The Benefits of Installing an Internal Fault Detection Sensor

What is the IFD Sensor?

The IFD Sensor (Internal Fault Detector) is a reliable mechanical device that provides line crews with a clear visual alert that an internal arcing fault has occurred in a distribution transformer, making it dangerous to re-energize. Over 1.9 million IFD sensors are installed in North America and around the globe and, over 730 utilities rely on it to provide actionable intel (IFD Coorperation, 1).

This sensor is designed to significantly decrease utility expense, cut troubleshooting time, and increase system dependability. Ultimately, the IFD sensor also protects linemen from possible harm and improves SAIDI & SAIFI reliability.

Decreasing Utility Expense:

The IFD sensor provides linemen with actionable intel. This results in less time spent troubleshooting and upkeep with the transformers consequently, cutting costs. Additionally, the intel provided allows for direct knowledge of what to fix and helps transformers evade damaging malfunctions.

Reliable Troubleshooting:

Often, troubleshooting comes with a lot of challenges in determining what the right course of action is. The guesswork that can come with troubleshooting is eliminated when using IFD sensors because it provides linemen with clear, actionable information.

Safer Environment for Line-Workers:

With a precise visual warning that it is unsafe to re-energize a transformer, the IFD sensor helps to keep line crews out of harm’s way.
Hence, linemen can troubleshoot from the ground and lessen the requirement to access the main voltage area.

Ameliorate SAIDI & SAIFI:

The IFD sensor enhances reliability and client satisfaction by decreasing outage duration and regularity. It does this by helping to distinguish and repair problems quicker and bypass re-fusing as the method of troubleshooting.

How Does it Work?

When a low impedance internal arcing fault transpires, the pressure builds quickly inside the transformer and initiates the IFD sensor. The easy-to-identify orange signal alerts line crews troubleshooting pole or pad-mount distribution transformers.

Immediate fault detection:

  • The IFD Sensor presents linemen with actionable information and makes troubleshooting manageable. This enables crews to recognize faulted transformers in seconds, not hours, and supersede them safely.

For pole and pad-mount transformers:

  • The IFD Sensor can be specified for pole or pad-mount dispersal transformers. This durable sensor is installed by your transformer manufacturer and needs no maintenance during the transformer lifespan.

Built-in PRV (pressure relief valve):

  • The IFD Sensor includes an integrated PRV that eases pressure automatically, or manually using a hot-stick or gloved hand, and adapts to either IEEE or CSA standards.

Pair the IFD Sensor with TempPatrol:

  • Outfit your transformers with the IFD Sensor and TempPatrol and provide line workers the necessary tools they require to interact with transformers.

Learn More about the IFD Sensor HERE


(All information comes from IFD cooperation’s product website. Click the links to learn more)
“Internal Fault DETECTION Sensor for Transformers.” IFD Corporation, 14 May 2021,