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Modern Concepts of Earthing : The Old substations and switchyards are facing tremendous challenge when they shift

from electromechanical relay to digital relays due to heightened sensitivity. Organizations spread across multiple locations have operational problems due to variation in earth pit conditions in remote locations. Over and above, GIC and LEMP are the fear factors in todays transmission lines. This paper revisits concepts energy as perspective. The subtlety of Electrical energy cannot be really appreciated if Current, Voltage and frequency are seen as separate aspects of a signal. They simultaneously define energy and are inseparable. In Alternating Current, the charge actually does not move. It only vibrates in its mean position. The number of charges vibrating signifies current. The extent of movement of the charge from the mean position is due to a prevailing Tension. The number of times the charge oscillates across its mean position is frequency.

+ ve Cycle

- ve Cycle

It is the ENERGY that is transferred. The Energy transferred is proportional to the number charges vibrating, the displacement of the charges from the mean position and the number of vibrations per second. Hence 60 HZ can transfer more energy than 50 Hz in a given current and voltage. Earth is a huge mass with enormous amount of charges. When energy is applied to earth, the energy spreads and progressively dilutes at the point of fault and reenters the system at the neutral maintaining Law of conservation of charge with time. The Electrical Energy transferred can be characterized by Current, Voltage, Frequency, Symmetry of wave, Shape of wave. All the above definitions have minimum and maximum limits. Any signal falling outside acceptable limits is termed a fault. Fault can be classified as continuous and instantaneous. Unbalance, Harmonics, Noise are some continuous fault, where as Short circuit, Surge (Switching, Lightning), EMP etc are some instantaneous fault. An effective earth the limiting parameters of Crossection area, Conductor surface current density, Soil Surface potentials and Resistances have to be met. Measurement and analysis of accurate soil resistivity is essential for 3 of the above factors. As soil resistivity varies in each direction, the Polar method enhances the accuracy of computation to find the net soil resistivity from a point on a given surface.

Modern concepts of earthing by Sonjib Banerjee B.E Presented at CBIP Conference New Delhi 15th September 2011

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Compute the area enclosed in the Polar curve. Draw a circle of an area equal to the polar curve. The Radius of the circle is the average resistivity of the point. Great variances can be found in the resistivity with depth, location and time. Making 3D profile of the premises is of immense importance. Horizontal variance in resistivity causes unequal energy absorption, which completely distorts the empirical values of tensions at each point. The actual step potential and actual mesh potential is different from calculated values. This problem can be tackled by unequal spacing between conductors in each resistivity zones. It is noted that such grids are cost efficient. Soil Resistivity changes with ionic content, moisture and temperature. All calculation done during design are not valid within a year. IEEE 80 2000 clause 14.5 d suggest use of permanent artificial compounds like TEREC+ which holds the resistivity around the conductor. This must be mandatory for safety of Life, Live stock and asset. 3 years of CPRI test results are shown. In a live substation or yard, often no drawings of earth grids are available. The grid earth pits of the substation show varied readings. The switch yard or the substation shutdown is impossible. Space availability is a big constraint. Source capacity, Number of feeders and distributors would have changed after the earth grid was made. In such a case Peripheral Tier corrections are essential. In case a separate reference earth. You can equipotentially bond all the earth pits to the grid with caution that: Lightning earth pit can be connected to the grid thru a suitable coil to avoid surge ingress into the grid. Similarly the GPR at the time of fault should not exceed the insulation withstand capacity of electronics in instrument panel due to such bonding. IEEE 142 1991 Chapter 4 and reflection factor of IEEE 80 2000 can help applying artificial treatment compound in onion peel method to achieve very low and permanent resistance in high soil resistivity area.
Modern concepts of earthing by Sonjib Banerjee B.E Presented at CBIP Conference New Delhi 15th September 2011

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Latest developments in Lightning Protection technology High frequency signals like lightning do not enter deep earth. It needs aid of capacitance of the pit thru plates or mesh at the upper end of the earth pit. In case of lightning, the air terminal like SAT 3 can be synchronized and excited to +/-45KV of opposite polarity to create preferential point of lightning strike. Earthing is a neglected subject as its condition is not visible. IRIS Earth enables to create an earth command control center, which can monitor remote multiple location earth pits on a central screen. It also records 3 years condition of the pit, enabling condition monitoring for earthing. Earths magnetic field can be distorted by the nuclear explosion or solar storm followed by the restoration to original position. This process can produce geo-magnetically induced currents GIC in long electrical conductors (like power lines) which can damage or destroy power line transformers. India needs to have protection against GIC NOW.

Modern concepts of earthing by Sonjib Banerjee B.E Presented at CBIP Conference New Delhi 15th September 2011

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