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GROUNDING SYSTEMS

The objective of a grounding system are:


1. To provide safety to personnel during normal and fault
conditions by limiting step and touch potential.
2. To assure correct operation of electrical/electronic
devices.
3. To prevent damage to electrical/electronic apparatus.
4. To dissipate lightning strokes.
5. To stabilize voltage during transient conditions and to
minimize the probability of flashover during transients.
6. To divert stray RF energy from sensitive audio, video,
control, and computer equipment.

A safe grounding design has two objectives:


1. To provide means to carry electric currents
into the earth under normal and fault
conditions without exceeding any operating
and equipment limits or adversely affecting
continuity of service.
2. To assure that a person in the vicinity of
grounded facilities is not exposed to the
danger of critical electric shock.

The PRIMARY goal of the grounding


system throughout any facilities is
SAFETY.
Why ground at all?
PERSONNEL SAFETY FIRST
EQUIPMENT PROTECTION SECOND

What are the three main types


of grounding?

The three main types are:


EQUIPMENT GROUNDING (SAFETY)
SYSTEM GROUNDING
LIGHTNING/SURGE GROUNDING

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

Ground rod

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 / 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 / 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

Soil Characteristics
Soil type. Soil resistivity varies widely

depending on soil type, from as low as 1


Ohmmeter for moist loamy topsoil to almost
10,000 Ohm-meters for surface limestone.
Moisture content is one of the controlling
factors in earth resistance because electrical
conduction in soil is essentially electrolytic.

Cable(Earthing conductor)

Clamp
Test link
Rod(Earthing electrode)
Rod coupler

Recommended values of earth resistance

system

Recommended earth
resistance(ohm)

Light current

0.5-1

Low voltage

Medium
voltage

2.5

High voltage

0.5

Substation earthing system


Step

& Touch voltage

Grounding

grids

Step and touch voltages

Step potential
Step potential
is the
voltage
between the feet of a person standing
near an energized grounded object.
It is equal to the difference in voltage,
given by the voltage distribution curve,
between two points at different
distances from the electrode.
A person could be at risk of injury
during a fault simply by standing near
the grounding point.

Touch potential
Touch potential is the voltage between
the energized object and the feet of a
person in contact with the object.
It is equal to the difference in voltage
between the energized object and a point
some distance away.
The touch potential could be nearly the
full voltage across the grounded object if
that object is grounded at a point remote
from the place where the person is in
contact with it.

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

Ground Testing
Resistivity
Measurement (1)
Methods
From the indicated resistance value RE, the soil
resistivity is calculated according to the equation :

E = 2 . a . R E
E
RE
a

...... mean value of soil resistivity (.m)


...... measured resistance ()
...... probe distance (m)

2ln8dl1

Resistance of driven rods:

The Ground Resistance (R) of a single rod, of diameter (d) an


driven length (i) driven vertically into the soil of resistivity (), can
be calculated as follows:

where:

Soil Resistivity in m
l
Buried Length of the electrode in m
d
Diameter of the electrode in m
The rod is assumed as carrying current uniformly along its rod.
Examples
(a) 20mm rod of 3m length and Soil resistivity 50 -m .....R=16.1
(b) 25mm rod of 2m length and Soil resistivity 30 -m .....R=13.0

The resistance of a single rod is not sufficiently

low.
A number of rods are connected in parallel.
They should be driven far apart as possible to
minimize the overlap among their areas of
influence.
It is necessary to determine the net reduction in
the total resistance by connecting rods in
parallel.
The rod is replaced by a hemispherical
electrode having the same resistance.

Rod Electrodes in Parallel

If the desired ground resistance cannot be achieved


with one ground electrode, the overall resistance
can be reduced by connecting a number of
electrodes in parallel.

These are called arrays of rod electrodes.

The combined resistance is a function of the


number and configuration of electrodes, the
separation between them, their dimensions and soil
resistivity.

Rods in parallel should be spaced at least twice their


length to utilize the full benefit of the additional
rods.

If the separation of the electrodes is much

larger than their lengths and only a few


electrodes are in parallel, then the resultant
ground resistance can be calculated using the
ordinary equation for resistances in parallel.
In practice, the effective ground resistance will
usually be higher than this.
Typically, a 4 spike array may provide an
improvement of about 2.5 to 3 times.
An 8 spike array will typically give an
improvement of may be 5 to 6 times.

Earth clamping 1

AT-090H

AT-090H

Earth clamping 2

AT-087J

AT-089J

AT-093J

METHODS OF DECREASING GROUND


RESISTANCE
Decreasing the ground resistance of a

grounding system in high resistivity soil is


often a formidable task.

Recently, some new methods have been

proposed to decrease ground resistance.

1-Chemical Rods

Chemical rods are electrodes with holes along


their length, filled with mineral salts.
The specially formulated mineral salts are
evenly distributed along the entire length of the
electrode.
The rod absorbs moisture from both air and soil.
Continuous conditioning of a large area insures
an ultra-low-resistance ground which is more
effective than a conventional electrode.

If the conductive salts are running low, the

rod can be recharged with a refill kit.


These rods are available in vertical and
horizontal configurations.
They may be used in rocky soils, freezing
climates, dry deserts, or tropical rain
forests.
They provide stable protection for many
years.

Disadvantages are:
Chemicals concentrated around
electrodes will cause corrosion
Chemicals leach through the soil and
dissipate
Scheduled replacement may be required
May be prohibited because they may
contaminate the water table

Soil Treatment Alternatives


Ground enhancement material
Cement-like compound
Non-corrosive
Extremely conductive
Installed around the electrode
Easy installation
Permanent

Installing an EARTHLINK 101 earthling strip is


simple:

Dig a trench and lay in the wire.

Pour EARTHLINK 101 conductive cement, using the handy


applicator bag, and shovel in a thin protective layer of soil.

Backfill the remaining soil using a front-end loader


and restore the surface to grade.