On-Site Non-Invasive Current Monitoring of Multi-Core Underground Power Cables with a Magnetic-Field Sensing Platform at a Substation

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Current monitoring can facilitate preemptive action in electrical distribution network, so as to relieve power congestion, improve transmission efficiency, and ensure network reliability. The non-invasive current sensing devices are promising since they do not require contacting hazardous high voltage and their installation is much easier compared with invasive current sensing devices. However, the existing non-invasive current sensing devices, such as current clamps and Rogowski coils are only applicable for measuring single-core underground power cables. In this paper, we established a non-invasive technique, that can monitor the currents of a multi-core underground power cable by measuring the emitted magnetic field around the cable surface. The additional magnetic fields generated by induced and leakage currents on the cables were firstly evaluated. Magnetoresistive (MR) sensors in a circular array were adopted to measure magnetic field around the cable surface, and a triple-layer shielding was designed to reduce the effects of external interference. Regarding intrinsic noise in MR sensors (e.g., 1/f noise and thermal noise), magnetic flux concentrators were supplemented to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. The developed platform was tested in a substation, and the reconstructed results closely matched the real geometrical configuration and current records of the tested cable. Apart from the non-invasive feature, the platform also shows great potential to improve the sensing capability of current amplitude and frequency compared with CTs by adopting MR sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7814301
Pages (from-to)1837-1848
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Current monitoring
  • magnetic-field sensing
  • underground power cable


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