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Correlation of lightning events and faults in distribution power networks

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The paper deals with the analysis of the possible correlation between cloud-to-ground lightning discharges and relay operations inferred by using the experimental data obtained means of a measurement set-up, installed on an Italian MV distribution network, and a statistical procedure based on the coordinated use of the Italian Lightning Location System (LLS) CESI-SIRF, the monitoring systems of protection manoeuvres and an advanced simulation tool for the calculation of lightning induced overvoltages. The procedure takes into account the uncertainties related to the estimation of lightning stroke location and current amplitude provided by the LLS. The experimental set-up, composed by a distributed monitoring system, is able to measure a-periodic voltage transients characterized by a frequency content up to 4 MHz. Three of these units have been installed in the feeder of a three-phase overhead distribution network with a total length of 21 km. The same feeder is protected with overcurrent and zero-sequence relays whose operations are recorded by a monitoring system with a 10-ms sampling time. The data collected during one year of operation of the experimental set-up have been analyzed together with the data collected by the LLS for a 144 km2 area covering the equipped feeder and its surrounding area, in order to account for all direct and indirect lightning events that may have caused a relay intervention. The data have been also used to test the calculation model. The paper eventually reports the results of the correlation analysis carried out using the mentioned procedure, which is used to evaluate the probability that a specific event, detected by the LLS and time-correlated to relay operation, may have been the cause of a flashover in the network.

Authors: A. Borghetti, F. Napolitano, C.A. Nucci, M. Paolone, M. Bernardi, F. Rachidi, K. Yamabuki

CIGRE 2008 - a joint research project

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