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Ground Grid Systems

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems


Need for Grounding Grids
Currents flow into the grounding grid from:

Lightning Arrester Operations

Switching Surge Flashover of Insulators

Line-Ground Fault from Connected Bus

Line-Ground Fault from Connected Line

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 2
Objectives
Human and animal safety

Carry and dissipate current into earth under


normal and fault conditions

Grounding for lightning impulses and surges

Low resistance to ground for protective


relays

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 3
Construction

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 4
Common Definitions
Earth Current

Ground Fault Current

Ground Potential Rise

Step Voltage

Touch Voltage

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 5
Step 1 Soil Analysis
Done at a number of places in the substation

Several layers with different resistivity

Lateral surface changes are more gradual


than vertical changes

Wenner Four-Pin Method

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 6
Wenner Four-Pin Method

4 aR
a
2a a
1
a2 4b 2 a2 b2

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 7
Step 2 Grid Area
Area should be as large as possible
Increasing area is more effective than
adding additional conductor to reduce grid
resistance
Outer conductor should be placed on the
boundary of substation
Fence should be placed a minimum of 3 feet
inside
Square, rectangular, triangular, T-shaped, or
L-shaped grids
1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 8
Step 3 Ground Fault
Currents
L-G fault on substation bus or transmission
line
Interested in maximum amount of fault
current expected to flow into the ground grid
Determine maximum symmetrical rms fault
current

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 9
Ground Fault Current

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Ground Fault Current

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 11
Ground Fault Current

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 12
Ground Fault Current

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 13
Symmetrical Grid Current
Ig S f * (3I o )
Io = Symmetrical rms value of Zero
Sequence fault current in amperes
Transmission Systems Model Maximum Io
for L-G fault for present and ultimate
configuration
Distribution Systems Model future fault
current with suitable growth factor (1.1)

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 14
Decrement Factor
Accounts for the asymmetrical fault current
AC component does not decay with time but
remains at its initial value
Calculated from time duration of fault and X
over R ratio
Transmission Systems Use fastest
clearing relay + breaker time
Distribution and Industrial Systems Use
worst case backup clearing time
1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 15
Typical Shock Situations

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 16
Design Procedure Summary
Use network of bare conductors buried in the
earth
Encompass all area within the substation
fence and extend at least 3 feet outside
Perform soil resistivity test
Surface material at least 4 inches
Determine fault current using short circuit
Determine maximum clearing time
1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 17
Design Procedure Summary
Size conductors
Conductor should be buried a minimum of
18 inches to 59.1 inches
Vertical ground rods should be at least 8 ft.
long
Determine if touch and step voltages are
below tolerable limits
Few iterations may be required to determine
correct grid design
1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 18
Ground Rod Length
Three schools of thought
Length of 10ft is adequate
Length of 40ft is required to reach water table
Longest possible rod depth should be used

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 19
IEEE Methods
Empirical method; limited applications
Handles 2 layers plus protective surface
material (1 layer for touch potential)
Rectangular and triangular shapes only, with
vertical and horizontal conductors
One ground grid only
Rods; but arrangements are not flexible
Calculates required parameters
1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 20
Finite Element Method
Handles 2 layers plus a protective surface
material
Any shape
Multiple interconnected ground grids
Rod location modeled in detail
Calculates required parameters at all points
Graphic potential profile

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 21
Typical IEEE Grid

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 22
IEEE Grid Description
40 ft. X 40 ft. square grid with 8 conductors
along X-axis and 8 conductors along Y-axis

Depth = 1.5 ft., 4/0 copper-clad steel wire

1 rod in each grid corner, diameter = 0.5 in.,


length = 8 ft. same material as conductor

1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Ground Grid Systems Slide 23
FEM Grid Example

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Step Potential Profile

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Touch Potential Profile

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Absolute Potential Profile

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