Advances in Protection and Testing of Power Distribution Systems Within Emerging Markets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, a thorough discussion regarding technology as it advanced in the past few years of Moulded Case Circuit Breakers, Solid-State Circuit Breakers, Hybrid Circuit Breakers and modern Power Monitoring Systems for application in Battery Tripping Units is presented. Additionally, a design of a low-cost circuit breaker testing system, as well as a mobile battery tripping unit, is provided. A large part of the discussion centres around how the available technology would assist emerging markets with the inclusion of availability of testing equipment, as well as the technical expertise required to use this equipment. Technicians will be able to use this as a background in developing new testing techniques especially for emerging markets to ensure that circuit breakers are relatively reliable. This discussion can be used by newly trained technicians to gain valuable knowledge in the protection and testing of power distribution centres. Technicians will be able to develop techniques and systems to test circuit breakers where funding is low. Additionally, techniques are discussed to try and alleviate substation tripping issues, which result in power distribution centres overloading and then burning. Once this happens, power outages occur, which take time to repair. With the implementation of remote monitoring functionality, efficiency levels for maintenance, aspects will increase tremendously, keeping the areas functional and costs relatively low. By keeping these costs low, funding that was typically used for maintenance can be used elsewhere and downtime is reduced significantly. Thus, the advantages of these implementations are staggering. In order to ensure that power distribution systems long-viability in emerging markets, it is essential to ensure that functionality is correct. Two essential aspects that are of great importance is the functionality of the circuit breakers and the ability to properly disconnect a power distribution system when too much energy is drawn. Unfortunately, limited work has been done in the development of testing techniques for circuit breakers, post-manufacturing. Additionally, power stations need to trip effectively when an overload condition is experienced; however, this is not possible if substandard circuit breakers are used. Providentially, recent battery-tripping unit technology has advanced to the point where a mobile system can be designed that also allows for enough power injection to trip a substation effectively. In emerging markets, several problems exist such as the technical ability of staff, funding, the time it takes to determine a fault as well as the availability of components and devices. Additionally, the availability of testing equipment can also be severely limited. For instance, in remote areas, technicians travel long distances to arrive at a site where there is potential problem is at a power distribution centre.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)2198-4182
ISSN (Electronic)2198-4190


  • Condition-based maintenance
  • Distribution systems
  • Hybrid
  • Moulded case circuit breaker
  • Protection
  • Solid-state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Decision Sciences (miscellaneous)


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