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Earthing System

By: A.K.Agarwal
PMI, Noida

Contents
Introduction:
Equipment earthing and neutral point earthing.
Methods & Importance of neutral earthing

Concepts, Objectives & Classification of Earthing


General Considerations
Electric Shock, Touch & Step Potential
Soil Resistivity, Conduction
Fault Levels And Max. Earth Fault Current
Earth Potential Rise (E.P.R) And Interference
With Telecommunication Circuits.
References

INTRODUCTION

Earth - The conductive mass of the earth, whose


electric potential at any point is conventionally
taken as zero.
Earth Electrode -A conductor or group of
conductors in intimate contact with and providing
an electrical connection to earth.
Earth Electrode Resistance - The resistance of an
earth electrode to earth.

Earth Leakage Current - A current which flows to


earth or to extraneous conductive parts in a circuit
which is electrically sound.
Earthing Conductor - A protective conductor
connecting the main earthing terminal to an earth
electrode or to other means of earthing.

Main Earthing Terminal - The terminal or bar (which is


the equipotential bonding conductor) provided for
the connection of protective conductors and the
conductors of functional earthing.
Neutral Conductor - A conductor connected to the
neutral point of a system and capable of contributing
to the transmission of electrical energy.
Potential Gradient ( At a Point ) The potential
difference per unit length measured in the direction in
which it is maximum.

Touch Voltage - The potential difference


between a grounded metallic structure and a point on
the earths surface separated by a distance equal to
the normal maximum horizontal reach, approximately
one metre.
Step Voltage - The potential difference between two
points on the earths surface, separated
by distance of one pace, that will be assumed
to be one metre in the direction of maximum
potential gradient.

Earthing shall generally be carried out in


accordance with the requirements of Indian
Electricity Rules 1956, as amended from time to
time and the relevant regulations of the Electricity
Supply Authority concerned.
All medium voltage equipment are earthed by
two separate and distinct connections with earth.

IEEE:80 The IEEE guide for safety in AC substation


grounding
IEEE:142 - Grounding of Industrial & commercial
power systems
IS:3043 - Code of practice for Earthing

Indian Electricity Act.


Indian Electricity Rules.

Importance of Earthing
in Power System
50 % Failure of equipments attributed to Earthing.

40,000 Lightening storms/day

or

100 Lightening storms/second


98 % of the faults in the system are due to SLG Faults
1.5 % of the faults are due to Line to Line Faults

0.5 % of the faults are due to 3 Phase Faults

Importance of System Earthing


Purpose
To minimize potential transient over voltages, to comply
with personnel safety requirements and to assist in rapid
detection & isolation of fault areas
IMPARTS ON SHORT AND LONG TERM LIFE OF ELECTRICAL
EQUIPMENTS
AT THE LOW COST OF IMPLEMENTATION THERE IS NO
MEASURE THAT IS MORE COST EFFECTIVE
Importance
E/F protection is based on method of neutral grounding
System voltage during E/F depends on neutral grounding
Provided basically for discrimination of protection, against
arcing grounds, unbalanced voltage w.r.t. earth, protection
from lightning etc.
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POPULAR ( MIS ) CONCEPTS ABOUT EARTHING

EARTH IS A GOOD CONDUCTOR

GROUND POTENTIAL IS ALWAYS ZERO

PROTO TYPE EARTHING DESIGN IS SUFFICIENT

EARTHING IS JUST BURYING CONDUCTOR

EARTHING IS ONLY FOR ACHIVEING LOW RESISTANCE VALUE

USE OF COPPER FOR EARTHING WILL GIVE LOW RESISTANCE

REASONS WHY EARTHING PROBLEMS ARE COMPLEX


EARTH

IS A POOR

CONDUCTOR

NON HOMOGENEOUS
CONDUCTORS BURIED IN SOIL HAVE COMPLICATED SHAPE
ACTIVE ONLY DURING FAULT CONDITIONS
MOST OF THE ANALYSIS OF EARTHING IS BY EMPIRICAL FORMULAE

What is Earthing?
Earthing means an electrical connection done through
a metal link between body of any electrical appliance,
or neutral point, as the case may be, to general mass
of earth (deeper ground soil) to provide safe passage
to fault current to enable to operate protective devices
and provide safety to personnel and equipments
The metal link is normally of MS flat, CI flat, GI wire
which should be penetrated to the ground earth grid

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Objectives of Earthing :

Avoid potential rise of parts of equipments other


than the live parts.

Safe passage to earth for the fault current.

Suppress dangerous potential gradients on the


earth surface.

To retain system voltages within permissible


limits under fault conditions.

To facilitate using of Graded insulation in power


transformers

..Objectives of Earthing

For safety of equipments


Safety of Operating personnel
Avoid Fire Hazards
Safety of telecommunication equipments

Classification of Earthing
System or neutral earthing to ensure system security and
protection, it is a connection to ground from one of the currentcarrying conductors of an electrical power system (connection
between LV neutral of a power Transformer winding and earth)

Equipment earthing (Safety grounding) deals with


earthing of non-current carrying parts of equipment to ensure
safety to personnel and protection against lightning, it is a
connection to ground from one or more of the noncurrentcarrying metal parts of a wiring system or equipment connected
to the system (connecting body of equipments like motor body,
Transformer tank, Switch gear box, operating rods of air break
switches, LV breaker body, HV breaker body, Feeder breaker
bodies etc. to earth)
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Types of Grounding

Un-grounded System
A system of conductors in which there is no
intentional connection to ground
Early electrical systems were almost universally
operated ungrounded
On small systems an insulation failure on one
phase did not cause an outage
The failure could probably be found and
repaired at a convenient time without a forced
outage
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Ungrounded neutral system: Normal


Condition

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Ungrounded neutral system: Fault


Condition

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Ungrounded neutral system: Fault


Condition

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Ungrounded neutral system: Fault


Condition

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It can be seen from the analysis that:


1) In an ungrounded neutral system, under a single line to ground
fault the voltage to earth of the two healthy phases rises from
their normal phase to neutral voltage to full line voltage. This may
result in insulation breakdown.
2) The capacitive current through the two healthy phases increases
to 5 times the normal value. Capacitive fault current flows to
earth in excess of 4 A will cause arcing ground
3) A capacitive fault current Ir- flows to the earth.

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Advantages of Neutral grounding


Persistent arcing grounds are eliminated.
System can be protected against E/F.

Methods of Neutral grounding

Solid grounding
Resistance grounding
Reactance grounding
Resonant grounding

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DIFFERENT METHODS OF EARTHING


SOLID EARTHING
Here neutral is directly connected to earth electrode/mat.
GENERALLY FOR VOLTAGES BELOW 2.2 KV AND ABOVE 33 KV, SOLID EARTHING IS USED.
BELOW 2.2 KV, CIRCUIT IMPEDANCE IS SUFFICIENTLY HIGH LIMITTING THE FAULT
CURRENT. ABOVE 33 KV, COST OF INSULATION IS VERY HIGH. THEREFORE, GRADED
INSULATION IS USED.
RESISTANCE EARTHING

Here a resistance or an impedance, in general a potential transformer or a single


phase distribution transformer is connected between the neutral and the earth
electrode/mat.
FOR SYSTEMS OF 2.2 KV TO 33 KV, EARTHING THROUGH RESISTANCE OR REACTANCE IS
USED AS INSULATION MATERIAL COST TO TOTAL EQUIPMENT COST IS NOT MUCH.
This is generally applicable to Synchronous generator earthing.
REACTANCE EARTHING
WHILE IN RESISTANCE EARTHING, THE EARTH FAULT CURRENT IS LIMITED TO FULL
LOAD CURRENT OF THE LARGEST GENERATOR OR TRANSFORMER, IN REACTANCE
EARTHING IT WILL BE ANYWHERE BETWEEN 25% TO 100& OF 3 PHASE FAULT CURRENT.

Effective Earthing
A system is called effectively earthed if
XO/X1 < 3 is true
&
R0/R1 < 1 is true
X0 : Zero sequence reactance
X1: Positive sequence reactance
R0 : Zero sequence resistance

Under a phase fault condition the voltage of healthy


phase should not rise more than 80% of healthy Line
to line voltage.
Magnitude of earth fault current is more than 3phase
fault current.

Solid grounding

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Salient Features of Solid grounding


a) When a fault to earth occurs on any phase of the system, the
voltage to earth of the faulty phase become zero, but the
healthy phase in general, remain at their normal value. As
such lightning arresters rated for phase voltage can be
insulated for phase voltage. Thus saving in cost.
b) The flow of heavy fault current. Ir will completely nullify the
effect of the capacitive current ICF and so no arcing ground
phenomena will occur.
c) The flow of heavy fault current permits the use of
discriminative protection gear.

d) Used for low voltages up to 600 V and high voltages above 33


kV
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Disadvantages of solidly
grounded systems
High fault currents interfere with communication
circuit.
Danger to personnel in the vicinity of fault is high.
Heavy fault currents may cause considerable damage to
equipments.

Resistance Grounding

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salient features of the resistance grounding


1. It minimizes the hazard of arcing grounds.
2. It permits to use discriminative protective gear.
3. To limit E/F current, a resistance or reactance is introduced
between neutral and earth. A resistance grounded system will
have low E/F current when compared to solid grounding
system and hence will have less influence on neighboring
communication circuits.
4. By reducing the value of R, possible to eliminate arcing
grounds and if value of R is high, system approaches to
ungrounded neutral system
5. Resistance grounding normally adopted for system having
system voltage between 3.3 kV to 33 kV
6. This system is costlier than solid grounded system.
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Reactance Earthing System


To limit E/F current, a resistance or reactance is introduced
between neutral and earth
Provide additional reactance to system reactance, thereby
neutralizes the capacitive currents, hence where high charging
currents are involved reactance grounding is preferred
Synchronous motors and synchronous capacitors are provided
with reactance grounding
A system is having reactance grounding if XO/X1 > 3

Y
R

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Reactance grounding

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Resonant Grounding System


An arc-suppression coil is an iron cored reactor mounted in the
neutral earthing circuit and capable of being tuned to resonate
with the capacitance of the system when a line becomes
earthed, it makes arcing earth fault self-extinguishing
Also referred as Peterson coil or ground fault neutralizer
For balanced condition L= 1/(w2C)

B
Y

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Fault Analysis
The fault current and fault voltage at different
parts of the network will be affected by the
following
Type of fault
Position of the fault
Configuration of the network
Neutral earthing

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Fault Analysis
The most dangerous phenomena is normally the high current
that occurs at a short circuit
Open circuit faults not cause high Overcurrent or high
overvoltages and therefore normally not dangerous to network,
but cause heating in rotating machines, due to the negative
sequence current that will flow in the system. Machines
equipped with negative sequence current protection, needs no
fault calculation
The magnitude of the fault current is dependent on type of fault
that occurs. At earth faults the size of the fault current is
depending on the earthing resistance or reactance (if applicable)
and on the resistance in fault. The fault resistance for a phase
fault is much smaller than that for an earth fault
Three phase faults normally gives the highest short circuit
currents
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Symmetrical Components

Introduced by Fortescue in 1916


Developed in a book by Wagner and Evans
Very efficient for hand-calculations
Forms the base for computer programs
An unbalanced system of n related phases could
be replaced by a system of n balanced phases
which were named the symmetrical
components of the original phases

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Symmetrical Components

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Symmetrical Components
Positive-sequence components, consist of three
phasors of equal magnitude, spaced 120 apart, and
rotating in the same direction as the phasors in the
power system under consideration, i.e. the positive
direction
Negative-sequence components, consist of three
phasors of equal magnitude, spaced 120 apart,
rotating in the same direction as the positive-sequence
phasors but in the reverse sequence
Zero-sequence components, which consist of three
phasors equal in magnitude and in phase with each
other, rotating in the same direction as the positive
sequence phasors
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Symmetrical Components

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Symmetrical Components

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Computation of Fault Current

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Computation of Fault Current

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Computation of Fault Current

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SUBSTATION EARTHING
MAIN INTENTION OF EARTHING IS TO LIMIT THE TRANSIENT OVER
VOLTAGE CAUSED BY RESTRICTING GROUND FAULTS, TO THE LEVEL THAT
THE EQUIPMENT CAN BE DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND ABOUT 250 % OF
THE RATED VOLTAGE. FOR SAFETY TO MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL AND TO
LIMIT THE DAMAGE OF THE EQUIPMENT, IT IS ABSOLUTELY MUST OF FAST
CLEARING THE GROUND FAULT.
PROPER SYSTEM EARTHING WILL GIVE A HIGH DEGREE OF PROTECTION
AGAINST STEEP WAVE FRONT SURGES ENTERING THE SUB STATION AND
PASSING TO EARTH THROUGH ITS GROUNDING SYSTEM.
UNDER FAULT CONDITIONS, THE FLOW OF CURRENT TO EARTH WILL
RESULT IN GRADIENTS WITHIN AND AROUND THE STATION. UNLESS THE
EARTHING SYSTEM IS DESIGNED CAREFULLY, THE MAXIMUM GRADIENT
ALONG THE SURFACE MAY BE GREAT ENOUGH TO ENDANGER A MAN
WALKING IN THE VICINITY.

PRELIMINARY DESIGN OF GROUNDING SYSTEM


A CONTINUOUS EARTHING CONDUCTOR IS PLACED AROUND THE PERIMETER
OF THE SUB STATION TO ENCLOSE AS MUCH GROUND AS POSSIBLE TO AVOID
CURRENT CONCENTRATION AND HENCE HIGH GRADIENTS AT GROUND
CONDUCTOR ENDS. WITHIN THE GRID, CONDUCTORS ARE LAID IN PARALLEL
LINES AND AT UNIFORM SPACING.
THE MATERIAL OF THE GROUND ELECTRODES SHOULD HAVE HIGH
CONDUCTIVITY AND LOW UNDERGROUND CORROSION. STEEL IS USED
NORMALLY IN INDIA FOR EARTHING.

ALUMINIUM IS NOT MUCH IN USE AS CORRODED ALUMINIUM IS ALMOST


NON- CONDUCTIVE. COPPER IS COSTLY. HENCE MILD STEEL ELECTRODES WITH
ADEQUATE CROSS SECTION ARE PREFERABLE.
IT IS A GOOD PRACTICE TO HAVE AN OVER DESIGNED EARTHING SYSTEM AS
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF UNKNOWN FACTORS AND THE SAFETY OF THE
OPERATING PERSONNEL IS ALWAYS INVOLVED.

EARTHING INSTALLATION
EARTHMAT IS USUALLY DESIGNED WITH THE FOLLOWING SIZES OF MS RODS.
400 KV SUB STATIONS
40 MM DIA.
220 KV SUB STATIONS
40 MM / 32 MM DIA.
110 KV SUBSTATIONS
32 MM / 25 MM DIA.
CONDUCTOR ABOVE GROUND LEVEL FOR EARTHING EQUIPMENT,
STRUCTURES, COLUMNS AND OTHER AUXILIARY STRUCTURES SHALL BE
GALVANISED FLATS. ROD ELECTRODES SHALL BE OF MILD STEEL OF SAME
DIAMETER AS EARTH CONDUCTORS AND OF LENGTH AS REQUIRED IN THE
DESIGN.
NEUTRAL POINTS OF SYSTEMS OF DIFFERENT VOLTAGES, METALLIC
ENCLOSURES, FRAMES OF ALL CURRENT CARRYING EQUIPMENTS AND ALL
METAL WORKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CURRENT CARRYING SYSTEM SHALL
BE CONNECTED TO THE SINGLE EARTHING SYSTEM. STEEL STRUCTURES,
COLLUMNS ETC. SHALL BE CONNECTED TO THE NEAREST EARTHING GRID BY
TWO EARTHING LEADS.

Earthmat Layout

STATUTORY PROVISION OF EARTHING


EARTHING SHALL BE CARRIED OUT AS PER INDIAN ELECTRICITY RULES
AND AS PER IS 3043- 1987
ALL MEDIUM VOLTAGE EQUIPMENT SHALL BE EARTHED BY TWO SEPARATE
AND DISTINCT CONNECTIONS TO EARTH.
TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, ALL EARTH CONNECTIONS SHALL BE VISIBLE
FOR INSPECTION.
THE VALUE OF ANY EARTH SYSTEM RESISTANCE SHALL BE SUCH AS TO
CONFORM WITH THE DEGREE OF EARTH PROTECTION DESIRED.
PREFERABLY, NO CUT OUT, LINK OR SWITCH SHALL BE PROVIDED IN THE
EARTHING SYSTEM. HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE CASE OF A
SWITCH FOR USE IN CONTROLLING A GENERATOR, A TRANSFORMER OR A
LINK FOR TEST PURPOSES.
ONLY GOOD QUALITY MATERIALS SHALL BE USED IN THE EARTHING
SYSTEM.

C0MMON TYPES OF EARTH ELECTRODES


WHILE EARTH GRIDS ARE USED IN MAJOR SUB STATIONS, DIFFERENT
TYPES OF EARTH ELECTRODES ARE USED FOR EARTHING HV AND LV
INSTALLATIONS. IN 11 KV AND 33 KV SUB STATIONS, PLATE EARTHING
PROVES SUFFICIENT.
PLATE ELECTRODES
PLATE ELECTRODES ARE OF MAXIMUM SIZE 1.2 M X 1.2 M. IF MORE AREA
IS REQUIRED, INSTEAD OF INCREASING THE SIZE, TWO NUMBER OF PLATES
ARE USED IN PARALLEL. CAST IRON PLATES OF 12 MM THICK ARE MOST
SUITABLE.
PIPE OR ROD ELECTRODES
PIPES MAY BE OF CAST IRON NOT LESS THAN 100 MM DIAMETER, 2.5 M
TO 3 M LONG AND 13 MM THICK.
STRIP OR CONDUCTOR ELECTRODES
STRIP ELECTRODES ARE USED IN HIGH RESISTIVITY SOIL. WHERE ROUND
CONDUCTORS ARE USED AS EARTH ELECTRODES, THEIR AREA OF CROSS
SECTION SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN THE SIZES RECOMMENDED FOR STRIP
ELECTRODES.

EFFECT OF MOISTURE ON EARTH RESISTIVITY

THE NORMAL MOISTURE CONTENT OF SOIL RANGES FROM 10 PERCENT IN


DRY SEASON TO 35 PERCENT IN WET SEASON, AVERAGE BEING 16 TO 18
PERCENT. IF THE MOISTURE CONTENT IS 20 PERCENT OR ABOVE, THE
RESISTIVITY IS NOT AFFECTED. BUT WHEN THIS MOISTURE IS REDUCED, SOIL
RESISTIVITY ABRUPTLY INCREASES.

ABUNDANCE OF PURE WATER WILL NOT REDUCE THE SOIL RESISTIVITY.


NATURAL ELEMENTS AND SOLUBLE INGREDIENTS INCREASES THE
CONDUCTIVITY.

ARTIFICIAL TREATMENT OF SOIL

THE RESISTIVITY OF THE SOIL IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDING THE EARTH


ELECTRODE CAN BE REDUCED BY

EFFECT OF MOISTURE ON EARTH RESISTIVITY

ADDING SUBSTANCES LIKE SODIUM CHLORIDE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE,SODIUM


CARBONATE, COPPER SULPHATE, SALT AND SOFT COKE AND SALT AND
CHARCOAL IN SUITABLE PROPORTIONS

DURING DRY SEASONS, EARTH PITS MAY BE REGULARLY WATERED AND KEPT
WET TO KEEP THE EARTH RESISTIVITY LOW. GRAVEL OR CRUSHED ROCK
COVERING IS ALSO HELPFUL TO RETARD THE EVAPORATION OF MOISTURE
FROM EARTH.

COMPONENTS OF EARTH PIT

1 Conducting Electrode
2 Contact Point of the electrode and Soil
3 Soil
1

TYPES OF ELECTRODE

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Plate electrode
Mesh electrode
Cast Iron Pipe electrode
G.I. Pipe electrode
Rod electrode
Strip electrode
Chemical electrode

DISPERSION FROM ELECTRODE

As electrode offers less resistance to


The flow of current compared to soil,
It is better to have one of the dimensions
Stretched in a given area of dispersion.
Hence rod/ pipe grounding may be preferred compared to plate
Grounding

PLATE ELECTRODE
Sizes of Plate electrode are 1.2m X 1.2m, 0.9m X 0.9m
and 0.6m X 0.6 m. Minimum size of plate should be
0.6m X 0.6m
The Resistance practically achieved is proportional to the
Linear dimension to the electrode.
Resistance achievable by different electrode sizes are,
1.2m X 1.2m = soil resistivity / 2.75
0.9m X 0.9m = soil resistivity / 2.20
0.6m X 0.6m = soil resistivity / 1.375

Careful
Plate electrode corrodes fast hence recommended thickness
Cast Iron = 12.00 mm
G.I
= 06.30 mm
Copper = 03.15 mm

INSTALLATION OF PLATE ELECTRODE

600 mm

1500mm
min

600 mm

1500mm
min

Solid Stratum

Rod or Pipe electrode


The size of cast iron pipe used is 100mm
dia, with a 13mm thickness and 3m length.
The size of GI pipe used is 38/50mm dia
and 3m length
The size of solid rod used is 13, 16, 19mm
having length of 1.2m, in set of 2 or 3
The choice to the electrode is based on
Economy of driving it in & Space available

Rod or Pipe Electrode


Reduction of soil resistivity
13mm

16mm

25mm

100mm

1.0 m

0.91

0.88

0.81

0.59

1.2 m

0.78

0.76

0.70

0.51

2.0 m

0.51

0.49

0.46

0.35

2.4 m

0.44

0.42

0.39

0.30

3.0 m

0.36

0.35

0.33

0.25

3.6 m

0.31

0.30

0.25

0.22

Comparative Analysis
Reduction of soil resistivity
1
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0

13mm
16mm
25mm
100mm

1.0m

1.2m

2.0m

2.4m

3.0m

3.6m

Parallel Electrodes
When number of rods are connected in
parallel, the resultant is the reciprocal of
the rods connected.
Parallel electrodes should be outside the
resistance area of each other.
Mutual separation shall more than the
depth of the driven electrode
13mm
rod
1.2 m

1.2 m min

Soil resistivity of 35 ohms

1 rod R= 27.0
2 rod R = 13.5
3 rod R = 09.0

Care taken during parallel electrode installation

Strip Earthing
The sizes of strip electrode
generally used are 25 X 3,
50 X 6, 75 X 6 flats and 70
sqmm round bare cables.
Where the sub stratum is
very hard and going deep
does not help in lowering of
resistance, strip electrode is
an effective solution
A ready guide for using a
strip electrode is presented
to you.
The maximum drop in
resistance is in the first 50m.

600mm

HARD ROCK

Comparative Analysis
Reduction of soil resistivity

0.4
0.35
0.3
0.25

25 X 3
50 X 6
75 X 6
70 sq mm

0.2
0.15
0.1
0.05
0
3m

6m

10m

20m

50m

Material of Electrode
Most corrosive but accepted electrode material are cast
iron, wrought iron, mild steel etc.
Z-90 grade GI has much better life compared to bare
material
Most preferred material of electrode is copper
In many cases molecularly bonded copper over steel is
being effectively used.In case of molecularly bonded
copper 250 micron thickness of copper is needed over
steel.
In case the installation is protected by cathodic
protection, the material used for grounding should have
the same galvanic voltage as that of the cathodically
protected installation. Such material may be selected
referring the galvanic series. Please take care that Copper
may not be suitable in this case

Contact between the Earth and Electrode


1
The earth electrode
should be thrusted into
the ground and not
loosely driven.
Compaction of earth is
essential for pre-bored
pits
In case of a heavy short
circuit, the moisture from
the neighboring soil may
evaporate due to heat.
Resulting in infinite
resistance and eventual
failure.

Use of conductive cement


100mm around the electrode
can be very useful

Resistivity Values

Change in Resistance with Salt and Moisture


The maximum amount of ionic substance needed is about
5% by weight
What we really need is about 20% moisture by weight

Change in resistance with Temperature

This table clearly shows that we need to be careful of


as the water in the soil freezes and introduces very high
Temperature coefficient.
Hence the Electrode needs to be buried 2m below the
surface

Why is artificial Treatment needed

To maintain the ionic level of the soil for


long
To maintain the moisture content
To have inner compaction
To constantly diffuse into neighboring soil
and increase the resistance area of the
electrode

TEREC +
Miracle Compound for
maintenance free Earthing

Horizontal Setting up

Vertical setting up with tubular electrode

Vertical setting with copper / steel rods

AVAILABLE IN INDIA

More than 1000,000 million installations worldwide


Repeatedly used by Defense, Airports, Research Organizations,
Space centers and petrochemical refineries and Power houses
It is the latest patent in the world of Earthing
DRDO, BEL, RBI, BPCL, NPCL, HCL, Hi-tech IT units are already in our
list of Indian Clients

EARTHING OF 11 KV AND LT LINES


FOR HT LINES, 25 MM GI PIPES OF LENGTH 1.8 TO 3 M SHALL BE USED AS
EARTH ELECTRODES.
COIL EARTHING FOR LT LINE MAY BE PROVIDED WITH NO. 6 OR NO. 8 GI WIRE
OF LENGTH 10 TO 25 M CLOSELY WOUND INTO A COIL OF DIAMETER 5 CM TO
10 CM, AT A DEPTH OF 1.5 M FROM GROUND LEVEL.
RUNNING A SEPARATE EARTH WIRE IS NOT IN VOGUE FOR LT LINES .HT LINES
ARE NOT PROVIDED WITH EITHER NEUTRAL WIRE OR EARTH WIRE.
EARTHED NEUTRAL IS USED IN LT LINES. NEUTRAL IS EARTHED WITH TWO
SEPARATE AND DISTINCT EARTH ELECTRODES ( PIPES ) AT THE TRANSFORMER
POINT, BOTH IN HT AND LT.
ALL SPECIAL STRUCTURES OR POLES CARRYING TRANSFORMERS, SWITCHES,
FUSES ETC. SHALL BE EARTHED. ALL SUPPORTS CARRYING GUARD WIRES
SHALL BE EARTHED.
THE OHMIC RESISTANCE OF THE EARTHING OF HT AND LT SHALL BE BELOW 10
OHMS.

CORROSION IN EARTHING SYSTEM

CORROSION RESULTS IN EARTHING SYSTEM DUE TO MECHANICAL,


CHEMICAL OR ELECTROCHEMICAL CAUSES. EARTHING SYSTEM DEGRADES
IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS.

THE CONTACT RESISTANCE OF EARTHING MATERIAL WITH GROUND


INCREASES DUE TO A FILM OF CORROSION PRODUCT.

THE SURFACE AREA IS REDUCED DUE TO LOSS OF METAL.

THE CONTACT POINTS DEGRADE LEADING TO LESS EFFECTIVE EARTHING.

R8
R6

R2
R7
R1

R4
R3

R5

MEASUREMENT OF SOIL RESISTIVITY


METHODOLGY ADOPTED
MEASUREMENTS ARE MADE ALONG A NO OF RADIALS AT DIFFERENT
LOCATIONS IN THE STATION SUCH THAT THE WHOLE AREA IN WHICH
EARTHING ELECTRODES / MAT IS LAID IS COVERED
SPACING BETWEEN THE PROBES WHICH ARE HAMMERED INTO
THE SOIL BE VARIED RADIALLY FOR TAKING DIFFERENT READINGS
TYPICALLY IF THE STATION IS 100 TO 150 MTRS THE SOIL
RESISTIVITY READINGS MAY BE TAKEN FOR A PROBE SPACINGS
OF 1 , 2, 5, 10 , 15, 25 AND 50 MTRS

A FEW DROPS OF WATER MAY BE POURED IN THE


NEIGHBOURHOOD OF PROBES TO GET GOOD CONDUCTIVE
CONNECTION BETWEEN PROBE AND THE SOIL SURROUND IT.

THE BURIED METALLIC PIPES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD


AND RECENTLY FILLED UP SOIL WILL AFFECT THE SOIL
RESISTIVITY READINGS

MEASUREMENT OF SOIL RESISTIVITY


TWO COMMONLY USED SOIL MODELS ARE
UNIFORM SOIL AND TWO LAYER SOIL MODEL
AS MAGNITUDE OF SPACING B/W PROBES IS INCREASED FROM
SMALL VALUE TO HIGHER VALUE THE MEASURED SOIL RESISTIVITY
REFLECTS THE EFFECT OF SOIL AT DIFFERENT DEPTHS

UNIFORM MODEL IS CHOOSEN IF THE MEASURED SOIL RESISTIVITY


VALUES VARY WITHIN 30 % OF AVERAGE VALUE
CASE-1 RESISTIVITY OF UPPER LAYER MORE THAN LOWER LAYERS
Rg ( Uniform layer value ) < Rg obtained
( Etouch & Estep) ( Uniform layer value ) < (Etouch & Estep) obtained
CASE-2 RESISTIVITY OF UPPER LAYER LESS THAN LOWER LAYERS
Rg ( Uniform layer value ) > Rg obtained
( Etouch & Estep) ( Uniform layer value ) > (Etouch & Estep) obtained

MEASUREMENT OF SOIL RESISTIVITY


FACTORS DETERMINING SOIL RESISTIVITY
MOISTURE
DISSOLVED SALTS

TEMPERATURE

GRAIN SIZE AND DISTRIBUTION

SEASONAL VARIATION

CURRENT MAGNITUDE

VARIATIONS IN RESISTIVITY DUE TO


MOISTURE,TEMPERATURE,SALT

SEASONAL VARIATIONS
To account for the seasonal variations , the average Soil
resistivity is multiplied by the factor as shown below, which is
termed as the apparent resistivity.

Season of measurement Multiplication factor


Summer

1.0

Winter

1.15

Rainy

1.3

Effect of Salt Moisture and Temperature


on Soil Resistivity

The
The objectives
objectives of
of earthing
earthing system
system :-: Safety to operating personnel

by limiting step & touch potential


To provide a sufficiently low-resistance path to ground to
minimize rise in ground potential with respect to remote
ground for proper functioning of the protective devices of the
substation
Healthiness of the power equipments by providing ground
connection for transformers, reactors and capacitors
To provide path for lightning rods, arresters and similar
devices
To provide a means of discharging and de-energizing
equipment in order to proceed with maintenance on the
equipment
88

objectives ofwhich
earthinginfluence
system :- the earthing
TheThe
Parameters
system :

Magnitude and Time of fault current


Earthing Conductor Material
Earth Electrode
Resistivity of Soil
Resistivity of Surface Insulation Material (gravel)
Design Methodology

89

The objectives
of earthing
systemCurrent::Magnitude
& Time
of Fault

Earthmat of substation shall be suitable for the expected


maximum current (including expected increase in future
expansion)
Time of current clearing shall be such that it covers the
time of back-up protection
Shock duration (0.5 sec) shall be such that the human
body can tolerate the intended current passing through
the body.
Maximum fault current can be obtained from Power
System Studies. Future expansion shall also be
considered.
The worst fault current is the equipment short Ckt
current rating which is normally higher than power
system fault current
90

Earthing Conductor:-

Size of earthing conductor shall be suitable for the worst


fault current with 1 sec as fault clearing time

Normally for conductor sizing, the equipment short Ckt


current rating is considered.

91

Earthing Conductor size:For MS Rod conductor & corrosion allowance of 0.12mm /yr for 40 years

1.0
2.0
3.0

4.0
5.0

Magnitude of Fault Current


Duration of fault Current (Sec)
Minimum Area of the earth
conductor (sq.mm)
Minimum Diameter of the
earthing conductor (mm)
Diameter of the conductor with
corrosion allowance (mm)

31.5kA
1
406

40kA
1
515.5

50kA
1
664.4

63kA
1
811.9

22.7

25.6

28.6

32.2

32.3

35.2

38.2

41.8

92

Safe Current for human body


Current Range

Effects on Humans

Threshold of perception
Let go currents
Pain full, hard to let go
Muscular contractions
Ventricular fibrillation

1 mA
1-6 mA
9-25 mA
25-60 mA
60-100 mA

Maximum Body Current: Ik =

0,11
6

for t = .03s to 3s

93

Potential Rises during fault

94

Touch Potential & Step Potential Tolerable

0,11
6

95

Step potential: The potential


difference shunted by a human
body between two accessible
points on the ground separated by
a distance of one pace assumed to
be equal to one meter

Touch voltage circuit


Touch potential:- The potential

difference between a point on the


ground and a point on an object
likely to carry fault current (e.g.,
frame of equipment) which can be
touched by a person

Mesh potential: The maximum touch potential within a mesh of


the grid.
Transferred potential: A special case of touch potential where a
potential is transferred into or out of the sub-station

For Safe Design,


(i)

Attainable Touch Potential shall be less than Tolerable


Touch Potential

(ii) Attainable Step Potential shall be less than Tolerable Step


Potential
(iii) Earth Potential Rise (EPR) shall remain within permissible
limit

(iv) For most transmission and other large substations, the


ground resistance is usually about 1 or less. In smaller
distribution substations, the usually acceptable range is
from 1 to 5 , depending on the local conditions.

98

For Safe Design,


In any switch yard, chances of exposure to Touch potential
is higher than that to step potential.
ii. Resistance offered by the feet of a person against Touch
potential is much less compared to that against Step
potential.
iii. Hence Touch potential is more critical for design while
Step potential is usually academic.
iv. Step potential is independent of the diameter ( crosssection) of the earthing conductor.
v. For 400% increase in diameter, reduction in Touch potential
is only 35%.
vi. Thus cross- section has minor influence on Touch and Step
potentials.
vii. Length of earthing conductor has significant effect on
Touch and Step potentials.
i.

99

For Safe Design,


(i)

Attainable Touch Potential shall be less than Tolerable


Touch Potential

(ii) Attainable Step Potential shall be less than Tolerable Step


Potential
(iii) Earth Potential Rise (EPR) shall remain within permissible
limit

(iv) For most transmission and other large substations, the


ground resistance is usually about 1 or less. In smaller
distribution substations, the usually acceptable range is
from 1 to 5 , depending on the local conditions.

100

For Safe Design,


In any switch yard, chances of exposure to Touch potential
is higher than that to step potential.
ii. Resistance offered by the feet of a person against Touch
potential is much less compared to that against Step
potential.
iii. Hence Touch potential is more critical for design while
Step potential is usually academic.
iv. Step potential is independent of the diameter ( crosssection) of the earthing conductor.
v. For 400% increase in diameter, reduction in Touch potential
is only 35%.
vi. Thus cross- section has minor influence on Touch and Step
potentials.
vii. Length of earthing conductor has significant effect on
Touch and Step potentials.
i.

101

Soil Resistivity

Soil Resistivity varies with type of soil, temperature, moisture


contents and climatic condition
Measurement of soil resistivity shall preferably be done in dry
season
Maintaining accuracy in soil resistivity measurement is
difficult
Analysis of soil resistivity with the type of soil may be
necessary
In case of +30% variation, two layer soil modeling helps in
correct modeling and optimal design
Measurement of soil resistivity in eight directions with
Wenners four electrode method is better
A non-accurate soil resistivity will lead to unsafe earthing
102

Tolerable Touch & Step Potentials

Gravel resistivity is generally considered as 3000 ohm.m in the


design though the range of gravel resistivity is 1000 10000
ohm.m
Considering of higher gravel resistivity (>3000 ohm.m) means
withstanding of higher touch & step voltages
As the gravel resistivity also changes with environmental
condition, a lower value of gravel will lead to risk of limit of
step and touch potentials
Hence, measures such as integration of gravel with a P.C.C
layer under the gravel may be applied.
Requirement of gravel for future equipment area shall
examined w.r.t the requirement of step voltage.
More shock duration means less the withstanding voltage
103

Area of Gravel spreading

Equipment Area has to be graveled as the design is done for


the same.
Requirement of gravel in future area of the substation with no
equipment shall be seen from possible rise in step potential.
The step voltages (tolerable & attainable) shall be calculated
(which is different with consideration of gravel) without gravel,
gravel resistivity is equal to soil resistivity if empirical formula
are applied.
Gravel shall also to be laid 2m away from fencing to ensure
that if a person touches the fence, he should stand on the
gravel.
Even spreading of gravel may be reviewed if the design is safe
and have enough confidence.
104

Earthing in difficult situations


The earthing resistance can be improve by any one
or more of the following methods.
1.

Increase the area of the earth mat.

2.

Provide deep earth electrodes.

3.
Provide auxiliary earth mat in a near by place where
the resistivity is low and connect it to the main earth
mat.
4.
Treating the earthmat and the electrode with
suitable chemicals.
Depending upon the situation any one or more of the
above methods can be used to reduce the earth
resistance.

Satellite Earthmat
EARTH POTENTIAL RISE ( E.P.R )

If = Fault current In = Neutral current


If = In
Im = Total current flowing in the Earthmat

SATELLITE EARTHMAT

Ig = Part of the fault current Entering the


Main Earthmat through the Earth.
Ig = Ig1+Ig2+Ig3.........+Ign

Is
In
TRANS.

Igw = Part of the fault current Entering the


Main Earthmat through the Overhead Ground wirw.
Is = Part of the fault current Entering the

Is

Main Earthmat through the Satellite Earthmat.

MAIN EARTHMAT
GROUND WIRE

Igw

FAULT-2

Im
Ig

FAULT-1

If

Ig5

Ig4

Ig3

Ig2

Ig1

In = Im = If = Ig+Igr+Is
Ig = Ig1+Ig2+Ig3.........+Ign

ONLY THE CURRENT Ig CONTRIBUTES TO THE E.P.R AND


NOT THE TOTAL CURRENT FLOWING IN THE EARTHMAT (Im) OR NEUTRAL (In)

The diversion of fault current through the main earth


mat.
Selection of site and interconnection.

References
1. IEEE guide for AC Substation Grounding ( IEEE 80)
2. IEEE guide for Measuring earth Resistivity, Ground
impedance, and earth surface potentials for a ground
system(IEEE 81)
3. IEE recommended practice for grounding industrial and
commercial power systems ( IEEE 142)

4. IEEE Guide for generating station grounding(IEEE 665)


5. Indian standard specifications ( 3043 Earthing)

Thank You