Energization-Status Identification of Three-Phase Three-Core Shielded Distribution Power Cables Based on Non-Destructive Magnetic Field Sensing

Ke Zhu, Wing Kin Lee, Philip W.T. Pong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Three-phase three-core distribution power cables are widely deployed in power distribution networks and are continually being extended to address the ever-increasing power demand in modern metropolises. Unfortunately, there are high risks for the repair crew to operate on energized distribution power cables, which can cause deadly consequences such as electrocution and explosion. The predominant energization-status identification techniques used today are either destructive or only applicable to un-shielded power cables. Moreover, the background interferences affect the sensing technique reliability. In this paper, we have developed a non-destructive energization-status identification technique to identify energized three-phase three-core distribution power cables by measuring magnetic fields around the cable surface. The analysis shows that the magnetic-field-distribution pattern as a function of azimuth around the cable surface of the energized (current- or voltage-energized) three-phase three-core distribution power cable is distinguishable from the de-energized one. The non-idealities of phase currents and cable geometry were also discussed, and the proposed method still works under these circumstances. The sensing platform for implementing this technique was developed accordingly, consisting of magnetoresistive sensors, a triple-layered magnetic shielding, and a data acquisition system. The technique was demonstrated on a 22-kV three-phase three-core distribution power cable, and the energized status of the cable can be successfully identified. The proposed technique does not damage cable integrity by piercing the cable, or exposing the repair crew to hazardous high-voltage conductors. The platform is easy to operate and it can significantly improve the situational awareness for the repair crew, and enhance the stability of power distribution networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8052099
Pages (from-to)7405-7417
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Three-phase three-core distribution power cable
  • distribution power network
  • energized status
  • magnetic sensing


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