What is grounding ?

A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth
By MHD Wimalaratne Electrical Engineer (mhdhammike@gmail.com)

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Why ground ?
 To protect people from electrical shock.  To protect plant & equipment from damage.  To limit voltage due to lightning

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Ground Electrodes
Consist of three basic components 2. 3. 4.

:

Ground Conductor The connection of the conductor to the electrode The ground electrode itself

The earth resistance (R) has three basic components : The resistance of the ground electrode itself and the connections to the electrode RB - The contact resistance of the surrounding earth to the electrode RC - The resistance of the surrounding body of earth around R=R the ground electrode A + RB + RC
RA
3

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(RA) - The electrode resistance depends on : • Length/ depth of the ground electrode • Electrode material
- Solid Copper, Stainless steel (High conductivity, high corrosion resistance but low strength & high cost) - Copper clad steel (high strength, high corrosion resistance and low cost)

The diameter of the rod
- Has little effect - Resistance would only decrease by 10% by double the diameter

(RB) - The contact resistance of the surrounding earth to the electrode is negligible. (RC)- The resistance of the surrounding body of earth around the ground electrode
- depends on soil conditions such as soil resistivity
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Soil Resistivity depends on
Soil type
Soil Type Marshy ground Sandy gravel Rock Resistivit y (Ωm) 2-2.7 300-500 1000 +

Chemical Composition E.g. Effect of salt on resistivity for sandy loam (15.2 % moisture)
Added salt % by wt of moistu 0.0 re 0.1 1.0 5.0 10.0 20.0 Resistivit y (Ωm)

Moisture
Content Moistur Resistivit e% by y weight (Ωm) Sandy 0% 10000000 loam 2.5 % 1500
5% 10 % 15 % 20 % 30 % 430 185 105 63 42

Soil Temperature e.g. Effect of temperature on resistivity for sandy loam, (15.2% moisture )
Temp

107 18 4.6 1.9 1.3 1.0

(ºC)
20 10 0 0 -5 -15

Resistivit y (Ωm) 72 99 138 300 790 3300

Salt not recommended due to corrosion

The earth electrode should be installed deep enough to reach the water table or permanent moisture level To increase/ retain moisture content we use Soil Resistivity Reducing Agents such as Bentonite or 5 Marconite

Types of Grounding Systems
1. Single Rod 2. Multiple Rods

e.g.. Lot-1 : Used in resettlement sites,

e.g.. Lot-2 : Powerhouse ground level at E.L. 682

3. Copper Plates

4. Conductor mesh

e.g.. Lot-2 : 18 pieces of copper plates are embedded under 6m of Switchyard surface

e.g. 1). Lot-2 : At each floor of power house there is a conductor mesh/grid 2). Lot-2 : On the Dam surface there is a 6 conductor mesh buried

Picture -1

• Typical Section at EL 682.550 • 100pcs of Rods in parallel to be installed • Soil surrounding each rod to be treated with soil resistivity reducing agent.

•Side view of power house •All ground rods are bonded together Picture -2 7

A conductor mesh on the dam surface buried under the concrete

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Copper plates to be buried under switchyard surface

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 ( Bentonite + Water = Moisture Retaining Clay )  This Moisture Retaining Clay used as an earth-electrode backfill to reduce soil resistivity  It can absorb moisture from surrounding soil  It has the ability to hold its moisture content for a considerable period of time  (50kg packet = Rs. 3000/=) , (1 Rod = 1 kg = Rs. 60/=)

 ( Marconite in place of sand + Cement = Conductive Concrete  This conductive concrete is used as electrode backfill  It increases effective electrode area thus reducing earth resistance.

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Thank You

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