Finding Faults - User Case Studies - Maplesoft

User Case Study: Finding Faults

Bob Beasant has a firm eye on the future. He is an engineer at Kelvatek, a supplier to the Electricity Supply Industry specializing in the low voltage distribution sector. He recently chose Maple™ and MapleSim™ as his preferred toolset because his projects demand superior modeling and simulation technology. He intends to use both tools to help him create new algorithms and improve existing ones in the field of fault location on underground electricity cables.

Once a Mathcad® user, Beasant was persuaded to migrate to Maple. He was impressed by the interface, which scales easily from quick calculations to full application development, and the commitment of Maplesoft™ to support and develop an ongoing relationship with its customers helped him make the decision. Through the greater analytical rigor delivered by Maple, he intends to gain a better understanding of the mathematics behind electricity cables, in both normal and faulted conditions. For example, three-phase low-voltage cables, which may be rated to normally carry 400 A continuously, can spike currents in excess of 15,000 A in the presence of a fault, with fault currents above 5,000 A common.

Soon after purchasing Maple, he learned about MapleSim early in its development and was eager to provide feedback, through the Pilot program, that guided its evolution. He was impressed enough to purchase MapleSim on its release. He saw the inherent value in Maple’s analytical integration with MapleSim. He remarks, “I like the fact that Maple interfaces directly to MapleSim. Maple’s symbolic functionality gives insight into the physics of the phenomena I’m investigating.” With MapleSim, it is possible to link together all the major aspects of electricity source, cable network, load, and fault behavior. He also commented that Maple and MapleSim offer a far more appealing price-to-functionality ratio than other traditional tools in the field.

An electrical and electronics engineer by training with little experience in mechanical modeling, he found that by using MapleSim he could rapidly create complex electromechanical models that also included thermal elements, with applications in several of Kelvatek’s products. In fact, the benefits of multi-domain modeling with a low learning curve have made him aware of the wider application of his skills as an engineer.

This has led him to conclude that Maple and MapleSim is also the right toolset to help in future Kelvatek projects involving the location of faults in underground cables as new products are added to the Low Voltage family. Digging up cables is time-consuming, expensive and highly disruptive. However, a range of innovative techniques enables engineers to locate faults while the cables remain buried underground, and often before the next customer interruption. 

Having whetted his appetite, Bob Beasant is ready to start employing Maple and MapleSim in many areas. With expert support from Maplesoft, he is keen to start finding faults wherever he goes.