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ADOPTION OF RESTRICTED NEUTRAL SYSTEM TO RESTRICT TOUCH POTENTIAL WITHIN SAFE LIMITS

AJAY SINGH, DIRECTOR OF MINES SAFETY (ELECTRICAL), DGMS

INTRODUCTION: In order to control the hazards like shock voltage/potential and ignition which have direct relation with human safety, need to be addressed in effective manner. The most effective technique to control the risks associated with above-mentioned hazards is to equip the electrical distribution networks with “restricted neutral system of power supply”.

The Regulation 100(1) of Central electricity Authority Regulations, 2010, reads as follows:

“ appropriate equipment shall be suitably placed in the mines for automatically disconnecting supply to any part of the system, where a fault, including an earth fault, occurs and fault current shall not be more

than 750 milliampere in installations of voltage exceeding 250 V and up to 1100 V for below ground mines and oil fields and 50 ampere in installations of voltage exceeding 1100 V and up to 11 kV in open cast mines and the magnitude of the earth fault current shall be limited to these specified values by employing suitably designed, RESTRICTED NEUTRAL SYSTEM OF POWER SUPPLY. “

PRINCIPAL OF OPERATION: By introducing an impedance/resistor between neutral and earth, the shock voltage is reduced to a safer value so as to keep the magnitude of current through body within safe limits as depicted below:

The various parameters associated with the calculation of touch potential are depicted below:

The various parameters associated with the calculation of touch potential are depicted below:

The various parameters associated with the calculation of touch potential are depicted below:

CONCEPT OF TOUCH POTENTIAL:

CONCEPT OF TOUCH POTENTIAL:  For a 550V system, per phase voltage is 317V and the

For a 550V system, per phase voltage is 317V and the value of NGR to

= (550/√3) x 45 / (423 + 45) = 30.53 V which is well within safe limits.

restrict earth fault current within 750mA will be 423 Ω. The magnitude of shock voltage ( or touch potential) will be calculated as

follows:

---------- 45 Ω is resistance of earth return path. Accordingly, the touch potential may be calculated for the other electrical

networks. The characteristics between touch potential and time as shown below shall

be referred so as to appropriately set the timing of earth leakage relay (source: AS-4871), failing which the protective scheme won’t be fool-proof and may not offer desired protection. It is evident from the foregoing discussion that in order to reduce the touch potential either the magnitude of NGR (Neutral Grounding Resistor) shall be increased or the resistance of earth return path shall be reduced.

Conclusion: Through this paper an effort is made to explain about the concept of touch potential

Conclusion: Through this paper an effort is made to explain about the concept of touch potential and means to reduce the same within safe limits for a particular electrical installation. It was also demonstrated about the appropriate setting of an earth fault relay for a particular touch potential so that the safety of persons employed is not compromised.