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Power Cable Fault Location

Finding power cable faults quickly and accurately is essential in reducing supply disruption, customer minutes lost, restoring the network and reducing the costs of fault correction.

This course covers traditional and modern methods of fault location and testing on power cables operating at voltages from 240/415v to 132kV and includes techniques for the detection and location of permanent, intermittent, transient, and incipient faults. Combining presentations on the principles of the various methods with practical, ‘hands-on’ exercises and demonstrations, the course aims to provide delegates with the means to select and apply the most appropriate equipment to meet the needs of their specific organisation.

Day one

Health and Safety Considerations

  • Permits and sanctions
  • Cable identification techniques

Cable Fault Characteristics

  • Representation of cable faults as circuit elements
  • Classification of fault types

Step By Step Procedure For Successful Location Of Cable Faults

  • Detection and diagnosis of fault conditions
  • Prelocation by terminal measurements
  • Pinpointing and confirmation of actual fault position

Diagnosis Of Cable Fault Characteristics

  • Continuity tests
  • Insulation tests
  • Hands-on practical exercise

Traditional Methods Of Prelocation

  • Bridge method principles
  • Hands-on practical exercise

Prelocation By Pulse Injection

  • TDR principles
    • Injected pulse techniques
    • Basic TDR
  • High voltage TDR
  • Hands-on practical exercise

Day two

Prelocation Using Fault Generated Transients

  • Principles
  • Impulse current method
  • Time of flight methods
  • Live demonstrations

Pinpointing Methods

  • Acoustic detection
  • Audio frequency route tracing
  • Thermal survey
  • ‘Fault Sniffing’

VLF Testing and Diagnostics

  • VLF vs DC pressure testing
  • PD and loss angle measurements
  • PD mapping
  • Case studies
  • Equipment selection

EHV Cables

  • Sources of test voltage
  • On-line fault location
  • Sheath fault location
    • Prelocation by bridge methods
    • Pinpointing by
      • Pool of potential
      • Magnetometry
  • Cross-bonding issues

Commercially Available Equipment

  • Selection
  • Portable instruments
  • Test can solutions

Recent Developments

  • Smartphone control of instruments
  • Web assisted fault location
  • Remote monitoring of cable conditions

Programme may be subject to amendment

  • Gain an understanding of the problems and failure modes associated with cables
  • Enhance your knowledge of fault location techniques
  • Familiarisation with equipment used in fault location
  • Minimise supply disruption by locating faults more quickly
  • Reduce expenditure by accurately locating faults first time avoiding multiple excavations

EA Technology has extensive expertise in cable engineering, condition assessment and cable fault location, having developed the industry leading Cable Sniffer system, and is also a leading centre of forensic investigation of cable faults at all voltages. Our training is delivered in the Power Skills Centre by industry leading experts in cable technology.

View full course schedule


Course duration: 2 days


CPD Information


EA Technology are accredited members of the CPD certification service. This course counts towards your planned CPD requirements.

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