Apparatus and method for monitoring and controlling detection of stray voltage anomalies

CAFC
  • US 8,482,274 B2
  • Filed: 09/14/2012
  • Issued: 07/09/2013
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/23/2004
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A mobile apparatus mounted to a motor vehicle for detecting an electric field, comprising:

  • at least one sensor probe, coupled to an electrically non-interfering support frame mounted to the vehicle, that generates a signal corresponding to an electric field detected by the at least one sensor probe as the sensor probe moves past a plurality of conductive objects proximate a street, wherein the at least one sensor probe comprises two or more electrodes, and wherein the two or more electrodes are each separated by a rigid insulator;

    a processor, coupled to the at least one sensor probe, that digitizes the signal to form electric field data represented as a plurality of time domain samples, produces field strengths of each of the at least one sensor probes using the plurality of time domain samples, and analyzes the field strengths to identify a line frequency voltage anomaly in the electric field, wherein the electric field data is analyzed based on an expected frequency pertaining to the line frequency voltage anomaly and wherein the voltage anomaly is generated by leakage of electric power from a power grid to at least one energized object in the plurality of conductive objects proximate the street; and

    an indicator, coupled to the processor, that alerts a user to a presence of the voltage anomaly in the electric field and indicates that at least one conductive object proximate the street is energized to a potentially harmful level.

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