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EARTHING AND GROUNDING

Q.1. What is the difference between earthing and grounding ? Q.2.What is resistance and resistivity? Compare the values of resistivity of soil , copper and GI. Q.3.What is earth electrode , earth grid and how electrode sizing is done? Q.4.What are the consideration which have to be taken into account while designing the earthing system? Q.5.What is grounded and ungrounded system ? Q.6.What are the various ways in which the equipment grounding can be carried out?

Basic Definition
1.Earthing Earthing can be defined as connection of non current carrying parts to ground .It is meant for human safety . 2.Grounding Grounding is the connection of power system neutral to ground or connection of current carrying part to ground .It is done for equipment safety.

Soil resistivity
It is the value of resistance in ohm of 1 M cube .
Earth is not a good equipment grounding conductor.

Infact it is the worst equipment grounding conductors i.e resistivity of earth is 100 ohmM whereas for GI it is 10-7 and for copper it is 1.7 10-8 ohm M. Effect of moisture and salt on soil resistivity. Effect of temperature on soil resistivity .What will happen if the ambient temp. reaches below 0 degree?

Resistance to earth
Resistance between metal of electrode in question and general mass of the earth is known as earth resistance .It is resistance between specific electrode and imaginary electrode of zero resistance placed at infinity. Fact is this that 90 % of the resistance is contributed within 5 m distance .(graph) Horizontal(strip) and vertical electrode installation and plate electrode .Formula for the horizonal and vertical electrode resistance and the graph R vs D. Note the parameters of rod , strip or plate has nothing to do with the resistance of earth as the dia. Width etc of the plate is negligible in the formula.

Substation earthing system


Substation earthing system comprises of following

1.Earth Electrode (earth spike)- Several identical earth electrode are driven vertically into the soil and are welded to the earthing rods of the underground mesh. Larger the no of earth electrode smaller be the resistance and no of earth electrode calculation can be done from the formula {Ns = Is/half of soil resistivity} where Is is the fault current value .

2.Underground earth mesh or Mat/Grid - the mesh is formed by placing mild steel bars in X and Y direction in mesh formation in the soil at the depth of 0.5 m below the surface of the substation floor .The crossing of S and Y direction are welded they are also called bonding conductors. The mesh ensures uniform and zero potential distribution on the horizontal surface of the floor of the substation hence low step potential in the event of flow of earth fault current .

3.Earthing riser these are the generally mild steel rods bent in vertical and horizontal shapes and welded to the earth mesh at one end and brought directly upon structure /equipment foundation 4. Eathing connection

Electrode in parallel
To obtain low effective earth grid resistance earth electrode are placed in parallel Minimum resistance can be achieved if the resistance area of each electrode is clear of another. Theoretically the effective resistance will be 1/n of the resistance of one electrode where n is no of electrode in parallel. The resistance of grounding grid resistance can be calculated by Sverak formula.

Others factors governing earth resistance


Why coal is added in earth pits coal is made of burning

wood and coal is a bad conductor of electricity but since it is porous it absorbs water in it and also retains it for a long time .Disadvantage-water needs to be added from time to time. Why salt is added salt it added in the earth pits because slat is basically NaCl which in presence of water breaks into ions and hence helps in conduction of electricity.Disadvantage causes corrosion Synthetic earthing compound - systhetic earthing compound has a very low resistivity , anticorrosive and does not get washed away with water.

Step and touch potential


Step potential it is the voltage between the feet of the

person standing in the floor of the substation with 0.5 m spacing between two feet(one step) during the flow of fault current through the earth mat. Role of pebbles in swithyard in minimizing the step potential. Touch potential the voltage the fingers of raised hand touching the faulted structure and the feet of the person standing on the floor of the substation .The person should not get the shock even if the earthed structure is carrying the fault current.

Grounding of equipment
Ungrounded system in ungrounded system there is

no intentional connection to ground provided for exclusive grounding purpose. Advantage of ungrounded system1. the current at the point of fault is very low hence the damage to the core or to the iron is minimum. 2. There is continuity of service even with a line to ground fault hanging (existing) on the system. 3. As the zero sequence current circulation is very low there is minimum interference with the communication circuits .

Disadvantages of ungrounded system

1.If ground fault at one phase not rectified then another ground fault on another phase may lead to phase fault. 2.Over voltage can occur on the healthy phases during faults. 3.The neutral is provided with full insulation. 4.During single phase to ground fault the other phase voltage my go upto 1.732 times phase voltage. 5.Fault detection is easy but fault location is very difficult. 6.Lighting arrestor has to be designed for L-L voltage. Note how the earth fault can be detected in ungrounded system(RVT or single PT detection).

Grounded system
Here the neutral of the system is grounded .The

neutral can be grounded via solid earth ,resistance earth ,resonant earth. Advantages of grounded system 1.To provide sufficient current upon occurance oif fault current 2.To limit overvoltage appearing on the system during abnormal condition such as fault 3.To minimize shift in the neutral.

Types of neutral grounding


Solidly grounded A solidly grounded system is the

one in which there is a direct connection of neutral to ground without any explicit external element like resistor or reactor .In solidly grounded system there is sufficient ground current for relaying and coordination .Here residually connected CT is enough to detect the fault . Application of solidly earthing 1.LV system (415 V). 2.HV and EHV(>=22KV)

Resistance grounding in resistance grounded system a resistor

is connected between the neutral and ground.This type of earthing is employed where the earth fault current has to be limited so that the core of the equipment may not get damanged eg. Generator ,HT motors (voltages level 3.3 KV to 11 KV) Advantage 1.To reduce core damage 2.To reduce restrike/arcing fault. 3.To reduce mechanical forces which are proportional to I2. Disadvange of resistance grounding 1. During earth fault the vaoltage of healthy phases may rise upto approximately 1.7 times phase voltage. So the lighting arrestor has to be designed for L-L voltage.

Reactance grounding An adjustable reactor

connected between neutral and earth the reactance is such that power frequency current between line and earth due to capacitance of healthy lines and earth is equal and opposite to current to the earth connection . Eg peterson coil , arc suppression coil and ground fault neutralizer.

High Resistance Grounding- The ground fault current

is limited to 10 to 15A .It is basically meant to prevent core damage to the system .Value of resistance can be selected via the charging current . i.e. suppose if charging current is 10 A in 11 KV system then the value of NGR will be 11000/1.7x10 = 635 ohm.(if the value of fault current is low then how will the relay sence earth fault) Low resistance grounding the ground fault current is limited to 400 A .The criteria which is adopted is that the fault current is limited to rated generator or rated transformer current.Residually connected earth fault relay can be used to detect earth fault or standby relay.