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Electrical Grounding and Earthing


By:-Niraj Mani
Importance of Earthing
Function of earthing
Methods of conventional earthing
Types of earthing system
Indian Standard of Earthing IS3046:1987
Grounding is the process of removing the excess charge on an object by means of the transfer of
electrons between it and another object of substantial size. When a charged object is grounded, the excess
charge is balanced by the transfer of electrons between the charged object and a ground.

Earthing is used to protect us from an electric shock. It does this by providing a path for a fault current to
flow to earth. It also causes the protective device to switch off the electric current to the circuit that has
the fault by help of fuse
Importance of Earthing:-

50 % Failure of equipments attributed to Earthing.

40,000 Lightening storms/day or 100 Lightening
98 % of the faults in the system are due to SLG Faults
1.5 % of the faults are due to Line to Line Faults
0.5 % of the faults are due to 3 Phase Faults
Function Of Earthing :-

Equipment Earth : Path for fault current, lower

touch voltage, protection against electric shock.

Lighting Earth : Low resistance path to diverse

the current under lightning attack.

Computer Earth : reduce interference,

maintain supply voltages.
Objectives of Earthing :-
Avoid potential rise of parts of equipments other
than the live parts.
Safe passage to earth for the fault current.
Suppress dangerous potential gradients on the
earth surface.
To retain system voltages within permissible limits
under fault conditions.
To facilitate using of Graded insulation in power
Methods of Conventional Earthing :-

Plate Earthing
Pipe Earthing
Rod Earthing
IS: 3043 Code for Earthing Practice :-
All medium voltage equipment shall be earthed by two separate and distinct
connections with earth In the case of high
Extra high voltage the neutral points shall be earthed by not Less than two separate
and distinct connections with earth, each having its own electrode at the generating
station or substation and may be earthed at any other point provided no interference is
caused by such earthing.
If necessary, the neutral may be earthed through suitable impedance.
In cases where direct earthing may prove harmful rather than provide safety (for
example, high frequency and main. frequency coreless induction furnaces). Relaxation
may be obtained from the competent authority.
As far as possible, all earth connections shall be visible for inspection.
No cut-out, link or switch other than a linked switch arranged to operate
simultaneously on the
Earthed or earthed neutral conductor and the live conductors shall be inserted on any
supply System.
Earthing electrode shall consist of a GI pipe (class B
of approved make), not less than 40 mm dia. and 3
meters long. CL pipe electrode shall be cut tapered
at the bottom and provided with holes of 12 mm dia.
drilled at 75 mm interval up to 2.5 meters length
from bottom. The electrode shall be buried vertically
in the ground as far as practicable below permanent
moisture level, but in any case not less than 3 meters
below ground level. The electrode shall be in one
piece and no joints shall be allowed in the electrode.

Generally for plate type earthing normal Practice is

to use
Cast iron plate of size 600 mm x600 mm x12 mm.
Galvanized iron plate of size 600 mm x600 mm x6
mm. OR
Copper plate of size 600 mm * 600 mm * 3.15 mm
Plate burred at the depth of 8 feet in the vertical
position and GI strip of size 50 mmx6 mm bolted
with the plate is brought up to the ground level.
These types of earth pit are generally filled with
alternate layer of charcoal & salt up to 4 feet from the
bottom of the pit.
Earthing Electrode
The resistance of a ground
electrode has 3 basic
A) The resistance of the ground
electrode itself and the connections
to the electrode.
B) The contact resistance of the
surrounding earth to the electrode.
C) The resistance of the surrounding
body of earth around the ground
Electrode. It consist of three basic
1. Earth Wire
2. Connector
3. Electrode
In this system of earthing 12.5mm diameter solid
rods of copper 16mm diameter solid rod of GI or
steel or hollow section of 25mm GI pipe of length
not less than 3 meters are driven vertically into the
In order to increase the embeded length of electrode
under the ground, which is some time necessary to
reduce the earth resistance to desired value more
than one rod section are hammered one above the
This system of earthing is suitable for area which are
sandy in character .
This system of earthing is very cheap
Types of earthing system:-

TN System

TT System

IT System
Multipoint grounding:-
A Multipoint Ground is an alternate type of electrical installation that attempts to
solve the Ground Loop and Mains hum problem by creating many alternate paths
for electrical energy to find its way back to ground.
The distinguishing characteristic of a multipoint ground is the use of many
interconnected grounding conductors into a loose grid configuration.
There will be many paths between any two points in a multipoint grounding system,
rather than the single path found in a star topology ground.
Virtual grounding:-
If two opposite power sources are connected each other by a conductive
medium so that their opposite output quantities are superposed (summed),
zero or reference level result referred to as virtual ground appears
somewhere along the medium.
In this "conflict" point, the efforts of the "fighting" sources are
"neutralized". The process is associated with continuous energy wasting
from both the sources as a result of a continuous energy flow through the
Shortly, virtual ground phenomenon is summing of opposite equal
quantities associated with continuous energy wasting; virtual ground
represents the result of summing two opposite equal quantities.
Measurement Of Earth Resistance
Typical values of resistivity for various types of soils are as
follows :-
1 Red loamy soil 40-200 -m
2 Red sandy soil 200-2000 -m
3 Laterite soil 300-2600 -m
4 Shallow black soil 20-100 -m
5 Medium black soil 50-300 -m
6 Deep black soil 50-250 -m
7 Mixed red & black soil 50-250 -m
8 Coastal alluvium 300-1300 -m
9 Laterite gravelly 200-1000 -m
Class I protection use of barrier/insulation and connection of
protective conductor to equipment metallic enclosure in order to
protect against electric shock.

Class II protection beside of the basic insulation, addition layer

of insulation apply to the enclosure. Therefore no extraneous
conductive part. The additional layer is independent to the basic
insulation so that under failure of basic insulation, it offers
additional protection.
Protect human against lightning and earth fault condition.

Protect the premises against lightning and earth fault condition.

Provide low resistance and safe path for lightning and fault current.

All metallic enclosure and extraneous conductive parts are at


LV System Earth.
Grounding and Earthing systems form the first line of defense in every
type of electrical systems.

The system may be a generator/transformer/ housing

installation/generating station/etc.

So it is strictly advised to know the basic concepts of grounding as far as

electrical engineering is concerned.