LUCELEC Improves Fault Finding Capabilities on Its Transmission Network

Castries, September 8, 2016St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) can now locate faults on its southern 66 kilovolt (kV) transmission network, faster and more precisely. That’s because the company has invested in a travelling wave fault locator system that provides the location of faults on the 66kV lines to within 50 meters.


The new system would facilitate rapid response to correct faults, minimize cost and improve reliability of the network. The travelling wave fault locator system uses Google Earth and GIS (Geographic Information System) technology to definitively pinpoint faults to within adjacent 66 kV structures.


Before the introduction of the travelling wave locater system, LUCELEC maintenance crews would patrol the entire 66kV line when investigating the cause of a fault. With the new system, what often took hours and a lot of guesswork will now be immediately pinpointed to a precise location. LUCELEC System Control Engineer Gary Eugene says the latest improvements are designed to work with the redundancies built into the transmission network to ensure customers experience fewer and shorter power interruptions.


“The new system is a quantum leap in finding faults on our southern transmission network. We can now find the faults faster and dispatch repair crews to a specific location thereby reducing the time to resolve such faults. This is another example of LUCELEC deploying cutting edge technology to improve the service we offer to our customers,” says Mr. Eugene.


The new system was installed in each substation making up the southern ring of the network (Cul-de-Sac, Praslin, Vieux-Fort and Soufriere) in April 2016. The southern ring was chosen to pilot the system because it is more susceptible to faults and more difficult to access due to the vegetation and terrain through which the 66 kV infrastructure runs.


LUCELEC intends to install the system on the northern ring of the 66kV transmission system that includes the company’s substations at Castries, Union and Reduit in the near future.