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Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 1

Earth testing
Practical

Earth Testing Techniques and

Measurement Instruments

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Practical Earth Testing
Content

Principles
Test Methods
Practical Measurement
Summary

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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)
Earth / Ground Basics
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Why ground?
By dissipating stray energy from:

Electrical faults (fuses, breakers etc.)
Lightning strikes
Radio Frequency
Static discharges
To protect people and equipment
Earth / Ground Basics
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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)
Why test? Catch the problem before it happens!
Real Examples
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How do you connect to earth?
Cable or tape
Stake or rod
Earth material
Earth / Ground Basics
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Spheres of influence
Earth / Ground Basics
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Attention! Potential gradients!
Potential gradients around
the earth electrode can
reduce the accuracy of
measurements!

The probe must always be
placed outside this area!
Typical distance: >20m
U
measure
Distance a
Ground Potential
Neutral ground, reference
U
measure
Earth / Ground Basics
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Types of Grounding Systems
Ground rod
Earth / Ground Basics
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
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Types of Grounding Systems
Ground rod group
Earth / Ground Basics
ground rod group

typically for lightning
protection on larger
structures or protection
around potential hotspots
such as substations.
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Types of Grounding Systems
Ground plate
Earth / Ground Basics
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
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Types of Grounding Systems
Ground mesh
Earth / Ground Basics
A ground mesh consists of
network of bars connected
together, this system is often
used at larger sites such as
electrical substations.

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Types of Grounding Systems
For the purposes of
this presentation the
grounding system
will referred to as
ground electrode.

Earth / Ground Basics
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What are the available techniques?
Resistivity

Fall of Potential Three and Four Pole Testing
Selective Testing
Stakeless Testing
Two pole method
Ground Testing Methods
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Resistivity Measurement
The purpose of resistivity measurements is to quantify the
effectiveness of the earth where a grounding system will be
installed.

Differing earth materials will affect the effectiveness of the
grounding system.

The capability of different earth materials to conduct current
can be quantified by the value
E
(resistivity in W.m).

Resistivity measurements should be made prior to installing a
grounding system, the values measured will have an effect on
the design of the grounding system.
Ground Testing Methods (1)
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Resistivity values for different earth materials
Ground Testing Methods (1)
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Resistivity Measurement ( Wenner method)
Resistivity measurements are performed by using a
four wire method.

Used to determine
which KIND of
earthing should be
used, so BEFORE
placing earth stakes
Ground Testing Methods (1)
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Resistivity Measurement
From the indicated resistance value R
E
, the soil
resistivity is calculated according to the equation :


E
= 2 . a . R
E


E
...... mean value of soil resistivity (W.m)
R
E
...... measured resistance (W)
a ...... probe distance (m)
Ground Testing Methods (1)
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Curve 1: As E decreases only
deeper down, a deep earth
electrode is advisable

Curve 2: As E decreases only
down to point A, 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.
Resistivity Measurement
Ground Testing Methods (1)
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Fall of Potential - Testing
Ground Testing Methods (2)
The Fall of Potential method is the most commonly
used method of testing.

Three or four pole method, this refers to the number of
connections made to the ground tester.

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.
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Earth Testing Methods (1)
Fall of Potential 3 / 4 Pole Testing
Ground Testing Methods (2)
The E terminal of the
instrument is connected
to the electrode under
test
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Earth Testing Methods (1) Ground Testing Methods (2)
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, this
is then known as the 4
pole test
Fall of Potential 3 / 4 Pole Testing
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Earth Testing Methods (1) Ground Testing Methods (2)
The test spike C2 is
placed in the ground
some distance from
electrode under test
(typically 50 meter)
Fall of Potential 3 / 4 Pole Testing
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Earth Testing Methods (1) Ground Testing Methods (2)
The voltage spike P2 is
placed in the ground
some distance from
electrode under test
(typically 80 feet) .
Once the stakes are in
place the test can
proceed.
Fall of Potential 3 / 4 Pole Testing
During the test the
instrument drives a
current through the test
spike, through the
surrounding earth and
returns through the
electrode under test,
the potential caused by
this current is
measured using the P2
spike.
From the current and
voltage measurements
made it is possible to
calculate a value of
ground resistance.






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Earth Testing Methods (1) Ground Testing Methods (2)
A number of readings
should be taken with
the the P2 spike at
different distances, say
from 20 to 35 meters at
3 meter intervals.
Fall of Potential 3 / 4 Pole Testing
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Earth Testing Methods (1)
The distance of the P2 spike is varied to ensure that it is
positioned outside of the sphere influence of the electrode
under test.
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.
Taking a series of measurements and plotting these
against distance produces the curve shown.
Ground Testing Methods (2)
Fall of Potential 3 / 4 Pole Testing
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Earth Testing Methods (1)
Fall of Potential Creating the S Curve
The optimum value is that indicated on the flat part of
the curve
Ground Testing Methods (2)
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Earth Testing Methods (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.

The distances are nominally based on the depth of the
electrode.
Ground Testing Methods (2)
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Earth Testing Methods (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 (2)
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Selective Measurement Method
Ground Testing Methods (3)
The selective method
is based on the fall of
potential test
But: without the need
to disconnect the
ground electrode under
test.
A current clamp is used
to isolate the test
current injected in to
the electrodes under
test.
Test Current Test Current Test Current Test Current
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Selective Measurement Method
Ground Testing Methods (3)
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.
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Selective Measurement Method
Ground Testing Methods (3)
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.
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Selective Measurement Method - Advantages
Ground Testing Methods (3)
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, money and improves safety

Multiple electrodes can be tested quickly simply by
moving the current clamp to individual electrodes




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Ground Testing Methods (4)
The stakeless method eliminates the need for temporary
ground stakes. This is useful in a wide range of situations.
Examples include:
Inside buildings
Airports
Urban locations
Chemical and industrial plants

The stakeless method is not available on all ground testers.
However, it comes standard on the Fluke 1623 and 1625 earth
ground testers.

The temporary ground stakes are replaced by two current clamps.
The first clamp generates a voltage on the ground condutor, the
second clamp measures the current flowing due to the generated
voltage.

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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, two
clamps are placed around
the earth ground rod or
connecting cable and each
connected to the tester.
Earth ground stakes arent
used at all.

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The clamps are placed around the
ground conductor
Ground Testing Methods (4)
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Stakeless Measurement Equivalent Circuit
Ground Testing Methods (4)
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Ground Testing Methods (4)
If there is only one path to ground, like at some
residential applications, the stakeless method will not
provide an acceptable value and the Fall of Potential
test method must be used.

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.

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

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Two Pole Method
Ground Testing Methods (5)
Drawbacks:

The resistance of the metal
pipe should be significantly
less than the electrode
under test.
Metal pipes are being
replaced with plastic.
Some metal pipes use
plastic couplings.

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Selecting a test method
Advantages Drawbacks
Fall-of-
Potential
Widely accepted
When you see the characteristic
curve you know youve got a
good measurement.
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

Dont have to disconnect
electrode
Widely accepted
When you see the characteristic
curve you know youve got a
good measurement.
The stakes may not be easy to drive
There may not be space around the
ground

Stakeless
Method
Convenience Assumes a low-impedance parallel
path
Possible to get very low readings by
mistakenly measuring on a hard-
wired loop
Two-pole
Method
Convenience Impossible to judge the integrity of
the auxiliary electrode.
Cant be sure you are outside the
area of influence
Summary of Ground Electrode Test Methods
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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
Ground Testing Applications
When and why ground test?
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Testing prior to addition of major loads:
prior to installation of sensitive equipment such as servers,
CT scanners, control systems, etc. fall of potential,
selective or stakeless
Safety tests on major equipment and plant
e.g. ground tests on machines, elevators, conveyor belts,
transformers, substations, boards, motors
stakeless and selective testing especially useful
Ground Testing Applications
When and why ground test?
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All other tests for relevant ground connections e.g. lightning
protection, pipelines, tanks, gas stations, antenna systems,
telecommunication lines, faraday cages fall of potential,
selective or stakeless

PQ troubleshooting, quantify the effectiveness of grounding
by measurement fall of potential, selective or stakeless
Ground Testing Applications
When and why ground test?
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Introducing the Fluke 1623 and 1625 Ground Testers
Choosing the right instrument
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Feature Summary
Conventional 3 - 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, Industrial
Application
Verification of earth resistance of electrical
& communication systems.


Fluke 1623
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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
- for calculation of genuine short circuit
current

Fluke 1625 - the expert instrument
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Additional features of Fluke 1625
2 pole AC resistance measurement
- Resolution: 0.001 Ohm
- Measuring signal: 20V / 250mA

2 pole, 4 pole DC resistance measurement
- Range: 3 kOhm, resolution: 0.001 Ohm
- automatic polarity reversal, adaptation of test
period
- short circuit current >200mA as per IEC/EN
61557-5 , UM >4V
User defined limit settings
- adjustable limits for any individual applications


Interface and software available as option
- data transfer to PC or printer
- comfortable data evaluation with WinGEO
software

Fluke 1625 - the expert instrument
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Unique: R
*
- Earth impedance
Measurement of complex
earth-impedance at
55Hz which determines
the real short circuit
current
Fluke 1625 - the expert instrument
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Fluke 1625 - the expert instrument
Measurement of
complex earth-
impedance at 55Hz
which determines
the real short circuit
current
Unique: R* - Earth impedance
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Introducing the Fluke 1623 and 1625 Ground Testers
Chosing the right instrument
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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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Stakeless Ground Resistance Measurement

LEM GEO 30 - Ground Tester / Current Meter
The voltage U developed by the clamp is injected into
the circuit. This causes a current I which flows in this
measuring circuit. The second clamp measures this
current I and the earth clamp displays the ground loop
resistance Rx+Rn.

Current amplifier
Voltage generator
I
I
Rx Rn
U
Clamp-On Earth Loop Tester GEO 30
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Includes five language
operators manual
E/D/F/ES/IT

High quality,
rugged
carrying case
High Quality
measuring
instrument
Calibration loop for
instrument check
Clamp-On Earth Loop Tester GEO 30
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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
Fluke 1653
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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
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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

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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, Megger), with inferior
product lines, there is no reason why Fluke shouldnt have 40%
market share in 3 years.
Fluke 1623 and 1625 are the most complete Earth Ground testers
available anywhere
In the US, Megger & AEMC do not have the best products, they
only have inroads into Utilities. Perfect value selling opportunity.
Your customers have been asking for it
It is core to our strategy (along with PQ, Insulation and
Thermography)
Another opportunity to educate our customers about a product
category. Take the high road, educate, convert to the best
products. Repeat what youve done again and again.

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Earth Ground Market Segment
Elect Contractor -
Res & Comm Field Service
Industrial Maint
Technician
Utilities - Power &
Telecom
Handy GEO Handy GEO X
GEO 30 GEO 30 X X X X
Saturn GEO Plus Fluke 1623 X X
Saturn GEO X Fluke 1625 X
Earth Ground Testing Methods
Selective Stakeless
3-Pole 4-Pole / Soil
1 Clamp 2 Clamp
Handy GEO Handy GEO X
GEO 30 GEO 30 X
Saturn GEO Plus Fluke 1623 X X X X
Saturn GEO X Fluke 1625 X X X X
Fall of Potential
Who to target?
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Function
GEO 30
Handy
GEO
Fluke
1623
Fluke
1625 Comment
Can you test if the service is still
connected?
Yes Yes Yes
Handy GEO only performs the 3-Pole measurement which requires
the service to be disconnected. Fluke 1623, Fluke 1625, and GEO
30 can perform measurements whether the service is connected
(preferred by end users - safer) or disconnected.
Do you want to perform 3-Pole
or 4-Pole Fall of Potential tests
using stakes?
Yes Yes Yes
GEO 30 only performs a stakeless test. All other testers can
perform these tests using stakes (Fall of Potential).
Are you performing tests inside a
building?
Yes Yes Yes
Handy GEO cannot perform tests with clamps, necessary for
measurements inside a building, lacking access to soil.
Are any test points inside the
building larger than 0.9"
diameter?
Yes Yes
The GEO 30 clamp has an inside diameter of 0.9". Fluke 1623 and
1625 have two sized clamps, 2" inside diameter (with kits) and 5"
inside diameter clamp for busbar applications (accessory). For
pylons, another accessory is the 12" inside diameter Split Core
Transformer, affectionately called Big Norma.
Are you interested in soil
resistivity?
Yes Yes Necessary for new installations (buildings, substations)
Are there high power systems
close by that could influence
measurements?
Yes
Utilities and other high end Industrial sites require the Fluke 1625,
because of the Automatic Frequency Control (AFC). If there are
influencing signals, the Fluke 1625 selects a different frequency to
measure.
Which product for which user?
Fluke
1653
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1625 worth the money?
Why would anyone pay 650,- 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, 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. Impedance is a frequency
dependent measurement.
Adjustable Limits for quicker testing.

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.


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Product line-up
Delivery content
Fluke-1623: Basic GEO Earth Ground Tester
Contains: Fluke-1623 tester, test leads, batteries, manual (GB,
FR, IT, DE, ES, PT)

Fluke-1625: Advanced GEO Earth Ground Tester
Contains: Fluke-1625 tester, test leads, batteries, manual (GB,
FR, IT, DE, ES, PT)
Fluke-1623/1625 Kit: Advanced GEO Earth Ground Tester Kit
Contains: (1) Fluke-1623 or 1625 tester, (4) stakes, (2) 25m
cable reels, (1) 50m cable reel,
(1) Sensing clamp, (1) Inducing clamp, all necessary
connectors, test leads, batteries, manual,
rugged carrying case
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Accessories
EI-1623: Selective/Stakeless Clamp Set for Fluke-1623.
Contains both the Inducing and Sensing clamp all necessary adapters
Already in the Fluke-1623 Kit.

EI-1625: Selective/Stakeless Clamp Set for Fluke-1625.
Contains both the Inducing and Sensing clamp all necessary adapters
Already in the Fluke-1625 Kit.

ES-162P3: 3-Pole Stake Kit. (used for both the Fluke-1623 and Fluke-1625)
Contains: (3) Stakes, (1) 50m cable reel of wire, (1) 25m cable reel of wire
Already in the Fluke-1623 Kit/Fluke-1625 Kit.

ES-162P4: 4-Pole Stake Kit. (used for both the Fluke-1623 and Fluke-1625)
Contains: (4) Stakes, (1) 50m cable reel of wire, (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

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Marcom material
Distributor product announcement
Sales PPT
Value selling tool

Earth_testing_2006 Eric van Riet 65

Questions
and answers