Real time electricity theft detection in microgrids through wireless sensor networks

Muhammad Tariq, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


A microgrid (MG) is potentially vulnerable to electricity theft when it operates in three different modes. In this paper a wireless sensor network (WSN), comprised of purpose built resistive temperature sensor (RTS) nodes, is used in an MG distribution network to measure the line resistance, in order to identify illegitimate user(s) in real time. The changing resistance of a copper wire with the changing temperature in the sensing unit of an RTS node determines the real time resistance, which is then compared with the line resistance estimated through singular value decomposition at the sink node. In our experiments, it detects non-technical losses or theft in real time with 100% accuracy without knowing the exact topology of the distribution network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Sensors, SENSORS 2016 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479982875
StatePublished - Jan 5 2016
Event15th IEEE Sensors Conference, SENSORS 2016 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Oct 30 2016Nov 2 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Sensors
ISSN (Print)1930-0395
ISSN (Electronic)2168-9229


Other15th IEEE Sensors Conference, SENSORS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • RTS
  • Theft detection
  • microgrid
  • smart grids


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