Grounding and Bonding Testing

Megger

Objective
• Review Proper soil resistivity techniques • Id tif ground electrode system Identify d l t d t components and bonding materials • Ensure proper installation • Measure the effectiveness of the ground g electrode and bonding system by means of ground testing g g

Simply Put… Put
• Step 1 Earth ( p (Soil) Test ) • Step 2 Install System • Step 3 Test System

Earth (Soil) Resistivity Testing What i E h R i Wh is Earth Resistance? ? • Earth’s resistance to current flow from the ground electrode • Largest factor influencing ground system effectiveness What Affects Earth Resistance? • • • Type of soil Amount of moisture/presence of salts Temperature .I.

Resistivities of Different Soils .

Why Earth (Soil) Test? Tells you how “good” (conductive) your soil is Good indication on whether or not g generic g ground specification design p g will work p p Helps reduce “surprises” at the end of the installation .

25.000 Ohms cm.000 50.000.Very Sp a . ayb o p a a .Special 50.50 000 Ohms cm.000 + .000 25 000 . maybe not practical y Special.M b 15 000 25 000 Oh Maybe 25.000 Ohms cm – Standard Design Ok 15.15.5 Ohm Requirements Soil Resistivity ranges: 100 .

Earth (Soil) Resistivity Testing • How do we test the soil? • 4P W Part Wenner Test T .

Space the electrodes an equal distance “a” apart a apart. Measures the average soil resistivity to a depth equal to the electrode separation separation.Measuring Earth Resistivity Use a 4 terminal gro nd tester 4-terminal ground tester. Insert the electrodes a distance of a/20 into the ground ground. .

Measuring Earth Resistivity a a a a/20 C1 P1 P2 C2 C2 P2 P1 C1 DET2/2 .

Measuring Earth R i i i M i E h Resistivity a a a X C1 P1 a P2 C2 .

Actual Site Testing Procedures Test at Multiple locations across the site Motorola R56 2000 .

test at various soil depths as well Motorola R56 2000 .Actual Site Testing Procedures Soil is not Homogenous.

contact the carrier owner and the carrier. it is prudent to go with the generic ground system specified • If the Results of the Soil Test are substantially above 15.Soil Resistivity Test Summary • If the Results of the Soil Test are in the 15. engineering firm.000 Ohm-cm.000 Ohm-cm range or less. .

Ground Electrode System Components • • • • Ground Electrodes Ground Conductors Ground Bars Bonding Connectors –Mechanical Mechanical –Compression –Exothermic .

Ground Electrodes Types yp Ground Rods: Copper Clad Steel Solid Copper Galvanized Stainless Steel Enhanced Ground Plates Copper Ground Mesh .Ground Electrodes 1.

Enhanced ground electrodes or ground enhancement materials may be required to meet the grounding specification. In this case. electrode bedrock) . Soil Characteristics . ground mesh is the preferred electrode.Some soils. Some ground rod types / work better in different soils. have such high resistivities that conventional ground rods or ground electrode g g systems may be unable to attain the desired ground resistance requirement. (Never drill into bedrock).PH a factor in choosing. (such as sandy soils).Ground Electrodes… Considerations Soil Resistivity .Some sites may have only a few inches of soil (or none) sitting on top of bedrock. Soil PH/type .

Ground Mesh .

In rocky conditions.Doubling diameter of ground rod reduces resistance only 10%.Ground Electrodes… Considerations Ground Rod Diameter . a larger diameter ground rod might be advantageous). Using larger diameter ground rods is mainly a strength issue (ie.D bli l th th G d Rod L th Doubling length theoretically reduces ti ll d resistance 40%. Ground R d Length . Ground Rod Spacing . . actual reduction depends on soil resistivities encountered in multilayered soils.Approximately twice the length (in good soil).

Ground Rod Driving Tip • Don’t do this! .

Ground Rod Spacing Rule of Thumb Proper Spacing 1x length Too Close .

Ground Electrodes… Considerations Ufer Grounds . . For example. tying into the tower footing rebar or building pad rebar provides a Ufer ground.Concrete encased electrode. Ufer grounds should never b used as the sole be d th l ground electrode.

Enhanced Grounding Material g Should be > 95% pure carbon Should not contain concrete or bentonite fillers .

Applications Vertical Application Horizontal Application .

Enhanced Ground Rods Contain electrolytic salts that lower ground resistivity over time .

Grounding Conductors Types - Grounding: Solid Stranded Flat Strap Lightning: Rope Lay .

. Exothermic Connections .Round conductors whether solid or stranded are much stronger than a 24 or 26 gauge flat strap conductor. th l lti l d d t thus lowering overall ground system i i ll d t impedance th d than single flat strap conductors. their cost is much higher. Availability as well as ease of connection is better for the round conductors than the flat strap conductors.The preferred type of connection for underground uses. Strength/Durability . .Flat strap conductors have less inductance than their similarly sized round conductor counterparts. Considerations Inductance .. It may be more cost effective to use multiple round conductors. This should be a consideration when backfilling trenches.Conductors.Although the inductance may be less for the flat strap conductors. Cost Effectiveness .

multiple parallel paths are very important. Remember. the better path it makes. Remember. a Tower is the down conductor.Conductors…Considerations Lightning Travels on the outside s rface of a Tra els o tside surface conductor. . Therefore. The fewer paths you have the larger the surface area or diameter the conductor needs to f di h d d have. the so called “skin affect”. the larger the surface area of a conductor.

Selection of Proper Size .No Standards exist in Wireless Telecommunications.LP Standards state if building height is equal or greater g g q g than >75’ use class II . (ANSI J-Std J Std 607) .Conductor…Considerations .Size Should be Dependent on the length and number of paths .I the absence of a Specified Requirement… In h b f S f dR .

C in di l fashion d d . Cross i a perpendicular f hi if needed. (Reference NEC 800 & NEC 250).Conductor… Considerations Conductor Routing and Placement General Rules of Thumb for Placement: As far as possible from communications cable (12 (12” minimum for a ground conductor. Reference NEC 800 for Power lines). Lightning conductors must be 6 away from power & 6’ communications cable.

Pl t .Not Good…. Placement….

Even Better….Placement…. .

Placement…. .A little Better….

.Good example…. Routing….

Conductor…Considerations C d C id i Routing and Placement General Rules of Thumb for Routing: Maintain d M i t i downward sloping path t ground ( i t ti l d l i th to d (equipotential bonds exception) Do not run conductors uphill (1/4 rise acceptable to a point) Maintain at least an 8” radius of bend .

.Radius of bend less than 8” .Uphill path to ground .Water pipe? .Bonding issue .

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2006 .Not bonded to conduit….

it must be b d d i t lli d it t b bonded on both ends .Sometimes required by local codes .Might be beneficial if run in metallic conduit .Conductor…Considerations Routing in conduit… .If run in metallic conduit.

Conduit on left a little better….Two conduits on right not bonded to conduit tb d dt d it ... .. .Needs to be bonded as close to the opening as possible.

Better yet…. .

.A really good idea !!! .Used “romex” style fittings .

Ground Bars .

Ground Bar • What is a Ground Bar? – Simply a connection point • What does it do? – Facilitates ease of bonding connections • Issues – Theft Tamper resistant – Galvanized Bad idea. galvanic couple g p .

Grounding/Bonding Connections Three Types of Connections y Mechanical Compression Exothermic .

Mechanical Connections • Use Standard Tools & Hardware .

Mechanical Connections • Used when compression or exothermic connections are not practical/feasible • Surface preparation essential p p • Use appropriate hardware • Tighten to proper torque rating .

Mechanical Connections • Advantages g – Can be removed – Use common tools – Lower material Cost • Disadvantages g – Can be removed – Loosen over time – Require more maintenance .

Surface Preparation p .

Surface Preparation p .

Hardware Requirements • Stainless Steel or • Silicon Bronze • No Zinc! .

3 volts difference in p potential can cause corrosion – Use stainless steel hardware instead of zinc .Galvanic Series • Galvanic Series – >.

Zinc Hardware .

Proper Torque .

Proper Torque .

More Mechanicals • Possible “burn through” i h h” issues .

More Mechanicals Motorola R56 2000 .

Mechanicals More .

More Mechanicals • Dissimilar metals .

(Not recommended for underground use) .Compression Connections • Used when it is desirable to make an irreversible electrical connection • Less maintenance than a mechanical connection • Not a molecular bond.

6 and 13 tons of crimping force p g .Compression Connections • Specialized tools/dies required – Generate. 2.

(location) Not a molecular bond .Compression Connections Advantages Irreversible UL listed Low/no maintenance Disadvantages Di d Expensive tooling Sometimes hard to make.

Compression Lugs Long Barrel g Inspection Port p 2-Hole .

Connection Process Trim insulation back so that bared b d conductor is slightly d t i li htl longer than barrel. .

Connection Process Insert conductor so that it butts up against end of barrel. . View this thru inspection port port.

Connection Process 2 crimp minimum Make sure end of conductor remains at end of barrel. i t d fb l Make first crimp Repeat crimping process .

Connection Process 2 Crimp Minimum .

More Compression • H-Taps H Taps • C-Taps .

Bad Examples Poor Mechanical Connections Poor Compression Connections .

Exothermic Connections .

pp .Exothermic Connections What is an exothermic connection? An exothermic connection is used to form a molecular bond between two metals such as copper and steel.

Exothermic Connections Provides a Molecular Bond Ampacity exceeds that of conductors Connections will not loosen Connections never increase in resistance Does not deteriorate with age Maintenance free .

Exothermic p Point-to-Point Contact Molecular Bond .Compression vs.

The Exothermic Process Tools Required .

Tools Mold Handle Weld Metal Flint Igniter Disks .

Exothermic Connection Process Safety First Protective Glasses Gloves Cover A C Arms .

Connection Process Step 1 – Torch dry the mold to eliminate moisture! (First connection and…) torch .

Connection Process Step 2 – • Dry conductors • Cl Clean conductor surfaces d t f • Position conductors in mold • Close mold CCBRSH1 CCBRSH2 .

Connection Process Step 3 – Position the disk in the mold evenly. concave side up .

Connection Process Step 4 – • P weld metal i t mold Pour ld t l into ld • Sprinkle 2/3 of starting material over the weld metal • Close mold lid .

Connection Process Step 5 – • P remaining starting Pour i i t ti material into ignition pocket on top of the mold lid. TOP LIGHT LID .

Connection Process Step 6 – • Stand to the side of the mold • Ignite the starting material with a flint igniter .

• Clean mold to prepare for the next connection. Spade Brush .Connection Process Step 7 – • Allow 15-20 seconds to complete the process • Open mold and remove the finished connection.

Exothermic Inspection Process .

General Indicators:
Size No Si - N conductor portion should be exposed d i h ld b d Color - bright gold to bronze Surface Finish - smooth; free of slag deposits g p Porosity - few pinholes acceptable

Exothermic Inspection Criteria

Good connection Bright, shiny & free from porosity

Exothermic Inspection Criteria
Unacceptable connection
Slag > 20% Leakage - Mold not seated properly t d l

Exothermic Inspection Criteria Unacceptable connection Not enough weld metal .

Common Problems C P bl Connection not sticking to Ground Bar Connection not sticking to Tower Leg Burn thru on Fence Post Melt thru on Cable to Ground Rod .

So the System is installed • Let’s Test! .Ground Electrode System Testing • Ok.

• Don’t use an insulation tester Don t tester.Choose the Proper Instruments: • Use a dedicated ground tester (designed to make this measurement) measurement). • Don’t make the measurement with a generalized ohmmeter or multimeter results will be erroneous. .

3 Terminal 3-Terminal Earth Tester Current Supply Ammeter (I) Ground Electrode Under Test Voltmeter (E) Potential Probe Current Probe P C Earth Earth X .

4-Terminal Earth Tester Current Supply Ammeter (I) () Ground G d Electrode Under Test Voltmeter (E) Auxiliary C1 P1 Potential Electrode Auxiliary Current Electrode P2 C2 Earth Earth X .

Theoretical Background Ground Rod Sphere of Influence I Current I Current .

Theoretical Background Current Probe Sphere of Influence Ground Electrode Under Test (X) ( ) Auxiliary Potential Probe (P) Auxiliary Current Probe (C) .

Resistance Curve Resi istance in Ohms True Resistance X Ground Electrode El t d Position Distance of Potential Probe from X (dp) C Current Probe Position .Theoretical Background .

Theoretical Background g Insufficient Probe Spacing Ground Electrode Under Test (X) Potential Probe (P) Current Probe (C) Distance of Potential Probe from X (dp) Res sistance in Ohms n .

Test Methods Serve Two Primary Purposes: Verify that correct spacing is being used to assure reliable results. . Provide specific shortcuts to reduce testing time.

Ground Testing Methods g Fall of Potential Method 61.8% R l /M th d 61 8% Rule/Method Four Potential Method Intersecting C I i Curves M h d Method Slope Method Dead Earth Method Star-Delta Method .

Disadvantage: Extremely time consuming and labor intensive intensive.Fall of Potential Method Advantage: Extremely reliable reliable. .

Fall of Potential Ground Electrode Under Test (X) Potential Probe (P) Positions Current Probe (C) Resist tance in Ohms X Ground Electrode El d Position Distance of Potential Probe from X (dp) C Current Probe Position .Theoretical Background .

Starting at 50’. (62%) . Lead Length Critical.The point where curve flattens out is the system’s ground resistance. 4. Make sure that the ground system under test is non connected to the Utility ground system grid. 3. record readings every 50’ to bt i t obtain a ground resistance curve. (Telephone as well). (Pythagorean theorem). Critical 2. (O d i t (Or enough points to ensure a good graph. Determine size of ground grid system and calculate length of test leads required.Site Testing Fall of Potential Method 1.

02 4.95 3.97 3 97 4.52 8.59 3.39 1.08 8 08 0.67 1.68 5.92 5.67 1.35 3.47 3.16 1.4 6.86 3.18 2.17 3.25 4.27 1.8 2.84 1.3 Point Test Format Distance In F t I Feet Readings Readings in Ohms.79 7 79 8 6 4 2 0 East Direction North Direction 10 0 15 0 20 0 25 0 30 0 35 0 40 0 .04 3.99 2.51 3 51 3.91 7.62 4.1 1. in Ohms. i Oh i Oh Easterly Northerly Direction Direction 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 10 1.46 1.67 3.49 2.

. only approved method. • Operator has complete control of the p test set-up. • Far more accurate: - 4 wire 4-wire configuration/no additional loop resistances included.Significant for low resistance (1-2Ω) grounds .Advantages of Fall of Potential g Testing • Conforms to IEEE 81 onl appro ed 81.

Take measurements at three points.Simplified Fall of Potential Method Based on the theory behind the full Fall of Potential method. k h Advantage: Much faster than full Fall of Potential method. th d Disadvantage: Less reliable since fewer measurements being made made. .

Simplified Fall of Potential Method p dc X P2 C2 40% 60% 50% C2 P2 P1 C1 DET2/2 .

RX ( (RX is furthest R value from RA) • % deviation = (RMax Deviation )*100 RA • If (% deviation)*1. C2 must be moved further away .Simplified Fall of Potential Method p • R A = R1 + R2 + R3 3 • RMax Deviation = RA .2 > 10%.

l i k d Disadvantage: Assumes that conditions are perfect ( d f t (adequate probe spacing and soil t b i d il homogeneity). Advantage: E Ad Extremely quick and easy.61. Take measurement at only one point. .8% Rule/Method Based on the theory behind the full Fall of Potential th d P t ti l method.

8%dc X P C C2 P2 P1 C1 DET2/2 .61.8% Rule/Method 61 8% R l /M th d dc dp = 61.

61 8% Rule 61.Theoretical Background .8% Ground Electrode Under Test (X) Potential Probe (P) Current Probe (C) Resista ance in Ohms Current Probe Resistance Ground Electrode Resistance 61.8% X Distance of Potential Probe from X (dp) C .

The Problem of Limited Distance/Space Ground Electrode Under Test (X) Potential Probe (P) Current Probe (C) Resistance in Ohms s Distance of Potential Probe from X (dp) .

Stakeless/Clamp-On Method Stakeless Tester I R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 V .

Disadvantages Di d t Stakeless/Clamp-On Method • Effective only in situations with multiple grounds in parallel (pole grounds) grounds).Cellular towers . .no return path • Cannot be used if an alternate lower resistance return exists not involving the soil.Substations . . • Cannot be used on isolated grounds.

• Test is less representative of a fault at power frequency. • Accuracies are greatly reduced. .Disadvantages Stakeless/Clamp-On Method • Subject to influence if another part of the ground system is in “resistance area”.

Disadvantages g Stakeless/Clamp-On Method
• Requires a good return path. • Connection must be on the correct p part of the loop. p • Susceptible to noise from nearby substations and transformers (no reading).

Clamp-on Application p pp

Motorola R56 2000

Ground Testing Summary
• 3 Point Fall of Potential Method most accurate – Must disconnect from Utility Grid – Testing Area often an issue • Clamp-On Style has limited Applications –L Large potential f misuse t ti l for i – Not as accurate as 3 point method • Testing must be done correctly to determine if the desired ground resistance specification is met

• Following these guidelines will help lessen f t l future issues with grounding and i ith di d bonding related events. • For more information please contact gg BICSI or Megger. .Summary • Proper Testing and Installation methods are often over-looked over-looked.

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