Earth testing

Practical
Earth Testing Techniques and Measurement Instruments

Earth_testing_2006

Eric van Riet

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Practical Earth Testing
Content • Principles • Test Methods • Practical Measurement • Summary

Earth_testing_2006

Eric van Riet

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Earth / Ground Basics
What is ground?

A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of earth*

Ground is a connection to Earth made either intentionally or accidentally

*NFPA 70-2000 (National Fire Protection Association)
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) Lightning strikes Radio Frequency Static discharges Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 4 .Earth / Ground Basics Why ground? To protect people and equipment By dissipating stray energy from: Electrical faults (fuses. breakers etc.

Real Examples Why test? – Catch the problem before it happens! Estimate: at least 15% of power quality problems are related to grounding Lightning strikes on equipment with poorly maintained protection systems destroy millions of dollars of equipment and lost production every year Using ground testing in a PDM protocol will help prevent possible dangerous situations and loss of downtime (= money) Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 5 .

Earth / Ground Basics How do you connect to earth? Cable or tape Stake or rod Earth material Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 6 .

Earth / Ground Basics Spheres of influence Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 7 .

Earth / Ground Basics Attention! Potential gradients! Umeasure Potential gradients around the earth electrode can reduce the accuracy of measurements! The probe must always be placed outside this area! Typical distance: >20m Distance a Ground Potential Neutral ground. reference Umeasure Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 8 .

Earth / Ground Basics Types of Grounding Systems • Many different types available • Choice depends on local conditions and required function • Simplest form is a single stake • Mostly used for: – Lightning protection – Stand alone structures – Back-up for utility ground Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet Ground rod 9 .

Earth / Ground Basics Types of Grounding Systems • ground rod group • typically for lightning protection on larger structures or protection around potential hotspots such as substations. Ground rod group Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 10 .

Earth / Ground Basics Types of Grounding Systems • For areas where there is rock (or other poor conducting material) fairly close to the surface ground plates are preferred as they are more effective Ground plate Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 11 .

Earth / Ground Basics Types of Grounding Systems • A ground mesh consists of network of bars connected together. this system is often used at larger sites such as electrical substations. Ground mesh Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 12 .

Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 13 .Earth / Ground Basics Types of Grounding Systems For the purposes of this presentation the grounding system will referred to as „ground electrode‟.

Ground Testing Methods What are the available techniques? • Resistivity • Fall of Potential – Three and Four Pole Testing • Selective Testing • Stakeless Testing • Two pole method Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 14 .

the values measured will have an effect on the design of the grounding system.Ground Testing Methods (1) Resistivity Measurement The purpose of resistivity measurements is to quantify the effectiveness of the earth where a grounding system will be installed. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 15 . Differing earth materials will affect the effectiveness of the grounding system.m). Resistivity measurements should be made prior to installing a grounding system. The capability of different earth materials to conduct current can be quantified by the value E (resistivity in W.

Ground Testing Methods (1) Resistivity values for different earth materials Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 16 .

Used to determine which KIND of earthing should be used. so BEFORE placing earth stakes Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 17 .Ground Testing Methods (1) Resistivity Measurement ( Wenner method) Resistivity measurements are performed by using a four wire method.

m) .. measured resistance (W) ........ mean value of soil resistivity (W. a . RE E RE a .Ground Testing Methods (1) Resistivity Measurement From the indicated resistance value RE....... the soil resistivity is calculated according to the equation :  E = 2  . probe distance (m) Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 18 ..

a deep earth electrode is advisable Curve 2: As E decreases only down to point A. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 19 . an increase in the depth deeper than A does not improve the values. Curve 3: With increasing depth E is not decreasing: a strip conductor electrode is advisable.Ground Testing Methods (1) Resistivity Measurement Curve 1: As E decreases only deeper down.

•Three or four pole method. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 20 . this refers to the number of connections made to the ground tester.Testing •The Fall of Potential method is the most commonly used method of testing.Ground Testing Methods (2) Fall of Potential . •The forth pole of the connection is made if the wire to connect to the system under test is particularly long > 4 meters. The additional wire cancels out an error due to the extended length of wire used.

Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Fall of Potential – 3 / 4 Pole Testing The E terminal of the instrument is connected to the electrode under test Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 21 .

this is then known as the 4 pole test Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 22 .Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Fall of Potential – 3 / 4 Pole Testing If the length of this wire is greater than 4 meter it is recommended that an extra wire is connected between the electrode under test and the ES terminal to eliminate any error introduced due to the length of the lead.

Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Fall of Potential – 3 / 4 Pole Testing The test spike C2 is placed in the ground some distance from electrode under test (typically 50 meter) Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 23 .

place the test can ground resistance.and (typically feet) made it is80 possible to returns through the Once the stakes are calculate a value of in electrode under test.Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Fall of Potential – 3 / 4 Pole Testing During the test theP2 is The voltage spike instrument drives a placed in the ground current through the test some the distance from From current and spike. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 24 . the potential caused by proceed. through the electrode under test voltage measurements surrounding earth. this current is measured using the P2 spike.

say from 20 to 35 meters at 3 meter intervals.Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Fall of Potential – 3 / 4 Pole Testing A number of readings should be taken with the the P2 spike at different distances. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 25 .

Taking a series of measurements and plotting these against distance produces the curve shown. When the P2 spike is close to the electrode under test the measured value appears to be lower and as it becomes influenced by the C2 spike the measured value rises. The optimal point of measurement is outside of the influence of the electrode and the C2 spike. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 26 .Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Fall of Potential – 3 / 4 Pole Testing The distance of the P2 spike is varied to ensure that it is positioned outside of the sphere influence of the electrode under test.

Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Fall of Potential – Creating the „S‟ Curve The optimum value is that indicated on the flat part of the curve Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 27 .

Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) The 62% Rule The 62% rule is a guide to how far away the P2 and C2 stakes should be placed from the electrode under test. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 28 . The distances are nominally based on the depth of the electrode.

Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 29 .Ground Earth Testing Testing Methods Methods(2) (1) Distances for Electrode Arrays The 62% rule is a guide to how far away the P2 and C2 stakes should be placed from the electrode under test. The distances are nominally based on the depth of the electrode.

Ground Testing Methods (3) Selective Measurement Method • The selective A current clampmethod is used is isolate based on fall of to thethe test potential test in to current injected • But: without the need the electrodes under to disconnect the test. Test Current Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 30 . ground electrode under test.

Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 31 .Ground Testing Methods (3) Selective Measurement Method This application example shows the benefit of the selective test in a typical installation Firstly the ground spikes are positioned according to the requirements of the system under test.

Ground Testing Methods (3) Selective Measurement Method Then individual elements of the system can be measured by placing the currentclamp around the different connections to ground without the need of any disconnection. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 32 .

Advantages • Ground electrodes can be tested without powering down the system they are protecting – saving time and money • Testing can be carried out without disconnecting – saves time.Ground Testing Methods (3) Selective Measurement Method . money and improves safety • Multiple electrodes can be tested quickly simply by moving the current clamp to individual electrodes Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 33 .

The first clamp generates a voltage on the ground condutor. Examples include: • • • • Inside buildings Airports Urban locations Chemical and industrial plants • The stakeless method is not available on all ground testers. it comes standard on the Fluke 1623 and 1625 earth ground testers. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 34 . However. the second clamp measures the current flowing due to the generated voltage. This is useful in a wide range of situations. • The temporary ground stakes are replaced by two current clamps.Ground Testing Methods (4) • The stakeless method eliminates the need for temporary ground stakes.

Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 35 . two clamps are placed around the earth ground rod or connecting cable and each connected to the tester.Ground Testing Methods (4) • The Fluke 1623 and 1625 testers are able to measure earth ground loop resistances for multi grounded systems using only current clamps. • With this test method. Earth ground stakes aren„t used at all.

Ground Testing Methods (4) The clamps are placed around the ground conductor Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 36 .

Ground Testing Methods (4) Stakeless Measurement Equivalent Circuit Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 37 .

Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 38 . • An abnormally high reading or an open circuit indication on the instrument points to a poor connection between two or more of the aforementioned critical components. • An abnormally low reading could indicate the instrument is measuring a loop of bonding conductors. the stakeless method will not provide an acceptable value and the Fall of Potential test method must be used.Ground Testing Methods (4) • If there is only one path to ground. like at some residential applications.

Uses nearby metal structures as a temporary spike.Ground Testing Methods (5) Two Pole Method Used where other methods are not available. Metal water pipes are typically used Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 39 .

Metal pipes are being replaced with plastic. Some metal pipes use plastic couplings.Ground Testing Methods (5) Two Pole Method Drawbacks: The resistance of the metal pipe should be significantly less than the electrode under test. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 40 .

• Convenience • The stakes may not be easy to drive • There may not be space around the ground Stakeless Method • Assumes a low-impedance parallel path • Possible to get very low readings by mistakenly measuring on a hardwired loop • Impossible to judge the integrity of the “auxiliary electrode.Selecting a test method Summary of Ground Electrode Test Methods Advantages Fall-ofPotential • Widely accepted • When you see the characteristic curve you know you‟ve got a good measurement.” • Can‟t be sure you are outside the area of influence Eric van Riet 41 Two-pole Method • Convenience Earth_testing_2006 . Drawbacks • You have to disconnect ground • The stakes may not be to drive • There may not be space around the ground electrode to drive the stakes Selective Method • Don‟t have to disconnect electrode • Widely accepted • When you see the characteristic curve you know you‟ve got a good measurement.

Ground Testing Applications When and why ground test? Prior to designing an grounding system: the ground material should be evaluated by resistivity measurement before designing a ground system Initial test on new ground systems: the real effectiveness of new ground systems should be measured before connection – fall of potential test Periodic tests on ground systems: ground systems should be checked periodically to ensure they are not affected by changes in the ground or corrosion – selective or stakeless test Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 42 .

g. ground tests on machines. substations. etc. conveyor belts. – fall of potential. selective or stakeless Safety tests on major equipment and plant e. CT scanners. elevators. transformers.Ground Testing Applications When and why ground test? Testing prior to addition of major loads: prior to installation of sensitive equipment such as servers. motors – stakeless and selective testing especially useful Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 43 . boards. control systems.

selective or stakeless Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 44 . selective or stakeless PQ troubleshooting.Ground Testing Applications When and why ground test? All other tests for relevant ground connections e. “faraday” cages – fall of potential. quantify the effectiveness of grounding by measurement – fall of potential. pipelines. lightning protection. gas stations. telecommunication lines.g. tanks. antenna systems.

Choosing the right instrument Introducing the Fluke 1623 and 1625 Ground Testers Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 45 .

Industrial • Application • Verification of earth resistance of electrical & communication systems.and 4 .pole earth/ground testing • Selective method • Stakeless method • Two pole AC resistance measurement • One button measurement – press once to measure with simple GO/NOGO indicators • Large easy to read display • Rugged housing rated to IP56 • 2-Year Warranty • Customer • Electrical Consultants.Fluke 1623 • Feature Summary • Conventional 3 . Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 46 .

Fluke 1625 .for calculation of genuine short circuit current Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 47 .the expert instrument Feature summary • 3.and 4-pole measurement of earth resistance • Selective and Stakeless method • Monitoring and display of probe and auxiliary earth resistance • Automatic display of external voltage and frequency • Selection of optimal measuring frequency (AFC) • measurements down to deep ground layers possible (high testsignal power: >250mA. 48V) • Earth impedance R* of high tension towers .

resolution: 0.Resolution: 0.Measuring signal: 20V / 250mA • 2 pole.001 Ohm .comfortable data evaluation with WinGEO software Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 48 . adaptation of test period . 4 pole DC resistance measurement .automatic polarity reversal.001 Ohm . UM >4V • User defined limit settings .Range: 3 kOhm.adjustable limits for any individual applications • Interface and software available as option .data transfer to PC or printer .the expert instrument Additional features of Fluke 1625 • 2 pole AC resistance measurement .Fluke 1625 .short circuit current >200mA as per IEC/EN 61557-5 .

the expert instrument Unique: R* .Earth impedance Measurement of complex earth-impedance at 55Hz which determines the real short circuit current Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 49 .Fluke 1625 .

Fluke 1625 - the expert instrument
Unique: R* - Earth impedance

Measurement of complex earthimpedance at 55Hz which determines the real short circuit current

Earth_testing_2006

Eric van Riet

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Chosing the right instrument
Introducing the Fluke 1623 and 1625 Ground Testers

Earth_testing_2006

Eric van Riet

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Clamp-On Earth Loop Tester GEO 30
Feature Summary
• Ground loop resistance clamp measurement • Low level measurement of ground leakage current • Wide AC current measurement range up to 30A with one instrument • Rapid evaluation of continuity loop resistance by audible HI/LO alarm • Easy to use, convenient, Display-HOLD function • Time saving memory function for saving measured values and automatic recording • Automatic self calibration ensures correct measurement every time

Customer
• Residential, Commercial, Industrial Electricians

Application
• Earth loop resistance testing for houses, commercial and industrial buildings
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The second clamp measures this current I and the earth clamp displays the ground loop resistance Rx+Rn. Eric van Riet 53 Earth_testing_2006 . This causes a current I which flows in this measuring circuit.Clamp-On Earth Loop Tester GEO 30 LEM GEO 30 .Ground Tester / Current Meter Stakeless Ground Resistance Measurement I I Current amplifier U Voltage generator Rn Rx The voltage U developed by the clamp is injected into the circuit.

Clamp-On Earth Loop Tester GEO 30 High Quality measuring instrument High quality. rugged carrying case Includes five language operators manual E/D/F/ES/IT Calibration loop for instrument check Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 54 .

Fluke 1653 • Target Customer – Professional Electrician / Testing Specialist • Top Line Model with Unmatched performance • Features – Volts & Frequency to 500V – Insulation Resistance – Continuity Measurement – Loop /PSC Measurement – RCD Testing – Earth resistance Tests – Phase Sequence Indication – On-Board Memory – Interface for Downloading data Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 55 .

Summary • Resistivity measurement provides important data regarding the earth material prior to system design • Fall of Potential Test is the most widely accepted • Four pole measurement compensates for voltage drop in measuring cable • The 62% rule provides some guidance to the required distance for the temporary test spikes • Selective testing allows testing without disconnection Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 56 .

Summary • Selective test is based on fall of potential test that speeds measurement and provides additional safety • Stakeless Testing is a fast method for multiple electrode systems • Two pole ground testing provides minimal information and should be used very cautiously • The Fluke 1623 provides the majority of the required functions for industrial users • The Fluke 1625 is the advanced ground tester for utilities Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 57 .

with inferior product lines.Why should I invest on Earth Ground? • The WW market for Earth Ground is estimated to be $25 Million • With only two major US competitors (AEMC. Perfect value selling opportunity. • Fluke 1623 and 1625 are the most complete Earth Ground testers available anywhere • In the US. Repeat what you‟ve done again and again. educate. Megger & AEMC do not have the best products. Take the high road. • Your customers have been asking for it • It is core to our strategy (along with PQ. they only have inroads into Utilities. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 58 . there is no reason why Fluke shouldn‟t have 40% market share in 3 years. Megger). Insulation and Thermography) • Another opportunity to educate our customers about a product category. convert to the best products.

Power & Telecom X X Earth Ground Testing Methods Fall of Potential 3-Pole Handy GEO GEO 30 Saturn GEO Plus Saturn GEO X Handy GEO GEO 30 Fluke 1623 Fluke 1625 X X X X X X X X X X 4-Pole / Soil Selective 1 Clamp Stakeless 2 Clamp Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 59 .Who to target? Earth Ground Market Segment Elect Contractor Res & Comm Handy GEO GEO 30 Saturn GEO Plus Saturn GEO X Handy GEO GEO 30 Fluke 1623 Fluke 1625 X X Field Service X X Industrial Maint Technician X X Utilities .

Handy GEO cannot perform tests with clamps. For pylons. necessary for measurements inside a building. GEO 30 only performs a stakeless test. because of the Automatic Frequency Control (AFC). Fluke 1623. If there are influencing signals. affectionately called Big Norma. All other testers can perform these tests using stakes (Fall of Potential). The GEO 30 clamp has an inside diameter of 0. another accessory is the 12" inside diameter Split Core Transformer. substations) Utilities and other high end Industrial sites require the Fluke 1625. Fluke 1623 and 1625 have two sized clamps. Necessary for new installations (buildings.safer) or disconnected.Which product for which user? Function Can you test if the service is still connected? GEO 30 Fluke Handy 1653 GEO Fluke 1623 Fluke 1625 Comment Handy GEO only performs the 3-Pole measurement which requires the service to be disconnected.9". Fluke 1625. Yes Yes Yes Do you want to perform 3-Pole or 4-Pole Fall of Potential tests using stakes? Are you performing tests inside a building? Are any test points inside the building larger than 0. the Fluke 1625 selects a different frequency to measure. lacking access to soil. 2" inside diameter (with kits) and 5" inside diameter clamp for busbar applications (accessory).9" diameter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Are you interested in soil resistivity? Are there high power systems close by that could influence measurements? Yes Yes Yes Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 60 . and GEO 30 can perform measurements whether the service is connected (preferred by end users .

1625 worth the money? Why would anyone pay € 650. – Adjustable Limits – for quicker testing. providing more accurate earth ground values – R* Measurement – calculates earth ground impedance with 55 Hz to more accurately reflect the earth ground resistance that a fault-to-earth ground would see.more for the Fluke 1625? • Utility customers will pay because they see value in the following advanced features: – Automatic Frequency Control (AFC) – identifies existing interference and chooses a measurement frequency to minimize its effect. • Power utility technicians are interested in two things: – The ground resistance in case of lightning strike – The impedance of the entire system in case of a short circuit on a specific point in the line. Impedance is a frequency dependent measurement.. Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 61 .

batteries. test leads. (4) stakes.Product line-up • Delivery content • Fluke-1623: Basic GEO Earth Ground Tester – Contains: Fluke-1623 tester. batteries. all necessary connectors. PT) • • Fluke-1625: Advanced GEO Earth Ground Tester – Contains: Fluke-1625 tester. test leads. (1) Sensing clamp. rugged carrying case Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 62 . test leads. manual. PT) • Fluke-1623/1625 Kit: Advanced GEO Earth Ground Tester Kit – Contains: (1) Fluke-1623 or 1625 tester. manual (GB. IT. manual (GB. FR. batteries. DE. (1) Inducing clamp. ES. (1) 50m cable reel. FR. IT. (2) 25m cable reels. ES. DE.

• ES-162P4: 4-Pole Stake Kit. – Contains both the Inducing and Sensing clamp all necessary adapters – Already in the Fluke-1625 Kit. (1) 25m cable reel of wire – Already in the Fluke-1623 Kit/Fluke-1625 Kit. – Contains both the Inducing and Sensing clamp all necessary adapters – Already in the Fluke-1623 Kit. • ES-162P3: 3-Pole Stake Kit. (used for both the Fluke-1623 and Fluke-1625) – Contains: (4) Stakes. (2) 25m cable reel of wire – Already in the Fluke-1623 Kit/Fluke-1625 Kit. • EI-162BN: 320mm Diameter Split Core Transformer – Used as a Selective clamp for ground loop resistance measurement around power pylons – Contains the split core transformer and all necessary adapters/connections Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 63 . (1) 50m cable reel of wire. (used for both the Fluke-1623 and Fluke-1625) – Contains: (3) Stakes. (1) 50m cable reel of wire.Accessories • EI-1623: Selective/Stakeless Clamp Set for Fluke-1623. • EI-1625: Selective/Stakeless Clamp Set for Fluke-1625.

Marcom material • Distributor product announcement • Sales PPT • Value selling tool Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 64 .

Questions and answers Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 65 .