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Power distribution networks are vulnerable to faults caused by different factors such as adverse climatic conditions and equipment failure. For improving the service reliability and avoid predetermined penalties, it is desirable for utilities to quickly find the location of the fault and consequently, reduce the restoration time. Working principle of the faulted circuit indicator is that it typically senses the magnetic field produced by excess flow of the current through a cable or conductor. Some indicators also measure the electric field generated by voltage in the conductor.

Faulted circuit indicators are devices which indicate passage of the fault current. When properly installed, they can reduce operating costs and service interruptions by identifying failure of the section. Faulted circuit indicators enhance safety and lessen equipment damage by dropping the need for risky fault-clearing procedures. In order to achieve ample benefits, the faulted circuit indicator must reliably indicate the passage of the fault current through the cable on which the faulted circuit indicator is mounted.

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Overhead-line faulted circuit indicators are used to visualize the event of an electric current fault occurring in any overhead electric system. On the other hand, underground indicators trace faults in underground transmission systems located in underground vaults. Some faulted circuit indicators indicate back to the control room using cellular or radio signals.

Faulted circuit indicators can be placed in cables or overhead areas. The overhead protection includes detecting overcurrent, overload, overvoltage, earth fault, short circuit fault, and any other instability which would initiate the operating of other safety equipment. Faulted circuit indicators are used in single-/three-phase overhead conductors, feeder disconnects, unfused taps, and in underground cable areas. They are also employed in underground transitions including dips and risers. On a grounded system, when an electric fault is caused due to surplus current flowing through a conductor that induces a magnetic field, the fault circuit indicator detects the fault and causes a change in state of the mechanical target. Earth faulted circuit indicators are used for ungrounded systems and sense the vector sum of the current and any imbalance results indicate a fault on one or more of the three phases.

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Key players operating in the global faulted circuit indicators market are Eaton Corporation, Power Deliver Products Inc., ABB, General Electric, Siemens AG, Schneider Electric, S&C Electric Company, and Sun Electric Company.