 20 x 4 LCD display and Wi-Fi modem. Sensed values from the current sensors goes to microcontroller and from there the values gets displayed in the LCD display and further serially communicated towards server and from server the real time data can be retrieved in smart phones or laptops through IoT. For example, for an underground cable the correct value is 5 amperes, then the value is sensed by the sensor and the similar value is shown in the display and transmitted in the server and supposes any fault occurs then the faulty value assures that the fault has been detected and then the further more actions can be taken.

The circuit diagram shows the interconnection of the components in which the current sensor output pin is connected to the analog input pin of arduino which is A0, and a DC rectified power supply is given to the arduino. After that 20 X 4 LCD display is interfaced with arduino, which has been connected to pin number 4, 5 of LCD display to 13, 12 pins of Arduino which are PB5/ SCK and PB4/MISO respectively and keep the R/W pin of display at ground which will write in the LCD display and the data pins of lcd display (D4, D5, D6, D7) are connected to 7, 6, 5, 4 pins of arduino which are PD7/AIN1, ~ PD6/AIN0, ~PD5/T1, PD4/T0/XCK respectively. After this the Wi-Fi module (ESP8266) is interfaced with arduino in which pin 1, 2 of Arduino are connected to the Tx pin of Wi-Fi module and then pin 3 of arduino is connected to Rx pin of Wi-Fi module which gave power of 3.3 V to Vcc and CH_PD pin of Wi-Fi module which is an active HIGH pin, by giving logic “1” enables Wi-Fi module and connects the assembled system with internet and provided with ground in GND pin of Wi-Fi module. At last when the code was implemented in arduino then the real time data was serially communicated in the server and the information from the server can be retrieved in mobile or laptop through IoT.


Though researchers came up with their methods for the detection of fault for underground fault detection system but somewhere were not able to know that when actually the fault occurred and also its location and also in one of the existing methods in order to get the location of the fault some certain algorithm has to be performed and some calculations which could be a bit time consuming and till then there might be a chance that major loss could occur but here it’s not so, by the implementation of the proposed method , real time data will be easily known and if any faulty case occurs then there will be decrement or increment in the actual value and its fault, location will be easily known to the authorities as the real time data can be retrieved from the server in mobile phones or in the laptop. Not only this, life of the cable will also get by increased because after implementing the system the supply transmission of the power can be stopped till the fault gets repaired and through this the unnecessary losses which are developed though the leakage of current can be avoided.5.FUTURE SCOPE In this paper there is detection of the exact location of short circuit fault in the underground cable from feeder end in km by using arduino. In future, this project can be implemented to calculate the impedance by using a capacitor in an AC circuit and thus measure the open circuit fault.


  1. Y. J. Fan, Y. H. Yin, L. D. Xu, Y. Zeng and F. Wu, “IoT-Based Smart Rehabilitation System,” in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, vol.10, no.2,pp.1568-1577, May2014 .doi: 10.1109/TII.2014.2302583
  2. G.H.Shirkoohi,K.Hasan,Enhanced TDR technique for fault detection in electrical wires and cables ,103 Borough Road,London SE10AA1,united kingdom,2nd Intrnational symposium NDTin aerospace (2010)
  3. Robert.D gross.,”Surgical Ground detector”,united kingdom (june 9,1980),united state patent
  4. Y. J. Fan, Y. H. Yin, L. D. Xu, Y. Zeng and F. Wu, “IoT-Based Smart Rehabilitation System,” in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics.vol.10,no.2,pp.1568-1577,May2014. doi: 10.1109/TII.2014.230258
  5. Arthur C. Westrom, James W. Larsen,” FAULT DISTANCE LOCATOR FOR UNDERGROUND CABLE CIRCUITS”,DipL-Ing H. Horstmann GmbH, Germany(Feb. 4, 1997), United States Patent: 5,600,248
  6. W. Charytoniuk, Wei-Jen Lee, Mo-Shing Chen, J. Cultrera and Theodore Maffetone, “Arcing fault detection inunderground distribution networks-feasibility study,” in IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 1756-1761, Nov/Dec 2000.doi:10.1109/28.887231
  7. Olszewski, O.Z., Houlihan, R., O’Neil,M., Waldron, F., Mathewson, A., & Jackson, N.(2014). A MEMS based siliconbased piezoelectric AC current .Procedia Engineering, 87, 1457-1460.
  8. Warren, J.D., Adams, J., & Molle, H. (2011). Arduino for robotics. In Arduino Robotics (pp. 51-82). Apress.
  9. Li,L., Hu., &Zhang, W., (2009,May). Design of an ARM-based power meter having WIFI wireless communicationmodule. In 2009 4th IEEE Conference on Industrial electronics and Applications (pp. 403-407). IEEE.
  10. Svilainis, L. (2008). LCD brightness control for video display application. Displays, 29(5), 506-511.

writers online
to help you with essay
banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.