A GSM-Based Fault Detection on Overhead Distribution Lines

Main Article Content

Charles Ofori
Joseph Cudjoe Attachie
Felix Obeng-Adjapong


Fault Detection, GSM Technology, Distribution Lines, Arduino Design Suite


Power distribution in Ghana is managed by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) which is responsible for ensuring accessibility of electricity to consumers. One of the challenges that affect the effective operation of ECG is the slow response to faults on the overhead distribution lines. Fault detection on the distribution lines is a very tedious activity but a necessary procedure to ensure efficient power distribution to consumers. This paper seeks to design a system that can detect faults, the type of faults and their location before they cause any casualties to transformers and other power system equipment. This would replace the primitive method of patrolling and manual inspection of faults currently done by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). This objective was achieved using a GSM-based system on an Arduino platform and ATmega 328P microcontroller to locate the occurrence of faults efficiently. Faults are introduced into the system by triggering the type of fault on the Arduino platform which opens the corresponding relay of the line fault. The opening of this relay sends a signal to the microcontroller and a corresponding LED which switches to display the type of fault. The microcontroller then communicates to the GSM module which displays the said fault and location on a display screen with the help of a virtual terminal. This system was tested under the various unsymmetrical faults to show the efficiency of the system using C++ programming. The simulation shows that the system offers a fast fault response time.


S. Nunoo and J. C. Attachie, "A METHODOLOGY FOR THE DESIGN OF AN ELECTRICITY THEFT MONITORING SYSTEM," Journal of Theoretical & Applied Information Technology, vol. 26, no. 2, 2011.

H. Guan et al., "Multiple faults diagnosis of distribution network lines based on convolution neural network with fuzzy optimization," IAENG International Journal of Computer Science, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 567-571, 2020.

R. Shunmugam, K. Ashok Kumar, A. Deebika Devi, K. Manoj Kumar, and A. Mathivanan, "Distribution line fault detection and intimation using GSM," ed: IJRTER, 2016.

T. Acheampong and F. Ankrah, "Pricing and deregulation of the energy sector in Ghana: challenges and prospects," Ghana Energy Situation Report, Q1 2014, 2014.

S. Prakash and S. Gupta, "Fuzzy logic based trained fault locating mechanism in power distribution network," International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering, vol. 2, no. 7, pp. 2250-2459, 2012.

O. J. Onojo and G. C. Ononiwu, "Fault detection on radial power distribution systems using fuzzy logic," Asian journal of natural and applied sciences, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 38-52, 2012.

P. S. Emi, R. Sivasankari, P. R. Kumar, R. Prabha, J. Jayageetha, and A. Karhikeyan, "Fault Detection in Transformer Using GSM Technology," in 2019 5th International Conference on Advanced Computing & Communication Systems (ICACCS), 2019: IEEE, pp. 868-873.

J. O. Adofo, "Electrification, Power Outages and Employment," Applied Economics and Finance, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 147-159, 2020.

A. Mahmood, N. Javaid, and S. Razzaq, "A review of wireless communications for smart grid," Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, vol. 41, pp. 248-260, 2015.

S. Kamaleshwari, T. Nandhakumar, and A. Selvakumar, "Automatic Fault Detection in Transmission Lines using GSM Technology," Networking and Communication Engineering, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 17-20, 2019.

H. Liang, Y. Liu, G. Sheng, and X. Jiang, "Fault-cause identification method based on adaptive deep belief network and time–frequency characteristics of travelling wave," IET Generation, Transmission & Distribution, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 724-732, 2019.

F. Aboshady, D. Thomas, and M. Sumner, "A new single end wideband impedance based fault location scheme for distribution systems," Electric Power Systems Research, vol. 173, pp. 263-270, 2019.

K. Moloi and A. Yusuff, "A Support Vector Machine Based Fault Diagnostic Technique In Power Distribution Networks," in 2019 Southern African Universities Power Engineering Conference/Robotics and Mechatronics/Pattern Recognition Association of South Africa (SAUPEC/RobMech/PRASA), 2019: IEEE, pp. 229-234.

Y. Aslan and Y. E. Yağan, "ANN based fault location for medium voltage distribution lines with remote-end source," in 2016 International Symposium on Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering (ISFEE), 2016: IEEE, pp. 1-5.

R. Perez et al., "Fault diagnosis on electrical distribution systems based on fuzzy logic," in International Conference on Swarm Intelligence, 2018: Springer, pp. 174-185.

S. S. Gururajapathy, H. Mokhlis, and H. A. Illias, "Fault location using mathematical analysis and database approach," COMPEL-The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, 2018.

K. Agbesi and F. A. Okai, "Automatic fault detection and location in power transmission lines using GSM technology," International Journal of Advance Research In Science and Engineering, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 193-207, 2016.

N. Dzabeng, "Design and Development of Power Distribution Network Fault Data Collection Device, Fault Detection, Location and Classification Using Machine Learning Algorithms," University of Ghana, 2016.

R. Dhatrak, S. S. Bankar, P. S. Dhawas, I. P. Thakare, P. A. Bankar, and K. V. Mungelwar, "Line Fault Detection in Distribution System Using IoT."

A. Kwarteng, S. K. Okrah, B. Asante, and P. Amanor, "Design and Construction of an IoT Based Distribution Transformer Condition Monitoring System."

A. Raza, A. Benrabah, T. Alquthami, and M. Akmal, "A review of fault diagnosing methods in power transmission systems," Applied Sciences, vol. 10, no. 4, p. 1312, 2020.

X. Ge, J. Pu, B. Gou, and Y.-C. Liu, "An open-circuit fault diagnosis approach for single-phase three-level neutral-point-clamped converters," IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 2559-2570, 2017.

A. Camacho, M. Castilla, J. Miret, J. C. Vasquez, and E. Alarcon-Gallo, "Flexible voltage support control for three-phase distributed generation inverters under grid fault," IEEE transactions on industrial electronics, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 1429-1441, 2012.

G. Diamenu and J. Kwarteng, "Electric Power Distribution Network Performance Assessment Based on Reliability Indices," 2019.

N. C. Patel and S. Das, "Fault detection in Electrical Power Transmission System using Artificial Neural Network."

T. Halonen, J. Romero, and J. Melero, GSM, GPRS and EDGE performance: evolution towards 3G/UMTS. John Wiley & Sons, 2004.

P. A. Gulbhile, J. R. Rana, and B. T. Deshmukh, "Overhead line fault detection using GSM technology," in 2017 International Conference on Innovative Mechanisms for Industry Applications (ICIMIA), 2017: IEEE, pp. 46-49.

B. F. Anjum, M. Deepa, and M. C. K. ME, "Advanced microcontroller based bio-metric authentication voting machine," IOSR Journal of Engineering, vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 29-40, 2014.

N. Draghiciu and M. Perte, "Applications of Microcontrollers in Automobiles Field," Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 53, 2012.