Smart Cable Guard (SCG) is an online multi-functional monitoring system for MV power cable networks. The system has two unique functions: 1) detect and locate weak spots based on partial discharges (before they result in a fault causing a power outage) and 2) detect and locate faults (=full breakdowns) in underground power cables. Want to know more about Smart Cable Guard? Click here!
We continuously strive to improve the SCG system, not only by improving existing functionality, but also by adding completely new functions. Already, SCG uses smart techniques to deal with noise conditions in live power cable networks and is able to detect small pulses that indicate cable weaknesses.
Partial Discharge (PD) signals are very small compared to the high voltages and current in an on-line power network. Noise, therefore, is always a major challenge in the measurement system. This is becoming more relevant with the application of SCG in industrial networks or networks with many power converters such as wind or solar farms. Due to cable attenuation, PD signals can generally not be filtered using ‘simple’ frequency filters given the relatively low bandwidth and this also varies with the environment. We also want to be able to apply the system in a wide array of networks. However, since digital signal processing is a continuously developing field, we are looking to explore possibilities that
may aid SCG in measuring ‘through’ the noise: i.e. separate PD signals from the noise background and measure smaller signals (better sensitivity). An effective technique would allow us to remove noise that is normally masking PD signals, therefore allow higher effectiveness. If that would be possible, we can monitor more cables with the same system, see defects arising earlier, or even open up the possibility to measure under conditions that are normally too noisy.
The goal of this project is to explore the possibilities within the constraints of the SCG hardware, live environments, signal attenuation and practical conditions. This can be done based on a literature study, simulation and tests on field data. Candidate techniques can be simulated in software. Subsequently, potential techniques can be tested on actual measurement data from the SCG systems from different environments.
Start date: any time between now and mid-2021
Duration: 6-12 months
Prerequisites: background in electrical engineering and (at least) fundamentals in signal processing.
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