Ground Fault Locator

Cost can be tremendous upon bad insulation or grounding in the power system. It may even cause power break-off which is costly to repair. Therefore, fast localization and elimination of grounding faults will be significant for electricians and technicians. It is also required by DIN VDE 0100-410 (VDE 0100-410): 2007-06 chapter 411.6.3.1 and IEC 60364-4-41 chapter 413.1.5.4. GFL 3836 is developed to fast detect, track and locate virtual grounding faults on DC systems. This spares you from hours of unnecessary troubleshooting and helps to increase the reliability of your electrical equipment. It is widely used in locomotive, telecom, power utilities, etc

  • Fast location for ground fault in different DC systems
  • Strong anti-interference when system is working online
  • Innovative dual-range current detector with direction sensitivity
  • Multi-way for location: Current direction, signal strength & phase angle
  • Patented technology, pinpoint current leakage fault with grounding resistance lower than 1MΩ
  • Innovative dual-clamp for signal receiver, each clamp has two sizes of opening jaw for different conductors
  • One pair of clamp working together, effective cancel capacitive interference when DC system is online
  • Precise current direction (positive or reversed) indicating for leaking current help fast locate the faulty grounding
  • 10Hz output frequency on signal receiver effectively avoids interference from DC system itself
  • Signal receiver can set reference in different points for signal comparison, very fast for fault orientation
  • Digital signal processing technology for detecting grounding resistance and capacitive resistance
  • With built-in band pass filter to bypass different interference signals in the ambient environment.
  • No disconnection of the electrical installation, ground fault location is carried out during operation
  • Frequency spectrum analysis can test ambient frequencies, which helps analyze the surrounding environment.
  • Signal generator with adjustable output voltage (24V~1000V) for different DC systems
  • Multi-ways to indicate ground fault: sensitive current direction, phase angle, comparison of signal strength.
Output Frequency 10Hz
Output Current Limitation 5mA & no limit (max: 25mA)
Fault Location Sensitivity ≤ 1mΩ
Current Detect Sensitivity of AC/DC circuit ≥ 0.5mA
Current Sensor φ8 and φ30, two clamps with dual-range
φ8: 8mm(diameter),58mm(jaw opening),12mm(width)
φ30: 30mm(diameter),58mm(jaw opening),66mm(width)
Signal Generator Power Supply 3500mAh/16.8V rechargeable Li-on battery, Input: AC 220/110V, output: DC 16.8V 2A
Signal Receiver Power Supply 2400mAh/8.4V rechargeable Li-on battery, Charger Input: AC 220/110V, output: DC 8.4V 300mA
Power consumption ≥4 hours
Embed Memory 16 MB
Signal Generator Display 320*240 pixel 3.5″ LCD screen
Signal Receiver Display 240*320 pixel 3.5″ LCD touch screen
Working temperature -10℃~55℃
Dimension L420*W340*H14 mm
Weight 7.0 Kg

GFL3836 uses comprehensive ways to pinpoint the faults with the following working rules:

  1. Signal generator has two testing leads connected with DC system. And it injects a low-frequency current signal with direction to the DC system. This signal will flow from testing lead to circuit, outflow from the faulty grounding point and finally flow back to the signal generator. This makes a return circuit that will be useful for signal tracing in the next step.
  2. Signal receiver will trace this current signal with the help of current direction judgment. Direction of current signal always goes to the faulty point. With one clamp on two busbars or two clamps respectively on two busbars, it could work effectively with strong anti-interference when system is online.
  3. Strength and phase angle of current signal will have big changes before and after the grounding fault. They also help pinpoint the fault.

Why should you measure battery ground faults?
Battery ground faults are often times difficult to locate and create costly and catastrophic consequences if they remain undetected. The entire battery system will be compromised and subject itself to overheating, thermal runaway, and reduced battery capacity while creating a hazardous work environment.

Can the GFL3836 test AC Systems?
No, the GFL3836 Ground Fault Locator will only test DC systems.

How does the GFL3836 detect a fault?
The ground fault detector works by injecting an AC signal into the bus system with respect to ground using the signal generator. The signal path is then traced using current clamps connected to the signal receiver. The direction of current flow is indicated on the receiver display, enabling the clamps to be moved to another branch or section of wiring. The measurement is repeated, the clamps moved again until the faulty part of the circuit is located.

What are some typical kinds of faults the GFL3836 can test for?
A typical supply to be tested will consist of a main bus connection with many branches to different loads or systems. Typical faults you may encounter are:

  • Fault from the positive bus to ground.
  • Fault from part of a load to ground.
  • Fault between bus bars (partial short circuit).
  • Fault from a branch to ground.
  • Fault from bus to a separate circuit (‘Wire Mix’ connection).
  • Leakage capacitance (This is not a fault, but leakage capacitance may be distributed around the system and will influence measurement).

In all cases, the actual impedance (resistance) of the fault may be very high, very low due to a short circuit, or anywhere in between.

How is the GFL3836 powered?
Both the signal generator and signal receiver use rechargeable batteries that can be charged using power supplies (110/220 VAC, 50/60 Hz) which are included in the GFL3836 package. The state of charge for each unit is indicated by the icon in the top right hand corner of the unit’s display. Both units may be charged while switched off. When the units are fully charged an indicator on the power supply changes from red to green.

How long do the rechargeable batteries last on a full charge?
The batteries will last for approximately 4 hours in normal use.