College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Electrical Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Electrical Engineering

College - Author 3

College of Engineering

Department - Author 3

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree - Author 3

BS in Electrical Engineering

College - Author 4

College of Engineering

Department - Author 4

Computer Engineering Department

Degree - Author 4

BS in Computer Engineering



Primary Advisor

Dale Dolan, College of Engineering, Electrical Engineering Department


Power companies are always interested in the best possible monitoring equipment for their grid. The power line multi-tool developed would aid in the monitoring of the power system’s distribution network. This device assesses the current conditions of distribution power lines. The device is able to measure current, detect downed power lines, as well as recognize fire starting conditions, and have wireless communication for ease of access and installation. Overall this device greatly aids in helping utilities monitor their grid in more detail.

With the increase of dry climates yearly, several utility companies are taking measures to aid in the prevention of power line based fires. The use of the distribution line multi-tool gives power companies an additional resource in fire prevention. With accurate data received, power companies can take the necessary precautions to prevent power line based fires. One of the deadliest and most destructive fires of recent history in Paradise California has put power companies on high alert and motivated the state to provide funding to utilities to harden their infrastructure and a product like this fits perfectly into this agenda of fire mitigation.

With hundreds of thousands of distribution lines throughout California’s vast terrain, monitoring them has become a cumbersome task yet more necessary in recent years. With a drier than usual climate, the environment has become more prone to fire, especially with areas with distribution lines running through them. With high distribution voltages used and the occurrence of large short circuits on these systems, downed power lines can create fire hazards. A number of factors can cause downed power lines, which includes galloping from winds, impact based falls, and excessive tension on distribution cables or poles. When these poles fall, they have the potential to not only cause a short circuit, which can damage nearby equipment or turn off the power for customers but also cause fires. These high voltages and extreme transient currents mixed in a dry, wilted environment increases the opportunity for a fire to be started but for it to also spread with ease.