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Neutral Grounding

Presented By
Ashvin G. Patel
Asst. Prof. (E.E.)

Ashvin G. Patel

Solidly grounded i.e. the neutral is connected directly to the
ground without any intentional impedance between the neutral
and the ground.
Generally the neutral of the generator is connected through
resistance to limit the stator short circuit current and also for
stability reasons.

Ashvin G. Patel

Advantages of Neutral Grounding:

1) Voltages of the phases are limited to phase to ground
2) The high voltages due to arcing grounds or transient line to
ground faults are eliminated.
3) Sensitive protective relays against line to ground faults can be
4) The over-voltages due to lightning are discharged to ground,
otherwise there will be positive reflection at the isolated
neutral of the system.
) The following are the advantages of operating with isolated
1) It is possible to maintain the supply with a fault on one line.
2) Interference with communication lines is reduced because of
the absence of zero sequence currents.
Ashvin G. Patel

Effectively Grounded System:

AIEE Standard No. 32, May 1947, defines the effective
grounding as:
A system or a portion of a system can be said to be
effectively grounded when for all points on the system or
specified portion thereof the ratio of zero sequence reactance to
positive sequence reactance (X0/X1) is not greater than 3 and the
ratio of zero sequence resistance to
positive sequence
reactance is not greater than 1 for any
condition of operation
and for any amount of generator
The effective grounded systems are less expensive than any
other type of grounding for all operating voltages because for
such a system the maximum line to ground voltage during a
fault does not exceed 80% of the line voltage whereas for all
other groundings the voltage or the healthy phases rises to
about 100% line-to-line voltage.
Ashvin G. Patel

Ungrounded System:
Under balanced conditions the potential of the neutral is held at
ground due to the presence of the shunt capacitance of the
system (Fig. 1 (a)). Under balanced condition the vector diagram
is given in Fig. 1 (b).

Ashvin G. Patel

A charging current of three times the per phase charging
current flows. The voltage of the healthy phases rise to 3V ph.
The presence of inductance and capacitance in the system
leads to whats known as Arcing grounds and the voltage of
the system may rise to dangerously high values as explained.
These voltages can be eliminated by connecting an inductance
of suitable value between the natural and the ground.
If the value of the inductive reactance is such that the fault
current IL balances exactly the charging current, then the
grounding is known as resonant grounding or ground fault
neutralizer or Peterson coil.

Ashvin G. Patel

Resonant Grounding:
The value of inductance such that 3IC=IL so that theoretically
there is no current in the fault or it is so small that the arc will
not maintain itself and the fault is extinguished.

Ashvin G. Patel

If C is the capacitance to ground of each phase, then the
charging current will IC=VphC.
If L is the inductance to be connected between the neutral and
the ground, then IL= L
For balance condition

I L=



Resonant grounding will reduce the line interruption due to
transient line to grounding faults which will not be possible
with other forms of grounding.
Ground fault neutralizers should not be used where
(i) Fully graded insulation transformers are used as the neutrals
of such transformers arc not sufficiently well insulated.
(ii) Auto-transformers having a ratio greater than 0.95 to 1 are
Ashvin G. Patel

The coils of the ground fault neutralizes are ten-minutes timerated on system where permanent ground faults can be located
and removed by ground relays or other suitable means.
Otherwise, continuous time-rated neutralizes are used on all other
systems. However, if for any reason more current flows through
the fault neutralizer a circuit breaker closes after a certain timelag and the earth-fault current flows through the parallel circuit
by-passing the arc Suppression coil (Fig. 3).

Ashvin G. Patel

Methods of Neutral Grounding:


Solid grounding
Resistance grounding
Reactance grounding
Voltage transformer grounding
Zig-zag transformer grounding.

Ashvin G. Patel


Solid Grounding/Effective Grounding:

Consider L-G fault on phase c. The neutral and terminal c are at
earth potential.
The reversed vector is shown at VC. The voltage of the healthy
phases remains unchanged i.e. phase to ground voltages and the
currents are as shown in Fig 4 (b).
The charging current will be fully eliminated. Since in this system
of grounding the voltage of the healthy phases in case of a line to
ground fault does not exceed 80% of the L-L and is much less as
compared to other forms of grounding.
On system 115 kV and above additional savings are possible
because of the transformers with the insulation graded towards
the neutral are less costly.

Ashvin G. Patel



Ashvin G. Patel


Resistance Grounding:
The value of the resistance commonly used is quite high (in order
to limit power loss in resistor during L-G fault) as compared with
the system reactance. With the increase in operating voltage the
value of resistance required for grounding also increases so as to
limit (25% of full load current) the short circuit current during line
to ground faults. Resistance grounding is normally used where the
charging current is small i.e. for low voltage short length overhead lines.
Resistance grounding reduces the arcing ground hazards and it
permits ready relaying of ground faults. In certain situations,
resistance grounding has helped in improving the stability of the
system during ground fault by replacing the power dropped, as a
result of low voltage, with an approximately equal power loss in
the resistor, thus reducing the advance in phase of the

Ashvin G. Patel



Ashvin G. Patel

Reactance grounded system:

A reactance grounded system is one in which the neutral is
grounded through impedance which is highly reactive. In fact
whether a system is solidly grounded or reactance grounded
depends upon the ratio of X1 .
For reactance grounded system X0 > 3.0
For solid grounded system X0 < 3.0
When a neutral is solidly grounded, but if X0 >3, the system is
presumed to be reactance grounded rather than solidly grounded
Reactance grounding lies between effective grounding and
resonant grounding.
The value of reactance required is to keep currents within safe
limits. This method of grounding may be used for grounding the
neutral of synchronous motors and capacitors and also for circuits
having large charging currents.

Ashvin G. Patel


Earthing transformers:
If a neutral point is required which otherwise is not available (e.g.
delta connection, bus bar points etc.) a zig-zag transformer is
used. These transformers do not have secondary winding.
Each limb of the transformer has two identical Winding would
differentially such that under normal conditions the total flux in
each limb is negligibly, small and therefore, the transformer draws
very little magnetizing current.
The grounding transformers are of short time rating usually 10
seconds to 1 minute. Therefore, the sizes of such transformers
are small as compared to the power transformers of the same
If a zigzag transformer is not available, a star delta transformer
can be used without loading the delta side as shown in fig 7.

Ashvin G. Patel



Ashvin G. Patel


Generator Neutral Breaker:

When a line to ground fault occurs the generator armature and
field circuit breakers arc tripped and the input to the prime mover
is shut off. With these operations the current through the fault
does not necessarily stop immediately because a certain time is
required for the generator field flux to decay. The fault current
can be reduced to a very low value immediately after the fault, if
a generator neutral breaker is employed and it is also tripped
simultaneously along with the field and armature breakers. In
case the Value of the neutral impedance is very high and the fault
current is limited, there is no need for a neutral breaker.

Ashvin G. Patel


Grounding Practice:
1) One grounding is normally provided at each voltage level.
Between generation and distribution, there are various voltage
levels; it is desirable to have ground available attach voltage
2) The generators are normally provided with resistance grounding
and synchronous motors or synchronous capacitors are provided
with reactance grounding.
3) Where several generators are connected to a common neutral
bus, the bus is connected to ground through a single grounding
device. Disconnect switches can be used to ground the desired
generators to the neutral bus.
4) Where several generators are operating in parallel, only one
generator neutral is grounded. This is done to avoid the
interference of zero sequence currents. Normally two grounds
are available in a station but only one is used at a time. The
other is used when the first generator is out of service.
5) For low voltages up to 600 volts and for high voltages above 33
kV solid grounding is used whereas for medium voltages between
3.3 kV and 33 kV resistance or reactance grounding is used.19
Ashvin G. Patel

Thank You

Ashvin G. Patel