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Detection and Location of Underground Power Cable using Magnetic Field Technologies

Detection and Location of Underground Power Cable using Magnetic Field Technologies
Detection and Location of Underground Power Cable using Magnetic Field Technologies
The location of buried underground electricity cables is becoming a major engineering and social issue worldwide. Records of utility locations are relatively scant, and even when records are available, they almost always refer to positions relative to ground-level physical features that may no longer exist or that may have been moved or altered. The lack of accurate positioning records of existing services can cause engineering and construction delays and safety hazards when new construction, repairs, or upgrades are necessary. Hitting unknown underground obstructions has the potential to cause property damage, injuries and, even deaths. Thus, before commencing excavation or other work where power or other cables may be buried, it is important to determine the location of the cables to ensure that they are not damaged during the work. This paper describes the use of an array of passive magnetic sensors (induction coils) together with signal processing techniques to detect and locate underground power cables. The array consists of seven identical coils mounted on a support frame; one of these coils was previously tested under laboratory conditions, and relevant results have been published in [1]. A measurement system was constructed that uses a battery powered data acquisition system with two NI 9239 modules connected to the coil array, and controlled by a laptop. The system is designed to measure the magnetic field of an underground power cable at a number of points above the ground. A 3 by 3 m test area was chosen in one of our campus car parks. This area was chosen because the university’s utility map shows an isolated power cable there. Measurements were taken with the array in 16 different test positions, and compared with the values predicted for a long straight horizontal cable at various positions. Finally, error maps were plotted for different Z-coordinate values, showing the minimum fitting error for each position in this plane. One such map is shown in Figure 1; the low error values of 4-5% give a high degree of confidence that most of the measured signal is due to a cable near to these positions. This view is supported by the fact that the university’s utility map shows the cable at X = 1.4 m, and by amplitude measurements taken with a hand-held magnetic field meter.
7
Wang, P
9cbcc0c1-a742-4b52-94ec-58632717c9ed
Goddard, K F
fe2a2194-8b55-43c1-bdca-341691b71b2d
Lewin, P L
78b4fc49-1cb3-4db9-ba90-3ae70c0f639e
Swingler, S G
4f13fbb2-7d2e-480a-8687-acea6a4ed735
Wang, P
9cbcc0c1-a742-4b52-94ec-58632717c9ed
Goddard, K F
fe2a2194-8b55-43c1-bdca-341691b71b2d
Lewin, P L
78b4fc49-1cb3-4db9-ba90-3ae70c0f639e
Swingler, S G
4f13fbb2-7d2e-480a-8687-acea6a4ed735

Wang, P, Goddard, K F, Lewin, P L and Swingler, S G (2011) Detection and Location of Underground Power Cable using Magnetic Field Technologies. UHVnet 2011, United Kingdom. 18 - 19 Jan 2011. p. 7 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

The location of buried underground electricity cables is becoming a major engineering and social issue worldwide. Records of utility locations are relatively scant, and even when records are available, they almost always refer to positions relative to ground-level physical features that may no longer exist or that may have been moved or altered. The lack of accurate positioning records of existing services can cause engineering and construction delays and safety hazards when new construction, repairs, or upgrades are necessary. Hitting unknown underground obstructions has the potential to cause property damage, injuries and, even deaths. Thus, before commencing excavation or other work where power or other cables may be buried, it is important to determine the location of the cables to ensure that they are not damaged during the work. This paper describes the use of an array of passive magnetic sensors (induction coils) together with signal processing techniques to detect and locate underground power cables. The array consists of seven identical coils mounted on a support frame; one of these coils was previously tested under laboratory conditions, and relevant results have been published in [1]. A measurement system was constructed that uses a battery powered data acquisition system with two NI 9239 modules connected to the coil array, and controlled by a laptop. The system is designed to measure the magnetic field of an underground power cable at a number of points above the ground. A 3 by 3 m test area was chosen in one of our campus car parks. This area was chosen because the university’s utility map shows an isolated power cable there. Measurements were taken with the array in 16 different test positions, and compared with the values predicted for a long straight horizontal cable at various positions. Finally, error maps were plotted for different Z-coordinate values, showing the minimum fitting error for each position in this plane. One such map is shown in Figure 1; the low error values of 4-5% give a high degree of confidence that most of the measured signal is due to a cable near to these positions. This view is supported by the fact that the university’s utility map shows the cable at X = 1.4 m, and by amplitude measurements taken with a hand-held magnetic field meter.

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More information

Published date: 18 January 2011
Additional Information: Event Dates: 18-19 January 2011
Venue - Dates: UHVnet 2011, United Kingdom, 2011-01-18 - 2011-01-19
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science, EEE

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 271888
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/271888
PURE UUID: e1d108d1-db84-40b3-ac1c-2c9cc87d4398

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Jan 2011 17:29
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:37

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