NEEC – National Electrical Engineering Consultancy

Design 6 – 14 Bringelly Road Kingswood, Australia NSW, 2747 ACN: 132586675 Management Construction Phone: 0415 77 55 75 ABN: 86132586675

Soil Resistivity Test
Ground Soil Resistivity The first question is what is ground? What is the use for ground in electrical engineer? According to the NEC, National Electrical Code definition of ground “a conduction connection, whether intentional or accidental between an electrical circuit or equipment, and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth” the purpose of an earthing system is to provide a safe path for the dissipation of Fault Current (FC), lightning strike, static discharge, EMI and RFI signals and interference, so it is not only for the safety of the people and machinery. These points made the earthing design a vital point in any high voltage (HV) project. Why measure soil Resistivity Soil Resistivity plays a vital part in determining the earthing grid, depend on the soil Resistivity the complexity of the earthing grid can be determined, the soil will act as the return path for the fault current to the source, higher soil Resistivity will lead to higher earth grid resistance value which mean higher voltage rise, this will lead to unsafe working environment and will have a potential of damaging the equipment. These points prove the important of the soil Resistivity testing. Soil Resistivity Test Method Soil resistivity can be carried out using different method, below is the most three popular methods to perform soil resistivity test: Wenner method Wenner method consists of four electrodes, two are for current injection and two for potential measurement [1], figure 1 shows the Wenner method.

Figure (1) Wenner four probe arrangement

On the other hand it is the best method when it comes to ration of received voltage per unit of transmitted current. In this case the reciprocity theorem can be applied to the Schlumberger array. The soil resistivity can be calculated using equation 2: πL2 R (2) ρ= 2l Where: L is the distance the centre from the outer probe l distance to the centre from the inner probe Figure (2) Schlumberger Array layout . Australia NSW. When contact resistance which is the resistance of the top layer of the ground. Figure 2 shows the arrangement for the Schlumberger Array. Schlumberger Array This method is more economical than the Wenner array when it comes to the man power that is required to perform the task. in some cases where the soil resistivity of the top layer is very high.NEEC – National Electrical Engineering Consultancy Design 6 – 14 Bringelly Road Kingswood. The outer electrode can be moved four or five times for each move of the inner electrode [2]. 2747 ACN: 132586675 Management Construction www.NeecGroup. is very Phone: 0415 77 55 75 ABN: 86132586675 The soil resistivity formula associated with Wenner method is shown in equation 1 where R is the resistance measured by the machine. this can lead to an error in the reading of the machine during the soil resistivity test. Every machine has maximum loop impedance. a is the spacing of the probe ρ = 2πaR (1) Wenner array is the least efficient from labour perspective it requires four people to perform the task in a short time. this method is known as the Inverse Schlumberger Array (ISA). that will lead to a loop impedance higher that the maximum loop impedance of the machine. this method provides a safer working environment for the tester under high current supply also reduce the heavier cable may be needed during the Info@neecgroup.

2747 ACN: 132586675 Management Construction www.NeecGroup. the soil resistivity under this method can be calculated using equation 3: ρ= 2πlR  8l  ln  d (3) Where: l is the length of driven rod in contact with earth d driven rod diameter Figure (3) Driven Rod test layout . Australia NSW.NEEC – National Electrical Engineering Consultancy Design 6 – 14 Bringelly Road Phone: 0415 77 55 75 ABN: 86132586675 Driven Rod Method This method is also called the three probe method or three pin method [3].com Info@neecgroup. This method is most suitable for an area where the physical layout makes the usage of the previous two methods difficult.