1
Prof. Gyrgy Varju
Head of the Power Systems and Environment Group
Budapest University of Technology & Economics
email: varju.gyorgy@vet.bme.hu
Earth return,
phenomena and impedance
2
2
Impedance with earth return
Presentation items:
Introductory notes
Basic references
Earth return phenomenon
Symbols and parameters used
Proposed methods and expressions
Impedances for lines of finite length
3
3
Impedance with earth return
Introductory notes
methods described in detail:
 Carson  Clem method
 Complex image method.
expressions used in both methods are derived from the Carson/Pollaczek
theory with reasonable simplifications
circumstances affecting the accuracy:
 uncertainty in the specific resistivity of the earth, which comes both
from the resistance value itself and the nonhomogeneous
(stratified) nature of the soil
 inducing line with finite length
Note: If we assume an uncertainty of factor two in the earth resistivity, e.g. value
ranging from 50 to 100 Om, this results in 2.6% to 18.4% change in the self
impedance (radius 0.001 m) and mutual impedance (relevant to separation
distance 100 m), respectively.
4
4
Impedance with earth return
Basic references
[1] J.R. CARSON: Wave propagation on overhead wires with ground return, Bell Syst.
techn., p.539554., Vol. 5, 1926,
[2] F. POLLACZEK: ber das Feld einer unendlich langen wechselstrometischflossenen
Entfachleitung. Elektrische Nachrichtentechnik, Vol. 3, p. 339, 1926.
[3] CCITT Directives concerning the protection of telecommunication lines against harmful
effects from electricity lines, UIT, 1963 (New Delhi, 1960).
[4] J.R. WAIT, K.P. Spies, On the image representation of the quasistatic fields of a line
current source above the groung, Can. J. Phys., Vol. 47, pp. 27312733, 1969.
[5] G. TevanA. Deri: Mathematical verification of Dubantons simplified calculation of
overhead transmission line parameters and its physical interpretation, Archiv fr
Elektrotechnik, No. 64., 1981
[6] G. TevanA. Deri: Some remarks about the accurate evaluation of the Carson integral
for mutual impedance of lines with earth return, Archiv fr Elektrotechnik, No. 67., 1984
[7] G. TevanA. DeriG. Varju: Calculation of the inductive coupling between transmission
lines, Rail International, 1985
[8] ITUT, Calculating induced voltages and currents in practical cases, CCITT Directives
concerning the protection of telecommunication lines against harmful effects from
electric power and electrified railway lines: Volume II., ITU, 1989 Geneva
[9] F. RachidiC. A. NucciM. Ianoz: Transient Analysis of Multiconductor Lines Above a
Lossy Ground, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 14, No1, January 1999
5
5
Impedance with earth return
Phenomenon of current return via earth
Classification of the methods proposed for induction calculations:
The four ITU (CCITT) methods {2}
1) Expression in form of series form
This is a complete representation of the Carsons formula with accuracy determined
by the number of terms considered in the calculation.
2) Complex image formula
The geometric term (conductor height) is considered and the earth correction term is
only approximated, but the accuracy is good enough for the most practical
engineering purposes.
3) Expression in polynomial form
The geometric term (conductor height) is neglected, the representation of the
correction term can consider any separation distance and frequency.
4) CarsonClem formula
The geometric term (conductor height) is neglected, the representation of the
correction term can consider only limited separation distance and frequency.
6
6
Current return via the earth
Return paths for dc and ac
Return of direct current:
follows the shortest way to minimize R
Return of alternative current:
follows the line route to minimize Z
7
7
Current return via the earth
Current density distribution
8
8
Interpretation of the earth return impedance
by the elementary Ohms law
Elementary Ohms law:
Self impedance (blue) and
mutual (red) impedace with
earth return by definition:
( )
( ) ( )
I
z y
I
z y E
z y Z
, ,
,
o
= =
km
O
( ) ( ) z y z y E , , o = ( ) ( ) z y z y E , , o =
) , ( ) , ( z y z y E o =
9
9
Impedance with earth return
Basic terms used
 c
o
= 1/(36t)10
9
permittivity of free space [As/Vm]

o
=4t10
7
permeability of free space [Vs/Am]

r
relative permeability of conductor material [  ]
 c
re
41040 relative permittivity of the earth (default value = 10)
 r conductor radius [m]
 the specific resistivity of the earth, [Om]
 o =1/ the specific conductivity of the earth, [S/m]
 f frequency, [Hz]
 e =2 t f angular frequency, [rad/s]
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Impedance with earth return
Parameters used
The parameter o and complex
o
:
o eo
e
= =
0 0
o o eo
e
= = = j j j
0 0
The complex
c :
( ) e o e c c e
e c c
c
= + = +

\

.
 j j j j
re re 0 0 0 0
1
The equivalent depth (radius) of the hypothetical return path (tube) of the earth current:
D
f
e
= =
1852
659
.
o
11
11
Impedance with earth return
Relations between the different parameters
The complex image depth (see in the next figure):
p j e
j
j
j45
= = = = =
( ) 1
2
2
1 1 1
0
0
o o o
eo
e
The amended complex image depth:
( )
p
j j
j j
re
re
c
c
e o ec c
e
ec c
= =
+
=
+

\

.

1 1 1
1
0 0
0 0
Note: on the relations between the penetration depth (d) and the equivalent earth return o
complex image depth.
o
eo
eo
= =
2 2
0
0
o
o o
o = = 2
1 1 1
2
;
p = =
1
2
0 701 o o .
o o
o
= = = 31 . 1
2
852 . 1 852 . 1
e
D
( . ) D p
e
= 1852
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12
Impedance with earth return
Geometrical (real and complex) data
 r
i
radius of the conductor i
 r
i
Geometric Mean Radius (GMR) of conductor i
 h
i
, h
j
height above the groundlevel of conductors i and j
 a
ij
separation (horizontal distance) between conductors i and j
 d
ij
physical distance between conductors i and j:
( ) d a h h
ij ij i j
= +
2
2
 D
ij
distance between conductor i and image of conductor j or vice versa:
( ) D a h h
ij ij i j
= + +
2
2
 q
ij
angle shown in next figure
cos ; sin O O
ij
i j
ij
ij
ij
ij
h h
D
a
D
=
+
=

D
ij
distance between conductor i and complex image of j or vice versa:
( ) D a h h p
ij ij i j
= + + +
2
2
2
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Impedance with earth return
Conductor distances for the complex image method
d
ij
Complex image
plane
h
j
a
ij
h
i
h
j
h
j
D
ij
O
D
ij
p
p
Geometric layout of conductors, and their images
p e
j
=
1
45
o
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Impedance with earth return
Composition of the impedance with earth return
Mutual impedance
The mutual impedance with earth return, per unit length, composed of the following two terms:
Z Z Z
ij G
ij
E
ij
= +
where:
 Z
Gij
is the geometric term (reactance involved in the magnetic field in the air):
( )
( )
Z j
a h h
a h h
j
D
d
G
ij
ij i j
ij i j
ij
ij
=
+ +
+
= e
t
e
t
0
2
2
2
2
0
2 2
ln ln
Its value is zero when both conductors are on (or under) the surface of the earth.
 Z
Eij
the earth contribution (ground impedance {3}) term:
( )
Z R j X
Eij ij ij
= + 2 A A
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Impedance with earth return
Terms constituting the mutual impedance with earth return
Earth correction term accordingly to the original Carson formula
( )
( )
}
+
+ +
= A + A =
0
0
2
cos
2
2
o e
e
d d
j
e
j X j R Z
ij
h h
ij ij Eij
j i
( )
}
+
+ +
+ =
0
0
2
cos
2
ln
2
o e
e
t
e
d d
j
e
j
d
D
j Z
ij
h h
ij
ij
o
ij
j i
Geometric term
Earth correction term
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Impedance with earth return
Self impedance
The self impedance with earth return, per unit length, is, in general, composed of the following
tree terms:
Z Z Z Z
S i G
ii
E
ii ii
= + +
External part of the self impedance (the 2
nd
and 3
rd
terms):
Z Z Z
ii G
ii
E
ii
= +
 Z
Gii
, the geometric term:
Z j
h
r
G
ij
ii
ii
= e
t
0
2
2
ln
This term can be explained as a contribution due to the inductance / reactance involved in the magnetic field in the air.
 Z
Eii
, the earth contribution (ground impedance {3}) to the external part of the self impedance:
( ) Z R j X
Eii ii ii
= + 2 A A
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Impedance with earth return
Internal impedance
The internal impedance of the conductor i can, in general, be expressed as:
Z R jX
i i i
= +
where:
 R
i
is the a.c. internal resistance (calculated or measured)
 X
i
is the internal reactance relevant to the internal inductance, L
i
.
In general, the internal impedance can be expressed as (point 4.1.5.2 of {2}):


= =
r
r
r
r
L
o
i
ln 10 2 . 0 ln 10
2
3 3
t
[H/km]
The relation between the GMR r and the radius r is given:
r

= m.r
where the factor m is given for different conditions in the following table:
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Impedance with earth return
Factor m for calculating GMR
Case
no.
Conductor condition
Factor m
for GMR calculation
1 Circular of ferromagnetic material
4
r
e
2 Circular of non ferromagnetic material
7788 . 0
4
1
=
e
3 Tubular conductor Analytical expressions
4
Any with given (measured) internal
inductance L
i
[H/km]
3
10 2 , 0
i
L
e
Notes:
1) It is worth mentioning that the expression for case 4 allows for specifying the r on conductors of any shape
and materials, e.g. for railway rails. When the factor m and thus r is evaluated from a measured L
i
then r is
the radial distance till the boundary of the inductance measurements. This boundary is, normally, the outer
surface of the conductor for cylindrical conductors. While for conductors having other shapes the boundary is
at a distance where the directional dependence of L
i
becomes, practically, negligible, e.g. for a railway rail
220 mm.
2) In fact, the radius r is that of a fictitious conductor assumed to have no internal flux but with the same
inductance as the actual conductor of radius r.
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19
CarsonClem method
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20
Impedance with earth return
CarsonClem method
Description
The CarsonClem formula is derived from the Carsons formula {2}) by the following assumptions:
(1) the geometrical term is neglected,
(2) the terms considered from the Carsons series expressions are:
 only the first term of AR
 only the first two term from AX.
The earth return path is represented by a pipe having a
 unit length resistance of R
e
and a
 radius of D
e
(see next figure)).
Applicability limit:
od
ij
< 0.25 or d
ij(max)
< 0.135 D
e
In this case the resulting errors are usually less than 2.5%. (For limit values see the table.)
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Impedance with earth return
CarsonClem method, equivalent return tube
D
e
R
e
d
ij
I
i
U
j
d
ij(max)
<=0.135 D
e
R
e
= 10
3 .
0.987
.
f [O/km]
The equivalent tube of earth return for the CarsonClem method
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Impedance with earth return
Values of D
e
and d
max
as functions of frequency f and earth resistivity
D
e
[m] d
max [m]
f [Om] [Om]
[Hz] 10 100 1 000 10 000 10 100 1 000 10 000
16.7 510 1613 5100 16128 37.2 217.7 688.5 2177
50 295 932 2948 9321 21.5 125.8 397.9 1258
60 269 851 2691 8509 19.6 114.9 363.2 1149
800 74 233 737 2330 5.4 31.5 99.5 315
1200 60 190 602 1903 4.4 25.7 81.2 257
2000 47 147 466 1474 3.4 19.9 62.9 199
10000 21 66 208 659 1.5 8.9 28.1 89
100000 7 21 66 208 0.5 2.8 8.9 28
1000000 2 7 21 66 0.2 0.9 2.8 9
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Impedance with earth return
CarsonClem formula for the mutual impedance
and mutual inductance
The expression for mutual impedance with earth return, per unit length, is:


.

\

+ =
ij
e
ij
d
D
j f Z ln 10 2 . 0 987 . 0 10
3 3
e
[O/km]
The expression for the complex mutual inductance with earth return, per unit length, is:
M
D
d
j
D
d
j
H
km
ij
e
ij
e
ij
=

\

.
 =

\

.

(
2 10
2
10 200 1571
2 2
ln ln .
t
Note:
1) For calculating the self impedance the mutual conductor distance d
ij
is substituted by the conductor radius
r or conductor GMR r
2) The following relation applies between the impedance and inductance, both with earth
return:
Z j M
ij ij
= e
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Complex image method
25
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Impedance with earth return
Complex image method
Description
Applicable for considering:
 high spacing or separation distance
 high frequency
 conductor height above the earth.
Relevant complex image:
 normally the complex image depth given by (5) and
 for high frequency the complex image depth given by (6)
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Impedance with earth return
Numerical values for the complex image depth
Modulus of p complex image depth as function of frequency f and earth
resistivity
p[m]
f
[Om]
[Hz] 10 100 1 000 10 000
16.7 275 871 2 754 8 709
50 159 503 1 592 5 033
60 145 459 1 453 4 594
800 40 126 398 1 258
1 200 32 103 325 1 027
2 000 25 80 252 796
10 000 11 36 113 356
100 000 4 11 36 113
1 000 000 1 4 11 36
Note: The highest error occurs at O=90, i.e. when both conductors are placed
at earth surface, but even this maximum error does nor exceeds 16 %.
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Impedance with earth return
Complex image formula
a) For general applications:
 the mutual impedance with earth return:
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
Z
j
p h h a
h h a
ij
i j ij
i j ij
=
+ + +
+
(
(
(
e
t
0
2 2
2 2
2
2
ln
or with the use of the distances to the other conductor d
ij
and to the image of the
other conductor
D
ij
(see Fig.1):
Z j
D
d
ij
ij
ij
=
e 0 2 10
3
. ln
 the external part of the self impedance:
Z
j p h
r
ii
i
i
=
+
(
e
t
0
2
2
ln
( )
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Impedance with earth return
Complex image formula
b) For high frequency applications:
 the mutual impedance with earth return:
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
Z
j
p h h a
h h a
ij
i j ij
i j ij
=
+ + +
+
(
(
(
e
t
c
0
2 2
2 2
2
2
ln
(1)
 the external part of the self impedance:
Z
j p h
r
ii
i
i
=
+
(
e
t
c 0
2
2
ln
( )
Note: The error involved in calculation of the external impedance due to the neglecting the =c
o
c
re
term in the calculation of the complex image depth can be demonstrated by the following data:
 around 0.5 %, when =c
o
c
re
= 5.55 %, for = 10 Om and c
re
= 10, at 10 MHz
 around 11%, when =c
o
c
re
= 555 %, for = 10000 Om and c
re
= 10, at 1 MHz.
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29
Impedance with earth return
Relative importance of the term representing the displacement current in the earth
The normalised % value of =c
o
c
re
with the base of o
Earth resistivity [Om]
Parameter 10 10000
f [Hz] Relativ permittivity of the earth e
re
Relativ permittivity of the earth e
re
4 10 40 4 10 40
10 0.0000022 0.000006 0.00002 0.0022 0.006 0.02
16.7 0.0000037 0.000009 0.00004 0.0037 0.009 0.04
50 0.0000111 0.000028 0.00011 0.0111 0.028 0.11
100 0.0000222 0.000056 0.00022 0.0222 0.056 0.22
800 0.0001778 0.000444 0.00178 0.1778 0.444 1.78
1 000 0.0002222 0.000556 0.00222 0.2222 0.556 2.22
10.10
6
0.0022222 0.005556 0.02222 2.2222 5.556 22.22
100 10
6
0.0222222 0.055556 0.22222 22.2222 55.556 222.22
1000 10
6
0.2222222 0.555556 2.22222 222.2222 555.556 2 222.22
10000 10
6
2.2222222 5.555556 22.22222 2222.2222 5555.556 22 222.22
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Earth return impedance
for lines of finite length
31
31
Plots showing the mutual inductance
for lines of finite length [1]
[1] Kostenko M.V., Mihajlov K.E.,
Potnov E.L., Pozdnjakov L.G., Sokolov
V.B., Zarehi M., 
Resistive and inductive interference on
communication lines entering large
power plants.
CIGRE, 36.02, 1970 Session.
32
32
Numerical values of the parameters
for the ranges of interest
Values of ao Values of o = l /a
For frequencies of For lengths of
Separation
a
m
16 2/3 Hz 50 Hz 40m 160m 500m
5 0.5810
2
110
2
8 32 100
10 1.1510
2
210
2
4 16 50
20 2.29
2
410
2
2 8 25
Note: For earth resistivity of 100 Om
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33
Numerical values for the mutual impedance
R, X and Z, for the ranges of interest
Values of R and X mO/km
a)
For frequencies of
16 2/3 Hz 50 Hz
For lengths (in m) of
Separation
a
m
Real,
imaginary
part and
modulus
40 160 500 40 160 500
R 0.43 1.6 4.2 15 2.2 8.8 22 50
X 54 84 104 125 170 251 314 330
5
Z 54 84 104 126 170 251 315 334
R 0.42 1.6 4.2 15 2.2 8.8 22 50
X 42 70 94 104 127 204 267 286
10
Z 42 70 94 105 127 204 268 290
R 0.43 1.6 4.2 15 2.2 8.8 22 50
X 31 54 77 94 91 158 220 242
20
Z 31 54 77 95 91 158 221 247
Note: a) For earth sensitivity of p=100Om
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Numerical values for the modulus of the mutual impedance, Z
Normalized values in per cent, base the value for infinite length
0
50
100
%
a=5 m 57 67 83 100 51 75 94 100
a=20 m 33 57 81 100 37 64 90 100
40 m 160 m 500 m inf inite 40 m 160 m 500 m inf inite
16 2/3 Hz 50 Hz
Note: For earth sensitivity of p=100Om
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35
Thank you for your attention
?
Gyrgy Varju
email: varju.gyorgy@vet.bme.hu