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ELECTRICALGROUNDINGSYSTEMSMEASUREMENTSAND COMMENTS

1CONTENTS 2INITIATORY 3MEASUREMENTTECHNIQUESOFEARTHRESISTANCE 3aTheoreticalaspects 3bNatureofsoil 3cEarthresistancemeasuringinstruments 3dTestprocedures 3eFallofPotential 3fFallofPotentialforSmallElectrodeSystems 3gFallofPotentialforLargeElectrodeSystems 3hTheprocedureofIntersectingCurves 3iTheSlopeMethod 4REMARKS 5REFERANCES

1INITIATORY
Thestudytofollowisintendedtobeadirectmeansthatenableunderstandingwhata groungingsystemis,whatitisintendedtobe,howcanasystemassuchbesetup,and evaluategroundingsystemsthatalreadyexistandwhenneededhowandwhat improvementscanbecarriedouttoenhanceitsfunctionality. Ifoundthissubjectofimportanceasitiscloselyrelatedtothesafetyofpersonneland propertiesanditisquitenecessarytobeinsoundstatustoenablethecorrectfunctioning ofelectricalprotectiondevices.Alsothereisaconcernarisingfromtherockynatureofsome ofSulaimaniyacitywhichconstituteapartofthetotalavailablelandofthecitywhichmay exhibitlargeresistivityandalsomakedrivinggroundrodsintosuchsoilsadifficulttaskto carryout.Ialsonoticedthatthismatterofgroundingsystemsis,ingeneralterms,either beingtotallyneglected(particularlydomesticwise)ormeasuresthataretakenwouldpass withoutvalidation. AssomereferancesthatIcite,particularlythoseofexperimental,aremakinguseoffeets andinches,Ipreferedtopresentthemastheyareratherthanconvertingthemintotheir metricequivilants.Itisalsotobenotedthatthewordsgroundandearthare interchangeablyusedthroughoutthispaper. MohammedKarimAbdulrahman ElectricalEngineer

3MEASUREMENTTECHNIQUESOFEARTHRESISTANCE
3aTheoreticalaspects:Agroundingsystemthat,forinstance,befeaturedasametalic roddrivenintogroundisameansforconnectiontothemassofearththeresistanceof whichshouldbelowinordertohandlelargefaultcurrentsandpreventpotetialsthatcould bedangeroustopersonsanddetrimentaltoequipments.Thegroundresistanceis composedofthreepartsasfollows: Resistanceoftheearthwirebetweentheearthedpointontheapplianceandtheearth electrode. Thecontactresistancebetweenearthedelectrodeandthesoilimmediatelyaroundthe electrode. Theresistanceoftheearthtoflowofcurrent. Theresistanceoftheearthwirecanbemeasuredifnecessaryoritsinfluencereducedby makinguseoflargecrosssectionalconnectingwires.Alsothecontactresistanceismostly negligibleashasbeenproventhroughoutexperiments,althoughitmayneedspecial treatmentincertaincases. Weshould,therefore,bemuchconcernedabouttheresistanceofearthitselftoflowof current.Toknowthenatureofthisresistanceconsideranelectrodeasshowninfig.1.The pathsofcurrentflowcanberepresentedbyraysinalldirectionsthroughthesoilwithin hemisphericalbowlsinseriesasshownbysemicircles.Considerahemisphericalbowlof radiusLtobiginwithandashellofinfinitesmalthicknessofdL. ThenitsresistancewillbedR=dL/2L SothatR= dL/2L=(/2)(1/L1/L)

Whereisthesoilresistivity,andforanalysispurposesassumedconstanttoexplorethe influentialresistanceofsuccessivesoilsshells.WhenupperintegrallimitListakeninfinetly largetoincludealltheequipotentialhemisphers,thenultimateRisR =/2L,sothat, R/R =1L/L Toevaluatewhatsoildepthisrepresentinghowmuchpercentageoftheultimateresistance table(1)isexaminedasfollows: L/LR/R (%) 1090 2095 4097.5 5098 10099 Abovetableisclearlyindicatingthatthemajorpartoftheearthresistancedonotgomuch beyondthepointofcurrentinjection.Inpracticeitissufficienttomeasure98%ofthe groundresistance,asthereisnopointinattemptingtoreachanaccuracyhigherthanthis keepinginmindtheseasonalinfluenceonsoilresistivityandhencetheresistanceaswe shallsee.

3bNatureofsoil: Thenatureofsoilhasthegreatestinfluenceonthevalueofearthresistance.Asithasbeen pointedoutearlier,themajorpartofanyearthresistanceliesnotfarawayfromthesurface ofofthesoil.Andunfotunatelysoilsections,ingeneral,atthesepointshavetheirgreatest resistivities.Therefore,itshouldbeapparentthattheroleofgroundingorearthingsystemsis toreducewhateverpossibleoftheselargeresistancelayerandconveytheelectrical connectiontodeeperandhencelowerresistanceasmuchaspracticable.Ingeneralthethe resistivity(andhencetheresistanceofagroundingsystem)deoendonthefollowingfacters: 1Typeofthesoil 2Saltconcentration. 3Moisturecontent. 4Temperatureofthesoil. Soilsdifferintheirresistivities,andonlyresistivitytestcanrevealtowhatextentasoilis resistive.Saltconcentrationreducetheresistivityofasoil,andtheadditionofsaltstothesoil immediatelysurroundingthegroundelectrodewillplayaroleinreducingresistivity.Soils thathavehighermoisturecontentexhibitlowresistivity.Accordingtoexperimentscarried outonredclaysoiltheresistivityincreased300timeswhenthemoisturecontentdecreased from22%to10%.Verydrysoilsaswellasfrozenonesalsohavelargeresitivities. 3cEarthResistanceMeasuringInstruments. InthearticleofTestProceduresthatwillfollow,directreadinginstrumentsaremadeuse ofinmeasuringgroundsystemresistance.Theseinstrumentshavetobeofthetypethatcan discludesomesourcesofmeasuringerrorarisingfromcirculatingcurrentsofpower frequencyoritsharmonics.Thereforesuchtestinstrumentsarerequiredtoinjecttest currentsofafrequencydifferentfromthepowerfrequencyanditsharmonics.Suchan injectedcurrenttestfrequencyistobeaccordingtothefollowingformula: F =(2n+1)F /2 Where,F =frequencyoftheinstrumentsinjectedtestcurrent. F =powerfrequency=50Hz. n=anyintegernumbergreaterthanzero. Ifaninstrumentdesignisusingn=6,forinstance,thenitsinternalgeneratorcaninjecta testcurrentoffrequencyof325Hz,whichisdifferentfromthepowerfrequencyandits harmonics. Theinstrumentistobecapableofselectivelyinjectingandpickingupitsinjectedsignal only.Thisseparationcapabilityiscarriedoutusinghighselectivityfilters,andaveryadequate

filteringconfigerationisthesynchronousrectifier.Thetypeoftestinstrumentusedbetter beable,throughselfdiagnosticfeature,towarntheoperatorwhenthereisanimproper connectionoriftheinjectedcurrentisbellowtherequiredlevelsothatsuchimproper conditionswouldnotpassunnoticed.Theavailablegroundresistsncetestershavetypically accuraciesofaround+/2%.Itistobenotedthatin,groundresistancemeasurements ,errorsof5to10%aretoleratedbecausesucharesistsncecanvarywithseasonalchanges ortemperatureandthesechangesmaybeconsiderable,thatisthereasonwhyaccuracies, higherthanindicatedabove,arenotcalledfor. 3dTestProcedures Theearthelectrodecanbethoughtofasbeingsurroundedbyshellsofearth,eachofthe samethickness.Theshellclosesttotheelectrodehasthesmallestsurfaceareaandoffers thegreatestresistance.Thenextshellhaslargerareaandlowerresistance,andsoon.A distanceeventuallywillbereachedwheretheadditionalearthshellsdonotaddsignificantly totheresistance.Eachelectroderesistanceismeasuredtoremoteearth,whichistheearth outsidetheelectrodeinfluence.Alargerelectrodesystemrequiresgreaterdistancebefore itsinfluencedecreasestoanegligiblelevel. Atypicaltestsethas4terminals2currentterminalsmarkedC1andC2,and2potential terminalsmarkedP1andP2. AsshowninFig.2onecurrentterminal(C1)isconnectedtotheearhelectrodeundertest andtheother(C2)toaprobedrivenintheearhsomedistanceaway.Thetestsetinstrument injectsacuurentintotheearthbetweenthetwocurrentterminals.Onepotential terminal(P1)alsoisconnectedtotheearthelectrodebuttheotherpotentialterminal(P2)is connectedtoaseparateprobedrivenintheearthbetweentheelectrodeandthecurrent probe(C2).Thepotentialprobesdetectthevoltageduetothecurrentinjectedintheearth bythecurrentterminals.Thetestsetmeasuresboththecurrentandvoltageandinternally calculatesandthendisplaystheresistance,asR=V/I.Theresistanceindicatedbythetestis theresistancebetweentheearthelectrodeandthepotentialprobe.Ifthecurrentand potentialprobesbotharefarenoughawayfromtheelectrode,thatis,outsidetheinfluence oftheelectrode,thereadingcorrespondstotheresistanceoftheelectrodetoremoteearth.

3eFallofPotential TheFallofPotentialisthemostcommonmethodofmeasuringgroundresistance,butit requiresspecialprocedurswhenusedtomeasureLargeElectrodeSystems(thatmay includenumeroustypesofbondedelectrodessuchasgroundrods,grids,concreteencased electrodes,waterwellcasings,andburiedradialwires).ForSmallElectrodeSystems(such asoneorfewgroundrodsorasmallloop)theFallofPotentialrequiresonlysimple procedures.Thebasicprocedure(referetoFig.2)istofirstconnectthetestsetterminalsC1 andP1tothegroundelectrodeundertest,andC2terminaltoacurrentprobelocatedsome distanceawayfromtheelectrode,finallythetestsetsP2terminalisconnectedtothe potentialprobelocatedavariabledistancebetween.Thetwoprobesarenormallylocatedin astraightline.Ateachpotentialprobelocation,theresistancereadoutisrecorded.The resultsofthesemeasurementsarethenplottedtographicallydeterminetheelectrode resistance. Fig.3isshowingtheresistanceareasaroundthegroundingsystemandthecurrent probe.Basicallythefartherthedistancebetweenthemthelesstheinfluenceofthe hemosphericalresistanceareasastheydonotoverlapasfarastheyareseparatedby enoughdistance. Fig.3isalsoshowingvariationofresistancewithdistance.Forthesituationwherethe currentprobeisfarenoughfromthetestedgroundsystem,theresistancevaluelevelsoff havingaflatzone.Thisflatzoneisindicatingabsenceorminimumeffectofoverlapofthe influentialshellsofresistance. Researchesrevieledthatthevalueofthetestedgroundiswithinthisflatzoneandin particularat61.8%ofthedistancefromthetestedelectrodetothecurrentprobe,provided thattheresistivityofthesoilishomogenious.

3fFallofPotentialforSmallElectrodes Asmentionedearlier,agroundsystemcomposedofoneorafewgroundelectrodesora smallloopisconsideredassmallelectrodesystemwhichcanfollowtheprocedureas bellow: TerminalsC1andP1areconnectedasshowninFig,2.Thecurrentpoleisdrivenintoearth (toadepthof812inches)atadistanceof100200ft.fromthegroundelectrodeunder test,andtheterminalC2ofthetestinstrumentisconnectedtoit.Thepotentialprobeis drivenintotheearth,tothesamedepthasthecurrentprobe,midwaybetweenthetested rodandthecurrentprobeandconnectedtoterminalP2ofthetestinstrument.The resistancevaluereadoutisrecordedwhenthepotentialterminalismidway.Thepotential probeisthenmoved10ft.fartherawayfromthetestedelectrodeandthesecond resistancevaluereadoutisrecorded.Finally,thepotentialprobeismovedadistanceof 10ft.closertothetestedelectrodeandthethirdresistancevaluereadoutisrecorded. TheaverageresistanceofthethreereadoutsarecalculatedandcalledR. Theresultsareanalyzedaccordingtothefollowingcriteria: IF(RR)/Rand(RR)/Randalso(RR)/Rareallassmallas23%thenR canbetakenastheresistanceofthegroundrodundertest. IFontheotherhandabovecriteriadonotyieldthemaximumlimitsofdisagreementas above,thentheprocedureforLargeElectrodeSystems,thatwillfollow,arecarriedout. 3gFallofPotentialLargeElectrodeSystems. Asetofmeasurementscanbemadetosavetimebutmaynotyieldtherequiredaccuracyif thecurrentandpotentialprobesarenotoutsidetheelectricalinfluenceoftheelectrode system.byreferencetoFig.2: First,thecurrentprobeisdriventoearth400to600ft.fromthetestedelectrode,andthe potentialprobeisdriventoearth61.8%ofthedistancefromtheelectrodetothecurrent probe.Theresistanceismeasuredunderthiscondition. Second,thepotentialprobeismoved50to100ft.fartherawayfromitspresantposition ,andtheresistanceagainrecorded.

Third,thecurrentprobeismovedcloserby50to100ft.andthepotentialelectrodeis placedat61.8%ofthenewdistance,thentheresistanceismeasuredunderthisnewsetof distances. Fourth,Theabovestepsarerepeated. Fifth,Theresistancereadingsareaveraged. Asitwasdiscussedearlier,thegroundelectrodecanbethoughtofasbeingsurroundedby concentricshellsofearth.Thecurrentprobeisalsosurroundedbyearthshellsbutwitha relativelysmallerinfluence.Itisnecessarytolocatethecurrentprobefarenoughawayso thattheinfluentialshellsdonotoverlap. FallofPotentialmethodmeasurementsarebasedonthedistanceofthecurrentand potentialprobesfromthecenterofthetestedelectrode.Mostofthetime,thelocationof thecenteroftheelectrodeisunknown,inparticularwhenitconsistsofalotoftypesof bondedelectrodeslikegrids,rods,waterwellcasings,andradialwires.Forsituationsasthese specialproceduresarefollowedliketheSlopeMethodortheIntersectingCurves. Asitwasstatedearlier,ifspaceisnotposingmeasurementrestrictions,thenthefartherthe currentprobeisplacedthelessistheerrorwhicharisefrominterferingearthresistance areas.Theoreticalandexperimentalworkindicatethatthecurrentprobehastobeplaced 10to20timesthegroundmaximumlengthortheMaximumElectrodeDimensionfor largergroundsystems.Forinstanceifthesystemisconstitutedofrectaingularorsquare shapethentheMaximumElectrodeDimensionisthediagonallength. Asthe61.8%measurementisbasedonhomogenioussoilresistivitytoadeptharound10 timestheMaximumElectrodeDimensionaconditionthatcannotbeconfirmedwith certainity,thereforesomemeasurescanbetakentoendupwithasatisfactorymeasurement result. Itisarrangedtoobtainthreesetsofmeasurementswiththecurrentprobedistancesof200 ft.awayfromthetestedelectrode,andthesecondsetofmeasurementwithadistanceof 300ft.andfinallyasetwith400ft.and,whenever,possibleindifferentdirections. Foreachsetofmeasurement,thepotentialprobeisplacedat20ft.awayfromthetested groundandaresistancereadoutisrecorded.Thenthepotentialprobeismoved5ft.to10 ft.fartherawaytorecordthesecondresistancereadout.Thisisrepeatedateachpotential probelocationincreamentof5ft.to10ft.untillitreachesabout20ft.fromthecurrent probe. Finallythreesetsofmeasurementsareobtainedandplottedwithdistancefromtheground electrode.Thesecurvesareexaminedtodetectanyreadingthatcausedeparturefrom smoothnessofcurveandtheoperatordecidesifareplacementmeasurementhastobe done.Fromtheresultingcurves(anexampleofwhichisshowninFig.4)theslopesinohm/ ftarecalculatedatmidpointsandareanalyzedaccordingtothefollowing:

Slopeof curve Doestheslope exhibithorizontality? Averagethe resistancevalue@ .%

yes

No yes

Istheslopesmall?

No

CarryoutSLOPEMETHODor theINTERSECTINGCURVES procedure

Fig.

3hTheprocedureofIntersectingCurves Inparticularwithlargegroundsystems,wheneverthecenterofsuchasystemisnotknown accurately,thedataobtainedbyFallofPotentialcanfurtherbecrosscheckedusingthe IntersectingCurvesprocedure.Inthisproceduretheactualcenterofthegroundingsystem isassumedtobeadistanceXfromtheprevioustestconnection.AssumedvaluesofXare variedininceamentsof10ft.,tocalculatethemodifiedlocationofthepotentialprobe whichshouldequalto:61.8%(X+D)X.Withthesedistances,andmakinginterpolationsas necessary,correspondingresistancesarereadfromtheoriginaldata.Thisprocessis repeatedforallthesetsofthedata.Thisnewsetsofdataareplottedwithresistanceas ordinateagainstthemodifieddistanceandcalledIntersectingCurves,astheintersecting pointofthecurvesindicateactualgroundresistanceofthesystem. Withthisprocedure,andifthecurvesdonotintersectatonepointbutratherforma commonsmallshape,thenthesizeofsuchashapehastobeevaluatedinordertoeither accepttheresults,orrecheckandpossiblyrepeatthetest,becausethesizeofsuchashapeis representingtheuncertainityofthemeasurement.Whenthecurvesdonotintersectat all,thewholetestandinstrumenthavetobecheckedthoroughly. 3iTheSlopeMethod Thismethodcanalsobeusedtocrosschecktheothermethodsoritcanbeusedto measurethegroundsystemresistance. Distancefromthegroundrodarecalculatedas0.2D,0.4D,and0.6D,whereDisthe separationbetweenthecurrentprobeandthegroundsystem.TheresistancesR1,R2,andR3 ,inthesamerespectiveorder,areread,withinterpolationasnecessary,fromthedata correspondingtoabovedistances.Thechangeofslopeiscalculatedasfollows: =(R3R2)/(R2R1) TheSlopeMethodtableisenteredwithabovechangeofslopetoreadthevalueof Pd/D.ThislattervalueismultipliedbyDtofindPd.WiththisPddistancethedataisentered tofindthevalueoftheresistance.Similarly,thesameprocedureiscarriedoutforallthe datasets.Whentheresistancesarereasonablyclosethevaluescanbeusedwithconfidence.

4REMARKS Thevalueofgroundresistanceisnotstrictlyindicatedbycodes.Apparentlycodesindicate thatagroudrodhaving25ohmresistanceshouldbesupplimentedbyanotherrod.Some installationsrequire5ohm,othersreqyire3ohms.Substationsandpowerplantsmay requirenomorethan0.5ohms. Thedepthtowhichagroundelectrodeisdrivenisanimportantfactorinloweringground resistance,anditshouldbelongenoughtoreachthepermanentmoisturelevelofthe soil.Forthispurpose,andinsteadusinghandheldhammer,anelectricdemolitionhammer(a smallerversionofaroadbreaker)ismadeuseof.Groundrodsaeusuallycoppercoated steel,themostcommonis10ft.inlengthandofinchesdiameter. Drivingdeepelectrodesbondedwithexistinggroundsystemsisrecommendedwhenthe existingystemistestedtobeoneofhighresitance. Multiplerodsprovideanothereffectivemeansofimprovinggroundsystems,andthemore arespaced,withinpracticallimits,thebettertheohmicstatusofthesystemwillbe .Verticallydrivenrodsaregenerallyusedwherebedrockisbeyondadepthofabout10 ft.Ontheotherhand,wherebedrockisnearthesurface,electrodesareunpracticaltouse.In suchcasessolidwires,strandedcables,orhorizotalstripsareused.Also,highresistivityrock canbeoverlainbyclaythathavelowresistivity. Ionproducingchemicalsaddedtothesoilimmediatelysurroundingelectrodeshelpin loweringresistance.Thechemicalsmaygraduallywashedawaybyrainfallandnatural drainage.Inaddition,therearesomereservationsinresortingtochemicalsarisingfrom concernsofinvirenmentalprotection. 5REFERANCES 1EarthresistancemeasurementDuncanInstrumentsCanada 2SafePermanentGroundingGeorgeHamburgerCopperweldsteelco. 3GettingdowntoearthMeggerinst.co. 4PrinciplesandpracticeofearthelectrodemeasurementsWilliamD.Reeve 5SlopeMethodJeffJowett