Design of Earthing system in a high voltage AC substation on a rocky hillock with high resistivity and small area using

sattelite earth mat.
K. K. Sarkar
ACDE (Engineering- s/s)

M. M. Goswami
DGM (Engineering-s/s)

R. N. Nayak
Executive Director (Engineering)

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited
ABSTRACT The paper describes the steps of designing the earthing mat of a high voltage AC substation located on a rocky hillock with limited area. The methology of adopting satellite earthing in hilly area where the area of the substation is considerably less and the soil resistivity is relatively high and uniform have been elaborated with an example of a substation constructed in North Eastern Region. KEYWORDS Main Earthmat, satellite earthmat, grid resistance, conductors, potential distribution, touch potential, mesh potential, safe and economical design contact resistance. Measurements were carried out during the dry season and several measuremnts were carried out on different spacings. In this case uniform soil model was adopted and average soil resistivity of 161 Ω -m was considered covering the maximum portion of the area of the substation. Wenner four-pin method:



INTRODUCTION Substation earthmat design has an important role in high voltage transmission systems. Usually, a substaion earthmat is consisted of horizontally buried parallel conductors at equal distance designed by applying standard formulas [1]. The purpose of the designing of earthmat system in a substation is to keep the step and the touch potential within tolerable safe limits and to keep the grid resistance as small as possible for proper functioning of the protective devices of the substation. The diversion of the fault current through the earthmat has an important role in designing of optimal, safe and economic earthmat. In cases, where high resistive, rockey soil with limited area specially in hilly region, providing of satellite earthmat in a nearby low reistivity area gives a more economic design of the substation earthmat. DESIGN METHODOLOGY The soil resistivity, area, maximum ground fault current of substation site and the fault clearing time are the important factors for optimal design of earthing system. These factors are dominant for accurate evaluation of the grid resistance of the earthmat, step potential, touch potential and the transferred potential of the earthing system. Soil resistivity The acquired land of the substation area was levelled and several locations were selected for the measurement of the soil resistivity of the entire substation. The Wenner four-pin method [1] as detailed below in brief is applied for measurement of the soil resistivity because of its simplicity and the measurements are independent of electrode soil




Fig. 1 : Wenner four-pin method Four probes are driven into the earth along a straight line, at equal distances ‘a’ apart , driven to a depth ‘b’. The voltage between the two inner (potential, V) electrodes is then measured and divided by the current between the two outer (current, I) electrodes to give a value of resis tance R. Then, 4πaR ρa = 1+ 2a √(a2+4b2) a √(a2+b2)

where, ρa m R a b is the apparent resistivity of the soil in Ωis the measured resistance in Ω is the distance between adjacent electrodes in metres is the depth of the electrodes in m

Design Parameters If, Symmetrical short circuit current: tc, duration of fault current: ρ , Soil resistivity of the substation area: ρ s, Soil resistivity of the surface layer: Ae, Area of the main earthmat: Length of the main earthmat: Breadth of the main earthamat: 25kA 1 sec. 161 Ω-m 3000 Ω-m 3920 sq.m 70 m 56 m

When the fault is inside the substation. T =500C . is the co-efficient of linear expansion of the earthinging conductor is the resistivity of the earthing conductor in µΩ-cm at reference temperature. Tr is the thermal capacity factor of the earthing conductor in Joules/ cm 2/ 0C is the reference temperature=20 0C = [(1/λ r) . gravel resistivity and the basic power system data. The area of the conductor of earthing mat is given by: Ac2 = where. the current supplied to the fault by the transformer of the substation circulates within the substation whereas the fault through the transmission lines has to return through the grounding system and the ground or through the ground wires on transmisssion lines.67 mm Corrosion allowance The fault current diverted by the overhead groud wire constitutes two parts i. it is very essential to estimate the realistic value of fault current for determining the size of the grid conductor. Sh is the specific heat of MS rod & Sw is the specific weight of MS rod For M.λ r. step potential and transferred potential of the earthing system. Sh= 0.6 mm h.m 98 m 87 m To standardise the size of the ground conductor. for designing of the earthing system.184x S h x S w Where.e 9. In most cases. diversion of current due induction and due to conduction. the minimum diameter of the ground conductor shall be as: dia = √(4 x 304)/π = 19. if the rod type ground conductor is chosen.12x2 mm i.86 gm/cc With t = 1 second. T m = 6200C ( for c a welding joints) and Ig = 25 kA K0=216. Thickness of the surface material (gravel): 0. the maximum current that would flow in any section of the earthing system is the duration of fault current in sec.114 Kcal/Kg/0C and SW=7.As. This fault current has many parallel return paths to the remote earth. M.12 mm per year is considered.S rod. The diameter of the ground conductor after considering the corrosion effect shall be selected from. Area of the satellite earthmat : Length of the satellite earthmat: Breadth of the satellite earthmat: 8526 sq.6 ) mm or 29. Further.5 m hs.40 and Ac= 304 sq. 2 . The magnitude of the maximum IG is dependant on : configuartion of the substation configuration of the power system network type of transformer connection ground wire connections type of conductor used earthing of towers size of substation/ earthing type of fault and its location For the substation. If tc λr ρr Tcap Tr K0 Ta Tm is the symmetrical fault current in KA (rms). λ r =0. D > ( 19.S rod conductor was selected. (tc. it is not possible to maintain high degree of accuracy because of the uncertainty of soil resistivity.00423 at 200C Tcap = 4. Maximum Grid Current For the design of economic earthing system.6 mm. The corrosion allowance to diameter = 40x0.15 m Calculation of conductor size of the earthing system The size of the conductor has been calculated based on formulae given below [2]. the maxium IG is obtained when the fault is inside the substation. For M. a uniform corrosion allowance of 0. Depth of burried conductor.ρ r.67 + 9. mm Hence. Normally.104/Tcap) ln {1+ (T m-T a)/(K0+Ta)} The diameter of the ground conductor was selected as 32 mm. single line to ground fault is considered for designing of the earthing system as it gives the highest zero sequence current in most of the cases.e. For a life of the substation of 40 years. touch potential. Location of fault whether inside or outside the substation area determines the maximum current (Ig ) that would flow in any section of the earthing system and the maximum grid current (IG) that would be discharged by the ground mat to the ground.Tr] is the ambient temperature is the maximum allowable temperature for joints If . 0.S rod.

8 Ω = 3. Sf is defined as the ratio of the symmetrical fault current to that portion of the current that flows between the grounding grid and the surrounding earth.7253 x r a . f=50 Hz. the combined equivalent impedance.0xCsxρ s ).6645 RG=ρ.17)=0.689 Ω /5 = 1. Zgi = 3. Following expression has been used to calculate the grid resistance. Lots of empirical formulae are available to calculate the grid resistance.003427 m The self impedance.45 x10-3 m.0028938f x log10(De /GMD) Where.Calculation of resistance of the earthing grid Grid resistance mainly depends on the area covered by the grid. The self impedance.09 ρ ρs is the soil resistivity of the substation is the surface layer (gravel) resistivity For ρ=161 Ω-m.375 Ω/km. Ki. Zeq = 7. re= 3. the spacing of the grid and the soil resistivity of the substation area.(0.538x1. Where.5517 Ω The equivalent impedance of the overhead ground wire for each line. Ki and LM are given by [1]: 3 .000988f+j0. Za is calculated as follows [1]: Za = (0. For. De=1181.613 kA Calculation of permissible touch and step potential Touch potential and step potential has been calculated based on formulae given in [1]: Etouch = (1000+1.6645 x 25 kA = 16.46 m.5xCsxρ s ).R i) Where Ri is the impedance to remote earth of tower (10 Ω assumed) /ρs ) 2hs+0.5m ρs = 3000 Ω-m. ρ.116/√ts) Estep = (1000+6. LM √(20xAe) is the area of the ground mat.538+1. re is resistance of the overhead ground wire f is the system frequency De is the equivalent depth of earth return and is given by . Za = 7.538 Ω Sf = Zeq II RG Sf = (1.17)/(1.main Em = LM Where.5s & hs= Cs = 0. Km Ki LM is the spacing factor for mesh voltage is the correction factor for grid geometry is the effective length of the burried earthing conductor With the above values of Zgi and Ri . ρ is the soil resistivity & GMD is self GMD of the earthwire and is given by GMD=0. Zgi of the overhead ground wire is calculated by the following expression: Zgi = re+0. ts is the duration of shock current & Cs is the surface layer derating factor and is given by: 0. ρ = 161 Ω-m & ra=9. D e=658. IG. GMD = 0. It is considered that a portion of the fault current is diverted through the overhead shield wire of the transmission lines. is the depth of burried conductor is the length of the total buried conductor Calculation of current division factor (Sf) for earthing system The current division factor.689 Ω As five lines are terminating at the substation. If 1+h√(20/Ae) Or.5) Zgi + √ (Zgi.4244+j 0.(3I0) = Sf.922 Etouch = 845 Volts Estep = 2887 Volts Calculation of attainable touch and step potential The attainable touch (mesh) potential is calculated by the following expression [1]. I G = 0.09 (1Cs = 1 ρ + . Ae h LM 1 1 1+ 1 The maximum grid current. 0. ra is the radius of the overhead ground wire. ts= 0. Km.116/√ts) Where.4√ (ρ/f).(0. Km. IG = Sf.

I . n c.148.884 Kh = 1.22 _________ √(L x2+L y2) .h.____ + . 1. 2.225 It was found that with even a practicable grid spacing of 2. the attainable touch potential is more than the tolerable touch potential.38 .644+0.d Kh 1 D2 Therefore. 8. I G by designing of satellite earthmat in nearby low resistivity area. 4 . h 0= 1m (grid reference depth) n = na.L C/L p nb= 1.L R IG.d 8. n c.π 16. Lr= 3 m and L R=3x125=375 m L x= 70 m. ln _______ + __________ .148.d 4. nc= 1 & n d= 1 LC Lp is the total length of the conductor in the horizontal grid in metres is the peripheral length in metres Ki is given by the following expression. L y= 56 m Lp= 2(70+56)=252m LC= 70x7+56x10 = 1056 m IG.main RG IG. So.38 Ki = 0. n b. Lx is the maximum length of the grid in X direction in metres Ly is the maximum length of the grid in Y direction in metres Lr is the length of each ground rod in metres and LR is the total length of all ground rods in metres Fig. 8 ln ______ π(2. Design of the main earthmat The total number of 3m long rods (rod electrodes) was considered as 125 in the design of main earthmat and the grid spacing was considered as 8 m. na= 2. Ki = 0.main = IG .55+1. 1.38 = 1. n b. Division of maximum grid current.satellite Rs Where.5 m. D d Kii is the grid spacing is the diameter of the earthing conductors (in meters) is the corrective weighting factor that adjusts for the effects of inner conductors on the corner mesh is the corrective weighting factor that emphasizes the effects of grid depth is the effective number of parallel conductor LM = 1653 m na= 2x1056/252=8. If a auxiliary earthing mat (satellite groundmat) is designed in a relative low resistivity area nearby the substation premises.38 n = n a. Kii = 1 Kh = √ (1+(h/h 0) .satellite = IG.2 : Diversion of part of IG through satellite mat RS _________ _ RG+ RS And RG _________ RG+ RS IG. If RG is the grid resistance of the main ground mat under the substation and RS is the grid resistance of the satellite ground mat. the maximum grid current returns to earth via two parallel paths. hence by [1].satellite may be obtained as given below: IG Kh n The grid is designed with the ground rods along the perimeter.D. n d For rectangular grid of the design as considered.n-1) Where.h)2 h Kii Km= ___.n Lr LM =LC+ 1. then the maximum grid current through the main ground mat.t safe touch potential as the increase of the area being a constraint on the hillock.Hence the design of the main earthmat was not possible without consideration of design of a auxiliary satellite earthmat w.main and G IG.r. 1=8. n d = 8.(D+2.644+0. one through the main ground mat and the second path is through the satellite ground mat.

(1.s=(1000+6.644+0.s = ___ 1 . s = 0.(0.26 Volts Calculation of attainable step potential for satellite earthmat: The satellite mat was laid at a depth of 1 m with grid spacing of 3.395 (161).s) LS = 0. Ki.(1. s = (1000+6.R G=(2830).(0. Estep .268).75). ES = 301 Volts < 2887 Volts ( Estep ) LS = (0. Calculation of permissible step potential for the satellite earthmat The permissible and attainable step potentials are calculated based on the same formulae as considered in the design of the main earthmat. L C + 0. RG= 1.s . π _______ 1 1 + ________ + ____ ( 1.5n-2) 2.(2792) Volts Etransferred=IG .26 Volts ( Estep.248 Ω IG. As hs LMs is the area of the satellite ground mat.85). LMs Where. K m = 0. Ks.s = 27.(5071)+(0.s.r.0x1x50). _______ The attainable step potential is calculated by the following expression [1].148.85.5 m . Es. 5 . 27.The resistance of the satellite ground mat 1 RS=ρ s .4 .527. n c.884).5 1 ρ. n d.395). (0. n b.75). grid spacing for the satellite mat is considered as 3.(4.(375) m= 4122 m Calculated values of grid resistances for main earthamt and satellite earthmat: The value of the soil resistivity of the satellite mat.t touch and step potential.s= 2x5071/370 =27.116/√ts) Cs= 1 for the satellite earthmat.(1. 1 KS = ___. Estep.s = = 0.116/√0.satellite = 13821 Amps The main earthmat has been designed with the grid spacing. the design of the main earthmat is safe w. the value of grid resistances for the main earthmat and satellite earthmat. (1056) + (1. D=8 m For D = 8 m.(13821) Volts 4122 Ks Ki and LS is the spacing factor for step voltage is the correction factor for grid geometry is the effective length of L +LR for step C voltage in metres or.75.0.s . LR So. 1=27.(2792) Em = 1653 or.4 Ki.(0.355).355 (161).4 = 4. 1.(0.s = 211 Volts < 213.5m and 125 numbers 3m long rod electrodes has been laid under the satellite earthmat.2276) Volts = 3474 Volts So. Em = 182 Volts < 845 Volts ( Etouch ) Volts na.268 (50).884).2276 Ω and RS = 0.699). it was found that the design of the satellite earthmat was safe even without considering the surface material (gravel).699 KS.5+1 3. 1. is the depth of burried conductor in satellite ground mat is the length of the total buried conductor In satellite ground mat + √(20xAs) 1 . π 1 1 + ________ + ____ ( 1.4 ns = n a.5)=213.s= (0.0. With the parameters given above.h D+h D 1 1 1+ 1+hs√(20/As) Es = 1111 or.0 m KS = 0. ρ s = 50 Ω-m.884). IG Es = LS Where. ES.4-2) 2x1 3.(375) m = 1111.main = 2792 Amps and IG.0xCsxρ s ). Ls.

No. 5. No.S Zaengl – “Effective earthing mesh calculation technique”.INTERCONNECTION BETWEEN MAIN EARTHMAT AND SATELLITE EARTHMAT Main Earthmat (Located in Hill top) 3. Dattatri “Grouding design in a high resistivity soil”. Interconneting Conductors (8 nos. 6. Vol. To reduce the corner potential rise. 2. Huang.By providing satellite earthmat in a low resistivity soil. 2 .G. 32mmϕ MS rod) 8.V Bhale and V.3 : Interconnection between Main earthmat and Satellite earthmat 2. 4. ANSI/IEEE Standard 80-2000. Accurate measurement and analysis of soil resistivity data have important role in achieving economic earthing system design. “ IEEE guide for safety in AC Substation Earthing” Manual on Substation Earthing System – CBI&P J. Sato and W. Vol. No. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The authors wish to express their gratitude to the management of Power Grid Corporation of India for giving permission to publish this paper. F. A comprehensive calculation for designing of earthing system with the design of satellite earthmat is described stepwise for a substation in hilly area. PAS-94. more safe margin on touch potential is achievable and an economic design of earthing system is possible. January 1988. Chen and Y. 10. 5. Patel. X. REFERENCES 1. Vol. The opinions expressed here are of the authors and not of the management of Power Grid. Part II. 3. CONCLUSION 1. An actual measurement of the resistivity value of the surface material may give a robust and more economical design of the earthing system. The duration of shock current. both the touch potential and step potential has to be considered whereas in design of satellite mat step potential is only calculated and the touch potential is not calculated as this potential is not applicable. The value of resistivity of the surface material (gravel) of 3000 Ω-m has been considered based on value furnished in various literatures. Mukhedkar – “ Optimum design of substation earthing in a two layer earth structure. N. The worst fault condition should be considered for the design of safe earthing system. adequate rod electrodes at the periphery of the earthmat shall be provided. April 1995. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery. In the design of main earthmat. 6 .2. J. Comparison between theoretical and experimental results. 7. ts shall be properly coordinated with the fault clearing time of the protective relay system of the substation. Satellite Earthmat (Located in a pond) Fig.1. 4. The proper earthing of towers is important when the inductive diversion of fault current is considered as it affect the value of tower footing resistance. Yan – “ Study of unequally spaced earthing grids”. IEEE paper 1990 L. March/April 1975 S.3. Dawalibi and D. 6.

Wes t Bengal in 1978-79. load des patch. Goswami. Wes t Bengal in 1995. saxena et al. allowing for non-uniform current distribution. 6. K. Sarkar received his B. Tech (Hons .Madan . General Manager in s ubs tation design in POWER GRID. “Grounding mat design in a 400 kV substation having high resistivity soil and smaller area’. Kharagpur. PAS98. He has worked in the area of s ubs tation des ign. PAS. He has worked in the area of therm al power plant. M. Pres ently he is working as Executive Director in Engineering and Quality As s urance & Ins pection departm ents in POWER GRID. No. Mr. Chief Des ign Engineer in s ubs tation des ign in POWER GRID. IEEE Trans. 9. He has publis hed num ber of technical papers in national and international sem inar. contracts m anagement./Dec. Mr. R. M . “ Current for design of grounding system”. 1984. Vol.7.1979 M. B..N. Gosw ami received his B. N. Robert J. Mr. K. S. Kharagpur. Presently he is working as Ass tt.E (Electrical) degree in Electrical Engineering from Guwahati University in 1979.K . He has publis hed num ber of technical papers in national and international s em inar. VDE standard for earthing system in ac installations for rated voltages above 1 kV. NTPC and POWER GRID for las t 24 years . Trans former & Reactor engineering in various organisation like ASEB. 8. Thapar and S. Since then he is working in engineering departm ent of Power Grid Corporation of India and ass ociated with the design of num ber of 400/220/132 kV s ubs tations . Presently he is working as Dy. M. Dr.Vol 103. IIT Delhi. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems. telecom in variuos capacities for more than 25 years . 10. Heppe – “ Computation of potential at surface above an energized grid on other electrode. 7 .) degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Ins titute of Technology. NPSC. Nov. Nayak received his m as ter degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Ins titute of Technology.

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