EARTHING CONCEPTS

Earthing in a EHV Substation
 Providing

adequate ‘Earthing’ in a substation is an important safety measure.  Earthing means connecting the electrical equipment to the general mass of earth of low resistance.  Objective is to provide under and around the substation a surface of uniform potential -- At near zero or absolute earth potential
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Earthing in a EHV Substation
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Objective:
The touch and step potential shall be within limits under all conditions including fault condition Grounding resistance shall be lower. Effective earthing system shall aim at providing protection to life and property against dangerous potentials under fault conditions
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Earthing in a EHV Substation I.E.Rules 1956

Rule 92

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Every substation /generating station exposed to lightning shall adopt efficient means for diverting the electrical surges due to lightning to earth Earth lead of any lightning arrestor shall not pass through any iron or steel pipe. It shall be taken directly, as far as possible, to a separate earth electrode and/or junction of the earth mat. Bends Shall be avoided where ever practicable Earth screen if provided for lightning protection shall be connected to main earth grid.
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Earthing in a EHV Substation I. There is no danger to the personnel Ensure equi-potential bonding within the power system No dangerous potential gradients (step or touch or transfer potentials) shall occur under normal or abnormal operating conditions To minimize electromagnetic interference between power and control/ communication system 5 .E.Rules 1956  Functioning of earthing in a substation        It shall be capable of passing maximum earth fault current The passage of fault current does not result in any thermal or mechanical damage to the insulation of connected plant / equipment Every exposed conductor part and extraneous conductive part may be connected to the earth.

in turn connected to the station grounding grid.Earthing System Points to be earthed in a substation     The neutral point of each separate system should have an independent earth. Equipment frame work and other non-current parts (two connections) All extraneous metallic frame works not associated with equipment ( two connections) Lightning arrestors should have independent earths. 6 . in turn interconnected with the station grounding mat.

Operating handles of Isolators with a auxiliary earth mat underneath. Peripheral fencing Buildings inside the switch yard. Transformer Neutrals shall be connected directly to the earth electrode by two independent MS strips 7 .Earthing System Points to be earthed-cont’d      Over head lightning screen shall also be connected to main ground mat. if necessary.

Ex :Generator or transformer neutral.  In solidly grounded system substantial ground fault current flows enabling fault detection and faster clearance. 8 .  In a resistance grounded system it limits the core damage in stator of rotating machines.Earthing and grounding -distinction  Grounding:.connection of current carrying parts to ground.  This is for equipment safety.

Ex : Metallic enclosure.Earthing and grounding -distinction  Earthing:- connection of non current carrying parts to ground.  This is for human safety. enables ground fault current to return back to source without endangering human safety.  Under ground fault conditions. 9 .  Earthing system plays no role under balanced power system conditions.

10 .  GI of 65x10mm section will have same resistance as copper of 25x4mm section.  Resistivity is normally around 100 ohm – mt.  Corresponding figure for earth is 800x800mt (158acres)  Metallic conductor is a preferred alternative to earth to bring the fault current back to source.Basics of Earthing Resistivity of earth Resistivity of earth: Mother earth is a bad conductor.

    .Electric field – Earth resistance  Current flows through a series of hemi-spherical shells of earth of continuously increasing cross sections. offers very minimum resistance. This is the concept of treating the soil around 11 electrode of an earth pit. If current is discharged from a grid towards another grid at B100 km away. Earth beyond. Almost 95% of final resistance is contributed by soil within 5mts of the electrode. only soil with in 5 to10 mts of the electrode contributes maximum resistance.

Electric field – Earth resistance  Earth with its huge mass offers equipotential everywhere A very large charge is required to change earth potential everywhere Disturbance due to current injection at a point is felt.   12 . only locally.

Earth.mat conductor.Substation earthing Design of Earth mat Design depends upon the following parameters • • • • • • • • Durational and magnitude of the fault current Resistivity of the surface layer of the soil Resistivity of the soil Magnitude of current that the human body can safely carry Permissible earth potential raise that may take place due to the fault conditions Shock duration Material of Earth.mat geometry 13 .

These will change the earth potential raise due to which Step and Touch potentials arise. 14 .Fault clearing time of back up protection is adopted Modern protection systems provides for fast acting back up protection Considerable saving can be made by optimizing the size of the conductor of earthing grid by considering lesser fault duration.Substation earthing Design of Earth mat  Parameters for the calculation of Maximum permissible step and touch potential     Fault duration :.

Earth mat parameters Let go current  Maximum safe current a person can tolerate and still release grip of an energised object. using muscles affected by the current  The magnitude of let go current adopted in calculating maximum permissible step and touch potentials (As per IEEE – 80 – 1976) for man – 9 milli amps for woman – 6milli amps 15 .

116 for a body of 50kgs wt. I =0. √t I =0. Value of human body resistance (dry) – 8 to 9 K-ohms Adopted value for designing Earthing system– 16 1Kohms .Substation Earthing Non-fibrillation current  Developed by Dalziel and approved by AIEE80-1963 Magnitude of power frequency alternating current (mA) that a human body of average weight( 50kgs to 70 kgs) can with stand without ventricular fibrillation.157 for a body of 70kgs wt. √t Av.

Substation Earthing Non fibrillation current– contd  Non fibrillating current adopted for earth grid design in India. I =0. Magnitude of power frequency alternating current that a human body of average weight( 50kgs to 70 kgs) can with stand without ventricular fibrillation.165 √t  I = rms current through human body in amps  t =durtation of shock in seconds  Assumption /considerations in deriving the above equation --The duration of shock is from 8 milli-seconds to 3 seconds 17 .

18 .Substation Earthing Fault duration and magnitude  During a line to earth or double line earth fault current through earthing system causes a) Heating of earthing conductor b) Potential gradients in the soil  For earthing design single line to ground fault is considered as  Most of the faults are of this type  Current through earth in case of single line to earth fault is higher that in the later case.

ie. ie.2 sec. For determining maximum permissible step and touch potentials  Fault duration corresponding to maximum fault clearing time of back up protection relays are considered  Normally in modern sub station clearance time of primary protection is 0.5 sec (500 mill sec) is 19 adopted for design .5 sec.. 200 milli sec and clearance time for back up protection is 0.Substation Earthing Fault duration and magnitude-contd. 500 milli sec  A fault duration time of 0..

Substation Earthing Fault duration and magnitude-contd.  Earthing conductor once placed under earth may not be inspected normally. fault duration of 1 sec can be adopted for design.  If felt necessary and if it is economical.  Prudent to make it capable of carrying maximum possible current for maximum time. 20 .

Substation Earthing Soil resistivity  To design most economically and technically sound earthing system accurate data of soil resistivity and its variation with in substation soil is essential.  Variation in soil Resistivity with depth is more predominant as compared to variation in horizontal distances.000 ohm – meters. 21 .  Resistivity of soil in many substations has been found varying -at times between 1 and 10.

Weiner's 4 electrode method is generally adopted for testing. 22    .Substation Earthing Soil resistivity  Large variations in stratification of earth layers will result in large variations in earth resistivity. As resistivity of soil varies widely based on moisture content earth resistivity readings to be obtained in summer or dry season. Highly refined techniques for the determination of resistivity of homogeneous soil( non – uniform soil) is available.

Four electrodes are driven into earth along a straight line at equal intervals.Substation Earthing. 23 . Current is passed through two outer electrodes and earth. Voltage difference is measured between two inner electrodes. test shall be conducted in more number directions.Soil resistivity Weiner's 4 electrode method      Earth resistivity tests shall be carried out at least in 8 directions If results obtained indicate wide variation.

Substation Earthing Soil resistivity  Current flowing through the earth produces are electric field proportional to current density and resistivity of soil.  Voltage measured is proportional to the ratio of voltage to the current i.e R ρ= 4sΠR .__s__ 1+ 2s___ √s²+e² √s²+4e² 24 .

Substation Earthing Soil resistivity  Where ρ= Resistivity of soil in ohm-meter s= Distance between two successive electrodes in meter R= Ratio of voltage to current or electrode resistances in ohm e= depth of burial of electrodes in meters  In case depth of burial of the electrodes in the ground (e) is negligible compared to electrodes spacing. This formula is the adjusted ρ=2ΠsR (This formula is normally adopted in AP Transco Ltd.) 25 .

 Ohmic values of earth electrode resistances are obtained using earth meager R = ρ log 10 (4L/P) where 2Π R = Electrode resistance in ohm L = Length in cms of the rod driven under ground D = Dia in cms of the rod ρ = Earth resistivity in ohm-meter 26 .  Former is for current and the later is for voltage.Substation Earthing Measurement of Soil resistivity There point method  Two temporary electrodes spikes are driven in to the earth at 150ft and 75ft respectively from earth electrode under test.

Resistance of the earthing system ρ +ρ 4r L ρ = Soil resistivity in ohm meter L = Length of conductor buried in meters r = radius in meters of circle having the same area as that occupied by the earth mat. The value of the R should be less than the impendence to ground values stated below R= 27 .

28 . In order to avoid abnormal shift of the neutral potential.5 Ohms Distribution transformer .Earthing System Permissible resistance of earthing system       Primary requirements : Impendence to ground (resistance of earthing system) Small substations – 2 Ohms EHV substations up to 220 kV– 1 Ohm Power stations and 400 kV substations – 0.5 Ohms. earth resistance of the station earthing system shall be normally less than or equal to 1ohm.

Difference in surface potentials experienced by a man bridging a distance of 1 mt with his feet.Substation Earthing Step and touch potential  Step potential .potential difference between the earth potential raise and the surface potential at the point where a person is standing touching an earthed structure.  Tolerable touch potential of human body is less than tolerable step potential. 29 .  Touch potential. with out contracting any other grounded object.

chances of exposure to ‘Touch potential’ is higher than that to ‘step potential’.  Resistance offered by the feet of a person against ‘Touch potential’ is much less compared to that against ‘Step potential’. 30 .Substation Earthing Step and touch potential-contd  In any switch yard.  Hence ‘Touch potential ’ is more critical for design while Step potential is usually academic.

Thus cross.     Step potential is independent of the diameter ( crosssection) of the earthing conductor.Substation Earthing Step and touch potential. 31 .section has minor influence on Touch and Step potentials.contd. Length of earthing conductor has significant effect on Touch and Step potentials. For 400% increase in diameter. reduction in Touch potential is only 35%.

a function of K.ρs ρ+ ρs ρ.Substation Earthing Step and touch potential Tolerable Step and touch potentials (CBIP Publication no.K. Otherwise it is derived from reference graphs ( Cs.K. K= ρ-. t = Duration of shock current flow in secs. • 32 . cs =1 when crushed rock has resistivity equal to that of soil.116 (1000+1.116 (1000+ 6Cs.) hs = thickness of surface layer in meter. vs hs.(hs.)ρs) (volts) √t Where Cs= Reduction factor for de-rating normal value of surface layer resisvity. ρs are resistivities of soil and surface layer respectively. 223) • E step (LMT) = 0.5Cs(hs.)ρs) (volts) √t E touch (LMT) = 0.

Substation Earthing Step and touch potential-contd. ρ= Soil resistivity ( taken as 100 ohm. Cs=Reduction factor(0 to 1)=1-(k / (2h+0.mt.ρs) (volts) ------(2) RG= body resistance in Ohms= 1000 IB= Permissible body current of human beings.09x(1.) h= Thickness of gravel in cm.5Cs.mt.) 33       . • E step (LMT) = IB(RG +1.ρ/ρs) ρs= surface layer resistivity ( taken as 2000 ohm. Tolerable Step and touch potentials as adopted by certain utilities.ρs) (volts)------(1) E touch (LMT) = IB (RG + 6Cs.09) ------(3) k=0.

5 sec IB= 222mA From (1) E step (LMT)= 691V From (2) E touch (LMT) =2100V 34 .=10cm From (3).Substation Earthing Step and touch potential-contd. Surface layer =ρs=2000 ohm-mt.    Sample calculation for E step (LMT) and E touch (LMT) Data Weight of the man =70kgs Fault duration =0.5 sec Resistivity Soil = ρ=100 ohm-mt.705 From table in slide 24 for a 70 kgs man and for a shock duration of 0. h= Thickness of gravel in cm. Cs=0.

0013 x I √t sq. mm for bolted joints = 0.Earthing System Size of earth mat conductor Methodology of design as adopted in APTransco Size of earth mat conductor (steel strip ) Shall be : A (Steel) = 0.011 x I √t sq. at the station = Fault MVA x 1000 √3 x system kV and t = Time in seconds during which current is applied 35 . mm for welded joints Where A = Area of Cross section I = Fault current in Amps.

3 x I mm² for welded joints = 15.Earthing materials  - Determination of size of conductor for earth mat.3 √tc mm² for welded joints = I x 15.3 x I mm² for bolted joints 36 . Based on thermal stability determined by an approximate formula of IEEE .13 √tc mm² for bolted joints In case tc = Duration of current =1sec A = 12.80-1986 A = I/ √( TCAP x10 –4) I n (Ko + Tm) tc x iØr ρr (Ko + Ta) Where In case of steel A = I x 12.

5 Thickness for flat shall not be less than = 3mm (As adopted 5to 6mm) Minimum dia for steel rod = 5mm  Standard sizes of conductor as.For 33kV Substations 75x8mm and 50x6mm 37 .Earthing materials  Based on Mechanical ruggedness of conductor and for easy installation. Ratio of max width to thickness =7. As per IS 1730 – 1989 (I)10 x 6mm² (II)20x6mm² (II)30 x 6mm² (IV)40 x 6mm² (IV)50 x 6mm² (VI)60 x 6mm² (VI)50 x 8mm² (VIII)65 x 8mm² (IX)75 x 12mm² (X)100 x 16mm² .

m d) Raisers : 50x8m MS flat For 400 kV substation  Earth mat a) Peripheral or main earth mat :40mm dia MS rod of 3mt.Earthing materials Up to 220 kV substation  Earth mat a) Peripheral or main earth mat : 100x 16m MS flat b) Internal earth mat : 50x8m MS flat placed at 5 m apart c) Branch connections : cross section not less than 64. 40mm rods will be driven in to earth vertically along the periphery of the earth mat. length b) Internal earth mat 50x8mm MS flat placed at 5m apart c) Raisers : 50x8m MS flat Where necessary. 38 .5 sq.

8 mm in dia and 3. 3. bolted or welded.75 m long and not less than 9. 39 .Pipe earthing a) EHT Substations : (i) Cast iron pipes 125 mm in diameter 2.5 mm thick. riveted. sweated. (ii) Pipes 50. Joints are to be kept down to the minimum number All joints and connections in earth grid are to be brazed. For rust protection welds shall be treated with Barium chromate.05 m long 1. 2.

Welded surfaces to be painted with red lead and aluminium paint and then with bitumen. 4. 3. All exposed steel earthing conductors should be protected with bituminous paint All joints in steel earthing system shall be welded except joints to be removed for testing shall be bolted. 5.Earthing 2. 40 . Joints to be broken periodically shall be bolted and joint faces tinned.

No equipment are to be kept in such areas.Earthing system Lowering of earth impedance 2) Lowering of earth impedance In places where soil resistivity is high steps to be taken to reduce earth impedance by one or combination of following:Connection of substation grid with a remote ground grid and adjacent grounding facilities. Use of foundation rods as auxiliary grids where feasible Formation of auxiliary grids if soil of low earth resistivity is available close by Max. Use of deep driven ground rods or longer ground rods or maximum number of ground rods along the perimeter of the earth grid. 41 a. e. touch potential occurs in the corner of mesh of the grid. f. . d. b. c. higher values of touch potential than the tolerable limit can be accepted if step potential are within permissible limits If equipment is to be kept at corners of the mesh. Auxiliary grids are to be created at those corner to limit touch potential.

 In the later case any inadvertent connection could give rise to dangerous potential under fault condition unless special care is taken. b) Keeping the fence beyond the perimeter of the switch yard earthing grid.  In the former case substantial reduction in the effective substation earthing resistance is possible but at additional cost.Earthing System Earthing of switch yard fencing Two methods of fence earthing a) Extension of substation earth grid up to 0.  42 .  Electrical isolation of fence into short section with individual earthing is required where fence is closer to a single phase reactor or an electrical plant generating large electromagnetic fields. providing its own earthing system not connecting to the main earthing grid. bonding the fence to the grid at regular intervals.5 m beyond the fence.5 to 1.

Earthing System Earthing of switch yard fencing. • Design permits extension of earth mat within 1.con… Methods of earthing of fencing – As per CBIP report A. B. • Design permits extension of earth mat up to fencing • Calculated touch potential within safe limit • Extending the earth mat up to perimeter fencing and connecting the fencing at frequent intervals to earth mat • Spreading crushed metal 1.5mt inside perimeter fencing • Electrical isolation of fencing can be ensured • Isolate fencing for earth mat • Running of independent earth conductor underneath boundary and connecting it to fencing at frequent intervals.5mt beyond fencing 43 .

5 mt of fencing • Fence electrically isolated and independently earthed by running an earthed conductor underneath the fence connecting it to the fence at frequent intervals 44 .Earthing System Earthing of switch yard fencing. • Design permits extension of earth mat up to fencing • Calculated touch potential beyond the fence above the permissible limit for touch potential • Termination of earth mat within 1.con… C.

switch gear associated equipment are present in an earthed metallic housing  They are subjected to same magnitude of fault current and require low impendence earthing  Compared to a conventional substation. specially during internal earth faults. 45 . as GIS requires only 25% of land area design of earth mat is comparatively difficult.Earthing of gas insulated substation  In GIS multi-components like buses.  Metallic enclosures of GIS have induced currents.

46 .Earthing of gas insulated substation   Inductive voltage drop occurring with GIS assembly shall be taken into account for the design of earth mat Touch voltage criteria = √(FA)2+(EG)2 < ET (max) Where FA = Actually calculated touch voltage EG = Max value of metal to metal voltage difference between structures on and between GIS enclosures or GIS enclosures and supporting    ET (max) = maximum permissible touch voltage Metallic enclosures of GIS may be continuous or not In either case provision of earth bond frequently is essential to minimize hazards of touch potential In addition. earthing of GIS structures and service platforms at frequent intervals are to be done.

Substation Earthing Case studies  Karimnagar132kV ss  Kamalapuram 132kV ss –fencing giving shock  Auxiliary Earth grid at RTPP 47 .

Thank you 48 .

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