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Substation Earthing

Guide
Committee Draft
Under Revision

Table of Contents i
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Table Of Contents
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 Functions Of An Earthing System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1.1 Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1.2 Equipment Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1.3 System Operating Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Constraints Facing Earthing System Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 The Engineered Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.4 Purpose And Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.5 Format of Guides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.5.1 Earthing Guides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2 Co-ordinated Design Technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3 Information Gathering And Hazard Appraisal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.1 Hazard Appraisal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.2 Information Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.2.1 Electrical System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.2.2 Site Layout And Locality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.2.3 Locality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.2.4 Geological Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
4 Allowable Voltage Criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.1 Conditions For Danger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.2 Causes Of Undesirable Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.2.1 Power Safety Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4.2.2 Transient Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4.3 Effect of Electric Current on The Human Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.4 Development Of Realistic Safety Criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.4.1 Definition of Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.4.2 The Shock Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.4.3 Safety Criteria Applicable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
5 Soil Resistivity Testing, Interpretation And Modelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
5.1 Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
5.2 Soil Resistivity Testing Procedure Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
5.2.1 Initial Data Gathering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.2.2 Resistivity Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.2.3 Result Interpretation And Modelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
6 Current Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.1 Calculation Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
6.1.1 Prospective Source Impedances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.1.2 Conductor Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.1.3 Personnel Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.1.4 Incoming Equipment Rating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6.2 Worst Case Prospective Fault Current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
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6.3 Faults Within Substation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
6.3.1 Calculating Induced Current Flows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.3.2 Small Industrial Substation Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.4 Faults Outside The Substation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
6.4.1 General Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
6.4.2 Fault Duration With Stepped Faults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
6.5 Fault Current Asymmetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
7 Power Frequency Voltage Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
7.1 Earthing System Impedances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
7.1.1 Primary Earthing System Impedances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
7.1.2 Auxiliary Earthing System Impedances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
7.1.3 Aerial Conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
7.1.4 Buried Conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
7.1.5 Combination of Primary and Auxiliary Earthing Systems . . . . . . 59
7.1.6 Proximity Effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
7.2 Earthgrid Potential Rise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
7.3 Touch And Mesh Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
7.3.1 Voltages Inside the Substation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
7.3.2 Voltages External to the Substation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
7.4 Transfer Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
7.5 Voltage Gradients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
7.5.1 Within and Close to the Substation Grid Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
7.5.2 External to Substation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
7.6 Empirical And Analytical Calculation Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
7.7 Voltage Mitigation Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
7.7.1 Primary Source Hazard Prevention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
7.7.2 Secondary Effect Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
8 Transient Voltage Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
8.1 Transient Sources And Interference Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
8.2 Mitigating The Effects Of Transients In Substations . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
9 Direct Current Power System Earthing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
9.1 HVDC Converter Station Earthing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
9.2 HVDC Cable Terminal Station Earthing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
9.3 Electrodes For Earth Return Working . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
10 Installation Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
10.1 Principles Behind Installation Of Earthing Equipment . . . . . . . . . . 96
10.1.1 H.V. Electrical Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
10.1.2 Non Electrical Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
10.1.3 Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
10.2 Equipment Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
10.2.1 Rating of Earthing Conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
10.2.2 Conductor Sizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
10.2.3 Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
10.3 Designing The Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
10.3.1 Horizontal Mesh Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
10.3.2 Driven Rod Placement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
10.3.3 Structural Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
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10.3.4 External Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
10.3.5 Auxiliary Test Electrodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
11 Testing Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
11.1 Impedance Measurements Using Portable Meters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
11.2 Earth System Injection Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
11.2.1 Testing Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
11.2.2 Testing Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
11.2.3 Difficulties in Measuring Low Impedances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
11.2.4 Comparison of Injection Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
11.2.5 Measurement of Touch and Step Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
12 Maintenance And Refurbishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
12.1 Initial Commissioning Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
12.1.1 Physical Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
12.1.2 Electrical Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
12.2 Periodic Integrity Checks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
12.2.1 Physical Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
12.2.2 Electrical Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
12.3 Major Review And Refurbishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
12.3.1 Investigation and Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
12.3.2 Initial Field Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
12.3.3 Design Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
12.3.4 Initial Injection Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
12.3.5 New Design Calculations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
12.3.6 Remedial Measure Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
12.3.7 Design Verification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Case Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
1 Introduction
An earthing system design based upon minimising earth resistance will not guarantee
safety, there is no simple relation between the resistance of the earthing system and
the maximum shock current to which a person might be exposed. Therefore, the
performance of an earthing system as a whole must be analysed. The design
methodology introduced aims to integrate the various phenomena affecting the
performance of earthing systems with appropriate analytical procedures.
1.1 Functions Of An Earthing System
1.1.1 Safety
To ensure that:
! Accessible non-current-carrying metallic structures and equipment are
maintained at the same potential.
! Hazardous step, touch and transfer voltages do not exist during fault
conditions (50Hz or transient)
! A common earthing point is provided to reduce or eliminate static buildup.
! The design criteria are maintained over the design life of the installation
despite additions or modifications.
1.1.2 Equipment Protection
To limit the level of transient voltages on equipment by safely providing a low
impedance path for lightning discharges, switching surges, fault currents and other
system disturbances. These disturbances may cause extensive damage to equipment
including associated equipment such as communications cables. Equipment damage
might include: insulation breakdown; thermal or mechanical damage, and may result
in fires and electrically ignited explosions.
1.1.3 System Operating Requirements
! To ensure proper operation of protective devices such as protection relays and
surge arresters. Power-system overvoltages and fault current levels are
influenced by the earthing system.
! The design must be co-ordinated to achieve the desired reliability levels.
System outage rates are effectively reduced by the use of earthing systems
which minimise phase to earth back flashover and inductive interference (eg.
protection pilot cables).
Chapter 1 Introduction 2
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! The continuous metallic earth grid provides a connection to earth for lightning
and switching surges and 50Hz earth fault current. Therefore, every
component of an earthing installation should be capable of carrying the design
maximum earth fault current which may flow through the component without
causing hazardous potentials, interference to other systems, or damage until
the fault is cleared.
1.2 Constraints Facing Earthing System Designers
The design of safe economical earthing systems is difficult to achieve. Existing
installations are exposed to changes requiring a review of safety and equipment rating
performance. A number of these constraints are outlined as follows:
! Interaction between Power Systems and Industrial Installations. Because
of the increasing area of industrial installations, and the increasing density of
power generating, transmission and distribution equipment, the effect of
power equipment on industrial equipment must be assessed, controlled and
coordinated, in the interest of personnel and equipment safety, in a
cost-effective manner. Influences such as voltage rises from power generating
and transmission plant have to be considered to avoid the transfer to, or
induction in, equipment for both surface and underground installations.
! Fault Level Increases. The increase in fault levels has increased inductive
interference/hazard conditions.
! Reduction in Substation Areas. Due to new technology in the power
industry (eg. SF
6
insulated equipment) and space constraints in city and urban
environments, substation areas are being drastically reduced. Thus earthgrid
impedances, which are inversely proportional to the square root of the area,
increase.
The combination of increased earth fault current and earth grid impedances
leads to an increase in earthgrid potential rise. Consequently earth system
design and installation costs are increasing to off-set these effects.
! Widespread Use of Conductive Structures. The introduction of concrete
and steel poles to the sub-transmission and distribution systems is presenting a
new range of problems involving earthing system requirements.
! Large Interconnected Systems. Whilst earthing design practices for
substations of relatively small dimensions have been quite well established,
earthing systems for large industrial installations (eg. power stations and coal
processing plants) require more sophisticated calculations to achieve safe
cost-effective designs.
! Existing Earthing Systems. Many older substations present the possibility of
hazardous situations existing during fault conditions, for the following
reasons:-
Chapter 1 Introduction 3
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Earth grids were designed in a haphazard manner, consisting only of
conductors run to bond metallic structures. Such substation earth grid
designs often do not comply with the currently accepted international
standards.
Uncertainty concerning both the condition and effectiveness of the
existing earthing systems.
In many instances the electrical hardware has become inadequate to
handle the increasing fault currents with the required degree of safety.
Many installations are over 50 years old and during that time fault
levels have, in some cases, more than tripled. Therefore, the old design
may not be electrically safe or sufficiently robust to withstand the
increased fault levels.
Alterations or additions to earthing systems have often been
undertaken in an ad-hoc manner. This has left earth systems poorly
documented, with many unrecorded or inadvertent connections.
! Professional Liability and Financial Constraints. The cost of designing,
installing and testing a new or refurbished earthing system is quite high. Some
problems are not only difficult but also costly to resolve. However, if an
accident occurs, the legal costs associated may be very high. Such litigation is
cause for concern, as we are bound by professional and economic constraints
to implement a system which meets appropriate safety criteria.
1.3 The Engineered Response
The experience of the power supply industry has shown that only a small proportion
of electric shock incidents involve high voltage power equipment. It is proposed that
the relative infrequency of incidents involving protective earthing systems is not
predominantly related to adequate earthing system design, but rather is fortuitously a
consequence of a very low probability of human exposure to hazardous situations.
Not only must the requirements for a shock situation coincide but their degree is also
involved. The fault current magnitude and time of exposure, coincidental with a
persons hand contact and possibly barefoot, and being present in the location
coinciding with the fault.
It is impossible, short of abandoning entirely the distribution of electric power, to
prevent, at all times, in all places, and under all conditions, the presence of dangerous
voltages. However, this fact does not relieve the engineer of the responsibility of
seeking to lower this probability as much as he reasonably can. Thankfully in most
cases it can be reduced to an acceptable value by internationally recognised design
procedures. It is necessary to plan ahead to prevent problems arising in the future.
Whatever the affected equipment, an assessment and control of problems will have to
be planned before they occur. Planning and design co-ordination is necessary to
ensure safety for personnel and avoidance of equipment failures. Careful design can
Chapter 1 Introduction 4
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
SUBSTATION EARTHING GUIDE
1. Introduction
2. Co-ordinated Design Technique
3. Information Gathering and Hazard
Appraisal
4. Allowable Voltage Criteria
5. Earth Resistivity, Interpretation And
. Modelling
6. Current Distribution
7. Power Frequency Voltage Design
8. Transient Voltage Design
9. Direct Current Power System Earthing
10. Installation Techniques.
11. Testing Methods
12. Earthing System Maintenance and
. Refurbishment
achieve an acceptable solution.
1.4 Purpose And Scope
The purpose of this guide is to provide guidelines for the design, installation, testing
and maintenance of earthing systems associated with electrical substations. Earthing
systems that are covered in this guide include those associated with: generating
plants, industrial installations, transmission and distribution stations. Internal wiring
and equipment/appliance earthing details are not addressed in this document. Rather
AS3000 - Wiring Rules should be followed or other governing regulations. The
following section outlines the structure of this Guide and its relationship to other
ESAA Guides.
The topics covered in this Substation Earthing Guide are shown in Figure 1-1
following.
Figure 1-1 Substation Earthing Guide - Overview
Chapter 1 Introduction 5
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1.5 Format of Guides
The ESAA Earthing Guides are structured as follows:
1.5.1 Earthing Guides
Four guides have been issued, covering earthing systems in each of the following
components of the electrical system:
! Power stations and industries : large interconnected systems
! Transmission systems : Power lines and cable earthing
! Substations : Design of any substation earthing system
! Distribution Systems : Substations and line/cables involved with LV
distribution.
These documents are intended to provide directions to earthing system designers in
the form of: definitions, design guidelines, basic formulae, appropriate standards (ie,
safety criteria, equipment sizing), with cross-references to details provided within the
Earthing Reference Manual.
These Guides address the following areas:
! Safety criteria applicable.
! Hazard appraisal and mitigation method identification.
! Provide co-ordinated planning and design strategies.
! Analysis methods with worked examples.
! 50Hz, direct current and transient performance of earthing systems.
! Analysis of the conductive and inductive interaction with nearby metalwork
such as: railway lines, metallic pipelines, telecommunications networks,
underground power cables and fences.
! Installation techniques.
! Testing methods: Initial investigations and final verification.
! Maintenance and refurbishment philosophies and procedures.
The four guides are intended to stand alone and, therefore, deliberately overlap to a
certain extent. The Power Station and Industries Earthing Guide provides more
detailed information on problems specific to such installations, whilst leaving the
substation earthing system design to the Substation Earthing Guide.
Chapter 2 Co-ordinated Design Technique 6
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2 Co-ordinated Design Technique
The summary of a design methodology is illustrated below in Figure 2-1 [1]. The
major steps in the process (numbered above the process box) are discussed in
subsequent sections (located (i.e. (3)) above the process boxes).
Figure 2-1: Coordinated Design Technique
Chapter 2 Co-ordinated Design Technique 7
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The first step in the process is information gathering to determine:
! The design fault currents and ground return currents.
! Soil conditions (resistivity, moisture content seasonal variations geology
corrosive properties).
! Site area restrictions, alternative site possibilities.
! Services and facilities nearby (or further away) that may be affected by ground
currents/voltage rises, or by induced voltage or currents due to fault currents
flowing in lines.
! Site testing requirements.
This step is critical, in that the significant factors must be appraised before
simplifying assumptions can be made with confidence. To ignore parameters, such as
soil resistivity or voltage transfer paths, can lead to either unsafe conditions or over
expenditure. Once the information is gathered, the design procedure is structured to
minimise complicated analysis. For example, detailed analytical modelling is only
recommended in order to:
! Find appropriate designs if simple empirical formulae cannot be acceptably
applied to the particular installation.
! Investigate a range of remedial measures.
! Minimise manpower and material costs by more accurate modelling when
appropriate.
Decisions on whether complex modelling will be necessary may be judged from the
results of the investigations and preliminary calculations, and with guidance from
Figure 2.1 Markers are placed in the margins throughout the Guide to indicate the
major Design Steps.
Chapter 3 Information Gathering And Hazard Appraisal 8
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Design
Step
1
Design
Step
1
3 Information Gathering And
Hazard Appraisal
A preliminary investigation is required to determine the earthing system
requirements. Section 3.2 provides a checklist of details required under the
following categories:
! Electrical power system configuration, site layout and locality
! Geological survey and soil resistivity measurements.
A thorough investigation will reveal possible hazardous situations and provide more
accurate data for the design process.
When reviewing the safety performance and checking the sizing and condition of
existing systems additional procedures are recommended (see Chapter 12).
3.1 Hazard Appraisal
Too often this investigation stage in the process is effectively ignored under the
excuses of too little time, inadequate documentation available, or it can be
proven by testing. On many occasions taking a little extra time at this initial stage
has proved well worthwhile, resulting in:
! Better planning of resistivity test program (ie. in certain difficult cases the
substation position has been moved when adequate time and land was
available).
! Locating previously unknown/unexpected hazards (eg. fences, pipelines).
! Gathering better location specific information resulting in significant cost
savings (eg. special constraints, lower resistivity locations, additional
availability of secondary earthing systems).
! Better planning for the commissioning injection test program as more hazards
are known before hand. Otherwise, neither the design nor test may allow one
to identify and quantify the real hazards. It is better to plan for such
contingencies earlier rather than once the system is installed (eg. retrofitting
can be hazardous and costs are significantly higher than at the initial stage).
Patience and persistence at the preliminary stage will yield cost savings and/or safety
insurance in the majority of cases.
Chapter 3 Information Gathering And Hazard Appraisal 9
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
3.2 Information Required
3.2.1 Electrical System
A) Single Line Diagram
i) Transformer/Protection Details
! Protection relays: types, settings, fault clearing times
! Current transformer ratios.
! Transformers: size, impedance, voltages, connections. (eg. earth fault
limitation), configuration (eg. star/delta).
ii) Overhead and Underground Reticulation
! Conductor: Size, length, type, spacings.
! Overhead earthwires: size, length, earthing details, shielding factor.
! Underground cables:
@ Type, laying configuration.
@ Cable sheath: size and material, Earthing and cross-bonding details,
shielding factor.
@ Cable box earthing details.
! LV reticulation details: neutral connections and earth leakage protection
details.
iii) Earth fault Details
For each voltage level indicate:
! Maximum earth fault currents
@ Components flowing in: transformer neutrals, overhead shieldwires,
and cable sheaths.
@ Details concerning lines being; active or passive (i.e. for each fault
case which lines supply earthfault current).
! Maximum fault duration for the earth fault currents:
@ Without failure of a relay or circuit breaker.
@ With failure of first level of protection.
3.2.2 Site Layout And Locality
A) Earthing Details
! Conductor sizes, connections, types.
! Earth electrode sizes, depths and locations.
! Interconnections between earthing systems.
Chapter 3 Information Gathering And Hazard Appraisal 10
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
B) Equipment Locations
Earthing details and locations are also required for the following equipment:
! Lightning spires, surge diverters.
In the case of equipment to be extended, determine the impedance to earth of the
existing electrical equipment. Also determine the earth electrode material used in the
existing equipment.
3.2.3 Locality
Earthing details and locations are required for metalwork in the vicinity, including:
! Pipelines (eg. water, gas, oil) stating the method of installation in the soil
(insulated or not insulated, on pipe supports/bridges).
! Fences (eg. bare metal fences, bare wires or insulated-wire, or fences
consisting of insulated-wire with insulated fence posts without bare metal
parts).
! Building construction details (eg. steel, or reinforced concrete).
! Railway tracks, stating the foundation (eg. ballast, or directly embedded in
paved soil) and insolation details.
! Poles and other steel structures in immediate contact with the soil or water, or
connected with the soil or water through concrete.
! Rivers, streams, lakes, headwaters and soil water ponds of hydro-electric
power stations or pumped storage stations.
! Communications lines.
! Disused buried metalwork.
Determine where these conductors are accessible so as to allow contact at the nearest
point outside the earthing system.
3.2.4 Geological Survey
A) Geological Data
Topography, nature of soil material, presence of various layers, water table, previous
test data, and civil earthworks (eg. cut and fill).
B) Seasonal Variations
Recent weather patterns, moisture relative to maximum and minimum, and the
magnitude of effect of seasonal variations. While difficult to quantify such
information does provide a useful context in which the resistivity test results may be
interpreted and a set of design data determined.
Chapter 3 Information Gathering And Hazard Appraisal 11
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
C) Earth Resistivity
Results of a resistivity survey over the area under consideration, using spacings at
least equal to the size of the site.
D) Corrosion Properties of the Soil
Determine corrosion properties of the soil. Ascertain performance of any existing
earth electrode by inspection.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 12
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
4 Allowable Voltage Criteria
Ensuring safety for both power authority personnel and the public in the event of an
earth fault is one of the primary purposes of an earthing system. The factors involved
in developing safety criteria in the context of power system operating conditions and
physiological safety constraints are introduced to provide for safety evaluations.
Without such an understanding, the application of electric shock safety criteria to
practical problems may be misinterpreted [2, 5, 8, 22] (eg difference between the
prospective (i.e. open circuit) and loaded touch voltage calculations of body
currents).
This section addresses aspects pertinent to the goal of providing safe earthing
systems, the causes and conditions for danger, and factors involved in applying
realistic safety criteria:
1. Conditions for danger
2. Causes of undesirable voltages
3. Effect of electric current on the human body
4. Safety criteria
4.1 Conditions For Danger
The first step involved in defining the shock hazard, is to determine the
circumstances which make electric shock accidents possible.
A shock situation requires the evaluation of the following factors:
! The magnitude of the fault current to ground in relation to size of the earthing
system and soil resistivity.
! Soil resistivity and distribution of earth fault current flow such that
high-potential gradients are possible at one or more locations.
! Presence of an individual at such a location, at a time, and in a position that
their body bridges at least two points of high potential difference.
! Duration of the fault of sufficient time to cause harm at the given location.
The relevant infrequency of accidents of the type being studied, compared to
accidents of other kinds, is due to the low probability of coincidence of the conditions
required. Nevertheless, fatalities due to voltage gradients associated with earthing
systems can be expected to occur unless design action is taken to reduce the risk.
4.2 Causes Of Undesirable Voltages
Hazardous earth potentials can be produced by power frequency and transient earth
currents as a result of power system earthfaults and switching and lightning
overvoltages.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 13
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
4.2.1 Power Safety Voltages
a) Conduction of Fault Currents
The majority of safety problems are associated with voltage rises resulting from the
conduction of power frequency earth fault currents into the ground. All metalwork
forming the earthing system will conduct current, either directly into the ground, or to
another part of the system and thence to ground. The three basic hazard situations are
due to step, touch and transfer voltages.
b) Induced Voltages
! Electromagnetic Induction
Voltages may be electromagnetically induced in fences, pipelines, conveyors,
railway lines, telecommunication cables, trailing cables whether above or
underground due to the flow of fault current in high voltage power lines.
Problems have been experienced at depths of up to 100m. Kovats in reference
[20] cites a voltage of 2kV induced along an underground conveyor 1.14km in
length, 50m below a double circuit 500kV and single circuit 330kV
transmission line.
! Electrostatic Induction
If an item of equipment runs parallel to a transmission line for any distance,
tests should be undertaken to determine the voltages existing in the steady
state. Although rare, problems have been experienced with fences, lines and
conveyors near to transmission lines.
4.2.2 Transient Voltages
Transient voltages are either of atmospheric or man-made origin.
a) Atmospheric Origin
Potentials due to lightning strikes to ground, or discharges between clouds, can affect
any part of the surface, but can also be transferred conductively to distant parts of
installations (even underground).
Following lightning strike to a line or substation the initial lightning surge to earth
may be of short duration, however, a power frequency follow-through current may
occur.
This secondary effect, due to insulation flashover may present a greater safety
hazard than the initial transient surge.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 14
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
b) Man-made Origin

Transient currents enter the earthing system, due to arcing between
isolator/disconnector contacts during switching operations or breakdown of
insulation. The short rise times of the wave combined with the high speed of travel
creates high voltage differences over short distances in the earthing system. Whilst
this does not present a great safety hazard to personnel, the overall reliability of
substations may be reduced. Therefore, special measures should be taken to avoid
disturbances due to high frequency earth potential rises, especially when designing
the earthing of gas-insulated substations (G.I.S.) which can create extremely high
frequency voltages that may be accessible to staff or transferred to secondary systems.
The integration of the physiological data into the context of the electrical power
system is required to enable design engineers to allocate limited resources in a
manner consistent with realistic risk management philosophies. Safety criteria are
required which are both technically feasible within realistic operating conditions and
provide economical solutions.
4.3 Effect of Electric Current on The Human Body
The starting point for the derivation of the safety criteria is the fundamental research
into the effect of electric current upon the human body. Thresholds have been defined
for perception, let-go and ventricular fibrillation (VF). Although asphyxia and
cardiac arrest do cause a number of fatalities, ventricular fibrillation is considered to
be the main cause of death by electrical shock [11]. The fibrillating current threshold
is affected by the following inter-related factors, and is internationally accepted as the
threshold to be used when designing substation earthing.
! Current magnitude
! Current path
! Duration and time occurrence
! Sensitivity of the individual
! Frequency
! Body impedance
The Earthing for Safety chapter in the ESAA Earthing Reference Manual provides
details regarding each of these factors.
4.4 Development Of Realistic Safety Criteria
In order to relate the physiological data to real-life power system applications,
actual hazard situations must be identified and the relevant parameters defined. This
process is described in the following sections;
1. Definition of terms
2. The shock circuit
3. Derivation of safety criteria
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 15
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
4.4.1 Definition of Terms
The distinction between prospective touch voltage and touch voltage is defined as
follows:
Prospective Touch Voltage (V
pt
). The voltage difference between an earthed
metallic structure (within 2.4m of the ground), and a point on the earths surface
separated by a distance equal to a mans normal maximum horizontal reach
(approximately one metre) [18], [22].
This voltage is defined as an open circuit voltage, measured using a high impedance
voltmeter.
Touch Voltage (V
t
). The voltage across a body, under fault conditions, in a position
described as for the prospective touch voltage but allowing for the voltage drop
caused by a current in the body. [22]
Thus the touch voltage may also be termed a loaded voltage which is loaded by
the human body impedance.
The touch voltage may be reduced by additional impedance in series with the human
body. This situation is reflected in the safety criteria by varying assumptions
concerning the human body resistance and foot contact resistance.
The foot contact is simulated either using a driven rod, or 300cm copper disc. The
former method provides a conservative estimate for touch voltages as it negates the
current limiting effect of a high impedance surface layer, if present.
This guide follows the American practice, based upon IEEE Std 80 [18], which
utilises 1000 body impedance and calculated value of foot contact resistance in its
safety criteria derivation. Therefore, this guide recommends a value of allowable
prospective touch voltage (see Section 4.4.3).
Step voltage definitions are similar to those given above for open circuit and loaded
touch voltage cases, as follows:
Prospective Step Voltage (V
ps
). The voltage difference between two points on the
earths surface separated by a distance equal to a mans normal maximum step
(approximately one metre).
Step Voltage (V
s
). The voltage across a body, under fault conditions, in a position
described as for the prospective step voltage but allowing for the voltage drop caused
by a current in the body. [22].
The measurement of prospective (or open-circuit) step voltage and step voltage is
based on similar principles to those given above for the touch voltages. The main
difference being one hand contact being replaced by an electrode representing the
human feet.

Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 16
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
It is important that these distinctions be clarified during the design stage and in the
testing procedures as considerable hazards may arise through mismatch of design
safety criteria and measurement technique. Refer to Section 11.2.5 of the Testing
chapter for further detail on measurement procedures.
4.4.2 The Shock Circuit
For the step and touch voltage shock situations, the significant circuit parameters are
identified, defined and combined to form electrocution equations in the following
sections:
a) Parameter identification and definition.
b) Equation derivation.
a) Parameter Identification and Definition
The following Figure 4-1 identifies the parameters involved in step and touch voltage
shock situations.
Figure 4-1: Electric Shock Circuit Parameters.
Two of the parameters involved in the shock circuit are discussed in the following
sections;
i) Resistance of insulating materials
ii) Foot-to-ground contact resistance
i) Resistance of Insulating Materials
According to an extensive survey conducted by an IEC WG2 [27] and another by
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 17
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Electricite de France, the resistance of dry new shoes varies between 6 and 20
megohms. If wet and new the range is from 350 ohms to low kilohms. For older wet
shoes the resistance drops below 500 ohms in many cases. To date studies have
considered it prudent to neglect the effect of shoe and glove impedance, especially at
locations such as recreational or camping areas.
It is recommended [6], [7] that boots or gloves be taken into consideration in
switchyards when public access is not possible, provided conservative values are
used, and provided property inspection procedures are applied as a matter of routine.
ii) Foot-to-Ground Contact Resistance
The resistance of the ground just beneath the feet may appreciably increase the circuit
resistance. The general case will be discussed firstly, then the case where a thin layer
of high resistance material exists on the earth surface.
! General Case
The shock circuit may be simplified as shown in the following Figure 4-2.
Figure 4-2: Touch and step voltage circuits
R
bt
= Hand to feet body resistance
R
F
= Self resistance of each foot to remote earth
R
bs
= Foot-to-foot body resistance
R
MF
= Mutual resistance beneath feet
For V
pt
, V
t
, V
ps
and V
s
see definitions in Section 4.4.1.
The voltage gradients can be depicted as shown in the following Figure 4-3.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 18
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 4-3: Potentials associated with step and touch voltage shocks.

From Figure 4-2 the two cases may be expressed as follows [18 ];
R
2fs
= Step voltages case with two feet in series (1m apart)
= 2 (R
F
- R
MF
)
. 6
s
(4-1)
R
2fp
= Touch voltage cases with 2 feet in parallel.
= 0.5 (R
F
+ R
MF
)
. 1.5
s
(4-2)
Where
R
F
= Resistance of a standard foot having resistance equal to a plate
electrode on the surface with a radius of 0.08m
R
MF
= Mutual coupling between feet

s
= Surface homogeneous soil resistivity
! Effect of a Thin Layer of Crushed Rock
The contact resistance of the foot with normal soil is generally neglected. However,
if a layer of crushed rock (5 to 15cm) or bitumen is spread on the surface of the
ground, it will provide additional series resistance, thereby reducing the body current.
IEEE80 [18] utilises the new surface layer resistivity value in equations derated by a
factor (C
s
) to account for layer depth and resistivity magnitude differences. The
thickness of the high resistance layer must be greater than the flashover distance for
the prospective voltage for the material.
Heppe [51] calculated the derating factor to be used in accordance with the following
formulae:
C
s
= Reduction factor for derating the nominal value of surface layer
resistivity.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 19
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
(4-3)
( )
C
K
n h
s
n
s
n
= +
+

(
(
(
=

1
096
1 2
1 2 008
2
1
.
/ .
C
s
= 1 if
s
=
Where
K = Reflection factor
(4-4) K
s
s
=

+

s
= Crushed rock resistivity (.m)
= Soil resistivity (.m)
h
s
= Thickness of crushed rock layer (m)
An alternative simplified formulae (4-5) from Sverak [69 ] gives the reduction factor
as follows:
(4-5) C
h
s
s
s
=

+

(
(
(
(
1 0106
1
2 0106
.
.

C
s
= 1 if =
s
Figure 4-4 from IEEE80(86) [18], provides a graphical representation of C
s
.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 20
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 4-4: Reduction Factor C
s
As a Function of Reflection Factor K and
Crushed Rock Layer Thickness h
s
eg. A typical case of 3000m crushed rock over 100m homogeneous earth
increases parallel foot contact resistance from 150 to 2565 .
The surface layer resistivity must be significantly higher than the soil resistivity (5
times or more) for any benefit to be gained. It is important to ensure that the crushed
rock selected is of adequate size and resistivity. Problems have been found with
aggregates containing fine and round river gravels. It is important that the layer be
coarse crushed rock and maintained in clean condition to ensure system safety
compliance (eg. industrial substations where fine dust is generated must be
maintained clear of fines or have the crushed rock layer ignored in calculations).
b) Equation Derivation
The shock circuit equations are summarised as follows. From Figure 4-2 it can be
seen that the actual prospective touch and step voltages across the human body, as a
function of allowable body current, body resistance and foot to ground contact
resistance, are:
(4-6)
( )
V i R R
pt bt bt fp
= +
2
(4-7)
( )
V i R R
ps bs bs fs
= +
2
Where
i
bt
= Permissible body current (hand-to-feet)
i
bs
= Permissible body current (foot-to-foot)
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 21
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Design
Step
5
Design
Step
5
Note: Additional series resistance due to gloves and footwear may also be included in
Equations (4-6) and (4-7), if its application can be justified.
4.4.3 Safety Criteria Applicable
It is recommended until further international standardisation occurs that the
American IEEE Std 80[18] approach be used for substations under ESAA
Guidelines.
While IEEE Std 80 [18] discusses several of the biological shock factors, such as the
heart current factor, it does not quantify them in producing a simplified set of safety
criteria. The standard is based upon the 99.5% ventricular fibrillation (VF) current
threshold, proposed by Dalziel and provides guidance for body weights of 50 to 70
kg.
! 50kg case recommended for locations where children may be present (eg.
outside substations).
! 70kg case is recommended (eg, inside substations) where access is limited.
The IEEE Std 80 Standard does not take into account the dependence of body
impedance (R
b
) on applied voltage or path, but uses a single value of 1000. It does,
however, recognise the effect of a surface layer of high resistivity (as described
previously in Section 4.4.2 a) ii) upon R
F
.
The recommended limits to touch and step voltages occurring during earth fault
conditions are determined using the following Equation 4-8 and 4-9 for 70kg persons.
The case of allowable prospective touch voltages inside substations is illustrated as
follows:
(4.8)
( )
( )
V i R R
t
C
pt bt bt fp
s s
= +
=
|
\

|
.
|
+
2
0157
1000 15
.
.
( )
V
C
t
volts
pt
s s
=
+ |
\

|
.
|
157 0236 .
For allowable step voltages the result is:
(4-9) V
C
t
volts
ps
s s
=
+ 157 0942 .
Therefore, to determine the prospective touch and step voltages open circuit test
measurements are made using driven rods and a high impedance voltmeter, as
foot-to-ground contact resistance is incorporated in Equations 4-2 and 4-8. The
formulae for allowable prospective touch and step voltages are shown in the
following Table 4.1 for 50kg to 70kg persons.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 22
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Table 4.1
Allowable Prospective Voltage Criteria
Prospective Touch
Voltages
(V
pt
)
Prospective Step Voltages
(V
ps
)
50kg body weight
(To be used in areas with
public access)
116 0174 + . C
t
s s
116 0696 + . C
t
s s

70kg body weight


(May be used in restricted
areas within a substation)
157 0236 + . C
t
s s
157 0924 + . C
t
s s

Where
C
s
= Derating factor relating to surface layer thickness and resistivity (see
Section 4.4.2 b) Figure 4-4 and Equations 4-3 and 4-4).
= 1 when crushed rock resistivity is equal to soil resistivity.

s
= Resistivity of surface material (m) (eg. crushed stone or bitumen)
(provided layer depth/thickness (hs) hs > flashover/puncture distance
for the prospective voltage).
t = Duration of shock current (seconds).
The following points should also be considered when determining allowable voltages:
! Hand-to-hand Conditions
For hand-to-hand touch conditions (eg. opening gates) it is considered appropriate to
use the touch voltage criteria without the additional series impedance factor, as
follows:
Allowable prospective
hand-to-hand voltage (50kg) = 116//t volts (4-10)
For areas only accessible to electrical staff (say within the substation) the 70kg
equation may be used.
! GIS Transient Earth Potential Rise Conditions
It is often the case that in GIS installations the shock circuit contains no additional
series impedance. It is, therefore, recommended that the same voltage criteria as for
hand-to-hand conditions be applied. The Chapter on Transient Phenomena in the
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 23
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Earthing Reference Manual provides additional details on safety criteria based upon
the energy rating.
! Fault Duration
Primary or backup protection - In larger transmission system substations with very
fast duplicated protection systems it is considered reasonable to use the primary
system fault clearance times. In older subtransmission system substations there is a
case for considering the effect of the failure of a single primary protection. In public
locations with high exposure to people and possibly slower clearing times, it is
considered prudent to attempt to comply with backup protection clearing times.
Reclosing - On overhead lines with fast auto reclosing systems the sum of the two
fault clearing times is used. If manual or time delayed auto.-reclosing is used (eg.
cable systems) it is acceptable to only use the first trip clearance time.
Stepped faults - The non simultaneous operation of circuit breakers causes a step in
the fault current as discussed in Section 6.4.2.
! Calculation of Expected Touch and Step Voltages
The following chapters provide the means to calculate the expected prospective touch
and step voltages. Several points are worth clarifying at this stage:
! Fault Current
Grid Current
The fault current giving rise to the touch or step voltage hazards is that current
being conducted to earth by the primary and secondary earthing system (ie.
grid to remote earth current); not the prospective maximum earth fault
current. Chapter 6 provides some guidelines for calculation of the zero
sequence current distribution.
Direct Current Offset
The presence of a D.C. component in the fault current is also incorporated via
a correction factor (see Section 6.5). The effective fault current is increased
by a factor depending upon the fault clearing time and the specific X/R ratio
for the location.
! Fault Impedance
It is reasonable to include a certain amount of fault impedance, according to
the system configuration at the fault point (eg. timber poles with timber cross
arms compared to metallic or reinforced concrete transmission towers).
Arcing faults should be assumed to have zero resistance.
Chapter 4 Allowable Voltage Criteria 24
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
! Fault Locations
Fault locations on the primary and secondary sides, both inside and outside the
substation should be investigated.
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 25
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
5 Soil Resistivity Testing,
Interpretation And Modelling
When designing an earthing system to meet safety and reliability criteria, an accurate
resistivity model of the soil is required. The following sections outline the major
practical aspects of the measurement procedure and result interpretation.
5.1 Principles
Soil resistivity values in the Australian continent are widely varying depending on the
type of terrain, eg, silt on a river bank may have resistivity value in the order of
1.5m, whereas dry sand or granite in mountainous country areas may have values
higher than 10,000m. Factors that affect resistivity may be summarised as;-
! Type of earth (eg, clay, loam, sandstone, granite)
! Moisture content; resistivity may fall rapidly as the moisture content is
increased, however, after a value of about 20% the rate of decrease is much
less. Soil with content greater than 40% do not occur very often.
! Temperature; above freezing point, the effect on earth resistivity is practically
negligible.
! Chemical composition and concentration of dissolved salt.
! Presence of metal and concrete pipes, tanks, large slabs, cable ducts, rail
tracks, metal pipes and fences, etc.
! Topography; rugged topography has a similar effect on resistivity
measurement as local surface resistivity variation caused by weathering and
moisture.
When defining the electrical properties of a portion of the Earth, a distinction between
the geoelectric and geologic model is required. In the geoelectric model the
boundaries between layers are determined by changes in resistivity, being primarily
dependent upon water and chemical content, as well as texture. The geologic model,
based upon such criteria as fossils and texture, may contain several geoelectric
sections. The converse is also common.
As earthing systems are installed near the surface of the Earth, the top soil layers
being subject to higher current densities are the most significant and require the most
accurate modelling.
The Wenner [34] and Schlumberger [35] test methods are both recommended, with
testing and interpretation techniques detailed in the Earthing Reference Manual, and
summarised in the following sections.
5.2 Soil Resistivity Testing Procedure Guidelines
The purpose of resistivity testing is to obtain a set of measurements which may be
interpreted to yield an equivalent model for the electrical performance of the earth, as
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 26
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
seen by the particular earthing system. However, the results may be incorrect or
misleading if adequate investigation is not made prior to the test, or the test is not
correctly undertaken. To overcome these problems the following data gathering and
testing guidelines are suggested:
5.2.1 Initial Data Gathering
An initial research phase is required to provide adequate background, upon which to
determine the testing program, and against which the results may be interpreted. Data
related to nearby metallic structures, as well as the geological, geographical and
meteorological nature of the area is very useful [3], [19]. For instance the geological
data regarding strata types and thicknesses will give an indication of the water
retention properties of the upper layers and also the variation in resistivity to be
expected due to water content. By comparing recent rainfall data, against the seasonal
average, maxima and minima for the area it may be ascertained whether the results
are realistic or not. For small installations the resistivity fluctuations may significantly
affect the earth system impedance.
5.2.2 Resistivity Testing
A number of guidelines associated with the preparation and implementation of a
testing program are summarised as follows:
! Test Method
Factors such as maximum probe depths, lengths of cables required, efficiency of the
measuring technique, cost (determined by the time and the size of the survey crew)
and ease of interpretation of the data need to be considered, when selecting the test
type. Three common test types are shown in Figure 5-1. The Schlumberger array [3]
is considered more accurate and economic, than the Wenner or Driven Rod methods,
provided a current source of sufficient power is used.
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 27
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 5-1: Resistivity Test Probe Configurations
In the Wenner method all four electrodes are moved for each test with the spacing
between each adjacent pair remaining the same. With the Schlumberger array the
potential electrodes remain stationary while the current electrodes are moved for a
series of measurements. In each method the depth penetration of the electrodes is
less than 5% of the separation to ensure that the approximation of point sources,
required by the simplified formulae (Section 5.2.3), remains valid.
! Selection of Test Method Type
When planning a soil resistivity survey factors such as: maximal probing depth,
length of cables required, efficiency of the measuring technique, cost determined by
the size of the survey crew and ease of interpretation of the data need to be
considered. Each electrode array has specific advantages as explained below:
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 28
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Wenner Array
If the test apparatus is underpowered or has limited ability to detect low voltage, then
the Wenner array [34] is most effective as it is the most efficient in terms of the ratio
of received voltage per unit of transmitted current.
However, the Wenner array is the least efficient from an operational perspective. It
requires the longest cable layout, largest electrode spreads and for large spacings one
person per electrode is necessary to complete the survey in a reasonable time. Also,
because all four electrodes are moved after each reading the Wenner array is most
susceptible to lateral variation effects.
Where unfavourable conditions such as very dry or frozen soil exist, considerable
time may be spent trying to improve the contact resistance between the electrode and
the soil.
Schlumberger Array
Economy of manpower is gained with the Schlumberger array [35] since the outer
electrodes are moved four or five times for each move of the inner electrodes. The
reduction in the number of electrode moves also reduces the effect of lateral variation
on test results.
Considerable time saving can be achieved using the reciprocity theorem with the
Schlumberger array when contact resistance is a problem. Since contact resistance
normally affects the current electrodes more than the potential electrodes, the inner
fixed pair may be used as the current electrodes, a configuration called the Inverse
Schlumberger Array. Use of the inverse Schlumberger array increases personal
safety when a large current is injected. Heavier current cables may be needed if the
current is of large magnitude. The inverse Schlumberger reduces the heavier cable
lengths and time spent moving electrodes. The minimum spacing accessible is in the
order of 10m (for a 0.5m inner spacing), thereby, necessitating the use of the Wenner
configuration for smaller spacings.
Lower voltage readings are obtained when using Schlumberger arrays. This may be a
critical problem where the depth required to be tested is beyond the capability of the
test equipment or the voltage readings are too small to be considered.
Driven Rod Method
The driven rod method (or Three Pin or Fall-of-Potential Method) [23] is normally
suitable for use in circumstances such as transmission line structure earths, or areas of
difficult terrain, because of: the shallow penetration that can be achieved in practical
situations, the very localised measurement area, and the inaccuracies encountered in
two layer soil conditions [19].
! Traverse Locations
A resistivity test traverse consists of taking measurements for a series of probe
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 29
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
spacings located in a straight line (co-linear array) to comply with the assumptions
upon which the simplified Formulae are based.
The traverse locations are designed to provide data on the vertical and horizontal
resistivity variations over an area several times larger than the proposed earthing
system. It is usual to use orthogonal traverses as a check, and to indicate the presence
of vertical layering. Larger earthing systems require a greater number of traverses
($4).
It is also useful to include a check traverse near to, yet beyond the influence of the
grid. Measurements are re-made on this traverse when undertaking an injection test
on the installed grid, to correlate the test results with the initial measured conditions at
the time of design.
! Spacing Range
The range of spacings recommended includes accurate close probe spacings ($1m),
which are required to determine the upper layer resistivity, used in calculating the
step and touch voltages, to spacings larger than the radius or diagonal dimension of
the proposed earth grid. The larger spacings are used in the calculation of remote
voltage gradients and grid impedance. Measurements at very large spacings often
present considerable problems (eg inductive coupling, insufficient resolution on test
set, physical barriers) they are important if the lower layer is of higher resistivity (
2
>

1
). In such cases considerable error is introduced if a realistic value of
2
is not
measured due to insufficient spacing.
! Practical Testing Recommendations
It has been found that special care is required when testing to:
Eliminate mutual coupling or interference due to leads parallel to
power lines. Cable reels with parallel axes for current injection and
voltage measurements, and small cable separation for large spacings
(>100m)) can result in errors.
Ensure the instrumentation and setup is adequate (ie equipment
selection criteria, power levels, interference and filtering),
Undertake operational checks for accuracy (ie, a field calibration
check),
Reduce contact resistance (use salt water, stakes and/or the reverse
Schlumberger),
Instruct staff to use finer test spacings in areas showing sharp changes
(ie to identify the effect of local inhomogeneities and give increased
data for interpretation). Plot test results immediately during testing to
identify such problem areas.
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 30
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Design
Step
2
Design
Step
2
5.2.3 Result Interpretation And Modelling
! Apparent Resistivity Calculation
In homogeneous isotropic earth the resistivity will be constant. However, if the
earth is non homogeneous and the electrode spacing varied, a different value of
resistivity (
a
) will be found for each measurement. This measured value of
resistivity is known as the apparent resistivity. The apparent resistivity is a function
of the array geometry, measured voltage (v), and injected current (I).
For the arrays described in the previous section the apparent resistivity is found from
the field measurements using the following formulae.
Wenner array
(5-1)
t
t
aw
aw
a
v
I
a R
=
=
2
2
A
Where

aw
= apparent resistivity (m)
a = probe spacing (m)
v = voltage measured (volts)
I = injected current (Amps)
R = measured resistance ()
Schlumberger array
(5-2)
t
as
L R
l
=
2
2
Where

as
= apparent resistivity (m)
l = distance from centre line to inner probes (m)
L = distance from centre line to outer probes (m)
R = measured resistance ()
Driven Rod
(5-3)
t
ad
lR
l
d
=
|
\

|
.
|
2
8
ln
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 31
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Where

ad
= Apparent resistivity (m)
l = Length of driven rod in contact with earth (m)
d = Driven rod diameter (m)
R = Measured value of resistance ()
! Interpretation of Resistivity Measurement
The result of each resistivity test traverse is a value of apparent resistivity for each
spacing/configuration used. The interpretation task is the determination of presence
of layers of material of common resistivity.
Both curve matching and analytical procedures may be used to identify the presence
of resistivity layering (e.g. vertical, horizontal or dipping beds). Figure 5-2 shows
several typical apparent resistivity curves.
C Graphical curve matching [33] is useful for field staff to detect
anomalies and identify areas requiring closer examination and testing.
However, the use of graphical curve matching is limited to soils of 3
layers or less.
C Computer based techniques are best used to identify two or more soil
resistivity layers.
C Bad data is best eliminated or checked in the field, as statistical
screening is only useful if a large number of traverses are made and the
resistivity layering over the area is uniform .
C The use of weighted averaging techniques to determine an equivalent
homogeneous soil model or average apparent resistivity values for
each probe spacing is not mathematically sound. It is best to first
obtain a resistivity model for each traverse and then make a decision
upon which information to base the earthing system design.
It is recommended that a multi-layer model for apparent resistivity be generated. A
two layer model yields significant benefits in both economy, accuracy and safety (see
Chapter 7.6), these should identify the surface layer to about 1m and the average deep
layer to the grid diagonal dimension. The multi-layer model is useful in providing
more accurate information regarding the presence of lower resistivity layers, and
hence optimising rod driving depths. However, the two layer model is considered
sufficiently accurate for modelling the behaviour of grids in the majority of cases [4].
If more than two layers are identified, the lower layers are usually combined to form a
two layer equivalent model. This is done because the surface potentials are closely
related to the upper layer resistivity, whilst the grid impedance, which is primarily
effected by the deeper layers, is not usually adversely affected by this simplification.
Chapter 5 Soil Resistivity 32
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 5-2: Typical Resistivity Curves
Curve (A) - Homogenous resistivity
Curve (B) - Low resistivity layer overlaying higher resistivity layer
Curve (C) - High resistivity layer between two low resistivity layers
Curve (D) - High resistivity layer overlaying a lower resistivity layer
Curve (E) - Low resistivity layer over high resistivity layer with a
vertical discontinuity (typically a fault line).
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 33
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
6 Current Distribution
Any earth fault situation may be seen to comprise three main components: the power
system supplying fault energy, the earthing systems between which the fault energy
flows, and the ground as shown in Figure 6-1. In the Soil Resistivity Testing,
Interpretation and Modelling Chapter (5) the methods for testing and modelling the
electrical properties of the ground are discussed. The resistivity analysis is the basis
for determining the distribution of currents, and the voltages created.
This chapter addresses issues associated with the power system supplying the
earthfault fault energy to the point of fault. The fault current flow in the ground
may be considered in two parts. The Power Frequency Voltage Design Chapter [7]
addresses the conduction of fault energy in the vicinity of the faulted and return
electrodes, while this chapter addresses the flow of zero-sequence current in the long
path between electrodes.
The magnitude of the fault current and its distribution in the earth and metallic return
conductors is of prime importance for the following reasons:
! When designing safe earthing installations (eg. substations, transmission
structures), the shock hazard is proportional to the magnitude of earth fault
currents and time of exposure.
! Calculating the electromagnetic induction into neighbouring circuits (eg.
lines, cables, telecommunication circuits, pipelines, fences, railway lines,
conveyors) to ensure safety for people and equipment [37], [38]. This
problem is particularly significant in areas of high soil resistivity.
! Making the correct choice for earth wires (size, type) in the light of fault
energy magnitude and duration [36].
! Determining optimal transmission structure configurations to: reduce losses,
reduce surge impedance, balance line voltages and currents, reduce electric
and magnetic fields, and reduce the amount of current returning through the
soil [39].
While the latter three points mainly relate to transmission systems, it is impossible
(and unwise) to ignore the interrelationship between the effects of fault currents in
each of the fault current paths.
Figure 6-1 illustrates the major fault energy transfer paths.
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 34
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Phase Conductors
Neutral Conductors
Metallic Paths
Fault Current Transfer Path Fault Current Source(s) Point of Fault
Contact with 'Earth'
Soil
Figure 6-1: Fault Current Transfer Systems
It is important to determine the earth fault current contributing to the maximum
earthgrid potential rise (EPR) at a substation. A range of fault cases must be
addressed and the fact that only a part of the total fault current usually flows between
the earthing system and the surrounding earth has implications on both personnel
safety and equipment requirements. The smaller value of the grid current results in a
reduced earth potential rise, as opposed to using the total fault current. This means
that the touch and step voltages are correspondingly lower. Because the EPR is
lower, incoming communication circuits require less or lower rated protective or
isolation equipment. This may result in cost savings on leased telephone lines,
isolation neutralising transformers.
The factors involved in calculating the maximum earthgrid current and, hence
potential rise are addressed in the following sections:
C Calculation overview
C Worst case prospective fault current
C Faults inside the substation
C Faults outside the substation
C Fault current asymmetry
Figure 6-2 provides an overview of the topics covered in the chapter.
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 35
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Substation Earthfault
Analysis
2.1
Calculation
Overview
2.2
Worst Case
Prospective
2.3
Faults Within
a Substation
2.4
Faults Outside
a Substation
1 General Considerations
2 Station Passive
3 Station Active
4 Stepped Fault Duration
2.5
Fault Current
Asymmetry
Calculations
Outcomes
Maximum
Substation
Fault Level
Prospective Source Impedance
(future maximum for known system augmentation)
Fault Location Causing
Maximum Current Grid-Earth
Inductive
Energy Transfer
Transient
Decrement Factor
Incoming
Equipment Rating
Personnel
Safety
Conductor
Sizing
Figure 6-2: Substation Earth fault Analysis Overview
6.1 Calculation Overview
The analysis of maximum earth fault currents for substations needs to be co-ordinated
with the overall design process. In this regard the earth fault currents are required for
three main reasons: conductor sizing, personal hazard determination, and
communication equipment rating under transfer and induction hazard conditions. The
steps involved are summarised in the following Figure 6-3, showing calculations
required and outcomes.
Figure 6-3: Substation Earth fault Calculation Overview
Each of the steps shown in Figure 6-3 are briefly introduced below then developed in
Sections 6.2 - 6.5 following.
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 36
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
6.1.1 Prospective Source Impedances
Section 6.2 establishes the procedures to determine the worst case ground current to
be considered. The worst case prospective fault current is based on future maximum
fault duties for the prospective future system augmentation.
6.1.2 Conductor Size
Due to the large cost involved in replacing grid conductors, compared to the small
incremental cost for material charges during installation, it is wise to take a
conservative approach when sizing grid conductors. Therefore, the maximum
prospective future fault level which allows for future additional transformer capacity
and possible additional circuits is used to determine the maximum fault current the
conductors must carry for each bus/voltage. The Installation Chapter (10) provides
further details regarding sizing philosophies and conductor thermal withstand
calculations.
For most cases the highest current results from a bus fault on the primary or
secondary of the substation. While this current may not create significant EPR, it will
flow through the grid risers thus making it the significant dimensioning current. It is
usual to ignore both the earth grid and local fault impedance (i.e arc impedance) in
the calculation of this current.
6.1.3 Personnel Safety
The safety of personnel and the public is a vital part of any earthing system design
procedure. The voltages that may be experienced under fault conditions, are
discussed in the Power Frequency Voltage Design Chapter (7).
It is generally true that the maximum touch voltage that may be experienced, is the
value of the grid EPR under transfer voltage conditions. Therefore, calculation of the
maximum EPR is seen as the first step in determining the safety hazard levels. The
current that contributes to creating the maximum EPR may come from a fault inside
or outside the substation. Sections 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 address the calculation methods
which include the following issues:
! Faults Within Substations
C Primary Faults
C Transformer infeed
C Primary earthing system impedance (See Section 7.1.1)
C Secondary earthing system impedance (See Section 7.1.2)
! Faults Outside Substation
C Primary or secondary side
C Fault impedance - conductive coupling
C Transformer infeed
C Inductive coupling
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 37
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
At the inception of a fault the D.C. offset increases the effective current with values
given for the effective increase for a range of system X/R ratios in Section 6.5.
6.1.4 Incoming Equipment Rating
Equipment terminating within the substation, (such as telecommunications cables),
are subject to the full earth potential rise during earth fault conditions and, therefore,
require the same calculations as those undertaken for personnel safety [77], [103],
[104]. Suitably rated protective devices are sometimes required for personnel safety,
and for the protection and continuity of service of wireline telecommunication
facilities.
Three points are made concerning the calculations regarding the necessity for, and
specification, of isolation equipment:
! Inductive Energy Transfer
Under certain fault conditions and equipment (eg. cable) configurations, the fault
energy can inductively couple a voltage onto the equipment. This voltage may add to
the EPR, giving rise to the possibility of the transfer of voltages higher than the EPR
to remote locations.
! Transient Decrement Factor
Most modern telecommunications equipment is susceptible to transient voltages and,
therefore, requires adequate protection. Thus, the peak transient voltage is required to
be calculated or taken into account as shown in Section 6.5, or by using conservative
assumptions, such as assuming the peak voltage to be 2p2 times the symmetrical
component.
! Equipment Operation
Some equipment (eg. pilot protection circuits) is required to continue to operate
during system faults. In such critical cases the isolation/protection design should be
given special attention.
The foregoing comments point to the need for special isolation and the difficulty in
accurately calculating the interference parameters. In many instances a standard
design based upon one common purchase specification will meet requirements. If the
standard design margins are exceeded following simple calculations, then detailed
calculations may be necessary to produce a cost effective design. The ESAA CJC
Earth Potential Rise Code of Practise [77] is used within Australia.
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 38
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
4
DESIGN
STEP
4
6.2 Worst Case Prospective Fault Current
The simplest estimation of fault current is that of the total line-ground or
line-line-ground fault current at the fault point (ie. ignoring the effect of alternative
current paths). Thus, normal equations concerning symmetrical components, may be
used and the grid/fault impedance is often assumed to be zero (see Earthing Reference
Manual - Current Distribution Chapter). The EPR for this current is then calculated
using simple formulae (Design Step 8).
If this conservative estimate yields acceptable EPR results, then there is little point
in making further current distribution calculations (apart from OHEW dimensioning
or inductive interference calculations).
Loadflow or fault calculation programs are often used to provide a maximum current
value. This value is used in calculating a maximum EPR, for telecommunications
coordination (also apply a D.C. offset), or as an initial approximation in the design
process. The following guidelines are commonly adopted when calculating the initial
Maximum Grid Current:
! Substation Primary Faults
! Ignore grid impedance
! Use future ultimate fault current levels, only for conductor sizing
calculations, or as an initial first pass estimate EPR.
! Use realistic future (staged development) calculations for personnel
safety hazard determination.
! Substation Secondary Faults
! Use ultimate fault current levels only for conductor sizing.
! Consider likely fault impedance scenarios when determining personnel
hazard levels. Thus, the assessment of fault impedance to cable fed or
overhead lines is important (eg. cable fed, kiosk substation - R
fault
#
5). Section 6.4 following addresses this question in a general way,
with the Current Distribution Chapter of the Earthing Reference
Manual providing a detailed discussion of the issues and equations.
The next two sections provide information to assist in ascertaining the values of fault
currents for faults inside and outside the substation, taking alternative source and
return paths into account. To determine the actual component of fault current
entering the earth via the earthgrid depends upon the following factors:
i) Whether the fault occurs inside or outside the station;
ii) Whether the station, as seen from the fault location, is active or passive; that
is, whether or not the station transformers represent voltage sources in the
system where the fault occurs.
Since each of i) and ii) may have two outcomes, there are four possible combinations
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 39
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
to be considered. However, the two that involve a fault located inside the station do
not differ with respect to determination of I
gmax
. Three cases remain, therefore, that
require consideration, and these will now be addressed.
6.3 Faults Within Substation
In the case of an earth fault at a station the total earth-fault current I
FO
(i.e. the current
in the earth conductor of the failure point) is divided along the grid earthing electrode
of the station with parts flowing through the neutral of the earthed transformer(s), the
earth wires (or cable sheath) of the line, and the earth, as shown in Figure 6-4
following, from Fortin [10].
! The current (I
FO
) circulating through the neutral of the transformer is
determined according to the impedance of the transformer and the neutral
earthing reactor, if any.
! The current (I
RO
) flowing along the phase of the line mutually induces a
current in the earth wire(s).
! At the station a part (I
p
) of the total conductive current flowing to the earth
(I
RO
) flows through the earth wires and towers of the line. This effect of the
near towers is included in the measured earth impedance (Z
t
) of the station.
The input impedance (seen from the station) of the chain composed by the
earth wires and tower earthing is in parallel with the earth impedance of the
grid earthing electrode (and other auxiliary electrodes, if any).
Figure 6-4 presents the simplest case. Fault current (I
FO
) is formed by a current
coming from the network (I
RO
) and current coming from the transformer (I
TO
). An
index x maybe added to indicate the distance between the substation under study
and the point where the fault occurs. In the present case, x = 0 (ie. inside substation)
and the fault current is written:
(6-1) I I I
FO RO TO
= +
Current I
TO
circulates in the grid conductors and does not cause any earthgrid
potential rise. This current , however, must be included when sizing grid conductors.
In a similar way, a portion of current, I
in,
returns to the source by induction on the
neutral conductors of the line (ie, OHEW or cable sheath) as follows:
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 40
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 6-4: Fault Energy Distribution: Fault Inside the Substation
I
FO
= Fault Current
I
TO
= Current fed by the transformer
I
RO
= Current fed by the network
I
pi
= Current in one of the towers
I
t
= Current circulating through the grid to remote sources
I
RO
= Induced current
I
RO
= Current responsible for the potential rise
I
p1
= Conducted current through the first tower.
(6-2) I I
in RO
=
The current (I
ept
) responsible for the potential rise, going through the earthing system
impedance includes the effect of all conductive currents flowing to earth (ie, include
OHEW effect).
(6-3)
( )
( )
I I I
I
vI
v I I
ept t pi
RO
RO
RO TO
= +
=
=
=

1
If many lines contribute to the fault, the current responsible for the potential rise,
going through the earthing system impedance is:
(6-4) I v I
ept i ROi
=

If there is more than one line coming to the station, the right half of Figure 6-4 applies
to each line feeding earth-fault current (i.e. active lines). The earth wires of the lines
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 41
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
9
DESIGN
STEP
9
not feeding earth-fault current passive lines) have effect only by reducing the earth
impedance of the station. Thus, the impedance seen by this conductive current
(I
ept
) is formed by the parallel combination of all impedances connected to the main
grid as discussed in Section 7.1.5. Section 3 on Transmission System Earth fault
Analysis in the Current Distribution Chapter of the Earthing Reference Manual
provides details regarding the current distribution in lines. The following section
provides an overview of calculation methods used.
6.3.1 Calculating Induced Current Flows
In many cases analysis of fault current distributions in overhead earth wires (OHEW)
and cable sheaths is required to determine the real potential rise at substations and
power line structures, also to calculate the induced voltages in other circuits (eg.
communications lines, conveyors or pipelines), and to determine errors and correction
factors in injection testing result interpretation.
A technique known as the decoupled method, from Sobral et al [44], [45] and Dick
[48] may be utilised, which separates the fault current in the overhead earthwire
(OHEW) or cable sheath into two components, one induced by the magnetic field
generated by the fault current in the line, and another conductive component which
will seek the path of least resistance to the imaginary earth return conductor. The
induced component is constant and calculated using mutual couplings from Carson
[46] and Wedepohl [49]. Current sources may be used at both ends of each uniform
line section to model the induced current component. This approach requires a
greatly reduced matrix, yet yields accurate results.
Couplings to buried structures such as pipelines, railway lines, conveyors and fences
are handled in a similar manner to insulated telecommunications lines, except for the
addition of voltage sources which model the conductive couplings through the soil.
Hazard mitigation by the installation of earths of adjacent shielding circuits may also
be modelled in this manner.
Typical cases yield current injected into the primary earthing system of between
10-30% of total fault current (I
FO
), as underground cables or continuous overhead
earthwires (OHEW) often carry the majority of the return current. The Earthing
Reference Manual Current Distribution chapter provides the formulae required.
6.3.2 Small Industrial Substation Example
A small area substation in a congested area of an industrial installation was designed
using the foregoing analysis techniques. The inductive and conductively coupled
currents returning via the OHEW and cable sheath of the supply feeder reduced the
current to be dissipated in the grid by 72% Figure 6-5 provides an overview of the
most significant currents measured. One particular direct buried pipeline running
near the substation created a transfer hazard, with a touch voltage of 44% of EPR,
was only able to be reduced to within the allowable safety criteria by specially
designing the line to maximise the inductive current flow returning to the source in
the OHEW.
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 42
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 6-5: Industrial Substation Fault Current Distribution
6.4 Faults Outside The Substation
The determination of fault current contributing to an earth potential rise for faults
outside the substation is covered in the following sections:
1. General Considerations
2. Fault duration with stepped faults.
6.4.1 General Considerations
For faults outside the substation the current supplied by the earthed transformer(s) of
the station should be taken into account, and also the fault currents from behind the
station, in case the screening factors deviate from each other.
The earth-fault current I
FX
has its maximum in the case of an earth fault in the
immediate proximity of the station, however, this is rarely the fault point causing
maximum EPR. When the fault occurs a few spans outside the station and the line is
equipped with overhead earthwires, the current through the substation earth grid may
be smaller than during faults within the station, depending on the relative significance
of the contribution from the transformers at the station and the contribution from
elsewhere in the system.
i) A greater part of the zero sequence current supplied by the system will flow
through the tower footings, due to the higher voltages developed at towers
near the fault.
ii) A part of the zero sequence current supplied by the station transformers will
return through the station earth grid.
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 43
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
iii) In this case more current than the share (1 -
a
)I
ea
corresponding to the
shield-wire screening-factor effect returns along the shield wires. With a fault
point farther away the current I
ea
itself remains lower.
There is a line fault point implying highest rise of transmission station earth potential.
In practice, it can be conservatively assumed that this point is located at a distance 1.5
< i < 5km from the station. Thus, the current flowing through the station earthing
impedance may be calculated in the presence of many lines, as illustrated in Figure
6-6. And for a fault at a distance x outside the substation, the following equations
can be written:
(6-5) I I I
FX Ra Rb
= +
(6-6) I I R I
Ra R R Tx
= + +
1 2
(6-7)
I I I I I
v I v I
ept Tx a Ra R R
a Ra i Ri
= + +
=


1 1 2 2
Figure 6-6: Fault Outside the Substation
Where
x = Distance between the substation and the point of fault

i
I
i
= Induced current

i
I
i
= Conducted current
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 44
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Details of the calculation methods for passive and active transformer cases are
provided in the Earthing Reference Manual Current Distribution Chapter.
6.4.2 Fault Duration With Stepped Faults
While the previous sections addressed the issue of the magnitude of the EPR created,
the duration is just as critical when determining safety criteria for people as the
permissible voltage depends on duration of the fault. However, the current magnitude
may change during the fault duration (eg. because of the opening of a circuit-breaker
at the opposite end). For the highest current its real duration should be used, and for
the total fault time the equivalent r.m.s. value of the current may be taken as
suggested in [40]:
(6-8)
( ) ( )
3
3 3
0
01
2
1 02
2
2
1 2
I
I t I t
t t
eq
=
+ +
+ +

Where t
1
is the duration of 3I
01
, t
2
the duration of 3I
02
, etc.
An earth fault may be repeated after high-speed reclosing in the event of a permanent
fault. Permanent line faults often have a high resistance and a lower fault current.
Reclosing is often prevented when closing a circuit-breaker against a fault. If the
statistics show that more than 20% of the earth-fault incidents are repeated after
high-speed reclosing in the power system concerned, the sum of the times may be
considered as the total time.
6.5 Fault Current Asymmetry
The asymmetrical nature of earth fault currents was introduced in Section 6.1. The
following sections address the effect and application of this asymmetrical nature in
practice.
All of the preceding discussion on determination of the maximum current creating an
EPR has dealt specifically with rms symmetrical fault current. Actually, the fault
current has decaying A.C. and D.C. components, resulting in the asymmetrical current
waveshape shown in Figure 6-7, from Garrett in [43], where I
f
and I
F
are the initial
fault current and the effective rms symmetrical current respectively.
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 45
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 6-7: Relationship between actual values of fault current and values of
I
F
, I
f
and D
f
for fault duration t
f
.
The work by Dalziel and others was based on rms symmetrical current in determining
the tolerable body current. Thus, a calculation is needed to convert the actual
asymmetrical fault current to the rms symmetrical fault current upon which the shock
equations are based. IEEE 80(86)[18] recommends that the following decrement
factor be used to scale the fault current to derive an equivalent energy when
determining a value of EPR for human safety hazard assessment. This equation
allows for the D.C. offset but no allowance for reduction of the A.C. value due to
machine characteristics.
D
f
= Symmetrical decrement factor
(6-9)
( )
D T t e
f a f
t
f
T
a
= +
|
\

|
.
|
|
|

(
(
(
|
\

|
.
|
1 1
1
2
where
T
a
= Equivalent system subtransient time constant
( ) T
X
R
a
~
e
secs)
t
f
= Fault duration (secs)
= Angular rotation - 2f
Chapter 6 Current Distribution 46
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
f = Frequency in Hz
X and R = System subtransient impedances
This equation conservatively assumes; maximum D.C. offset, subtransient
impedances only contribute, and that the ac component of the fault current does not
decay. Table 6.1 provides decrement factor results for 50Hz earth fault conditions
and a range of X/R ratios:
Table 6.1
Decrement Factor D
f
for Various X/R Ratios at 50Hz
Fault Duration
t
f
(sec)
Decrement Factor D
f
X/R
= 10
X/R
= 20
X/R
= 30
X/R
= 40
.00833 1.37 1.392 1.399 1.403
.05 1.226 1.301 1.334 1.352
.10 1.142 1.226 1.273 1.301
.20 1.076 1.142 1.191 1.226
.30 1.052 1.100 1.142 1.176
.40 1.039 1.076 1.111 1.142
.50 1.031 1.062 1.091 1.118
.75 1.021 1.042 1.062 1.081
1.00 1.016 1.031 1.047 1.062
The fault current has an initial asymmetry or D.C. offset determined by the initial
point on wave. Higher fault currents near generation or rotating machines may have a
reducing rms value due to the machine characteristics. It is normal to ignore the
reduction in the initial rms value for earthing design. When the fault duration is less
than 0.5 seconds, and particularly with high X/R system impedance ratios, the rms
value of current used in determining EPR safety criteria and telecommunications
coordination should be increased.
From Table 6.1 it can be seen that for very fast clearing times (# 0.1 secs) a factor of
40% is calculated with X/R = 40.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 47
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
7
Power Frequency
Voltage Design
7.1
Earthing System Impedances
1 Primary Earthing System Impedances
2 Auxiliary Earthing System Impedances
3 Aerial Conductors
4 Buried Conductors
5 Combination of Earthing Systems
6 Proximity Effect
7.2
Earthgrid Potential
Rise
7.3
Touch and Mesh Voltages
1 Voltages Inside Substation
2 Voltages External
7.4
Transfer Voltages
7.5
Voltage Gradients
1 Within and Close to Substation
2 External to the Substation
7.6
Empirical/Analytical
Calculation Comparison
7.7
Voltage Mitigation
Methods
1 Primary Source Hazard Prevention
2 Secondary Effect Mitigation
7 Power Frequency Voltage Design
When designing earthing systems it is necessary to determine the power frequency
performance of the system with respect to earthgrid impedance, EPR, step, touch, and
transfer potentials. In the pursuing sections, situations associated with large
substations are identified and problem mitigation methods introduced, as shown in the
following Figure 7-1:
Figure 7-1: Power Frequency Voltage Design - Overview
7.1 Earthing System Impedances
Simplified empirical expressions and more accurate analytical modelling techniques
for determining the impedance of earthing systems are included in the following
section.
Various forms of electrodes are used for earthing electrical power system plant.
Electrodes may be divided into two main categories as defined below [18].
Primary earth electrode. An earth electrode specifically designed or adapted for
discharging the earth fault current into the ground, often in a specific discharge
pattern, as required (or implicitly called for) by the earthing system design.
Earth grids, counterpoise conductors and earth rods are typical primary electrodes.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 48
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Auxiliary earth electrode. Various metallic structures installed for purposes other
than earthing. Such electrodes often have special operating constraints, such as
limited current carrying capability.
Underground metallic structures, overhead earthwires, underground cable sheaths and
reinforcing bars encased in concrete, if connected to the grounding grid, may also
form auxiliary electrodes. An alternative name is that of secondary earthing electrode
or system.
The earth resistances of individual electrode types and combinations are discussed in
the following sections.
7.1.1 Primary Earthing System Impedances
The three main types of electrodes used as primary earthing systems for substations
are as follows:
1. Driven rods
2. Buried conductors
3. Combination of rods and buried conductors.
Buried cast iron plates, iron bars and coke beds were used in certain situations in the
past. However, due to high installation costs and maintenance expenses, they are
now rarely used. Coke beds are still used in conjunction with d.c. earthing electrodes
as outlined in Chapter 9.
Simplified formulae for use in the initial investigation suggested in Design Step 3 are
given in Section 7.1.1.2.
7.1.1.1 Driven Rods
A) Single Rod or Earth Stake
Derivation of the impedance of a single earth rod driven vertically into homogeneous
soil is included in [29], [33], [63], [64].
R
R
= Resistance of driven rod () (7-1)
(7-2) R
l
l
d
R
=

t 2
8
1 ln
where
= Soil resistivity (m)
l = Rod length (m)
d = Rod diameter (m)
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 49
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
B) Multiple Driven Rods
! Effect of Mutual Resistance
As the current paths associated with multiple rods are not independent of each other,
the resultant impedance is not the simple parallel combination of individual
resistances. Proximity affects the mutual resistance between electrodes affecting the
performance, as the nomogram in Figure 7-2 illustrates [106]. The nomogram
provides an estimate of the resistance of systems where the rods are driven, in line,
around the perimeter of a square, or forming a solid square with spacing equal to rod
depth. The electrode spacing should not be less than the electrode length.
Figure 7-2: Earth Resistance of Multiple Driven Rods
The nomogram may be used for rectangular sites, with the same number of rods, if the
narrower site dimension is greater than three rod lengths.
Example 1. For two 5m rods, each 10 individual resistance, spaced 5m
apart, the combined earth resistance from Figure 17 is,
R
c
= 6 , ie. 83% utilisation.
According to [24] for 10m spacing the value of combined resistance is,
R
c
= 5.4 , ie, 92% utilisation is achieved.
Therefore, rods should always be driven with spacings at least equal to the driven
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 50
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
depth to obtain best performance in homogeneous soils. If the soil resistivity is
subject to seasonal variations special care should be taken to ensure adequate contact
with a conductive soil.
Example 2. The effect of using electrodes in a solid square compared to a
hollow square configuration is illustrated for 5m rods in a 45 x 45m area.
The use of a solid square of 100 electrodes against 36 rods placed around the
perimeter, only gives a resistance reduction factor of 1.24 from 0.62 to 0.5
. A negligible resistance improvement compared to the expense involved in
increasing the rod number by a factor of 2.8.
Therefore, the number, depth and placement of rods should be carefully considered if
optimum cost effectiveness is to be achieved.
! Single Layer Conditions
The following formula derived by Schwarz [66] for uniform soil resistivity
conditions, relates to equally spaced rods.
(7-3) ( ) R
nl
l
d
l
A
K n
R
= +

t 2
8
1
2
1
1
2
ln
where
= Soil resistivity (m)
A = Area covered by rod bed (m
2
)
n = Number of rods
K
1
= Constant related to geometry of system (see Figure 7-3, where h =
depth of top of rods).
l = Rod length (m)
d = Rod diameter (m)
(Note: A linear approximation to the K
1
(curves from [18]) is also given in Figure
7-3.)
The difficulty in adapting the graphical form of the K
1
co-efficient for computer use
was met by Kercel [56] who applied Equation 39 of Dwight [63], relating the
rectangular plate resistance, to develop:
(7-4) ( )
( )
K
ab
a
a a b
b b
b a b
a
a
b
b
a
a b
a b
a b
1
2 2 2 2
2 2
2 2
2 2
2 2
2
184
3 3 3
=
+ +
|
\

|
.
|
|
+
+ +
|
\

|
.
|
|
+ +
+
+

(
(
.
ln ln
where
a = Length of short side of grid (m).
b = Length of long side of grid (m).
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 51
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Curve A - for depth h = 0

A
= -0.04 x +1.41
Curve B - for depth h =
1
10
Area

B
= -0.05 x +1.20
Curve C - for depth h =
1
6
Area

C
= -0.05 x +1.13
Figure 7-3: Coefficient K
1
of Schwarzs Formula
! Two-Layer Earth Conditions
The following formula, from Sverak [69], further approximates the rodbed resistance
(R
R
) when the rods penetrate the lower layer, providing the following assumptions
are complied with:

2
$0.2
1
(i.e. layer resistivity differences not extreme and lower layer more
conductive.)
H $ b/10 (i.e. first layer of substantial thickness but less than the rod length.)
(7-5) ( ) R
n
l
d
K
l
A
n
R
a
=
|
\

|
.
| +

t 2
8
1 2 1
1
2

ln
This formula is the same as for single layer conditions, however, the apparent
resistivity
a
is calculated as follows.

a
= Apparent soil resistivity seen by one earth stake (.m)

a
= (l
1

2
) /(
2
H +
1
(l - H)) (7-6)
where
l = Length of rod (m)

1
= Upper layer resistivity (m)

2
= Lower layer resistivity (m)
H = Thickness of uppermost resistivity layer (m)
for rod top burial = 0m
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 52
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
3
DESIGN
STEP
3
If the rod top is buried a distance (L), the expression for apparent resistivity becomes:
(7-7) ( )
( ) ( )
| |

a
l l = + +
1 2 2 1
/ H h h H
Where h = Rod top burial depth.
The use of driven rods is of limited value in substations covering large areas of low
resistivity soil, as the station area provides sufficient earth contact to dissipate the
fault current. However, for substations of small area located on high resistivity soil,
rods which penetrate to a lower resistivity layer often provide an economical system
design. Such rods ensure consistent low resistance in areas where the top layer
resistivity experiences seasonal variations. In such areas the top layer may freeze or
be effected by drought, therefore, the horizontal mesh conductors will dissipate little
current compared to the driven rods. To gain maximum benefit from any driven rod it
is recommended that an accurate earth resistivity test be undertaken and a multilayer
model derived (where applicable).
7.1.1.2 Horizontal Grid Electrodes
Buried bare conductors in a mesh configuration are used to:
! provide surface gradient control,
! bond substation equipment,
! provide the primary substation earthing system,
Approximate resistance equations are introduced in the following sections for both
single and double earth resistivity layer conditions.
A) Single Layer Conditions
Minimum and maximum estimates as well as approximate guidelines regarding the
effect of the number of meshes upon grid resistance and discussed as follows;
! Minimum Resistance Value
A minimum value is useful when estimating the maximum component of fault current
that will enter the earth grid. This value is based upon the resistance of a solid plate
on the earth surface [29].
R
G
= Earthgrid impedance ()
(7-8) R
A
G
=
t
4
where
= Average soil resistivity (m) (at depth approximately equal to
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 53
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
3
DESIGN
STEP
3
equivalent radius for the area of the site).
A = Area covered by the grid (m
2
)
This minimum value is useful when estimating the maximum component of fault
current that will enter the earth grid i.e.
I
l-g
(max) = V
fault
/ R
g
(min) (7-9)
! Maximum Resistance Estimate
Methods are proposed by Nehmann and Laurent, and used in [62], [69], to account for
the fact that a meshed earthing system impedance is higher than that of a solid plate,
as a function of conductor length. The additional term is an empirical factor with no
analytical derivation. As L goes to infinity the equation reverts to that for the solid
plate.
(7-10) R
A L
G
= +
t
4
where
L = Total length of buried earthing conductor (m)
Sverak [69] introduced resistance approximations for horizontal grids buried between
0.25m and 2.5m (based upon a more detailed formula for the solid plate derived by
Laurent [70]).
(7-11) R
L
A h A
G
= + +
|
\

|
.
|

1 1
20
1
1
20 /
where
h = depth of grid buried (m)
! Conductor Length
The total length of horizontal mesh conductors and driven rods are used in Equations
(7-10) and (7-11). As driven rods provide more effective earth contact, on a per unit
basis [18], this calculation will yield a slightly conservative estimate of total
conductor length.
Equations (7-10) and (7-11) provide a simple technique for making a reasonable
estimate of the grid resistance.
! Schwarzs Formula
The equation developed by Schwarz [66], for horizontal buried conductors is as
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 54
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
follows:
(7-12) R
L
L
h
K L
A
K
G
=
|
\

|
.
|
'
|
\

|
.
| +

t
1 1
2
2
ln
where

1
= Resistivity of the soil layer in which the grid buried (-m)
d = Grid conductor diameter (m).
h = Depth of burial (m).
h = - for conductors buried at depth h. d h .
= 0.5d - for conductors on the earths surface.
L = Total length of grid conductor (m).
A = Grid area (m
2
)
K
1
= Grid geometry related constant - Section 7.1.1.1 B - Figure 7-3
and Equation 7 - 4).
K
2
= Grid geometry related constant (see Figure 7-4 and Equation
7-13 following).
The estimate by Kercel [56] of K
2
(see Equation (7-13)), for computer rather than
graphical applications, is based on work by Gross et.al [73].
! Guidelines Regarding Number of Meshes
As Equations (7-11) and (7-12) indicate, if conductor length is increased to a
maximum value of infinity, the minimum grid impedance of Equation (7-8) is
achieved. However, the benefit gained in grid impedance reduction by increasing the
number of meshes is very limited when compared to other methods.
B) Two-Layer Earth Conditions
Equation (7-8) provided an estimate of the minimum grid impedance for uniform soil
conditions, based upon the resistance of a solid metallic plate. In two layer soils the
resistance, at large distances, is predominantly affected by the lower layer, due to its
larger volume compared to the upper layer volume. Therefore, as a first
approximation Equation (7-10) may be used in conjunction with the lower layer soil
resistivity (
2
).
(7-13) ( ) R layer
A L
G
2
4
2 1
= +
t

2
= Lower layer soil resistivity (m)

1
= Soil resistivity near conductors (ie 1m) (m)
L = Total buried length of conductors (m)
A = Grid area (m
2
)
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 55
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Curve A - for depth h = 0

A
= 0.15 x +5.50
Curve B - for depth
h=
1
10
Area

B
= 0.10 x +4.68
Curve C- for depth h =
1
6
Area

C
= 0.05 x + 4.40
Figure 7-4: Coefficient K
2
of Schwarzs formula
Equations by Schwartz are simpler to use, however, they are limited in application to
certain soil conditions, as described in Section 7.1.1.B). In exceptions to these cases,
and as a useful check, other equations have been proposed by Nahman and Salamon
and are included in the Earthing Reference Manual.
(7-14)
( ) ( ) ( )
( )
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
K
a b
b
K
a b
ab
a a b
b
b a b
b a b
2 1
2 2 2 2
2 2
4
2
2
2
1
2
2 2
2 2
=
+
+
+

+ +
|
\

|
.
|
|

+ +
+ +
|
\

|
.
|
|
ln ln
/
/
ln
/ /
/ /
7.1.1.3 Combined Mesh And Rod Earthing System Resistance
Both simplified and detailed empirical formula have been developed to model the
resistance of an earthing system consisting of both horizontal conductors and driven
rods. Both cases have been discussed with reference to certain (limited) two-layer
soil conditions. The effective resistance is greater than the sum of the rods and
conductors if considered as resistances in parallel because of their mutual coupling.
Schwarz established the following approximate formulae to determine all grid
resistance.
(7-15) R
R x R R
R R R
C
G R GR
G R GR
=

+
2
2
where
R
C
= Total combined earth system resistance ()
R
G
= Resistance of horizontal grid ()
R
R
= Resistance of driven rods (evenly spaced over same area as grid) ()
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 56
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
11
DESIGN
STEP
11
R
GR
= Mutual resistance between the grid and rod ()
Equations for R
G
and R
R
have been provided in the proceeding Sections 7.1.1.1 and
7.1.1.2. The following section provides an equation for determining the mutual
resistance between grid conductors and driven rods. The following formula derived
by Schwarz [60] has been modified by Sverak [69] for two-layer conditions using an
apparent soil resistivity (
a
) as defined in Section 7.1.1.1 B) Equations (7-6) and
(7-7).
(7-16) R
L
L
l
K L
A
K
GR
a
=
|
\

|
.
| + +

t
ln
2
1
1
2
Where

a
= Apparent soil resistivity (see Section 7.1.1.1 B) Equations (7-6)
and (7-7)) (m)
K
2
= Grid geometry related constant (see Figure 7-5 and Section
7.1.1.2 B) Equation (7-13))
K
1
= Grid geometry related constant (see Figure 7-3 and Section
7.1.1.1 B))
L = Total horizontal conductor length (m)
l = Average driven rod length (m)
A = Grid area (m)
7.1.2 Auxiliary Earthing System Impedances
The primary grid is not the only system affecting the apparent impedance of the
earthing installation, even unconnected metalwork can affect the grid impedance.
Auxiliary or secondary earthing systems provide additional paths for the conduction
of fault current to remote earth, and hence lower the apparent impedance as seen by
the fault.
The fault current which the earthing system must dissipate will follow any path of low
impedance. Hence, any additional metalwork bonded to the primary earthing system,
will carry some of the fault current. These auxiliary earthing systems will then
dissipate their proportion of fault current in areas where the current densities are not
as high as in the vicinity of the primary installation. Design Step 11 consists of the
calculation of grid impedance taking auxiliary earthing systems into account.
An obvious example of auxiliary earthing systems are overhead earthwires, (or shield
wires) which if bonded to the primary earth grid, provide a low impedance connection
to each of the line support structure earths along the line. Each of the structure earths
can dissipate a proportion of the fault current.
Similarly, underground cables, usually have their metallic sheaths bonded to the
primary grid. Hence, the sheaths of underground cables can also conduct fault current
increasing the field of influence of the primary installation. The sheath and
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 57
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
armouring may be effectively insulated or not. If insulated and not earthed at remote
places the transferred voltage will not cause current to flow to ground.
The auxiliary earthing system may include any of the following components:

! Aerial conductors; overhead shield wires, distribution system neutrals.
! Buried conductors; underground power cable sheaths, counterpoise (direct
buried) conductors.
! Other components; pipelines (water, gas), metallic fences, concrete encased
electrodes, and building foundations.
The first two components are common to most substations. The third component is
usually associated with larger interconnected earthing systems, such as industrial
installations or power stations. Such components need not be solidly bonded to the
grid, to affect the grid performance as fault current is often coupled conductively
through the soil into conductors running adjacent to substations.
The aerial earthwires and buried conductors may have currents flowing due to;
a) Conductive currents due to ground voltage differences.
b) Induced by mutual coupling.
In this section only the conductive current is considered as being relevant in reducing
the station earth resistance.
7.1.3 Aerial Conductors
Overhead shield wires and distribution neutrals are often bonded to the primary
earthing system in a substation and, therefore, present parallel paths for earth fault
currents. The question of whether or not to isolate such conductors should be
addressed when developing Transmission Earthing and Distribution System Earthing
policies. The sizing of such conductors, if bonded to the substation earthing system,
must be considered in conjunction with the study of the fault current magnitude in
both the power supply and earth return systems. The following section provides
empirical formulae for the input impedance of an overhead shieldwire system.
! Infinite Line Length
The input impedance (Z
ia
) of a long aerial earthwire, pipeline or cable may be
calculated quite reliably using the following formula, for a ladder network.
(7-17) ( ) Z Z Z Z R
ia s s s t
= + + 2 4
2
1
2
Where
Z
s
= Self impedance of 1 span of OHEW () (or /m for pipeline,
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 58
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
etc)
R
t
= Tower footing resistance () (or earth impedance /m for
pipeline, etc).
For transmission lines this approximation [67], [74] assumes an average value of
tower footing resistance.
Z
s
= Zero - sequence self impedance of N earth wires with earth
return. (/km/phase)
= (3r
c
/N + 0.1482) + j 0.1885 ln(D
e
/G.M.R.) (7-18)
Where
r
c
= Resistance of one ground wire conductor (/km)
D
e
= Equivalent depth of current return (m)
(7-19) D
f
e
= 658

= Soil resistivity (.m)
f = Frequency (Hz)
G.M.R. = Geometric mean radius of the N identical earth wires as a group
in metres.
(7-20) ( )
( )( )
( )
GMR GMR
d d d d d d
d d d
conductor
N
g g g n g g g g g gn
gNg gNg gNgN
N
=
|
\

|
.
|
|
|

(
(
(
lg lg lg 2 3 2 1 2 3 2
1 2 1
1
2


Where
GMR
conductor
= Geometric mean radius of ground wire conductor (m).
d
g1g2
= Distance between earth wires 1 and 2 (m).
The earthing impedance of the line does not increase linearly with any increase in soil
resistivity. This phenomena is due to the fact that, concurrently with the increase of
the tower earthing resistance, due to the increase in soil resistivity, there is an increase
of the impedance (Z
ia
), which increases the number of towers that participate in
dissipating the fault current.
Therefore, as earth resistivity increases, the effective length of an overhead
earthwire will increase. This same situation exists with all long earthing conductors
such as cable sheaths and counterpoise conductors.
It is usually assumed, in calculations, that the tower footings are located outside the
sphere of influence of the earthgrid voltage gradient. Ignoring the proximity effect
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 59
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
is considered valid, as at most it is only the first tower or two that could be
significantly effected.
7.1.4 Buried Conductors
! Underground Cable Sheath Input Impedance
Approximation for the input impedance of an insulated underground cable sheath can
be determined as for overhead shieldwires. The following parameters are substituted
in Equation (7-17):
Cable Sheath impedance (Z
s
), for the line self impedance, and/or
Cable armouring impedance
Pothead or jointing bay earth impedance, for the tower footing resistance (R
t
)
and/or
Cable armouring to earth impedance when not insulated.
For single short cable lengths the total sheath impedance is usually negligible
compared to the termination impedance. Unfortunately, this analysis produces non
conservative (ie. lower) impedance values if the proximity effect is present (see
Section 7.1.6).
! Buried Counterpoise Conductor Impedance
In addition to underground cable sheaths, counterpoise conductors are sometimes
buried directly into the earth to help improve grid impedance. Long electrodes buried
radially from a substation will significantly reduce the overall system impedance.
The Reference Manual provides calculation methods and guidelines, and shows the
value of counterpoise conductors in high resistivity soils. Ongoing supervision and
maintenance issues tend to limit the value of direct burial, unless the counterpoise
conductor is laid in the same trench as a power cable.
7.1.5 Combination of Primary and Auxiliary Earthing Systems
The total grid impedance (Z
grid
) is often calculated as the parallel combination of all
connected earth system impedances [67], [74]:
(7-21) ( ) ( )
| |
Z R Z Z
grid c ia icable
= + + + +

1 1 1
1

where
R
c
= Primary electrode resistance ()
Z
ia
= Aerial conductor input impedance ()
Z
icable
= Buried conductor input impedance ()
This expression is approximate in that it:
! Ignores the mutual coupling resistance effects between individual auxiliary
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 60
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
earth components, such as adjacent cable sheaths, which will increase the total
impedance.
! Ignores the fact that more current will return via conductors which lie in the
direction of fault current source.
! Ignores the effect of conductive structures such as pipelines which, although
not bonded directly to the grid, will reduce the return current path impedance.
In many instances the total grid impedance is primarily determined by the auxiliary
earthing system. This calculation is especially vital in urban or city indoor
substations where grid area is severely limited. To overcome these limitations
analytical calculations are required as discussed in Sections 7.1.6 and 7.6.
7.1.6 Proximity Effect
The interaction between electrodes and the earthgrid is called the proximity effect.
It is significant in that it demonstrates an increase in effective resistance compared
with the values calculated assuming independent parallel impedances. The effect is
modelled empirically by Popovic [59], [60], [61] for the case of an infinite length
cable and a finite length cable.
To demonstrate this phenomenon, consider a simple 30m by 30m square grid, with
10m mesh in uniform soil of 100m resistivity. To this grid is attached a 100m long
conductor, simulating an uninsulated armoured underground cable. Similarly, attach
a second cable of the same length, running parallel and very close to the first, to
simulate two cables buried in the same trench. The model is described in Figure 7-5
below.
Figure 7-5: Grid and Bonded Cables
The resistance of the grid on its own, a cable on its own, and the two cables bonded
together were calculated using a computer program which analyses individual grid
elements. The result compared to the results from simple parallel combination results
are summarised in Table 7.1 following.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 61
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Table 7.1
Calculated Resistances for Grid and Bonded Cables
Situation Considered
Computer Calculated
Value
()
Parallel
Combination
()
Grid Only 1.70 -
Single Cable Only 2.10 -
Two Cables Only (Bonded) 1.80 1.05
Grid & One Cable (Bonded) 1.10 0.94
Grid & Two Cables (Bonded) 1.04 0.60
The first point to note is that if the grid and cable are bonded together, their combined
apparent resistance of 1.1 ohms, is higher than that expected by simple parallel
combination of their individual resistances, which gives only 0.94 ohms. Parallel
combination gives a result 15% low.
This is because now they are together, or within proximity of one and other, the
leakage current from one, raises the voltage on the other, which manifests itself as a
rise in apparent resistance.
This effect is made worse when the individual earths are brought closer together. For
example, the two underground cables buried in the same trench and bonded together
have much more than half their individual resistance, as would be expected from a
simple parallel combination. The parallel combination gives a result 42% low. In
fact the two cables have an equivalent resistance of 1.8 ohms, almost the same as the
resistance of one cable only, being 2.1 ohms.
That the proximity effect increases the value of EPR indicates that special
consideration should be provided when including auxiliary electrodes in the earthing
design.
Aspects such as who owns and has control of the electrode, can it be unexpectedly
removed or disconnected need to be taken into account in safety calculations. A
computer analysis is advised in cases of adjacent cables and non-radial cable routes.
7.2 Earthgrid Potential Rise
Earthgrid Potential Rise: The earthgrid potential rise (EPR) is the maximum
potential rise of an earthing installation, with respect to remote earth, produced by
the portion of fault current that flows through the earthing installation.
The earthgrid potential rise (V
grid
) is calculated as the product of the grid impedance
(Z
grid
) and ultimate earth fault current (I
g
).
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 62
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEPS
8,10 & 12
DESIGN
STEPS
8, 10 & 12
DESIGN
STEPS
10-15
DESIGN
STEPS
10-15
V
grid
= I
g

.
Z
grid
(7-22)
The parameters are determined as follows:
! Fault Current (I
g
)
The fault current (I
g
) is that component of L-G or L-L-G fault current which enters
the conductive network which comprises the earthing system to produce a potential
rise. Chapter 6 discusses methods for determining this value taking into account the
shielding or screening factor of the overhead earthwires or cable sheath on lines
feeding fault current.
! Grid Impedance (Z
grid
)
The earthing system impedance (Z
grid
) is composed of the combination of all
connected earth impedances which may carry fault currents returning to the sources.
The value of Z
grid
may be calculated using the empirical approximations given in
Sections 7.1.1 - 7.1.4, or the more accurate computer modelled result discussed in
Section 7.6. The empirical approximations provide sufficient accuracy for
calculations, for smaller installations, provided the parameter boundary conditions
are met.
Care should be taken to match the calculations to actual system configurations,
especially when the system is being implemented in stages.
The maximum voltage rise on an installation is usually used when specifying isolation
requirements for communications circuits or other services entering a substation, as
discussed in Section 7.4 on Transfer Voltages. The transient D.C. offset current will
give a peak EPR for use in co-ordination of protection of equipment terminating at the
substation (eg. pilot or telecommunication cables) (see Chapter 6).
The value of EPR may also be used as an initial conservative estimate of step and
touch voltages Design Steps 8, 10, 12. If the calculated value of EPR is higher than
the safety criteria for step and touch voltages further calculations and investigations
should be undertaken as described in the following sections.
7.3 Touch And Mesh Voltages
Touch voltages, may be associated with all metal work directly or indirectly
connected to the earthing system. Once it is ascertained that the EPR exceeds the
maximum allowable touch voltage criteria, special attention is required to ensure
safety for personnel under fault conditions. Figure 7-6 illustrates several typical
hazard situations associated with an earthing system under fault conditions.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 63
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 7-6: Typical Shock Situations
Shock situations within and outside a substation are usually identified and analysed
separately.
Inside the Substation. The mesh voltage is the touch voltage within a mesh, and
the maximum value is used for design purposes. All metallic structures in contact
with the earth, or an earthed conductor, present touch voltage hazards within a
substation.
Step voltages within the substation earthgrid are always less dangerous than touch
voltages so need not be considered as a special topic.
Voltages External to a Substation. Touch voltages may be transferred beyond the
substation perimeter by auxiliary electrodes and are often associated with fencing.
Substation fence design requires special care if the outside of the fence is accessible
to the public. Surface voltage gradients used to assess step voltages are highest at the
periphery of a grid, where fences are often located.
The two shock situations are identified and analysed separately in the following
sections:
C Inside the substation, and those
C External to the substation.
7.3.1 Voltages Inside the Substation
It is common practise to design the inside of a substation area using a mesh voltage
less than or equal to the allowable touch voltage.
Mesh Voltage is the potential between the surface of the earth in the centre of a grid
mesh and the grid voltage.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 64
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
This technique simplifies the design and installation as individual grading
conductors are not required around any structure within the meshed area.
The worst case mesh potential usually occurs near the outside corners of a grid. The
mesh potential could be encountered when carrying metallic equipment in the yard
(eg. ladder on shoulder (s)).
A) Mesh Voltage Calculations
A simplified empirical formula presented in IEEE80-1986 [18] based upon Sverak
[69], for calculating mesh voltages within the substation earthing system is:
V
m
= K
m
K
i
I
g
/L (7-23)
Where
I
g
= Fault current flowing into the meshed grid (A)
= Upper layer soil resistivity (m)
K
i
= Correction factor for grid geometry.
= 0.656 + 0.172n. (7-24)
L = Grid Conductor length (m)
= L
c
+ 1.15 for rods at the perimeter of the grid (7-25)
L = L
c
+ L
r
for rods at the middles (7-26)
L
c
= Total length of horizontal conductor
L
r
= Total length of rod electrodes
Note: 1.15 reflects the higher current density at the ends of rods.
(7-27)
( )
( )
K Geometrical spacing factor
D
dh
D h
Dd
h
d
Kii
K n
m
h
=
= +
+

|
\

|
.
|
|
+

(
(
1
2 16
2
8 4
8
2 1
2
2
t t
ln ln
Where
Kii = 1 for grids with earth rods along the perimeter, or for grids with
earth rods in the grid corners, as well as both along the
perimeters and throughout the grid area
Kii = For grids with no earth rods or grids with only a few earth rods,
none located in the corners or on the perimeter
= (2n)
-2/n
(7-28)
K
h
= (1+(h/h
o
))

(7-29)
h
o
= 1 m (reference depth of grid)
D = Spacing between parallel conductors (m)
h = Depth of grid conductors (m)
d = Diameter of grid conductors (m)
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 65
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
n = Number of parallel conductors in one direction.
The boundary conditions of the simplified equations for mesh and step voltages are
as follows:
! Square Grids (or rectangular) with same number of conductors in each
direction.
C n # 25
C 0.25m # h # 2.5m
C d < 0.25h
C D > 2.5m
Equation (7-23) is often reworked, to calculate a first approximation for the minimum
length of conductor required. Care should be taken with such an approach as in many
cases it provides a misleading result.
B) Hazard Locations
Exposed Metalwork
All metallic structures in contact with the earth, or an earth conductor, could present
touch voltage hazards. Safety for personnel should be guaranteed by:
! The bonding of all such metalwork, which includes; internal fences, water,
gas, and air service lines;
! The use of grid mesh design to limit voltages to below safety levels.
! Use of a thick layer of clean high resistivity crushed rock to increase
foot-to-ground contact impedance.
! Use of equipotential mats at working areas, such as at operating points, to
protect operators.

Operating Handles
Operating handles of switches may constitute a hazard to operators, if not adequately
earthed. A number of factors may cause fault current to flow through the operating
linkage to earth whilst an operator is in a critical position.
! Mechanical failure of the switch,
! Electrical breakdown of an insulator that forms part of the switch,
! Attempting to break a line current greater than the switch rating.
The danger may be reduced by equipotential mats, insulated handles and additional
earthing of the linkage between the handle and the switch bases and supporting
insulators.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 66
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
! Close Fault Effects
When a fault occurs at a location close to a substation (eg first tower) the touch
potentials may be higher in the area of the grid closest to the fault [53], due to the
higher current density created in that region caused by the small current loop.
Although the installation of an OHEW will return the majority of the fault current, the
surface potentials in the peripheral meshes closest to the fault location may require
special attention.
! Soil Model Effects
As illustrated in the examples in the preceding Soil Resistivity Chapter, the existence
of a multi-layer soil not only affects the EPR, it also affects the touch and step
voltages. The soil resistivity in the upper layer between the grid and four (4) times
the grid depth has the main influence on the step and mesh voltages. Section 7.6
provides examples and guidelines for the use of empirical and analytical methods.
* * *
Discussion of methods for limiting each type of fault voltage are discussed in the
Voltage Mitigation Section 7.7.
7.3.2 Voltages External to the Substation
Touch voltages beyond the substation perimeter may be associated with either:
! Substation fencing, or
! Potentials transferred to other metalwork. Touch voltages external to
substations are usually defined as transfer voltages. Voltages are either
transferred directly by metalwork or indirectly by conduction through the
earth to metallic objects remote from the substation. Transfer voltages are
examined separately in Section 7.4 following.
! Substation Fencing
Substation fence earthing is important for a number of reasons including:
! The outside of the fence is usually accessible to the general public.
! The surface voltage gradients are highest at the periphery of the grid, where
fences are often located.
! In the event of a powerline conductor falling onto the fence it must allow
sufficient current to flow to ensure protection system operation.
! In higher voltage substations, unearthed fences may become electrostatically
charged thereby posing a hazard to staff or the public.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 67
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Substation fence earthing is usually either:
A) Included within, and bonded to, the earth grid,
B) Separated from the main earthgrid and earth earthed independently.
The following sections briefly discuss each design option, with the Earthing
Reference Manual Installation and Power Frequency Sections discussing the
background and physical implementation of each scheme.
A) Fence Bonded to the Main Grid
Reasons for adopting the bonded design are as follows;
! Reduction of earth potential, and hence touch voltage, due to the reduction in
grid resistance, which is closely related to the grid area.
! Station fence lies close to station equipment.
! A railway siding or metallic pipeline enters the fenced area effectively
eliminating any isolation between the fence and main grid.
! Eliminate hazards, cost or inconvenience, due to inadvertent or unforeseen
bonding subsequent to initial installation.
Usually, the perimeter grading or touch earth conductor is run 1m beyond the fence
(. 1m distant) at a depth of 0.3 - 0.5m.
The peripheral conductor may be run directly under the fence when space is a
premium, at the expense of higher external touch voltages.
Multiple horizontal conductors at increasing depth horizontally or vertically may be
installed for step voltage control, alternatively driven vertical rods may be helpful.
The value of touch voltage experienced near the fence under fault conditions may be
assumed initially to be equal to the mesh voltage. However, in marginal cases where
compliance with the safety criteria is not assured computer modelling of all surface
voltage gradients, and/or a rigorous testing program undertaken following the system
installation is recommended. Such testing is described in the substation testing
procedures chapter.
B) Fence Independent of Main Grid
The independent earthing of a substation fence may be preferred provided the fence is
located at a sufficient distance from the earthgrid to effectively reduce its earthing
EPR. The advantages of independently earthing the fence are:
! The magnitude of touch voltages presented to the public will be reduced,
relative to the EPR.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 68
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
19
DESIGN
STEP
19
! Reduction of transfer of potential to external metalwork is more easily
achieved with isolating sections along fences, particularly when radial to the
site when the remainder of the fence is earthed independently to the main grid.
In the case of the station fence earthed separately but not connected to the substation
main grid, the touch voltage for a person standing outside the fence can be
approximated from the following equation [18], [26], [75].
(7-30)
( )
V K
I
l
x
D
x
D D
x
D D
x
D n D
f i
g
t
=
+
'
|
\

|
.
| +
' +
|
\

|
.
| +
' +
|
\

|
.
|
+
' +
|
\

|
.
|

(
(
(
(

t
1
1 1 1
2
1
1
ln

Where
D = Spacing between parallel mesh conductors (m)
DN = Distance between fence and earthgrid (m)
x = Distance between fence and conductor and foot contact point
K
i
, I
g
, L, are as defined for Mesh Voltage in Equation (7-23) in Section 7.3.1
A).
7.4 Transfer Voltages
During earth fault conditions voltages may be transferred from the substation
earthgrid to remote locations (and vice versa). Design Step 19, investigating transfer
potentials, is addressed in this section.
The hazard presented is usually from contact of the touch type, being either
hand-to-hand or hand-to-feet. A transferred potential problem generally occurs when
a person standing at a remote location touches a conductor connected directly or
indirectly through the earth to the substation earth grid.
If no buried metallic structures are located near to the earth grid the equipotential
contours follow the shape of the electrode and tend to become spherical at large
distances from it. If a metallic object is located near the electrode, the equipotential
contours are distorted and the potentials and potential gradients instead of decreasing
with increased distance from the earth grid, may stay constant or, in the case of
gradients, may increase to unexpected levels.
Such structures in general will seldom follow exactly the initial undistorted
equipotential lines. Current will enter the structures at the high potential areas and
will leave it at the low potential areas. Since the highest gradients exist where the
current enters or leaves the earth the region in the vicinity of the structure becomes
hazardous if the magnitudes of these current are large enough.
If in addition, the fault occurs in an area close to the main earthgrid and the buried
structure, the gradients and potentials may be completely different from the values
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 69
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
corresponding to the case where the main earthgrid is alone.
A further possible consequence of buried metalwork in the vicinity of the earthgrid is
the usually small reduction in earth grid resistance and hence EPR of the main grid.
The following parameters are effective in determining the magnitude of transfer
potentials which may occur.
! Relative dimensions, form and positions of the active electrode system and the
passive system of metalwork.
! Earth structure and resistivity.
! Position of the point of return of earth currents.
High surface voltage gradients and hence step potentials are created by voltages
transferred by buried metalwork (see Section 7.5 following).
Examples of typical surface equipotential contours are illustrated in Figure 7-7 for
bare buried metalwork.
Figure 7-7: Typical Voltage Gradients Associated with Buried Metalwork
The importance of the problem results from the very high magnitude of potential
difference which is often possible. This potential difference may equal or exceed
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 70
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
(due to induced voltages on unshielded communication circuits and pipes) the EPR of
the substation during a fault condition. The basic shock situation for transferred
potential is shown in Figure 7-6 of the preceding section.
An investigation into possible transferred potential hazards is essential in the design
of a safe substation earthing network.
An initial check procedure is introduced followed by a discussion of details relating to
the transfer of potential through various typical metallic structures. An initial check
that can be made to determine the possible magnitude of the transfer potential hazard,
is outlined as follows:
Conservative Approximations
! EPR : If the EPR of the system, being the highest possible value of transfer
potential, is below the safe touch potential criteria no further checks are
required.
! Voltage Gradient : Calculate the difference in potential (V
a
- V
b
), along the
undisturbed voltage gradient of the earthing system (see Section 7.5), between
the start and finish of the metallic structure under investigation. The resultant
touch potential associated with the metallic structure should be less than this
value. Typically, actual values may be near (V
a
- V
b
) for insulated metalwork
earthed at one end and 0.25 (V
a
- V
b
) for metalwork in contact with the earth
[80]. See Figure 7-8 following.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 71
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 7-8: Initial assessment of transfer potential hazards
Care should be taken in exercising these initial approximations. Two factors which
will tend to increase the values of touch voltages are:
! Induced voltages
! Perturbations in the voltage gradient.
! Induced Voltages
Voltage is induced in metalwork by fault current flowing in an adjacent power line.
Figure 7-9 following illustrates the effect of the combination of inductive coupling to
a power line and resistive coupling to an earthing system. The Earthing Reference
Manual Chapter or Current Distribution evaluates the induced voltages as functions of
fault current, physical relationship and length of exposure. The voltage must be
calculated for insulated pipelines or communications lines close to transmission lines.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 72
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 7-9: Combined Inductive and Resistive Coupling Effects
! Perturbations in Voltage Gradient due to Transfer Potential
The actual voltage gradient profile may be different to the estimated value obtained
from the initial check. One case which will increase hazard is the presence of another
metallic structure which transfers the remote earth near to the substation. Pipelines
and fences often contribute to this problem (see Figure 7.7).
! Transfer Potential Cases
The following metallic structures or systems are those which often contribute to a
transfer potential situation [78], [79], [80];
C Pipelines (eg. water, gas, fuel)
C Fences
C Railway lines
C Underground power cables
C Overhead earthwires
C Low voltage neutral wires
C Communications circuits
C Roadside crash barriers
C External electrical services and structures.
C Conveyors
The Earthing Reference Manual, Power Frequency Voltage Chapter addresses each of
these systems in detail.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 73
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
14
DESIGN
STEP
14
7.5 Voltage Gradients
Two situations are examined:
1. Within the substation grid area
2. External to substation earth grid
7.5.1 Within and Close to the Substation Grid Area
Within an evenly spaced earth grid the maximum voltage gradient is usually
associated with the corner mesh. However, this value is always less than the mesh
voltage. The more onerous situation exists immediately adjacent to the substation
earth electrode area where the potential gradient in the ground is greatest.
Accordingly, the maximum step potential, at a time of substation potential rise will
be experienced by a person who has one foot on the point of maximum potential rise
and the other foot one step towards true earth. For purposes of assessment the step
distance is taken as one metre as defined in the Safety Criteria Chapter.
! Calculation of Step Potential Close to Grid
IEEE 80-1986 [18] has adopted an empirical formula for estimating step potential
V
step
based upon work by Sverak [69], where it is assumed that the maximum step
voltage occurs at a distance equal to the grid depth, (h), just outside the perimeter
conductor. For the usual burial depth of 0.25m < h < 2.5m.
V
step
= Step voltage
= I
G
K
s
K
i
/L (7-31)
Where
L = L
c
+ L
r
for grids with no earth rods or only a few rods in the
centre away from the grid (m).
or
L = L
c
+ 1.15L
r
for grids with earth rods predominantly around the
perimeter (m).
L
c
= Total horizontal grid conductor length (m)
L
r
= Total rod length (m)
and
(7-32) ( )
K
h D h
s
n
= +
+
+

1 1
2
1
1 05
2
t
.
and for depths smaller than 0.25m,
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 74
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
(7-33) ( )
K
h D h
s
n
= +
+
+

1 1
2
1
1 05
2
t
.
where
W
n
= + + + +

1
2
1
3
1
4
1
1

or for the case where n > 6


( ) ( )
W n n = + 1 2 1 1 0423 / ln .
The use of a different equation for K
i
, depending on the grid depth h, reflects the fact
that the step voltage decreases rapidly with increased depth.
K
i
= Grid irregularity factor as defined in Section 7.3.1 A) Equation
(7-24)
n = Number of parallel grid conductors in one direction
! For Rectangular Grids (with square meshes) the value of n when
calculating K
m
, K
i
, K
s
is;
n = (n
A
n
B
)

for mesh voltage calculations (7-34)


n = max(n
A
, n
B
) for step voltage calculations (7-35)
Where, n
A
and n
B
are the number of conductors in each direction.
In deriving his equation for the step voltage factor, K
s
, Sverak [69] first attempts to
find the point above the grid that has maximum potential gradient. In all of his
remaining assumptions, he relies on the fact that step voltages are inherently less
dangerous than the touch or mesh voltages..., hence allowing a certain margin for
error.
The original model has assumed infinitely long conductors, hence the point of
maximum voltage gradient, according to Sverak, is at a distance h from the side of
any particular grid. The infinite conductor model does not take into consideration the
end effect, which is apparent for finite length conductors. The consequence of the
end effect is that, as computer modelling shows, the point of maximum voltage
gradient is in fact diagonally out from the corner of any given grid, not the side.
Hence the model used here inherently underestimates the magnitude of step
voltages around any grid. Also caution should be exercised due to homogeneous soil
resistivity assumption. In multilayer soils the step voltages will vary markedly from
the value calculated in Equation 7-31.
As explained in Section 7.6 following, this equation should only be used as an
indicative value of V
step
.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 75
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
In addition to step voltages usually being smaller than mesh voltages, the allowable
step voltage withstand level is higher than that of touch voltage. Therefore, step
voltage safety levels are usually met, especially if a high impedance surface layer is
used to limit body current flow.
7.5.2 External to Substation
When a substation earth electrode is subjected to a potential rise, potential gradients
develop in the surrounding ground area which are highest adjacent to the substation
earth electrode. The actual ground potential reduces to zero or true earth potential at
some distance from the substation earth electrode, as illustrated in Figure 7-10
following.
Figure 7-10: Potential distribution for a circular metal plate in the earths
surface as a function of distance
This distance, varies from hundreds to thousands of metres, and forms a physical
separation which, if it is not bridged by a metallic connection, renders any person in
the high potential area immune from the possibility of simultaneous contact with zero
potential.
Although the total potential rise distributes over a substantial distance, potential
differences between two points of human step distance appearing in the immediate
vicinity of the earthing system may present a shock hazard. Communication line and
cable facilities entering such areas and extending to terminal points remote from the
station may be exposed to the total potential rise of the mat as described in Section
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 76
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
7.4 on Transfer Potentials, therefore, an EPR assessment is critical to these
installations.
The shape of the voltage curve around an earth electrode is independent of the earth
resistivity (if homogeneous). A high earth resistivity often gives a high station
potential which implies that the potential difference between two points could be
dangerous. For the other extreme case, with low earth resistivity, the lower station
potential would appear to constitute a smaller hazard. In practice a high earth
resistivity gives not only a high value of grid impedance but also a greater relative
increase of the area with raised potential. Although at first glance the higher
resistivity appears to have compounded the problem, closer examination will show
that the actual body current is also limited (refer to Chapter 4 on Safety Criteria)
thereby possibly reducing the safety hazard.
The analysis of the voltage profile extending from a substation is especially necessary
in an urban environment. Often substations are constructed in such a manner that no
external touch potential hazards are presented through the use of say brick external
walls. However, these substations often of small area, may present high external step
potentials, especially if external metalwork distorts the voltage gradients. The
following sections discuss the analysis of voltage gradients beyond a substation earth
grid area.
A) Undistorted voltage gradients
B) Distorted voltage gradients.
A) Undistorted Voltage Gradients
The potential distribution around an earth electrode can be conveniently presented in
the form of a curve, normalised so that the gradient is expressed as a percentage of the
total voltages appearing at various distances from the edge of the electrode. The
shape of such a distribution curve is exclusively a function of the geometry of the
earthing system. Although the absolute magnitude may vary with other factors such
as soil resistivity and fault current magnitude the percentage change in potential with
distance remains the same.
A number of empirical methods have been used to ascertain the external voltage
gradient based upon various models for the grid, as discussed in detail in the
Reference Manual. The Equivalent Hemisphere model is discussed in the following
section.
! Equivalent Hemisphere Model
Bodle [82] proposed first converting the earthing system geometry to an equivalent
hemisphere, then calculating earth potential away from the edge of the hemisphere.
The voltage on the earths surface can be given by:
(7-36) V
I
r
for r
x
g
g
= >

t 2
0
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 77
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Where
= Earth resistivity m
I = Current flowing into the earth Amps
r
g
= Distance from the centre of the earth grid (m)
V
x
= Voltage at that position Volts
For most practical situations, the value of resistivity is not known with sufficient
accuracy, or the earth grid is not uniform. Often, however, the earth grid resistance
and dimensions may be known, along with the maximum fault current which enables
the maximum earth potential rise for the earth to be calculated. A rearrangement of
the above formula yields the more useful result of:
(7-37)
( )
V V
r
x r
x grid
e
e
=
+
7 6
Where
r
e
= Radius of an equivalent hemispherical earth (m)
V
grid
= Earth potential rise of the earth grid (V)
x = Distance from the edge/corner of the earth grid (m)
This formula also shifts the profile so that the surface voltage equals the EPR at the
edge of the grid. It should be kept in mind that this will slightly affect the accuracy
(increased voltage) far from the grid, and that the surface voltage should be close to
the EPR inside the grid.
Where
r
e
= Is the radius of a hemispherical electrode of equivalent
resistance.
(7-38)
( )
r
R
e
e
=

t 2
7 7
R
e
= Resistance of the electrode ()
For general electrode structures the following values of equivalent radius (r
e
) can be
used:
Surface Plate:
(7-39)
r A
e
= 03592 .
Where
A = Area of the earth grid (m
2
)
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 78
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Driven Rod:
(7-40)
r
l
l
d
e
=
ln
8
1
Where
l = Depth (length) of the earth rod (m)
d = Diameter of the earth rod (m)
With more complicated structures, such as large substations, it is better to measure the
resistance of the earth and the soil resistivity, and then calculate equivalent radius (r
e
)
directly using Equation (7-38). This is because Equations (7-39) and (7-40) are
derived from simplified resistance formulae for the relevant structures.
If the resistance of the earth grid is not known, half of the largest dimension of the
earth grid may be used for the equivalent radius (r
e
), however, this will probably give
very conservative values for voltage gradient.
! Limits for Application of Simplified Calculations
The above simplified calculations are based on an ideal situation in which a
hemispherical earth is installed into an even and continuous soil (homogeneous
resistivity).
If an earth has a non-hemispherical shape, Equation (7-36) will become less accurate
closer to the earth grid. A degree of accuracy is obtained after the point x is further
away from the grid than the largest dimension of the grid (ie. the length of the rod or
the diagonal measurement of a rectangular grid). Note also that distance (x) is
measured from the centre of the grid, thus the size of the grid should be measured if
measurements are to be taken from the end of an array or edge of a large grid.
In Equation (7-36), the voltage gradient and values away from the edge of the grid
may be inaccurate, however, this equation is conservative and is suitable for safety
calculations.
An example of voltage gradients for a grid in different soils is shown in Figure 7-11
following. Note that the values are normalised to the actual EPR existing. The
empirical equations are often unable to calculate EPR accurately in multilayer soils.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 79
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110
Distance from Corner of Grid (m)
1
10
100
S
u
r
f
a
c
e

V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
%

E
G
V
R
)
Case I
Case II
Case III
Case IV
Figure 7-11: Soil Resistivity Effect on Surface Gradients
The profiles given in Figure 7-11 have been calculated analytically, however, the
results are intended to be indicative only.
Case I Equation (7-36)
Case II = 100m, R = 2.04
Case III
1
= 10m (5m depth)
2
= 100m, R = 0.641
Case IV
1
= 100m (5m depth)
2
= 10m, R = 0.41
For Cases I and II, the soil resistivity value used is 100m. For Cases III and IV the
grid is located in two layer soil resistivity, where
1
is the top layer resistivity of
depth 5m, and
2
is the lower layer resistivity of infinite thickness. The grid is
comprised of four 10m meshes (i.e. 20m side length) with a 10m stake at each of the
four outside corners.
Any metalwork connected to the grid and extending beyond the grid perimeter will
transfer potentials to the soil nearby. Pipelines and counterpoise electrodes, whilst
assisting in reducing the value of R
grid
and hence EPR, may create hazardous step
potentials at a remote location. Such high potential gradients are difficult to
supervise, as they usually occur outside controlled areas. The following section
discusses cases where the voltage gradient external to an earthing system is distorted.
B) Distorted Voltage Gradients
Three factors contributing to distortions in voltage gradients are discussed in this
section: external metalwork, natural phenomena, and soil resistivity anomalies.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 80
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
! External Metalwork
External metallic structures may import a remote earth potential to a location near a
substation as shown in Figure 7-12.
Figure 7-12: Equipotential crowding by external metalwork
As shown the equipotential contours become crowded between the pipeline and the
substation fence, giving rise to high step voltages. In an urban location, where much
metalwork is found, such effects should be examined closely.
! Natural Phenomena
A watercourse may, in certain high resistivity situations, conduct current to remote
earth. This may result in higher voltage gradients, in the direction of the watercourse,
in a similar manner to the preceding example.
! Soil Resistivity Anomalies
Soil resistivity anomalies, such as vertical faults, may give rise to variations in the
voltage gradients. Work by Kavorsky et.al. [84] illustrated a method for estimating
the voltage gradients across a vertical fault. The example they cited gave surface
equipotential contours as shown in Figure 7-13.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 81
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
16 & 20
DESIGN
STEP
16 & 20
Figure 7-13: Equipotential contours across a vertical fault
The foregoing empirical approximations are a useful guide in determining the voltage
gradients surrounding an earthing system in undisturbed single layer earth conditions.
The analysis of voltage gradients in disturbed earth is a rather difficult task. In such
cases, field measurements (which are usually made after construction of the electrode)
are required to evaluate analytical predictions. Scale model test are sometimes made
using an electrolytic tank, which is a vessel containing a liquid compounded to
simulate the conductivity of soil.
Analysis, by computer, in which each element of the grid and external metalwork is
included, can provide accurate solutions for situations outside the constraints of the
empirical formulae. Section 7.6 following discusses empirical and computer analysis
techniques. The Earthing Reference Manual provides greater depth in describing the
analytical procedures.
7.6 Empirical And Analytical Calculation Comparison
Numerous computer based analytical procedures have been proposed to enable the
exact location and effect on impedance of grid elements to be calculated [4], [50],
[51], [52], [72]. The benefits of such methods are that they;
! Model complex grid configurations and multi-layer soil resistivities, with
flexibility
! Provide accurate values of resistance, and voltage values.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 82
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Many have the following limitations:
! Difficulty in accurately entering the information regarding system
configuration.
! The voltage on the electrodes is considered constant. This is acceptable for
many typical primary electrodes, however, it can be inaccurate (even up to
200%) for longer buried conductors. Therefore, the auxiliary earthing system
is usually considered separately. As the final resistance value is usually
primarily dependent upon the auxiliary earthing system extreme accuracy in
calculating the primary electrode resistance may not be justified. Refer to
Section 7.1.4 for examples of analytical proximity effect calculations which
highlight the deficiencies of the simple parallel impedance approach.
! Most of the programs available work exclusively in the real domain. That is,
they only consider a purely resistive system. There are a few programs,
however, that calculate the effect the admittance of the earthing conductor has
on grid behaviour. Such effects become significant in larger interconnected
systems.
! Few of the programs allow for the inclusion of input impedances to the grid (
such as over-head earth wires, or cable sheaths bonded to the earth grid).
Others allow for fences, pipes, and other buried metalwork, thus calculating
the extent of the transfer potential hazard.
! A homogeneous soil layer model is usually too limited in its modelling ability,
therefore a more detailed soil structure is required.
! The program should also be able to take any size, shape or form of earthing
grid. There should be no restraints in the symmetry or complexity of the grid.
This requirement should also enable the inclusion of non-connected earthing
systems in the area of the grid.
! Fault currents should be accepted at any node or multiple nodes in the system
to enable modelling of multipath faults (e.g. extensive steel structures, test
configurations modelling (i.e. inductive current flow, remote probe/grid
effects)).
The use of such detailed analytical procedures may not be necessary when calculating
earth system resistances for use in calculating maximum earthgrid voltage rise (EPR).
The simplified resistance calculations of the previous section usually provide a value
of R
grid
, for use in calculating EPR, of sufficient accuracy. However, care must be
taken to ensure that the boundary conditions of the empirical equations are complied
with, otherwise the results will be in error. The following section provides a detailed
comparison and application guidelines for empirical calculation methods.
The main use of computerised analysis lies in analysing the values of step and touch
voltages associated with the primary grid and nearby installations. In certain critical
situations considerable expense may be saved by the use of accurate modelling
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 83
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
techniques.
! Application of Analytical Methods
The application of programs based upon analytical procedures, such as those
discussed in the proceeding section provide significant advantages over the empirical
formulae. Examples which highlight the value of such methods and a number of
application guidelines are included in the following section.
Computer programs allow detailed analysis to be performed on any earthing system
existing in the ideal world. By using a program it is possible to perform indepth
parametric analysis, studying the affects which various parameters, such as resistivity,
grid layout and unconnected metalwork, have on the earthing system characteristics
[4], [52]. Such analysis also highlights certain pitfalls and hazards that can arise, if
careful thought is not given to earthing design. It is valuable to compare the results of
the computer analysis with similar results produced from the empirical set of
equations (Section 7.1) highlights the pitfalls of using empirical equations blindly.
This section presents an analysis of a relatively simple earthing system, using an
analytical computer program, and the empirical equations. The case that will be
considered here deals with the effects that seemingly comparable soil structures have
on the characteristics of a simple grid. As the equations for step and mesh voltage
presented in Section 7.3.1 and 7.3.2 only apply to homogeneous soils, application of
the equations to non-homogeneous soils can present a problem. If resistivity tests
indicate a two layer soil structure, a common (yet erroneous) practice would be to
take the numerical average of the readings as a homogeneous approximation.
To demonstrate the possible hazard of using the numerical average, consider a simple
30m square grid with 10m mesh. The grid is buried in a two layer soil structure with
a top layer depth of 2m. We will consider two distinct soil structures. The first case
has a 100 m upper layer on a 10 m lower layer, while the second case has a 10 m
over a 47 m lower layer. These two soil structures have been chosen as they
produce the same numerical average resistivity of 30 m for a typical range of
resistivity readings. The calculated values for grid resistance using the empirical
equations and a computer program are shown in Table 7.2 following.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 84
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Table 7.2
Calculated Grid Resistance for Different Soil Structures
Method
of
Calculation
Calculated Grid Resistance
R
g

()
= 100 on 10 (.m) = 10 on 47 (.m)
Analytical Computer Modelling 0.662 0.474
Empirical Equations
Solid Plate: Eq(7-8)
Laurent: Eq(7-10)
Sverak: Eq(7-11)
Schwarz: Eq(7-12)
0.443
0.568
0.557
1.706
0.443
0.568
0.557
0.171
The first thing to note about the results is that Equation (7-12) has produced results in
both cases, significantly different to all the others, even though it is the only one of
the empirical equations that can deal with two layer soils. This is because both cases
violate the restrictions imposed on the use of Equation (7-12). For the 100 on 10 m
case, the difference in top and bottom layer resistivities is greater than 5 times, while
in the 10 on 47 m case, the top layer is of lower resistivity than the bottom (see
Section 7.1.1.2). The results produced by Equation (7-12) should be ignored.
Considering the 10 on 47 m case first, we see that the empirical results have
produced the expected spread, with the computer value fitting in as expected (i.e.
Equation (7-12) lower, Equation (7-10) and (7-11) higher than the computer value).
From these results, the 30 m approximation for the two layer soil structure would
seem quite adequate. The computer calculated value for the 100 on 10 m case is
slightly higher than the empirical values, yet still within the same order of magnitude
of the other results. It would still appear that the 30 m approximation is acceptable
(if not, then only slightly low).
If we now look at the calculated values of step and mesh voltage for the two soil
structures, greater discrepancies emerge. The results of the calculations are given in
Table 7.3 below.
Table 7.3
Calculated Mesh and Step Voltages for Different Soil Structures
Method of
Calculation
Calculated Mesh Voltage
V
mesh
(Volts)
Calculated Step Voltage
V
step
(Volts)
100 on 10 m 10 on 47 m 100 on 10 m 10 on 47 m
Analytical
Computer
516 47 174 43
Empirical 165 165 63 63
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 85
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Considering the 10 on 47 m case first we see that the empirical of Sections 7.3.1 and
7.3.2 equations have calculated step and mesh voltages significantly higher than the
computer model. This is as would be hoped, providing a margin of safety in the
calculations. However, if a mesh voltage of 165 volts was within the required safety
limits for this grid design, the question must be asked as to whether the given design
is too conservative. If the true value is in fact 47 volts, could we have designed the
grid with larger mesh spacing and still satisfied the safety requirements. Larger mesh
spacing would mean less copper in the ground and lower labour costs, hence
producing a much cheaper design. This highlights the fact that in some cases,
application of traditional design methods can produce unnecessarily expensive grids,
where simpler, cheaper grids could still satisfy the given safety criteria.
If we now consider the 100 on 10 m case, the results are by no means conservative.
The computer method has calculated step and mesh voltages well in excess of the
values calculated by the empirical equations, the difference being approximately
300%. This highlights the fact that in some cases, application of traditional design
methods can produce grids that do not satisfy the given safety criteria (i.e. unsafe).
The reason for the unexpectedly high values for step and mesh voltage is the
difference between the upper and lower layer resistivities. The current leaking from
the grid segments sees the lower layer as a far better (lower resistance) path back to
the return electrode. Hence, all the current leaves the grid and goes down, into the
lower layer. Practically none of the current stays in the upper layer. As it is the
leakage current that creates the voltage on the surface of the earth, if the current is
going down, (rather than up or across) the voltages above the grid decrease very
rapidly away from the grid conductors. This phenomenon is best highlighted by a 3
dimensional view of the voltage profiles above the grid for the two cases, shown in
Figures 7-14 and 7-15 following.
Figure 7-14: 3-D Soil Voltage Profile Above Grid for 10 on 47 m Case
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 86
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 7-15: 3-D Soil Voltage Profile Above Grid for 100 on m Case
As can be seen from the above 3-D plots, the voltage gradients around the 100 on
10 m case are much steeper than those for the 10 on 47 m case. While the overall
voltage level directly above the grid conductors for the two cases is approximately the
same (due to similar EPR), the absolute voltage (with respect to remote earth) within
the meshes is much lower for the 100 on 10 m case, giving rise to the higher mesh
voltage values. Similarly the step voltages are much higher for the 100 on 10 m
case due to the rapid drop-off in voltage away from the grid. A 3-D voltage profile
for a 30 m homogeneous soil would lie somewhere between the two plots shown
above, slightly steeper than the 10 on 47 m case, yet not as steep as the 100 on
10 m case.
The preceding section comparing the results of several empirical formula for grid
resistance and mesh and step voltages with the results of detailed analytical
computations, is based largely upon a paper by Hughes and Carman [4]. A more
thorough analysis is provided in the Reference Manual.
Until most recent times, empirical formulae were used for the majority of analysis
performed on earthing systems. Such equations offer a quick and sometimes
satisfactory appraisal of earthing system behaviour. However, these simplified
equations have many limitations and do not always depict a worse case scenario.
With the increasing availability of powerful personal computers, more detailed
analysis methods have been developed. The benefits of these computer programs as
design tools are obvious. Yet in some earthing situations, such a detailed, and hence
time consuming, computer analysis is unnecessary and the simple empirical formulae
would suffice.
Hence, the question must be asked: Under what conditions can the empirical
formulae be used, and when should a more detailed analytical analysis be
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 87
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
performed?
! Recommendations
The following section provides several recommendations [4] regarding
the application of the empirical equations for symmetrical earthgrids:
Apparent Grid Resistance
C When calculating resistance of grids without earth stakes and buried in a
homogeneous soil, the empirical method suggested in Section 7.1.5 is
satisfactory (ie, Equation. (7-11)).
C For grids with stakes in homogeneous soil, it is necessary to go to a more
detailed equation such as Equation (7-3) to get results that better approximate
the actual values. Yet all design must be made knowing such calculated grid
resistance is on the high side of actual values.
C For grids in two layer soils Equation (7-5) can be used, provided the
restrictions imposed in Section 7.1.1.1 are not exceeded.
C For other cases in two layer earth, no simple equation (eg, Equations 7-12,
7-13, 7-16) can be accurately used unless the top layer is extremely deep, or
the higher resistivity top layer is above the buried grid, in which case
homogeneous approximations will suffice.
Mesh Voltage
C When calculating mesh voltages for grids buried in homogeneous earth,
Equation (7-23) can be used confidently, knowing a factor of safety exists in
the calculated results.
C For grids in two layer soils, the mesh voltage can be approximated by
Equation (7-23) using the value of resistivity of the layer in which the grid is
wholly buried.
C Where the earth stakes penetrate both layers, particularly for lower resistivity
bottom layers, more extensive computer analysis is suggested.
Step Voltage
C When calculating step voltage for grids buried in homogeneous soil, great care
must be taken in applying Equation (7-31) as it produces results near, yet
lower than the maximum analytical value. Hence any design based on
Equation (7-31) must also incorporate significant margins of safety.
C For grids in two or more layer earth, no approximate equations are valid,
hence more extensive computer analysis is suggested.
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 88
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
18 & 21
DESIGN
STEP
18 & 21
The wide range of parameters of earthing grids (such as grid size, shape and area;
conductor type and size; earth stake configuration; soil resistivity and layering) make
the range of possible earthing scenarios enormous. The empirical equations presented
are limited to only a small subset of possible earthing grids. For this subset, a set of
recommendations for the use of the empirical equations has been described above.
Computer based calculation of the empirical equations is useful as more accurate
methods of calculating constants (such as K
1
and K
2
) are possible, and violations of
the boundary conditions can be automatically identified, preventing the user from
inadvertently applying the equations out-of-bounds.
For the remaining earthing systems (such as asymmetrical grids, large interconnected
systems, multilayer soils, earthing grids with many projections) the only tool
available that facilities accurate analysis is the computer based analytical approach.
Not only do accurate modelling tools give the engineer confidence in his design, they
also allow for more efficient and cost effective design solutions. Savings (labour and
material) in the order of 40-60% are often obtained using analytical calculation
techniques.
7.7 Voltage Mitigation Methods
There are two approaches to limiting the shock obtained through indirect contact:
primary source hazard prevention, and secondary effect mitigation.
7.7.1 Primary Source Hazard Prevention
This protective measure involves configuring the primary system to minimise hazards
associated with protectively earthed equipment under fault conditions. Four of the
parameters involved in the primary fault circuit which can be utilised are introduced
below:
! Earth Fault Current Restriction. The earth fault current entering the
earthing system may be reduced by either: directly limiting the current (eg.
neutral earthing resistors or reactors), or by diversion of current, by inductive
and resistive coupling, into auxiliary earthing systems (eg. cable sheaths or
OHEWs).
! Impedance Reduction. Earthing system impedance is related to the size of
grid, amount of copper in the ground and earth resistivity. A number of
alternatives suggested for reducing the impedance include: increasing grid
area, OHEW (size increase, tower footing impedance reduction, burial of
continuous counterpoise conductors between towers), underground cable
sheath bonding, deep driven earthstakes, direct burial of radial counterpoise
conductors to increase grid area, chemical treatment of the soil (to increase
effective area of grid conductor), bonding to structural members (eg.
foundations), and bonding to a low resistivity area (eg. river, dam, geological
fault of conductive material).
! Fault Clearing Time Reduction. The use of fast discriminate protection
capitalises on the ability of the human body to withstand higher currents if the
Chapter 7 Power Frequency Voltage Design 89
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
fault duration is reduced. Special protection schemes may be used to
overcome the long fault clearance times often found in distribution systems.
One such scheme involves an instantaneous first trip, followed by a time
graded IDMT characteristic on reclosure. The very fast first trip will provide
safety and allow the person time to release contact prior to a longer duration
reclosure attempt.
! Site Selection. Sometimes it is necessary to relocate a substation to: avoid
interference with other installations (eg. mines), minimise hazards to the
public, achieve a sufficiently low grid impedance, or minimise costs.
7.7.2 Secondary Effect Mitigation
Secondary effect mitigation methods involve minimising the proportion of the total
voltage rise with which a person may come in contact during fault conditions. Such
measures take into account the physical conditions encountered in a particular
installation, and seek to affect the shock circuit by:
! Local potential control, (eg. closer mesh spacing, operator earth mats, driven
rods).
! Increased series impedance, (eg. insulated footwear and gloves, bitumen or
crushed rock).
! Access prevention, (eg. use of fences and warning signs).
! Isolation or bonding of equipment. Within a substation, equipment is always
bonded (eg. internal fences, water, gas and air service lines). Outside the
substation periphery one may choose to isolate or bond to the full earthing
system. A bonded design is usually advised for the following reasons:
C Reduction of earth potential rise, and hence touch voltage. This is due
to the reduction in grid resistance, which is caused by the increase in
the grid area.
C The elimination of hazards and cost of inconvenience associated with
inadvertent or unforeseen bonding subsequent to initial installation.
Isolation is sometimes used for discrete metallic structures, which
radiate from the substation, and which can be effectively supervised
(eg. fences, pipelines).
The design of effective, economical earthing systems involves applying the
appropriate combination of protective measures for each situation and type of
installation. The Earthing Reference Manual examines the application of each of
these hazard mitigation options.
Chapter 8 Transient Voltage Design 90
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
22
DESIGN
STEP
22
8 Transient Voltage Design
8.1 Transient Sources And Interference Mechanisms
Mechanisms which create transients include; switching surges on power lines and in
gas insulated substation (GIS) equipment, lightning surges, earth faults, radio
transmitter operation, as well as electrostatic discharges. An effectively integrated
earthing system is required to enable the primary and secondary power system
components to withstand both 50Hz and transient phenomena, whilst maintaining
personnel safety, equipment integrity and operational security. The various sources
of transient voltages and currents in substations are summarised as follows:
! Atmospheric Events
A lightning stroke generates travelling waves on the HV line. These waves can be
produced by a stroke to the conductor, to the earth shield wire or the tower. The shape
of the travelling waves depends on the amplitude and the shape of the lightning
current. A flash-over of the insulation can be caused by a lightning stroke to the
insulator contamination. The flash-over will produce electromagnetic waves which
affect the secondary circuits and the lightning current fed directly, or via an arc, into
the earthing system may result in high potential differences within the earthing
system.
! Switching in High Voltage Circuits
Switching of isolators or circuit breakers is a frequent source of noise in HV
substations. The guided waves are transmitted by the current transformer (CT) and the
voltage transformer (VT) to the measuring and protection circuits. Current flow on
cable screens, produced by guided waves and magnetic fields, and currents fed into
the earthing system through CT and VT generate common mode voltages which may
also influence the secondary circuits.
! Earth Faults
Earth faults caused by lightning, switching over-voltages, conductor galloping or
faulty switching are to be regarded mainly with respect to the electromagnetic waves
radiated.
! Switching in Secondary Circuits
De-energising of inductive loads generate transient high frequency overvoltages in
secondary circuits.
! Radio Transmitter Operation
The high frequency field generated by radio transmitters, including those which are
used by maintenance staff, can influence sensitive electronic equipment.
Chapter 8 Transient Voltage Design 91
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
These disturbances affect personnel and equipment as summarised in Figure 8-1
(adapted from [85]).
Figure 8-1: Transient Phenomena in Substations
Transient earthing design is required to provide safety and integrity for the following
sub system elements:
C Primary electrical system equipment (eg. transformers),
C Personnel (eg, operators, maintenance staff),
C Secondary circuits and equipment (eg. SCADA and protection systems),
C Buildings (eg. control building),
C External services (eg. pipelines and communications lines).
The transient phenomena cause hazardous voltages and currents to flow in these
exposed metallic paths by inductive, conductive and radiated interference
mechanisms (eg. secondary wiring interference causing maloperation of circuitry at
critical times. Surge or transient phenomena may be considered to be sources of
noise, (or interference) which affect equipment in the following ways [87], [88], [89]:
C Direct or conductive interference - voltage differences in the earthing
system causing current flow in cable screens.
C Guided interference - inductive and capacitive coupling from currents and
voltages in phase conductors and earth conductors.
C Radiated interference - caused by switch arcing, arc gap operation or
insulation breakdown, are picked up by secondary circuits operating as
antennae.
The Reference Manual provides detailed descriptions of the interference mechanisms
Chapter 8 Transient Voltage Design 92
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
associated with each transient source for both air and gas insulated substations.
8.2 Mitigating The Effects Of Transients In Substations
The design of substation earthing systems to mitigate the effects of transients,
requires the coordination of a large number of factors. The 50Hz design criteria are
primarily related to personnel step, touch and transfer hazards. The transient
phenomena described in the preceding section, cause hazardous voltages and currents
to flow in exposed metallic paths by inductive, conductive and radiated interference
mechanisms. At the higher frequencies the interference coupling mechanisms cause
hazards over a greater area. Thus, both personnel safety and secondary wiring and
equipment are placed at risk due to these transient phenomena.
Through the years, substation design has been largely free to ignore the problem of
transient voltages because power system devices have been built with a substantial
margin of safety, and because the magnitude of the transients has been within that
margin. As power systems have grown new levels of performance have been
expected, along with the handling of increasing amounts of energy.
The pressure of economics to reduce the margin of safety, along with the use of more
sophisticated control and instrumentation equipment, has begun forcing the power
system designers into a difficult position. For instance, on one hand there is a trend to
favour PVC coated control cables (instead of lead-sheathed cable) for economic
reasons, while new components (such as solid-state devices) with less tolerance to
overvoltages are being connected to these same control circuits. If it were not for the
measure of conservatism in the power field, problems would have been experienced
with much greater severity previously. The use of voltages of 330kV and above has
seen a large increase in the number of problems, due to the compounding of
contributing factors (ie, high voltage, higher power, larger cable runs, and more
sensitive equipment). While the problems are magnified for voltages above 132kV
(especially above 330kV) care should be taken at the lower voltages, as the hazards
may still exist. The most effective (and usually economic) solution to each problem
usually lies in the adoption of several mitigation measures. It is difficult to clearly
define a best solution, as the contributing factors are interrelated in a complex
manner, and individual applications are often complicated by a number of utility or
location dependent special constraints (eg. cost and special equipment availability).
A computer based assessment of the propagation of the electromagnetic transients can
give realistic solutions. However, it is time consuming and not always necessary. A
simplified assessment is usually appropriate which combines guidelines, based upon
experimental research, with a number of empirical formulae. It is difficult to clearly
define a best solution, as the contributing factors are interrelated in a complex
manner, and individual applications are often complicated by a number of utility or
location dependent special constraints (eg. cost and special equipment availability).
Therefore, the most affective, and often economic, solution to each problem usually
lies in the adoption of several mitigation measures, when considered in conjunction
with the power frequency design criteria. Such a co-ordinated design approach
achieves adequate safety levels through a combination of measures (eg. insulation
co-ordination, grid layout, control cable layout, screening, termination, and equipment
Chapter 8 Transient Voltage Design 93
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
protection).
The Transient Phenomena chapter of the Earthing Reference Manual outlines a
number of measures which have been adopted by power authorities to reduce the
hazardous effects of power system transients. The mitigation measures have been
divided into two broad categories: primary source prevention and secondary effect
mitigation. The design aims are discussed for air insulated substations and gas
insulated substations separately, followed by a brief introduction to testing methods
associated with proving the transient performance of the system.
Chapter 9 Direct Current Power System Earthing 94
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
9 Direct Current Power System
Earthing
Earthing design for a D.C. system is similar to A.C. system earthing design but has
some particular requirements not normally required for A.C. systems. The major
differences apply to electrode-earthing systems for earth return operation of High
Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) systems. This section provides an introductory
overview of the main factors involved in the design and operation of HVDC earthing
systems.
High voltage D.C. transmission systems are designed either with two poles, (cable or
overhead lines) both being either isolated from earth, or able to operate the same as
single-pole systems with one conductor isolated from earth, and with earth (soil or
water) used as the second (return) conductor.
The utilisation of earth as a conductor for the transmission current leads to a
substantial reduction in the transmission line cost for a given power availability. In
existing projects the line costs have varied from a few million dollars up to a hundred
million dollars. Reducing these costs can thus be of considerable economic
advantage.
In the two-pole transmission systems the midpoint in each station is normally
connected to earth enabling the power to be maintained on one pole during
interruptions in the other pole or during maintenance of the same. Thus, even in
two-pole systems the connections to ground will be made through electrodes that are
designed to carry the full load current. Existing transmission current ratings range
from 200 to 2400 A.
Metal structures buried near the electrodes may be exposed to corrosion. The risk of
corrosion will be more pronounced for single-pole systems which continuously pass
large load currents via the electrodes. For large metal structures such as long cables
and pipe lines the risks occur, more particularly, near the cathode electrode. The
electrodes in a two-pole system carry full load current only occasionally and, at other
times any current due to unbalance in the two-pole operation is small. However, the
corrosion risk must also be considered for such systems.
9.1 HVDC Converter Station Earthing
It is common practice for A.C./D.C. converter stations to be sited so that all the high
voltage D.C. equipment, such as the D.C. transmission line terminations, D.C. line
switchgear, D.C. side surge arresters, D.C. smoothing reactors, D.C. measuring
devices, D.C. filter circuits, and the low voltage D.C. neutral/electrode line
switchgear and measuring devices etc, are located in one switchyard adjacent to the
building housing the converter valve groups.
All the A.C. side equipment, such as converter transformers, surge arresters, power
Chapter 9 Direct Current Power System Earthing 95
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
line carrier filters, harmonic filter banks etc, are located in a common A.C. switchyard
on the opposite side of the converter building.
The D.C. side earthing design follows the same principle as for an A.C. switchyard.
Fault currents within the valve groups are determined by the converter transformer
impedances and the tripping times of the converter transformer circuit breakers. For
faults beyond the D.C. smoothing reactor the fault currents will be reduced by the
inductance of the reactor and will be reduced to zero by converter control action in
much shorter times than occur in A.C. system faults.
The A.C. side earthing design is the same as for a conventional A.C. station.
However, it should be noted that A.C. harmonic filter banks often of very large
MVAR values comprise several series tuned or parallel/series tuned circuits to
provide low impedance paths for the various harmonic currents produced in the
conversion process. Close-in A.C. system faults have the effect of creating a
discharge path for the stored energy in the filter circuits at new resonant frequencies.
The modern approach of using copper mesh in A.C. switchyards to help control step
and touch potentials is particularly valuable in providing low impedance - high
frequency earth mat and helps avoid high frequency voltages occurring which may
otherwise cause damage such as arc-punctures in air blast breaker air-supply lines.
The D.C. and A.C. side earthing systems are bonded together to ensure a low
impedance return path for the A.C. filters to the HVDC system which is the source of
the harmonics.
9.2 HVDC Cable Terminal Station Earthing
Where a portion of the D.C. transmission system requires land or submarine power
cable, it is usual for some switching equipment and surge protection equipment to be
located at the cable terminal sites. For these switchyards, the same design approach
as for an A.C. switchyard is followed. However, the crest value and duration of any
fault current will be determined mainly by the energy stored in the capacitances of the
cables, and this may be very large for long cables, perhaps of the order of 20F for a
single cable. The crest value of the fault currents may be 3-4 times the continuous
full load current, although the action of the converter station control system will
ensure very short discharge times of only 20 to 30 msec. A much simpler earth mat
will therefore be necessary. The cable armouring also assists in achieving a low
overall resistance to ground.
9.3 Electrodes For Earth Return Working
D.C. electrode installations are a special case of earthing design. For monopolar D.C.
schemes they are required to operate continuously at rated current, while for bipolar
schemes they are required to operate in both directions for relatively long periods
whenever one or the other pole is out of service for maintenance or repair.
! Land Electrodes
For land electrodes, step and touch potentials have to be chosen to suit the nature of
Chapter 9 Direct Current Power System Earthing 96
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
any ongoing activity on the surface of the site, and the rate of heat production must be
controlled to ensure the final steady state temperature is within acceptable values.
The associated time constant may be of the order of months.
The selection of materials and the drainage of the site are important to ensure reliable
operation over a long period of time usually many years.
! Shore or Sea Electrodes
For shore or sea electrodes, the potential gradients in the shallow water near the beach
are probably the most important as these can affect marine life, and people may often
wade in the shallow water (eg. collecting shell fish). The step and touch potential
limits would probably be chosen to ensure they are below the threshold of annoyance
for people wading in the shallow water as this avoids the difficulties of otherwise
having to control or constrain access to the site. It should be noted that operation as
an anode attracts fish!
The selection of materials is more difficult than for a land electrode because of the
additional corrosiveness of sea water. The life of the electrode material is much
shorter than for a land electrode, but suitable design of the installation can allow easy
access to the electrode elements for periodic maintenance or replacement, and the cost
of replacements can be reasonably low. A major advantage of a sea or shore
electrode is that the electrode resistance to ground can be much lower than for a
land electrode.
! Stray D.C. Currents
Because electrode return systems operate continuously at high currents static D.C.
voltage gradients are established across the countryside. Relatively low gradients
may be sufficient to cause some of the HVDC ground return current to flow between
widely separated earthed A.C. transformer neutrals via the AC system, and cause
saturation in the AC transformers. Modification to transformer earthing circuits may
be necessary to avoid this.
The effect of D.C. on corrosion (eg. D.C. traction systems) is discussed in detail in the
Corrosion Chapter of the Earthing Reference Manual. The Reference Manual
provides a detailed analysis of the design procedure for HVDC earthing systems.
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 97
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
10
Installation Techniques
10.1
Principles
10.2
Equipment Selection
1 Conductor Rating
2 Conductor Sizing
3 Connections
10.3
Installation Layout
1 Horizontal Meshes
2 Driven Rods
3 Structural Members
4 External Connections
5 Auxiliary Test Electrodes
DESIGN
STEP
23
DESIGN
STEP
23
10 Installation Techniques
This chapter discusses the physical implementation of earthing systems in four
sections is depicted in Figure 10-1 following:
Figure 10-1: General Installation Techniques - Outline
The Earthing Reference Manual, Installation Techniques chapter provides greater
detail on these topics as well as specific methods for earthing equipment and the
practicalities of installing earthing systems.
10.1 Principles Behind Installation Of Earthing Equipment
The following guidelines may be used when earthing of metalwork associated with
H.V. installations.
10.1.1 H.V. Electrical Equipment
Metallic components of all H.V. electrical equipment which do not form part of the
operating circuit must be included in the protective earthing scheme. Such
components include;
i) All above-ground conductive metal parts that might accidentally become
energised, such as metal structures, machine frames, metal housings of
conventional or gas-insulated switchgear, transformer tanks and guards;
ii) All fault current sources such as surge arresters, capacitor banks or coupling
capacitors and transformers.
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 98
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
10.1.2 Non Electrical Equipment
Earthing of metallic components which do not form part of the electrical equipment is
required in cases where these components may, under fault conditions, come into
contact (by direct contact or by arcing) with live components. Such components
include fences and pipelines (e.g. water, oil). These components may be earthed
separately to the main earthing system under certain circumstances.
10.1.3 Connections
All connecting conductors are to be of adequate mechanical strength and current
carrying capacity. If a metallic structure (e.g. transformer tank, steel or aluminium
support structure) forms part of the conductive path special attention should be given
to joints or transition points (e.g. provision of bonding conductors).
The connection of metalwork associated with probable fault current sources (e.g.
arresters, transformer tanks, earthing switches) is often made with additional security,
ie:
! By means of two conductors, both of which separately withstand the total
earth-fault current. Usually placed on different sides of the equipment and
foundation to avoid simultaneous damage to both conductors;
! The connection to the earth grid conductors is made in at least two directions,
such that the breaking of one earth grid conductor does not render the bonding
ineffective.
10.2 Equipment Selection
The factors governing the selection of equipment types and sizes are discussed in the
following section depicted in Figure 10-1 following: Figure 10-2 shows a section
overview:
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10.2
Equipment Selection
10.2.1
Conductor Rating
10.2.2
Conductor Sizing
1 Material Selection
2 Conductor Cross Section
3 Connections
10.2.3
Connections
1 Underground
2 Aboveground
3 Protecting Connections
4 Qualifying Tests
1 Electrical Rating
2 Mechanical Rating
DESIGN
STEP
7
DESIGN
STEP
7
Figure 10-2: Equipment Selection - Overview
10.2.1 Rating of Earthing Conductors
The rating of earthing conductors comprises two basic components:
1. Electrical rating.
2. Mechanical rating.
10.2.1.1 Electrical Rating
The dimensioning of the earth conductors, to be undertaken for each application, is
governed by the following factors:
A) Fault current magnitude.
B) Fault current duration.
C) Conductor conductivity.
D) Thermal breakdown limitation.
A) Fault Current Magnitude
The conductor should be of sufficient current carrying capacity to withstand the
maximum earth fault currents expected under:
i) Normal fault conditions,
ii) Resistively earthed conditions, and
iii) Transient fault conditions.
i) Normal Fault Conditions
! Fault level increases - Care should be taken to account for the projected
increases in fault levels. If the fault level increase is associated with the
installation of a new transmission line(s), the new OHEW is likely to carry a
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 100
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
proportion of the fault current, thus reducing the expected current increase.
! Current Splits - Bonds (or tails) between equipment and the earth system
should be given a full fault rating as mentioned previously (even if a duplicate
bond is installed).
It may be assumed that the fault current will travel in two directions at the
point where the bond (tail) connects to the main earth system. However, rather
than assuming equal current split, a value of 70/30 is usually used (ie. Rate the
bond for 70% of the Fault current). Note that bonds between single pole earth
switch contacts must be rated for the maximum of either the full three phase
earth Fault or the single phase earth Fault 8.
! Stepped Fault Currents - In instances where the fault current magnitude
changes, as protection schemes isolate the faulted section, the individual
magnitudes and times are summated.
! Additional safety factor - In most cases an additional safety factor is
applied by specifying a next largest standard conductor size. This often occurs
for economical reasons where a standard size is used to minimise multiple
stock holdings of cable, joints and tools.
ii) Resistively Earthed Conditions
For stations in a network with the neutral earthed over a high resistance, there are
scarcely any difficulties in mastering earthing problems if only consideration to
earth-fault currents flowing for a single-phase earth-fault is taken. When a poly-phase
fault occurs in a network earthed over a high resistance, in certain cases depending on
the actual network impedances, short-circuit currents of the same order of magnitude
as those for a single-phase earth-fault in a solidly-earthed network can occur.
A polyphase earthfault means that two or three different phases in the same system
have an earth-fault. The fault can occur in geographically separate places.
Such faults within the substation or generator yard will cause the greatest flow.
Therefore, conductor size is chosen to meet the maximum expected current (and a
direct path to minimise impedances) flowing until cleared by the primary protection
scheme (the use of the secondary (or backup) scheme clearing time is considered an
unnecessary contingency).
iii) Transient Fault Conditions
Transient or high frequency fault currents are associated with; lightning spires,
lightning arresters, GIS installations.
! Lightning Spires
Lightning spire downleads, and overhead shieldwires acting as lightning protection
over substations, will usually only conduct lightning surge currents. As these are of
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 101
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very short duration the following minimum areas are typically used:
35mm - copper
50mm - steel
107mm - aluminium
Care should be taken to ensure that power frequency fault currents may not flow in
such conductors if minimum areas are chosen.
! Lightning Arresters
Although the minimum conductor areas suggested above apply to the high frequency
surge current, the power frequency follow-through current is of full fault rating
(unless the arrestor has special current limiting characteristics). Therefore, arrester
earths are usually fully fault rated to cover insulation failure and flashover
conditions.
! GIS Installations
In addition to the normal fault current rated bonds (to earth), GIS switchgear is
susceptible to high frequency longitudinal induced current flow creating high voltages
between parts of the GIS and the system earthgrid. The Transient Phenomena chapter
of the Reference Manual discusses the additional bonding required to mitigate the
operational and safety hazards of such surge currents.
B) Fault Current Duration
The fault current duration is often specified to correspond to the total clearing time
defined as the greater of either the:
! Clearing time assuming that one primary protection system or associated
operational equipment (i.e. circuit breaker, tripping coil) fails to operate. In
this instance reclosure time is not usually applicable.
! Total clearing time of the primary protection system and subsequent
reclosures.
C) Conductor Conductivity
The earth conductors and connections should be of sufficient conductivity to keep
voltage drops to a low level. This requirement is usually fulfilled when conductors
meet other electrical and mechanical constraints.
D) Thermal Breakdown Limitation
An earthing system must be designed to withstand energy dissipation in both the
electrodes and the soil immediately surrounding the electrodes. The thermal
characteristics of the conductors are discussed in Section 2.2 of the Reference Manual
Installation Techniques Chapter
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 102
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Problems are possible in systems with limited amounts of conductor installed in high
resistivity and/or areas susceptible to drying out. In these cases it is suggested that
additional driven electrodes be installed to ensure that the current dissipating from
each electrode is within limits and/or deep enough to contact low resistivity or moist
earth.
10.2.1.2 Mechanical Rating
The mechanical rating of earth conductors is contingent upon the following factors:
! Externally applied forces;
! Force produced by the flow of earth fault current through the conductor;
! Corrosivity of surrounding media, and (galvanically) connected materials.
These subjects are discussed in the following three sections:
A) Minimum Conductor Size
The mechanical strength requirement should determine the minimum conductor
size. A conductor size, with the mechanical strength and rigidity to minimise the
possibility of mechanical damage that is commonly used for unprotected conductor is
70mm copper.
B) Electromagnetic Forces
Although electromagnetic forces on conductors are great, they do not dictate the
minimum conductor size. Rather they specify the method and frequency of fastening
of conductors to structures. Thus, where conductors are used as downleads from
mounted equipment they should be fastened to the structure as often as necessary to
withstand the short circuit dynamic forces.
C) Environmental Factors
Two environmental factors that effect conductor sizing, choice of material and
installation location and methods are:
i) Corrosion
ii) Physical Protection and Location
i) Corrosion
The corrosion of earth system conductors occurs due to the electrochemical reaction
between dissimilar metals. The current which flows causes loss of material on the
anodic surface. Corrosion problems are exacerbated when the anodic action is
restricted to a small area (eg hole in pipeline covering). In this case the full current
density is focussed on the small area, possibly removing material at a hazardous rate.
The solution to such problems lies in a combination of the following corrective
measures:
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 103
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
! Correct choice of materials;
! Careful installation procedures;
! Calculation of hazard magnitude;
! Installation of special protection (eg active or passive cathodic protection
system).
The latter two steps are required if a hazard is still suspected, once the former two
steps have been considered. The corrosion rate calculations and cathodic protection
installation design is discussed further in the ESAA Earthing Reference Manual
chapters on Direct Current Phenomena, Installation Techniques, and corrosion.
! Main Grid Material
The choice of main grid earthing materials to minimise corrosive activity has resulted
in mostly copper conductors (wire and strip, or copper covered steel) being used. In
less corrosive areas steel conductors may be used, whilst in corrosive areas stainless
steel conductors are sometimes used. Aluminium conductors are not acceptable.
ii) Physical Protection and Location
The earthing conductors are required to withstand a number of physical stresses,
including: direct impact, soil movement, vandalism.
! Direct Impact
The use of at least the minimum conductor size, (Section 10.2.1i)), and double or
redundant connections (Section 10.2.3) on important equipment, should ensure
reliable operation.
! Soil Movement
In certain areas where the ground is known to expand and contract (e.g. cold climates,
areas with clay soil and alternating long and wet periods), it is considered prudent to
install loops or flexible z sections to prevent undue stress being placed upon
connections.
! Vandalism
The increase in vandalism and theft is resulting in a number of special design
considerations:
! Above ground connections
Galvanised steel wire or strip is sometimes used for above ground connections on
isolated installations. If copper is used underground, care should be taken to ensure
the electrolytic action does not deteriorate the steel section.
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 104
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
! Fences
Conductors bonding to fences, and external touch earth conductors, are sometimes
used as a connection point by thieves. To prevent excessive conductor being
dragged from the grid, concrete blocks have been used to anchor the conductor.
! Anti-Climbing Precautions along the Tops of Walls
Where barbed wire or other metallic anti-climbing devices are erected along the top
of brick walls and fences. These should be connected to earth using the same
procedure as with fencing.
10.2.2 Conductor Sizing
10.2.2.1 Material Selection
Consistent with the preceding discussion regarding environmental factors, buried
earthing systems are usually constructed of hard drawn stranded copper conductor,
copper strip or hot-dip galvanised steel strip. Stranded aluminium conductors or
aluminium strip may be used in covered cable ducts or as above ground connecting
leads to framework and apparatus. However, aluminium conductors are not to be laid
in the ground and should not come into contact with the soil.
10.2.2.2 Conductor Cross Section Selection
A minimum conductor size is specified by the mechanical considerations discussed in
Section 10.2.1.2. The thermal considerations of conductor rating under fault
conditions are also to be examined. The selection of an appropriate conductor size to
withstand fault current without exceeding maximum temperature criteria may be
based upon the Onderdonk formula [92], [93] following:
A = conductor area (mm)
(10-1)
( ) ( )
| |
A I
T x TCAP
T T K T
c r r
m a o a
=
+ +

(
(
o 10
1
4
1
2
/
ln /
where
I = Rms current (kA)
T
m
= Maximum allowable temperature (EC)
T
a
= Ambient temperature (EC)
T
r
= Reference temperature for material constants
(EC) (Table 10-1 uses 20EC as reference)

o
= Thermal coefficient of resistivity at 0EC

r
= Thermal coefficient of resistivity at reference temperature T
r
.

r
= Resistivity of the earth conductor at reference
temperature T
r
(/cm
3
)
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 105
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
K
o
= 1/
o
= (1/
r
) - T
r
t
c
= Fault clearing time (s)
TCAP = Thermal capacity factor (J/cm
3
/EC)
= 4.184
.
SH
.
SW (10-2)
where
SH = Specific heat (cal/gm/EC
SW = Specific weight (gm/cm
3
)
Equation 10-1 is dependent upon two assumptions:
! All heat remains in the conductor - reasonable due to short clearing time (t
c
).
! TCAP is approximately constant - reasonable as SH and SW vary in opposite
directions at approximately the same rate for short values of t
c
.
Material constants required by Equation 10-2 are given for commonly used earthing
conductors in Table 10-1 following [18].
Table 10-1
Earth Conductor Material Constants
Conductor
Conductivit
y
(%)

r
(at 20NC)
K
o
(1/
o
-at
0NC)
Fusing
Temp.
(NC)
p
r
(at
20NC-/cm)
TCAP
(J/cm
3
/NC)
Standard
Annealed Soft
Copper Wire
100 .00393
234
1053 1.7241
3.422
Commercial
Hard Drawn
Copper Wire
97 .00381 242 1084 1.7774 3.422
Copper Clad
Steel Core
Wire
40
30
.00378
.00378
245
245
1084/1300
1084/1300
4.397
5.862
3.846
3.846
Commercial
EC
Aluminium
Wire
61 .00403 228 657 2.862 2.556
Zinc-Coated
Steel Core
Wire
8.5
.00320 293 419/1300 20.1 3.931
Stainless Steel
No. 304
2.4 .00130 749 1400 72 4.032
Minimum conductor size calculation results for a range of conductor types are given
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 106
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
in Table 10-2 and Figure 10-2 as an example. The temperature range used in Table
10-2 and Figure 10-3 are as follows:
T
a
= Ambient temperature = 40C
T
m
= Maximum allowable temperature = 450C
Guidelines for maximum conductor temperatures are usually limited by
jointing/connection methods as follows:

C Soft soldered joints: T
m
# 240C
C Brazed joints: T
m
# 450C
C Fully rated (ie. Temperature): T
m
(copper) # 1050
Table 10-2
Minimum Conductor Size
Minimum Conductor Size (mm/kA)
Fault clearing
time
t
c
(s)
Copper
Aluminium
Cable
Zinc Coated
Steel
Stainless
Steel
(No. 304) (100%) (97%)
0.1 1.866 1.886 2.793 5.785 9.918
0.2 2.638 2.667 3.949 8.181 14.026
0.5 4.171 4.216 6.244 12.935 22.178
0.75 5.109 5.164 7.648 15.842 27.162
1.0 5.899 5.963 8.831 18.293 31.364
1.5 7.225 7.303 10.816 22.404 38.413
2.0 8.343 8.433 12.489 25.87 44.355
3.0 10.218 10.328 15.296 31.684 54.324
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 107
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0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5
Fault Clearing Time (Secs)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
M
i
n
i
m
u
m

C
o
n
d
u
c
t
o
r

S
i
z
e

(
s
q
.
m
m
/
k
A
)
Copper
Aluminium
Mild Steel
Stainless Steel
Figure 10-3: Minimum Conductor Size
Several further factors to be considered when determining the final conductor cross
sectional area are:
! Current Splitting
If the earth fault current, upon entering the buried section of the earth grid, travels in
two directions, it is assumed that the current divides on a 70/30 basis (some standards
suggest 80/20 or 50/50 distribution). Thus, such buried conductors do not require full
fault rating.
! Fault Clearing Time
The malfunction of protection relays or other equipment will cause the fault current to
persist until the backup protection operates. As the failure of protection, control or
operating equipment may remain unnoticed until requested to operate, it is considered
that the use of backup clearing times is prudent and not introducing unwarranted
contingencies.
! Future Growth
The ultimate value of fault current used should allow for the possibility of future
growth of the system and attendant fault level increases. The provision of an added
safety factor at the time of initial installation by selecting a larger sized conductor is
usually economically justified considering the larger cost involved in future
re-enforcement of the conductors. The use of limited standard conductor types
reduces the amount of stock required for both conductors and connectors, and often
simplifies installation.
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 108
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DESIGN
STEP
6
DESIGN
STEP
6
10.2.3 Connections
The connection of earthing conductors to above ground equipment, driven stakes and
other buried earthing conductors is discussed in detail in the ESAA Earthing
Reference Manual, Installation Techniques Chapter. As mentioned in the section
regarding ratings of the earthing conductors, the joints must meet the criteria for
conductivity, thermal capacity, mechanical robustness and long term reliability [94].
The joints are usually the most vulnerable point in the earthing system, and must
continue to withstand the electrical/thermal and mechanical stresses even in a
corrosive environment.
10.3 Designing The Installation
Each installation is designed according to a number of factors: standard design
methods, redundancy and security level requirements, (eg high fault level, high
reliability criteria locations), financial constraints, physical constraints (eg high
resistivity bedrock location) and safety criteria (eg urban installations). This section
provides a brief overview of a number of approaches commonly adopted when
designing the physical implementation of an earthing system.
Guidelines for the earth grid layout, and connection of substation equipment to the
earth grid is provided in the ESAA Earthing Reference Manual for a wide range of
equipment including: open-type outdoor switchgear, transformers, cable sheaths,
current busbars, indoor installations, substation service equipment, non-electrical
constructions, gas-insulated switchgear.
! Guidelines for General Grid Layout
Guidelines for the overall layout and interconnection of earth system elements is
briefly addressed in the following sections.
1. Horizontal mesh layout.
2. Driven rod placement.
3. Structural members.
4. External connections.
5. Auxiliary test electrodes.
10.3.1 Horizontal Mesh Layout
While many different mesh layout policies can be used, a number of basic principles
may be identified. Figure 10-4 from [95] illustrates a typical mesh layout of one bay
of a large outdoor air insulated switchyard.
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A typical grid earthing electrode in
a 110 kV outdoor switchgear
including one empty and one
equipped bay.
Annotation:
1 Circuit breaker
2 Disconnector
3 Disconnector and earthing
switch
4 Current transformer
5 Coupling capacitor
6 Line trap
7 Support insulator
8 Termination gantry
9 Cubicle for control devices
10 Switchgear fence
OK Earthing withstanding short
circuit between poles to be
temporarily earthed.
Figure 10-4: Mesh Layout for A Large Air Insulated Switchyard Section
The horizontal mesh conductors are placed according to a number of requirements:
A) Touch and Step Voltage Criteria
In both large and small installations, the horizontal meshes play an important role in
maintaining local voltage gradients within safe limits. In most cases the current
density is highest at the periphery of an earthing system, therefore, the addition of
extra conductor in these regions tends to reduce the step and touch potentials. Several
approaches are given as examples in Figure 10-5 following.
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 110
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 10-5: Mesh Conductor Placement to Reduce Voltage Gradients
Figure 10-5 a) style designs are often seen when touch voltages are so high that a
touch earth is installed 1m from the fence both outside the yard and inside. The
decision of whether or not to bond the fence to the main grid is discussed in the
Power Frequency Voltages Created Chapter, and further installation guidelines
addressed in the Earthing Reference Manual. The provision of a touch earth inside
the fence is not often made due to the effect of the crushed rock (and safety shoes) in
limiting the body current that might flow under fault conditions.
Local voltage gradient control mats or loops are often placed on the surface adjacent
to operating mechanisms (eg isolator and earthing switch handles) to reduce the risk
of operators receiving any shock.
B) Fault Current Dissipation
The dissipation of large power frequency fault currents often requires that two or
more paths be provided to minimise the heating effect on the conductors (eg. at surge
arresters and earth switches). The full three phase fault current rating is required for
earth conductors between single phase earth switches.
C) Inductive Effect Reduction
Parallel coupling of transient currents with control cables may yield high induced
voltages which may cause damage and/or malfunction of equipment. Therefore,
current paths are multiplied from sources of such currents (eg. surge arresters) and
coupled into the mesh network as quickly as possible. The Reference Manual
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 111
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Installation Techniques chapter discusses the practical aspects of installing control
cables, while the mechanism of transient earth potential rise (TEPR) is investigated in
detail in the Reference Manual Transient Voltages Chapter. Very high power
frequency currents running parallel to control circuitry over large distances (say
$20m) may give the same effect as shorter high frequency parallel couplings.
D) Impedance Reduction
A close surface mesh network does little to reduce the grid impedance. However,
Kercel [25] illustrates the beneficial effect of a widely spaced mesh (placed on the
natural surface prior to backfilling) on grid impedance reduction.
E) Redundancy Level Required
In high fault level, high reliability/security substations duplication of bonds and mesh
conductors is often considered prudent. Each bond is fully fault rated and installed in
opposite directions to different mesh conductors. This ensures fast fault clearance
even if one bond is broken, to minimise fault energy flowing through costly
equipment (and thereby protect the faulted apparatus and also neighbouring
equipment if tank or insulator rupture is prevented).
10.3.2 Driven Rod Placement
Driven earth electrodes (either rods, stakes, pipes, cables, strip) are often installed for
the following reasons:
A) Grid Impedance Reduction.
B) Stabilisation of Grid Impedance.
C) Touch and Step Voltage Reduction.
D) Transient Current Energy Dissipation
A) Grid Impedance Reduction
Vertically installed rods often have higher current dissipation than horizontally buried
conductors due to the proximity effect (refer Section 7.1.6). If the driven rods
penetrate a low resistivity soil layer their current dissipation increases greatly,
resulting in a cost effective grid impedance reduction. Such effects are especially
valuable for grids of small area. The large surface area of major transmission and
generation stations reduces the need for deep driven earth electrodes.
Such rods are more effective if placed around the perimeter of the earthing system.
However, to maintain highest energy dissipation they should be separated by a
distance equal to one or two times the rod depth (preferably two times).
B) Stabilisation of Grid Impedance
In areas where the surface layer (top 1-2m) resistivity fluctuates widely with seasonal
changes, driven rods play an important role. When the top layer dries out (or freezes)
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 112
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
the horizontal mesh electrodes may contribute little to the fault energy dissipation,
and driven rods are used to maintain contact with the lower resistivity earth. In some
areas where the ground is frozen for over 6 months of the year grid designs are made
on the basis of driven rods alone (eg Canada [24]). However for very large
transmission and generation installations (in most of Australia) the large grid area is
effective in maintaining impedance stability.
C) Touch and Step Voltage Reduction
In addition to the reduction caused by a decrease in impedance (and hence EPR) some
measure of local gradient control is achieved with driven rods. This factor is rarely
considered significant or economical within substations, as judicious placement of
horizontal mesh conductors and the use of crushed rock is usually more effective.
D) Transient Current Energy Dissipation
The provision of an earth stake (2-4m) length) is considered useful in dissipating
transient fault energy quickly, and containing it within a small area. Therefore, one or
two earth stakes are normally driven at the foot of structures supporting lightning
spires, surge arresters and CVTs.
10.3.3 Structural Members
For most transmission and distribution installations structural members are considered
part of the secondary earthing system. They are connected to the system, but not
usually considered necessary to meet safety criteria. However, for large
interconnected earthing systems such as power stations and industrial complexes,
structural members are often designed as necessary parts of the primary earthing
system. Special care is required to ensure adequate bonding of reinforcement and
current dissipation levels kept low to prevent concrete spalling and corrosion.
10.3.4 External Connections
Connections to external earthing conductors such as underground cables, OHEWs,
and the MEN system play a vital role in the earth system performance. These
connections should be:
! Rated adequately to withstand expected fault currents (eg older jute served
steel wire lead armoured 11kV cable sheaths often dissipate 40-70% of fault
energy in urban locations).
! Not creating transfer potential hazards.( eg HV fault energy impressed onto
the LV MEN network, or inductively coupled current causing transfer of
hazard to an underground/overhead transition point in HV system). In certain
instances it is prudent to install isolation between the substation and the
external connection. Telecommunications and pilot cables are usually
installed with isolation transformers (refer EPR Code of Practice [77], and
sometimes isolation transformers are used in conjunction with station backup
Chapter 10 Installation Techniques 113
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
supply from the local MV reticulation.
10.3.5 Auxiliary Test Electrodes
It is sometimes considered necessary to segregate electrodes or earthing systems to
check earth resistance fluctuations. However, once a main earth grid has been
established in a substation, it is difficult to achieve segregation of independent
sections of the grid for periodic testing. Where main earth grids on adjacent sites are
connected together, it is usually practical to insert links in the tie connections to
enable segregation of the sites. It is preferable to locate these links in a sunken
concrete box, or mounted on walls, structures, posts, where they will be readily
visible and can be suitably labelled. However, if installed a sunken box care should
be taken to ensure that the bolted connection is kept clear of soil to minimise
corrosion effects.
Sometimes a test electrode is installed in the middle of a large mesh and bonded to the
main grid by PVC covered cable to minimise coupling to the main grid during tests.
Several warnings are associated with the use of such test electrodes:
! Safety precautions must be taken during routine testing to prevent operators
coming into contact with high touch voltages (ie use of gloves and rubber
mats).
! Special precautions should be taken to prevent inadvertent disconnection of
main earth connections.
! Separate bolted links for each earth electrode of a group in close proximity are
not required or recommended, as they are likely to reduce the reliability of the
installation.
! Routine tests using portable earth testers and short current/voltage lead
lengths are considered of limited worth, unless the site is small and inductive
coupling negligible. Maintenance and supervision of the earthing system is
discussed further in Chapter 12.
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 114
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
DESIGN
STEP
23
DESIGN
STEP
23
11 Testing Methods
Accurate test methods based on current injection from a remote point are required for
the following reasons:
! Analytical design calculations can not prove installation safety, they can only
act to guide the engineer to the most effective design. Therefore, the safety of
an installation should be proven by test.
! Errors in calculation of EPR may be quite large using traditional empirical
formulae (up to a factor of 5 or 15, Fortin [101]). In such cases safety criteria
of personnel and insulation levels on telecommunications equipment may be
exceeded creating dangerous situations.
! Portable test instruments are not sufficiently accurate for large installations in
lower resistivity soil (ie. R
grid
n 0.5).
! Earth system impedance may be significantly greater than the resistance
component for large grids in low resistivity soil, or for grids with many
extended earthing conductors (eg. OHEW, or cable sheaths).
Test methods are required that enable accurate measurements to be made of: grid
impedance, EPR, current distributions, as well as step, touch and transfer voltages.
Accurate testing is difficult to achieve, yet necessary to validate design calculations
and check installation safety and equipment operation, as the first step in the ongoing
control process.
11.1 Impedance Measurements Using Portable Meters
Determining the impedance to remote earth of a localised earth electrode is, in some
cases, a straightforward measurement problem requiring nothing more sophisticated
than a portable earth tester, some earth rods, and few hundred metres of wire to reach
a remote current probe location.
The use of portable earth resistance meters is useful in providing a fairly simple check
of grid resistance, which may be used as part of the periodic grid integrity check.
Unfortunately, the portable earth tester is inadequate in a large number of cases, as
outlined in the following section. It has been shown that many low power units are
not appropriate for measuring impedances lower than 1 (some even 2!!).
The instructions provided with the portable resistance meters usually suggest that the
voltage probe be located at a distance equal to 60% of the current lead length (based
on work by Tagg [33]). This recommendation is acceptable for small localised
earthing systems. However, when testing larger systems, additional guidelines are
recommended as follows:
Use the fall-of-potential method, outlined in Section 11.2.2.
Use a current lead length at least equal to 5 times the largest grid/system
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 115
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
diagonal dimension (both horizontally and vertically).
Keep the test leads separated from metalwork external to the grid being tested,
as it may short-circuit the test current circuit giving very satisfactory, yet
incorrect readings.
Caution should be taken to ensure that conductive and inductive interference
components are taken into account when making the initial measurements (see
Section 11.2.3). Simplified methods are available for overcoming or
determining the interference effects. It is recommended that the initial test
lead configuration and results be documented for reference when doing future
tests.
11.2 Earth System Injection Testing
The validation of the adequacy of an earthing system, to meet design and safety
criteria, can only be done through experimentation. Earthing systems for substations
comprise many component types, covering a wide range of areas, from 25m
2
to over
20 000m
2
. Components include the primary mesh conductors and driven earth
electrodes coupled to other metalwork such as; L.V. neutrals, overhead earthwires
(OHEW), underground cable sheaths, direct buried counterpoise conductors and tie
conductors to other grids and pipelines. In addition the relation to and effect upon
adjacent yet not directly bonded metalwork such as pipes, communications cables,
tanks and buildings must be considered.
Calculations of voltages and currents associated with the performance of such
earthing systems are impaired by over simplification of the system, and inaccuracy or
oversight of the necessary parameters. In a similar way measurements may also be
affected by lack of information and therefore, inadequate planning. Measurements
are also affected by other problems such as interference, non-linearity errors and
practical obstacles.
The testing of substation earthing systems to prove compliance with design and safety
criteria requires careful examination of possible ways to reduce errors. It has been
found that an appropriate instrumentation and test equipment configuration, combined
with calculations, enables the operational difficulties to be overcome.
! Impedance Measurements by Full Injection Test
In many cases the measurement process is complicated by factors which may
preclude the use of portable testers and necessitate a full injection test. These factors
include high ambient electrical noise levels, large grid dimensions, interconnections
of grids with other earthing systems, buried piping, very low soil resistivity values,
and difficulty in obtaining a suitable remote current probe location. Very low soil
resistivity values coupled with an extensive grid network may lead to significant
longitudinal voltage gradients in the earth network conductors which cannot be
neglected with respect to the potential at the current injection node of the earth
network. Therefore, the earth potential rise of an earth network is no longer uniquely
defined. To remove any ambiguity, a specific reference point must be defined.
Systems with a large number of overhead earthwires may have a large reactive
component which may not be measured by a basic resistance tester or underground
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 116
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
cables connected.
In certain cases, if the earth resistance is beneath a set value, it may be possible to
conclude that the step, touch and transfer voltages are within safer limits. (Eg Design
Step 9)However, if any hazard locations exist which have not been modelled, or
which appear to be close to the safety limits, an injection test with full measurements
of step, touch and transfer voltages should be undertaken.
The following sections provide an overview of the testing methods presently used:
1. Testing purpose
2. Testing principle
3. Difficulties in measuring low impedances
4. Low current injection method benefits.
5. Measurement of step and touch voltages
11.2.1 Testing Purpose
An injection test is undertaken to determine the following factors:
C Earthgrid Potential Rise
The calculation of the earth potential rise (EPR) permits the optimum choice of
protection equipment for communication cables. The accuracy of the earth
impedance magnitude is a determining factor in this choice. In the past empirical
calculation methods have yielded errors reaching factors of between 5 and 15 in some
cases. Such a situation can create dangerous conditions among personnel working
inside the substation, and distrust for installations outside the substation. Therefore,
accurate analytical calculation methods and injection testing procedures are required.
C Current Distribution
The complexity of earthing systems has increased due to the higher short circuit
levels and equipment density characteristic of modern installations. The design of
earthing systems has become increasingly sophisticated and construction very
expensive. It becomes necessary, therefore, to perform measurements to assure the
efficiency of the main components that contribute to drain current into the earth.
Alternative current paths include overhead earth wires and counterpoises in
transmission lines, distribution circuit neutrals, cable sheaths and other metallic
structures connected to a substation, as well as any other metallic pieces connected to
the earthing system. The ratio of the current drained over the injected current, for
each of the elements, enables an evaluation to be made of the efficiency of each
earthing system component. Both current magnitude and phase measurements are
required to enable the inductive and conductive components to be identified.

Chapter 11 Testing Methods 117
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
C Personnel Safety
Possible step, touch and transfer voltage hazard locations associated with metalwork
in or adjacent to an earthing system, must been identified and measured to ensure
safety for power authority personnel and the public.
11.2.2 Testing Principle
The testing principle, based on the application of the fall-of-potential method [97]
consists of injecting a current between the earthing system under test and a remote
earth [99] - [100].
! Fall-of-Potential Method
The test principle consists in circulating a current through the earthing system
impedance under test and measuring the potential rise caused by this current. Figure
11-1 shows the basic circuit.
Figure 11-1: Fall-of-potential basic circuit
To find the maximum value of V
m
(used to determine the earthing system impedance)
the potential of the earthing system would be measured with reference to a test
potential electrode placed at increasing distances from the earth system until the
difference between two or three successive voltage readings is negligible (assuming
the test current is held constant).
As a further check, the current probe distance may be increased significantly, and
potential measuring procedures repeated. Even under ideal conditions, of perfectly
homogeneous earth and no extended earth connections, current probe spacing
extended to 50 times the maximum earthing system dimensions will give an expected
measurement accuracy of only 98.5%.
Eg. A typical case of a 50 x 70m substation, gave V
M
(500m) = 97% EPR
max
(computed), in low resistivity soil conditions, with an injection point 5000m distant.
At the point where the current and potential electrodes are at remote earth, and
assuming that the measurements are not influenced by mutual coupling or other
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 118
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
interference, the earth system impedance may be found by the following equation:
(11-1)
( )
Z
V
I
g
s
s
= Z u O
Further testing guidelines covering the following topics are covered in the pursuing
sections:
a) Current Probe Separation
b) Potential Probe Separation
c) Angle Between Current and Potential Leads
d) Potential Measurement Details
e) Impedance Weighting
a) Current Probe Separation
The current injection point should be far enough removed to be considered at remote
earth potential. Values of between 5 and 10 times the substation diagonal dimension
(D
sub
) are often used. IEEE80 [18] Section 5.1 recommends a 6.5 times factor, with
external conductor lengths added to the grid diagonal to yield a total distance.
Horizontal and vertical dimensions should both be considered in this assessment.
Care should be taken with this approach, as the effective length of long buried
conductors is dependent upon soil resistivity. In high resistivity soils greater length is
active before the input impedance reaches a maximum or characteristic value.
Under such high resistivity conditions the distance between injection points should be
quite large. (eg, in soils of resistivity over 1000 m distances of 5-20 km may be
required.) Figure 11-2 illustrates the effect of insufficient current probe spacing
(point C
1
).
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 119
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 11-2: Fall-of-potential method
R
A
= Apparent resistance (V/I against x)
R = True resistance
C
1
= Current electrode too close
C
2
= Current electrode sufficiently far
away
P = Potential electrode
x(m) = Distance to potential Electrode
The striped part of zero slope in curve C
2
indicates the true resistance value, as the
soil surface in this zone is not affected by the two electrodes. Curve C illustrates the
effect of a probe spacing that is insufficient, thereby, negating the validity of the
potential measurement.
b) Potential Probe Separation
In practice measured potential increases with distance, until it appears to stabilise.
The ratio, at a given distance, of the potential over the injected current gives the
apparent impedance at such a distance. Figure 11-3 illustrates the shape of a typical
apparent impedance curve.
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 120
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Figure 11-3: Apparent impedance
Z
A
() = Apparent impedance x(m) = Distance to potential electrode
c) Angle Between Current and Potential Probe
It is preferable that the potential lead be extended at an angle of 90E with respect to
the current injection line. When the angle is not 90E the mutual coupling will induce
voltages in the potential leads that will give erroneous impedance values if not
adequately corrected. Figures 11-4a and 11-4b illustrate typical variations in
measured impedance due to A.C. mutual coupling.
Figure 11-4a: Apparent Impedance
for Z > 0.5
Figure 11-4b: Apparent impedance
for Z < 0.5
Z
A
= Apparent Impedance
x(m) = Distance to potential electrode P
= Angle between current and potential
cables
11.2.3 Difficulties in Measuring Low Impedances
For a complex electrode, such as an earthing system of an substation, the earth
resistance is very low. Many instruments cannot measure low resistances, and the
great majority of them do not account for the reactive part. In addition to the required
instrument capabilities, testing configuration and analytical calculations are required
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 121
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
to handle errors due to power frequency standing voltages and injection current
induced voltage errors.
A) Power Frequency Standing Voltages
The large dimensions of the test circuits in the current injection method make them
prone to the influence of interfering earth potential differences and magnetic fields.
There may exist currents other than that injected, which flow through the station
earthing impedance (but not necessarily through the ammeter), thereby giving rise to
a corresponding earthing voltage.
If a staged fault injection test is undertaken with currents in the order of 1000A or
more, interference seldom has any significance. However, low voltage power
frequency and off-power frequency tests are affected by such voltages. A number of
methods for eliminating such effect have been used, including: phase reversal,
interference compensation, beat frequency method, tunable voltmeter, and signal
analyser [101], [105].
B) Injection Current Induced Voltage Elimination
Interference also occurs in the measurements due to injected current flowing in the
earth and the grid conductors causing mutual resistance and A.C. coupling effects
respectively. These effects are discussed in the following sections:
i) Earth mutual resistance effect mitigation
ii) A.C. mutual coupling effect mitigation
i) Earth Mutual Resistance Effect Mitigation
Measurement errors result from the mutual resistance between Grid and Potential
Probe, the mutual resistance between Current Probe to Potential Probe, and the
mutual resistance between Current Probe to Grid. The resistive coupling is a function
of probe separation and soil resistivity [97]. Problems due to mutual effects between
probes appear when the impedance to be measured is around 0.5 , and the
measurement error increases as the impedance and separations diminish. As any
empirical equations are only valid for uniform earth grids, and at distances from
greater than the diagonal dimension, an analytical approach is required for earthing
systems that have extended conductors.
ii) A.C. Mutual Coupling Effect Mitigation
C Effect of Injection Current Circuit
A second source of measurement error is the inductive coupling between the injected
current and potential leads. This mutual coupling causes the ac test current in the
current test lead to induce a voltage into the potential test lead that adds vectorially to
the actual grid voltage.
Mutual inductive impedance errors will be the largest when test conductors are
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 122
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
parallelled, however, any angle apart from 90 will yield some error. When mutual
impedance magnitude is equal to, or greater than, the earthing impedance, error in
calculating mutual impedance components can result in large errors in earthing
impedance determination. Therefore, inductive coupling calculations are required to
determine the component of test current available for inducing an error in the remote
voltage lead.
C Effect of Extended Grid Conductors
Large earthing systems may include buried neutrals, overhead neutrals, overhead
earth wires, control and communication shields, buried bare grid tie conductors, water
pipes, gas lines and railroad tracks. The extended nature of these components may
introduce additional measurement error by induction into the voltage lead.
11.2.4 Comparison of Injection Methods
While high power 50Hz injection has been the traditional test method, low current
injection methods have been used widely over the last ten years. To avoid
background noise interference from the active power system or external sources, a
non power frequency signal is injected. At these frequencies an amplifier with an
output signal of between 1 and 10 amps will usually provide sufficient measurement
accuracy. Due to the small current magnitudes, the injection cables may be of quite
small cross-sectional area. Although still requiring careful test planning and result
interpretation, the low power method yields accurate results with significant
operational and economic benefits as outlined below.
C Tests may be undertaken with substation in service.
C No network reconfiguration required if using own injection cable (# 10
Amps).
C No protection equipment alterations required.
C No power frequency induction interference problems.
C Time and cost reductions (typically <50% of high current injection methods).
C Measures complex impedance accurately.
C Injection current frequency flexibility - can calculate impedance/frequency
characteristic.
C Uses safe low power levels, although still susceptible to induction from
external sources under fault conditions.
C Easily repeated readings provide added confidence in results.
Comparison of Test Types: Summary
The strengths and weaknesses of the various injection methods are summarised in
Table 11.1 following.
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 123
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
Table 11.1
Summary of Test Methods Strengths and Weaknesses
High Current Low Current
Comments
Staged
Fault
Low
Voltage
Signal
Generator
Portable
Generator
Portable
Meter
Network
reconfiguration
required
yes yes no
(if run own
injection
cable)
no no High current
requires large
power supply &
powerline.
Models actual
fault
configuration
yes yes possibly
(if use line)
possibly no High current
measures directly.
Low current
indirectly.
Protection
Modifications
yes yes no no no High current may
require protection
disabling and
installation of
temporary backup
protection.
Power
Frequency
Interference
yes yes
(phase
reversal)
no
(by filtering)
no no High current
eliminates
interference
indirectly.
Cost higher higher medium
(time <50%
cost < 60%)
medium lower
(limited
validity &
applicability)
Potential probe
effected by
mutual
coupling
yes yes yes
can calculate
yes
can calculate
affect
no
Measures
complex
impedance
yes yes yes yes not usually External
conductors provide
large reactive
components.
Flexibility of
injected
frequency
short reading
only
usually only
short term
injection
very
if use noise
source
fixed
frequency
range
usually well
off 50Hz
Impedance
frequency
dependence higher
on large extended
systems.
Safety levels needs many
special
precautions
safe
(except from
external
induction)
safe safe Low current tests
are easier to
undertake due to
fewer safety
hazards.
Effected by
resistance
voltage
dependence
no no yes yes yes If circuit voltage
dependent, e.g.
OHEW corrections.
11.2.5 Measurement of Touch and Step Voltages
The IEEE80 [18] based safety criteria recommended in Chapter 4 relate to the
expected prospective (or open circuit) voltages, and use calculated factors to
accommodate the effect of series impedance. It is often worth investigating the actual
Chapter 11 Testing Methods 124
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
touch and step voltages (or loaded voltages). A common test method involves a
survey made with a driven stake and high impedance voltmeter to ascertain the
prospective voltage. If this figure seems high at particular points then it is worthwhile
determining the actual expected loaded voltages. This is done by measuring the
voltage drop through a simulated body impedance (say 1000), with the
foot-to-ground contact resistance modelled using a weighted 8cm radius disc.
Wetting the surface enables a worst case condition to be tested. This voltage is then
compared with the recommended limits of touch and step voltage from Equations 4-8
and 4-9.
However, it must be understood that the safety criteria given in Chapter 4 reflect
allowable open circuit or prospective and voltages. Therefore, and loaded test
voltages are only applicable if applied to safety criteria excluding the series
impedances (ie. Touch voltages based solely upon body current and body impedance).
If this guideline is not followed it is possible to cheat by mismatching loaded test
voltages and open circuit or prospective allowable safety criteria possibly resulting in
hazardous situations being accepted.
In many instances the loaded voltage measured is much lower than the prospective
touch voltage. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as in highly conducting. In
extreme transfer potential cases the prospective and touch voltages may be equal!
The Earthing Reference Manual, Testing Methods Chapter provides detailed
information on testing planning, procedures, calculations and instrumentation.
Chapter 12 Maintenance And Refurbishment 125
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
12 Maintenance And Refurbishment
Substation earthing system maintenance and refurbishment comprises three aspects:
1) Initial commissioning testing.
2) Periodic integrity checks.
3) Major review and refurbishment
12.1 Initial Commissioning Tests
A substation earthing system should usually be checked and inspected immediately
after its construction. This is required to:
! Validate that construction is in compliance with the system design and also
statutory safety requirements.
! Set initial performance guidelines, as a basis for future comparison.
The commissioning checks involve both physical inspections and electrical tests.
12.1.1 Physical Inspection
The physical inspection involves the following steps:
! Design Layout Compliance
The installed grid conductors should be layered in compliance with the design
drawings and standard construction practices. The design layout drawings should be
changed to reflect any as-built variations.
! Earth Connections
Inspect the main and secondary earth connections and ensure that all joints and
connections are sound and secure. This check is usually undertaken during
construction, prior to grid burial.
! Bonds to Structures and Equipment.
Check that earthing and bonding connections to equipment such as, transformers,
switchgear, cable sheaths, support frameworks, pillars, cubicles, metal clad chambers,
bases of insulators and bushing and their associated metalwork are intact.
Inspect flexible bonding braids or laminations for fracture and corrosion and change
as required. A protective compound may be applied to flexible braids where corrosive
conditions exist. Verify that earth mat connections are secure and that buried
installations have not been disturbed.
On switchboards fitted with frame leakage protection, verify visually that the
Chapter 12 Maintenance And Refurbishment 126
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
insulation which segregates the switchgear frame from the main earth bar and the
cable sheath is not short-circuited by spurious paths.
Inspect connection points for portable safety earths to ensure they are accessible, in
good condition and of an approved type (ie. adequately rated).
! Substation Surface Condition
The condition of any crushed rock inside the substation and around the perimeter if
present, should be inspected for thickness and cleanliness. If the rock layer is filled
with soil and grit its insulating properties may be negligible. This is a particular
problem in substations adjacent to industrial installations or in poorly drained. In
such cases it is recommended that the grid be designed so that the safety performance
is not dependent upon the gravel layer. Care should also be taken in the selection of
the crushed rock material to ensure that it does provide sufficient insulation.
! Neutral Connections
Verify that neutral links are tight, that the neutral earth connection is intact and where
appropriate, that the value of the resistance is correct.
In substations where the neutral connection and cable sheaths are isolated from the
substation earth, check that this isolation is not short circuited.
12.1.2 Electrical Performance
During the initial commissioning tests grid impedance, step, touch and transfer
voltages, and current distributions are usually investigated, to verify the compliance
of the installation with safety criteria, and the physical design specification.
The impedance of a earthing network is a fundamental parameter which provides an
overall picture of the effectiveness of the network. The earthgrid impedance should
be measured immediately after installation of the ground earthing and later, regularly
as required to determine its rate of deterioration.
The measurement of earth network impedances is an external measurement problem
requiring the injection of current into the earthing system from a remote earth and
observation of the voltage rise of the station with respect to the remote earth.
However, this parameter, is relatively independent of the internal condition of the
network in larger installations, as the grid area and soil earth resistivity are the major
contributing factors.
! Impedance Measurements Using Portable Meters
Determining the impedance to remote earth of a localised earth electrode is, in some
cases, a straightforward measurement problem requiring nothing more sophisticated
than a portable earth tester, some earth rods, and few hundred metres of wire to reach
a remote current probe location.
Chapter 12 Maintenance And Refurbishment 127
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
The use of portable earth resistance meters is useful in providing a fairly simple check
of grid resistance, which may be used as part of the periodic grid integrity check.
Unfortunately, the portable earth tester is inadequate in a large number of cases, as
outlined in the preceding Testing Methods Chapter (Section 11.2).
Caution should be taken to ensure that conductive and inductive interference
components are taken into account when making the initial measurements. The ESAA
Earthing Reference Manual Testing Methods Chapter provides simplified methods for
overcoming or determining the interference effects, as well as safety precautions to
safeguard the operator from an EPR hazard should a fault occur during testing. It is
recommended that the initial test lead configuration and results be documented for
reference when doing future tests.
! Impedance Measurements by Full Injection Test
In many cases the measurement process is complicated by factors which may
preclude the use of portable testers and necessitate a full injection test. These factors
include high ambient electrical noise levels, large grid dimensions, interconnections
of grids with other earthing systems, buried piping, very low soil resistivity values,
and difficulty in obtaining a suitable remote current probe location. Very low soil
resistivity values coupled with an extensive grid network may lead to significant
longitudinal voltage gradients in the earth network conductors which cannot be
neglected with respect to the potential at the current injection node of the earth
network. Therefore, the earth potential rise of an earth network is no longer uniquely
defined. To remove any ambiguity, a specific reference point must be defined.
Systems with a large number of overhead earthwires may have a large reactive
component which may not be measured by a basic resistance tester.
In certain cases, if the earth resistance is beneath a set value, it may be possible to
conclude that the step, touch and transfer voltages are within safety limits. However,
if any hazard locations exist which have not been modelled, or which appear to be
close to the safety limits, an injection test with full measurements of step, touch and
transfer voltages should be undertaken, as described in the preceding chapter on
Testing Methods.
12.2 Periodic Integrity Checks
The response of an earthing system may progressively degrade, as its conductors and
connectors deteriorate because of corrosion, mechanical fatigue, vandalism or
inadvertent breakage (eg digging). It is not reasonable to assume that an earthing
system will maintain its initial performance level indefinitely. Therefore, periodic
integrity tests are required to detect and repair damaged or corroded conductors of the
earthing system.
The frequency and type of periodic checks required are determined by: statutory
requirements, earth system size and vulnerability (ie. to degradation by aggressive
soils, or vandalism). The following guidelines are provided to assist in the
determination of the frequency and type of periodic integrity checks.
Chapter 12 Maintenance And Refurbishment 128
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
12.2.1 Physical Inspection
! Above-ground Inspection
A physical inspection of all above-ground conductors and connections, as outlined in
Section 12.1.1, is recommended as the minimum maintenance requirement. It should
be undertaken at frequent intervals (eg annually).
! Below-ground Inspection
The integrity of buried conductors and connectors is difficult to determine. In small
systems a periodic resistance check will highlight any breakages. In larger systems a
D.C. continuity check is likely to be of use. It is also recommended that a physical
inspection of the condition of the buried conductors be undertaken by exposing a grid
joint at an infrequent interval (eg 5 yearly).
12.2.2 Electrical Performance
! Smaller Systems
For smaller systems (eg, distribution substations or smaller isolated zone substations
(#400m
2
say) a portable resistance meter may be used to measure grid resistance. The
values should be compared with the initial and other previous tests results to detect
any possibility of below ground conductor breakage or theft. Unfortunately this
comparison is complicated by the resistance fluctuations that occur due to seasonal
variations soil resistivity. Care should be taken when deciding upon lead lengths and
positioning if metalwork may short circuit the earth return path. Standard test lead
positions should be adopted (and documented) for each substation.
! Larger Earthing Systems
In many cases, as described in Section 12.1.2, a full injection test (ie remote current
probe distant 5-10km) is required to obtain any useful grid performance results. In
such cases grid impedance is often well below 0.5 and is not affected by individual
conductor breakages. If the initial installation had performed safely then it is
reasonable to assume continued electrical safety if no changes occur to the metalwork
configuration. Therefore, careful physical inspection is recommended, as described in
the previous section.
An additional transfer potential hazard check should be undertaken regularly, with a
grid continuity test undertaken at less frequent intervals.
C Transfer Potential Hazard Check
Although a system may be safe at the time of installation, transfer hazards may
become evident at a later date due to changes in the configuration of metalwork.
Therefore, the regular maintenance check for all substations should include a check
on the configuration of metalwork in the vicinity of the substation. This check should
identify any metalwork such as pipelines, communications lines, or fences that have
Chapter 12 Maintenance And Refurbishment 129
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
changed since commissioning. If a hazard is identified (ie fence connected to yard
perimeter fence) urgent action should be taken. If the metal work is part of a major
installation (eg industrial complex pipeline) a calculation of the hazard level is
suggested as the first step in deciding a mitigation program.
C Grid Continuity Testing
To ensure that the grid conductors and connections are still intact and offering a low
impedance it is recommended that a continuity test be undertaken at regular intervals.
This test could be scheduled to begin once a grid has reached a certain age (say 15
years). The continuity test is usually made between the main earth bus (eg. neutral
point) and each structure earthing point. This test is critical for high fault energy
dissipation points, in particular portable earth and surge diverter earthing points.
12.3 Major Review And Refurbishment
In many cases earthing systems are last seen, or have their performance tested
during the construction phase. In addition to the development of a strategy for the
ongoing maintenance of new systems, a critical review and refurbishment program is
needed for older earthing systems.
The ongoing maintenance strategies recommended for both substations and lines,
match test and inspection frequencies to the expected system deterioration whilst
providing safeguards to detect unexpected deterioration (eg, vandalism).
As earthing systems are often ignored or even actively disregard. It is considered
that such a philosophy is quite dangerous in view of maintenance and refurbishment
experience of engineers from many countries. The review of older earthing systems
has been found necessary in many cases due to failure to meet safety criteria or
inadequate equipment rating or condition. The first chapter provides greater detail of
the motivation behind developing a refurbishment policy.
Typical problems include systems where even if the original design was adequate,
hazards have been compounded by increases in fault levels coupled with equipment
deterioration. A responsible review strategy is needed to ensure correct protection
system operation, and safety criteria compliance. The review procedure
recommended is aimed at satisfying professional responsibilities related to duty of
care, whilst controlling expenditure, by targeting hazardous sites and providing
economical designs.
Figure 12-1 following provides a summary of a typical review procedure. The
various steps are briefly discussed in the following notes.
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Figure 12-1: Design Review Summary
Chapter 12 Maintenance And Refurbishment 131
Substation Earthing Guide EG-1(?)
12.3.1 Investigation and Documentation
This phase involves three parts:
! Initial data gathering
! Field check
! Documentation
! Initial Data Gathering
Details are to be found from system plans and electrical data sources for the electrical
system as well as equipment and earthing locations as outlined in Chapter 3.
! Field Check
The field check will validate the data already gathered through inspecting the
substation thoroughly to determine the condition of the existing system. This will
include checks of; ABS handle earthing, metallic structure earths, ground cover
condition, gate bonding and swing direction, concrete pole earthing, MEN earth
conductor size, pilot cable earth isolation, grading ring condition, condition and size
of bonding to fence, main grid condition, cables and potheads.
Document as far as possible grid location and connections and investigate the
existence of possible transfer potentials (eg, via fences, water or oil pipes, MEN
earths, pilot cable sheaths).
! Documentation
The field plans are to be used to update the system drawings and provide data for the
design review.
12.3.2 Initial Field Tests
Using a portable resistance measuring meter, the following tests are to be carried out
to assist in evaluating grid performance and undertaking design calculations:
! Grid Impedance
Use the fall-of-potential method to measure the grid impedance as described in the
Testing Methods Chapter (Question: Is the test valid, or test instrument adequate?).
! Earth Resistivity
It is recommended that a certain amount of background data be gathered regarding
soil conditions (see Chapter 3). The more data that can be found the better the field
test and consequent design (e.g. more economical/or safer design possible due to
better soil layer definition).
Chapter 12 Maintenance And Refurbishment 132
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12.3.3 Design Review
Evaluate the gathered system and field test data to determine if further work required.
C If equipment is satisfactory (ie bonding, size and condition) and safety
performance satisfactory, then substation requires no further work.
C If equipment is satisfactory but fault voltages appear to be close to
unsatisfactory, then undertake an initial injection test to confirm grid
performance.
C If equipment is not satisfactory and/or fault voltages appear to be hazardous
then do new design.
12.3.4 Initial Injection Test
Undertake an initial injection test if the grid condition is satisfactory and the fault
voltages are close to being unsatisfactory. If the safety levels are confirmed no
further work is required on the substation.
12.3.5 New Design Calculations
The results of the preceding investigation and tests will be used to calculate the
expected EPR, voltage gradients and touch and transfer potentials associated with the
substation. Calculations will be made to verify the validity of the test results and also
to design the required alterations to ensure system security. Chapter 2 (and Reference
[1]) provides an overview of the design process.
Special care should be taken to investigate transfer potential problems (eg fences,
pipelines, railway lines).
12.3.6 Remedial Measure Installation
Undertake any remedial measures as determined necessary by the review. Possible
requirements may be; grading ring installation or upgrading, effective equipment
bonding or isolation (including fences), grid improvement (driven stakes or cable
laid), and OHED installation.
12.3.7 Design Verification
Carry out an injection test to prove that the new installation is safe. This test is
required to provide an initial sure basis for the ongoing maintenance program, as
described in Section 12.1.
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Appendix A Case Study
This appendix provides a worked example of an earthing system design for a new
132/11kV substation. The design procedure follows the coordinated design technique
flowchart given in Section 2. The section numbers in this Appendix follow the flow
chart design step numbering.
A1 Information Gathering
A1.1 Design Problem
The task is to design an earthing system for a 132/11kV substation. The following
details are provided about the substation.
! Substation area
Length 70 metres
Width 50 metres
! Resistivity measurement details (refer Section A2).
! Earth wire:
Dual 132kV line complete with single overhead earth wire (OHEW) is to be
connected to the substation.
! Underground cables:
Five 185mm
2
XLPE 11kV underground cables with PVC oversheaths are to be
connected to the 11kV bus, with the provision for six more cables.
! Fault levels:
132kV: 10kA/1 second (phase to earth including the transient dc offset
effect).
11kV: 0.2kA/1 second phase to earth (ie. fault limited).
! Closest house is 100 metres away from the substation.
! Permissible voltage rise on the telecommunication circuit at the houses and
buried cables shall be limited to 430 volts.
! For simplicity the outcome of the 11kV fault case is only briefly considered
for purposes of comparison in Section A16.
A1.2 Issues To Be Addressed
The issues to be addressed are summarised as follows:
! Safety Criteria.
! Local step and touch voltages (on the fences and the structures).
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! Transferred voltages via the lines, cable sheaths, communication equipment
and soil to the neighbouring houses and other metallic services (ie. water,
telecommunications).
! Below ground earth grid conductor sizes, layout details and other information
required for the earthing system installation.
! Outline any special mitigation methods needed to enable the design to meet
the safety criteria.
A1.3 Methodology Used
The earthing system design flow chart described in Figure 2-1 of Chapter 2 has been
used as a format for this exercise. The comparison of a range of design options are
provided at a number of stages, particularly regarding the use and applicability of
certain simplifying assumptions (Section 7.5) and empirical equations (Section 7.6).
A2 Resistivity Analysis
Using the Wenner array method (Chapter 5) (another option would have been the
Schlumberger array), apparent resistivity values were calculated from the measured
resistance values for various electrode spacings. The equation for deriving the
apparent resistivity of the Wenner configuration measured resistance values is:

a
= 2aR (Refer to Equation 5-1)
where:

a
= Apparent soil resistivity seen by the particular electrode configuration.
a = Spacing between the electrodes.
R = Resistance value measured.
The summary of the field test results are shown in Table A1.
Table A1
Earth Resistivity Test Results
Electrode Spacing
(m)
Measured Resistance
()
Calculated Apparent
Resistivity
(.m)
1 20 125
2 10 125
4 4.5 115
8 2.5 125
16 1.75 175
32 1.3 260
64 1.15 460
100 0.9 565
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The larger values of apparent resistivity associated with larger electrode spacings (ie.
when the effects of deeper layers of soil are considered), suggest that the resistivity
increases with depth of the soil. Therefore, at lease a two (2) layer resistivity model
is expected. To obtain the required resistivities of the top layer (
1
) and the depth of
the top layer (h), the apparent resistivities need to be matched with the analytical
results for a two layer soil model to get the best fit values for the two resistivities
and depth (Section 5.2.3). Figure A1 illustrates a 2 layer apparent resistivity
characteristic that matches the test results quite closely.
Figure A1: Two layer soil resistivity model
Four alternative interpretations of the soil resistivity layer model are considered:
! The two layer soil resistivity model resulting from test electrode spacings up
to 32m, 64m, and 100m.
! The result achieved by taking a simple average of the soil resistivity values
(ie. assuming homogenous soil) for the same range of electrode spacings was
also studied. The results are tabulated in Table A2.
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Table A2
Resistivity Models For Different Layer Types And Electrode Spacing
Electrode
Spacing Range
Homogeneous
Soil Resistivity
Model
Two Layer Soil Resistivity Model
(m)
av
Surface layer
resistivity

1
(.m)
Lower layer
resistivity

2
(.m)
Surface layer
depth
h (m)
1 to 32m 165 115 450 10
1 to 64m 199 120 700 13
1 to 100m 244 120 1550 17
It is suggested that the values based upon probe spacings of up to 100m most
accurately represent the real soil resistivity values. In this case the maximum spacing
of 100m is large enough to see the changes in apparent resistivity at greater depths.
Values using smaller maximum spacing give over optimistic (ie. smaller) lower layer
resistivity (
2
) values, which in turn give better (ie. lower) than achievable grid
resistances. The error increases as the maximum spacing becomes smaller (ie. 32m as
opposed to 100m). This is of significant concern in creating a false sense of security
(refer to Section A16, Tables A11 and A12 which highlight the significant variation
in grid resistance with the different resistivity models).
Assuming a homogenous soil model (ie. taking the average of the apparent
resistivities), gives even more optimistic resistance values when grids of certain
configurations are considered. This is due to assuming a lower resistivity value than
the correct one at greater depths. The effect of these various resistivity models upon
the design is considered through the design example.
A3 Initial Grid Resistance Calculation
The calculation of the estimated minimum value of grid resistance is based upon the
simple plate electrode calculation, which requires a single value of resistivity (ie.
homogenous soil). The maximum resistance calculation provides an approximation
using the total conductor length. In this case of conductor length of 1500m and a grid
area of 72m by 50m is used (see Section A6 for initial design).
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Table A3
Initial Grid Resistance Calculation
Grid
Resistance
Value
Soil Resistivity Value (.m)
165
(1)
244
(2)
450
(3)
1550
(4)
R
g
min 1.195 1.767 3.259 11.225
R
g
max 1.305 1.93 3.559 12.258
Note:
! Minimum grid resistance was calculated using Equation 7-8
! Maximum grid resistance was calculated using Equation 7-10
(1) Average value of results up to 32m probe spacing
(2) Average value of results up to 100m probe spacing
(3) Lower layer resistivity result for 2-layer model using up to 32m probe spacing
(4) Lower layer resistivity result for 2-layer model, using up to 100m probe spacing
Table A3 illustrates the extremely large range of resistance values that are achievable.
A4 Maximum Grid Current
The maximum grid current is usually used based upon the worst case earth fault level,
to give rise to an EPR, for each of the system voltages at the substation (ie. 132kV
and 11kV). The value used at this step usually ignores any current flow in auxiliary
earthing systems, but does allow for some fault impedance based upon the estimate of
minimum grid resistance (ie. that found in the preceding Section A3).
For the purposes of this case study the future maximum values provided will be used.
Note that for the 132kV case, the effect of the d.c. offset is included.
I
l-g
(132kV) = 10000A
I
l-g
(11kV) = 200A
A5 Allowable Safety Criteria
Flow of fault current into the ground causes the build-up of power frequency voltage
in the ground surrounding the electrode. The magnitude and the profile of this voltage
is dependant on the earth grid layout, soil resistivity and any conductive objects (eg.
metal pipes) in the ground. This voltage rise may be hazardous and must be
maintained within safe limits. The touch and step voltages occurring during an earth
fault are to be limited to the recommended values determined using the Equations
shown in Section 4.4.2 b) Table 4.1.
A5.1 Assumptions
! A layer of crushed rock covers the substation site, including up to 2m outside
the substation fence.
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ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
! Surface layer resistivity (
a
) for crushed rock is assumed to be 2500 m.
! Resistivity () for the first soil layer is assumed to be 120m (see Section
A2).
! The crushed rock layer thickness h
s
is to be between 10cm and 15cm (refer to
Section 4.4.3).
! The fault clearance time (t
c
) according to design data is 1.0 second.
Table A4
Soil Resistivity Parameters
Crushed Rock Layer
Thickness
Resistivity Derating
Factor
Surface Layer Resistivity
h
s
(m) C
s

s
(.m)
No crushed rock 1.0 120
0.10 0.67 2500
0.15 0.751 2500
A5.2 Allowable Voltages Required
The types of voltages generated under earth fault conditions are briefly reviewed as
follows:
! Earth Potential Rise
The Earth Potential Rise (EPR) is the maximum potential rise of the installation with
respect to the remote earth. It is not necessary to limit the EPR to a particular value
unless a specific isolation system is required to be used (eg. protection pilots) (refer to
Section 6.1.4)
! Prospective Touch Voltage
The touch voltage is the voltage drop between an earthed metallic structure within
2.4m of the ground and a point on the earth surface at a distance equal to a persons
normal horizontal reach (approximately 1.0m) (refer to Section 4.4).
! Prospective Step Voltage
The step voltage is the voltage drop between two points on the earths surface
separated by a distance of one pace (assumed to be 1.0m) (refer to Section 4.4).
! Prospective Transfer Voltage
Transfer voltage is the voltage difference between an earth metallic surface and either
soil at a remote point or another metallic surface separately earthed (refer to Section
7.4).
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! Telstra Touch Potential Requirement
The allowable touch voltage for telecommunications plant is 430 V for protection
clearing times greater than 0.5 seconds (refer to Section 6).
A5.3 Summary Of Allowable Touch And Step Voltages
For a 132kV or 11kV earth fault occurrence, with fault clearing time of 1 second, the
allowable touch and step voltages are shown in Table A5 following.
Table A5
Summary of Allowable Touch and Step Voltages
Location
Crushed Rock
Layer Thickness
(cm)
Prospective Touch
Voltage
V
pt
(V)
Prospective Step
Voltage
V
ps
(V)
Outside Substation
(50kg)
(No crushed rock) 137 200
10 407 1282
15 443 1423
Inside Substation
(70kg)
10 552 1735
15 600 1926
By having a crushed rock layer extend to just outside the substation the allowable
prospective voltages can be increased significantly. Increasing thickness from 10cm
to 15cm does not significantly increase these allowable voltage levels. However, the
use of a thicker layer of crushed rock, or a layer of asphalt, may be judicious in
environments where contamination or transportation may occur.
A6 Initial Design
The initial design is based upon the minimum amount of conductor that can provide
adequate interconnection of all plant to be earthed.
Four earthgrid configurations are considered (A, B, C, and D) as shown in Figure A2
(note that vertical electrodes are shown using isometric projection and appear at an
angle). The horizontal mesh is buried 0.5m below the ground. The grid is made up of
70mm
2
diameter stranded copper conductor. It is 72m x 50m in area, which includes
a grading wire one metre outside the fence.
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ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
Figure A2 : Earth grid configurations
! Horizontal Mesh Layout
In configurations A, B and C, the grid mesh spacing is approximately 5m x
24m. In configuration D, the grid spacing is 10m x 24m.
! Vertical Electrode Configuration
In configuration B, C and D, the basic grid was augmented by adding 19mm
diameter, 12m long, earthing stakes to the periphery. Adding the earth stakes
to the grid will illustrate the influence of increasing the length of conductor
(ie. amount of copper in the ground) on grid impedance.
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Table A6
Configuration options
Option Case
Horizontal Mesh
Conductor spacing
(m)
Vertical Electrode
Configuration
A 5 x 24 0
B 5 x 24 4 (1 per corner)
C 5 x 24 8 (4 per side)
D 10 x 24 8 (4 per side)
A7 Conductor Sizing
The fault current of 10kA and fault clearing time of 1 second is used to calculate the
minimum conductor size required. Using Equation (10-1), the minimum COPPER
cross section is tabulated in Table A7 for three values of maximum allowable
conductor temperature. The maximum allowable temperature is a function of the type
of connectors used in the earth grid. Bolted connections are rated at 250
o
C, brazed
joints are rated at 450
o
C, and fully rated joints are rated at 1050
o
C. The ambient
temperature was taken to be 40
o
C. A lower ambient temperature would reduce the
minimum conductor size although not greatly.
Table A7
Minimum Copper Cross Section
Maximum Allowable
Temperature
(
o
C)
Copper Cross Section
(mm
2
)
250 58.6
450 46.2
1050 35.6
Minimum conductor size is also determined in part by mechanical considerations, and
it is this factor which would dominate in this case. A 70mm
2
conductor is chosen
based upon the use of 450
o
C maximum temperature, and minimum mechanical
requirement.
A8 Initial Safety Check
The initial safety check simply ascertains if the earth potential rise (EPR) is less than
the allowable touch voltage, based upon the maximum possible fault current (10kA)
(Section A4) and maximum grid resistance (12.258 ohm) (Section A3, Table A3):
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EPR (132kV) = 10000 x 12.258 (refer to Equation 11-1)
= 122580 Volts
$ V
t(allowable)
(600Volts)
This calculation is obviously giving too high an EPR on account of the use of 10kA
fault level in conjunction with the high resistance. As an illustration of the first
(conservative) approximation, however, it will suffice. Therefore, further design
work is required.
A9 Induced Current Flows
The fault current entering a substation will return to the source by several paths, of
which some will be through induction to a metallic return conductors and some will
be via conductive distribution through resistances to ground (See Chapter 6). This
step determines the effect of using an overhead earthwire (OHEW) to allow induced
currents to return directly to the source. The use of say ten (10) spans of OHEW on
lines adjacent to the substation will provide lightning shielding and mainly conductive
coupling for earth fault energy. To gain maximum benefit of the inductive return
mechanism the OHEW needs to connect directly from the point of fault to the source
transformer(s).
A9.1 Assumptions
The following assumptions are made in calculating the induced current flow:
! Only one earth wire per line is used (ie. N=1).
! Tower footing resistance of 10 and 30 (range of resistance values usually
required for adequate insulation coordination performance).
! Deep earth soil resistivity = 1550.m.
! Span length = 100 m.
! Line configuration constant over full length to the source substation (2m
separation between phase and OHEW conductors).
A9.2 Overhead Earth Wire Parameters
Three options of overhead earthwire (OHEW) were considered, parameters of which
are given in Table A8.
Table A8
OHEW Conductor Parameters
Conductor
AC resistance
r
ac
( /km)
GMR
(m)
7/2.75 GZ (Steel) 5.4 2.6x10
-4
6/1/3.00 (ACSR) Apple 0.85 9.5x10
-4
6/4.75+7/1.63 (ACSR) Cherry 0.37 2.0x10
-3
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A9.3 Induced Current Distribution
The analysis of fault currents in cable sheath and OHEW is essential in determining
the potential rises near faulted lines and to enable the induced voltages in other
circuits (ie. telecommunications lines and pipelines) to be calculated. In this case the
132kV line would normally be specified with an overhead earthwire for the purposes
of insulation coordination (ie. system security). This section addresses the calculation
of the benefit gained due to inductive return of fault current via the overhead
earthwire direct to the source.
The equivalent depth of earth return (D
e
) can be calculated using Carsons Equation
(Equation 7-19. Section 7.1.3). An example of 1550m resistivity is given below:
(Equation (7-19)) D
f
e
= 658

= 658 (1550/50)
1/2
= 3664m
Where,
D
e
= Equivalent depth of earth return in m
= Resistivity in .m
f = System frequency in Hz
Table A9 uses a range of soil resistivity values to illustrate the sensitivity of coupling
factor to soil resistivity. Carson [46] also developed simplified equations for
calculating the zero sequence impedance (Zo(N)) of an overhead earth wire, and the
zero sequence impedance (Z
LN
) between the overhead earth wire and the phase
conductors as follows:
( )
Z N R f j fLog
D
GMR
km
O ac
e
= + +
|
\

|
.
| 0000988 0 0029
10
. . / O
Z f j fLog
D
d
km
LN
e
= +
|
\

|
.
| 0000988 00029
10
. . / O
where,
R
ac
= Conductor ac resistance (/km)
GMR = Geometric mean radius of a single conductor (m)
d = Spacing between parallel conductors (m); assumed 2 m
f = System frequency (Hz)
The induced current I
induced
in an overhead earth wire is a function of the mutual
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coupling impedance between the conductors, zero sequence self impedance (with
earth return) and the fault current I
fault
.
(Refer to Equation (6-2))
I
Z
Z
I
I
induced
LN
N
fault
fault
=
=
0( )
.
The coupling factor () is the induced proportion of the fault current flowing in the
OHEW. This term is constant for each uniform line configuration. Table A9
provides calculation results for a range of soil resistivities and conductor sizes.
Table A9
Coupling Factor Values for Different Soil Resistivities
Conductor Type
Coupling Factor (%)
= 10 m = 100m = 120 m = 1550 m
Steel (GZ) 5.8 7.05 7.15 8.56
Apple (ACSR) 26.5 31.2 31.9 36.2
Cherry (ACSR) 37.0 42.3 43.0 47.5
The ACSR conductors are far more effective than the steel (GZ) OHEW, and less
prone to burn down under fault conditions. The deep layer soil resistivity is that
which is most active over the area of current return. In this case with a high value
of deep layer resistivity the OHEW is more attractive than if the soil were of lower
resistivity.
A9.4 Choice Of OHEW
Best performance of the OHEW is achieved when a large portion of the fault current
is carried back to the source of fault. The higher coupling factor for increased
inductive coupling and a low input impedance for conductive distribution of fault
current is desirable. In this case Cherry conductors perform the best (see Table A9).
However, cost evaluation would initially indicate the use of Apple conductors. When
considering the auxiliary earthing effect (see Section A11), a lower resistance OHEW
is sometimes used for the first say ten (10) spans of a line.
A10 Induced Current Flow Safety Check
The effect of the induced current flows calculated in the preceding section is to reduce
the current available to create an EPR. Therefore, assuming that apple conductors are
used, and a conservative value of 100.m resistivity used (from Section A2, Tables
A1 or A2), then using:
EPR = I
gmax
(1-) x R
gmax
Appendix A Case Study 145
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
= 10000 (1-0.31) x 12.258
= 84580 V
$ V
t(allowable)
(600V)
Although the inductive return reduces the EPR by 31%, it is still far above the
allowable touch voltages. Therefore, additional analysis is required.
A11 Auxiliary Earthing
Both the overhead earthing wires and underground cable sheaths provide additional
resistive (ie. conductive) paths for the dissipation of fault energy.
A11.1 OHEW Conductive Current Distribution
For the OHEW options of Apple, Cherry and GZ wires the input impedance (Z
in
)
seen by the substation have been calculated using simplified equations assuming long
lines and uniform line configuration.
(Refer to Equation (7-18)) Z
Z Z
Z R
in OHEW
s s
s t ( )
= + +
|
\

|
.
|
|
2 4
2
where
Z
s
= Self impedance of 1 span of OHEW ()
R
t
= Tower footing resistance ()
(Refer to Equation (7-19)) ( ) Z r j
D
GMR
s e
e
= + +
|
\

|
.
|
|
\

|
.
| 3 01482 01885 . . ln
where,
r
e
= Resistance of one ground wire (/km)
D
e
= Equivalent depth of return (m) (see Section A9.3)
The calculated input impedance for the different OHEW conductors are given in
Table A10.
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Table A10
Input Impedance OHEW Performance Data
OHEW Conductor
Input Impedance
Z
in (OHEW)
( )
R
t
= 10 R
t
= 30
Steel (GZ) 5.0 7.95
Apple (ACSR) 2.19 3.64
Cherry (ACSR) 1.89 3.15
The use of apple conductor in conjunction with 30ohm pole impedance is quite a
normal specification. Only if the safety criteria are not met will the specification
require additional work, such as 10 ohm resistances and/or cherry OHEW.
A11.2 Cable Sheath Earthing
There are five underground cables each terminating with a minimum of 10 and a
maximum of 30 HV earth impedance. For 11kV underground cables the sheath
impedances are assumed negligible (0.4). Also as the cables are PVC
oversheathed (ie. there can be no current leakage due to direct sheath contact with the
soil) and terminated at remote locations (ie. not near the substation or other cable
terminations) the proximity effect is ignored (see Section 7.1.4).
The input impedances of the parallel cables are as follows:
5 parallel cables with 10 termination Y Z
in(cable)
= 2
5 parallel cables with 30 termination Y Z
in(cable)
= 6
It was decided that a 10 terminating impedance be specified, as this value
(particularly if located at a padmount transformer is a usual value for distribution
system earthing.
A11.3 Auxiliary Earthing
The combined conductive effect of the overhead earthwire and cable sheath input
impedances results in a reduced earthing system impedance. The resistance is
calculated using a simple parallel combination as the proximity effect is not
significant (see Section A11.2).
R
g
= R
gmax
// Z
in(OHEW)
// Z
in(cable)
= 12.258 // 3.64 // 2
= 1.17
Appendix A Case Study 147
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
A12 Auxiliary Earthing Safety Check
Combining the net current fault flow remaining after the induced portion is removed
with the net system impedance once the auxiliary earthing is included yields an EPR
value of:
EPR (132kV) = I
grid
x R
g
= 10000 (1-0.31)x1.17
= 8073 V
$ V
t(allowable)
(600 volts)
As the EPR is still greater than the allowable touch voltage it is necessary to consider
the actual touch voltages created rather than simply using the EPR value.
A13 Empirical Equations
It must be ascertained whether the empirical equations for calculating touch and step
voltage may be used in this case. Section 7.3 provides the acceptable parameter
bounds for these calculations.
As the soil resistivity is not homogenous it is not possible to use these equations. It
is not easy to determine a safe (ie. conservative) value of resistivity to use, as
different soil layering configurations yield different results (refer to Section A2).
Therefore, it is necessary to use computer modelling to ascertain the actual values of
touch and step voltage, unless an extremely conservative mesh spacing is used (with a
considerable cost and inconvenience penalty).
A16 Analytical Computer Modelling
A number of software packages are available for undertaking such an analysis (see
Section 7.6). Care should be taken when using such software to ensure that an overall
perspective of the problem is maintained. In this section the empirical equations and
analytical calculation methods are compared.
Tables A11 and A12 detail the EPR and grid resistances for different soil models
using results from the following sections:
! Soil Resistivities: Table A2 (Section A2) for simplified homogeneous soil
calculation and also calculated two layer characteristic.
! Induced Current: Value for an OHEW of Cherry conductor from Section A9.4
and Table A10.
! Auxiliary impedances: For OHEW from Section A11.1, Table A10 and for 5
underground cables - from Section A11.2.
Therefore, as an example, for grid configuration A (See Table A6) and 32m spacing
resistivity, the results are given by:
Appendix A Case Study 148
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
EPR = Fault current (less induced %) x total impedance (including OHEW
and cable sheaths conductive contribution)
= 10000 (1-0.31) x (1.17 //3.64 //2)
= 4235 Volts
Table A11
EPR and Grid Resistances - Homogeneous Soil Model
Maximum
Test
Electrodes
Spacing
Configuration
Average Soil
Resistivity
(.m)
R
g
()
EPR
(V)
32m A 165 1.2 11570
64m A 199 1.4 13880
100m A 244 1.7 17090
Table A12
EPR and Grid Resistances - Two Layer Soil Model
Maximum
Test
Electrodes
Spacing
Configuratio
n
Soil Resistivity
Top layer resistivity (top
layer depth)/lower layer
resistivity
.m (m)/.m
R
g
()
EPR
(V)
32m A 115 (10)/450 1.8 17940
64m A 120 (13)/700 2.1 20960
100m A 120 (17)/1550 3.1 31060
100m B 120 (17)/1550 2.6 26410
100m C 120 (17)/1550 2.6 25990
100m D 120 (17)/1550 2.665 26650
The grid configurations correspond to those described in Table A6 in Section A6.
The following conclusions may be drawn from the Tables A11 and A12:
! Using the average resistivities, or a smaller range of resistivity test electrode
spacings (32m or 64m), gives a low value of R
grid
. This would lead to lower
values for the calculated safety criteria such as V
touch
and hence a false sense
of security when the designed values meet the voltage requirements for touch
and transfer potentials.
Appendix A Case Study 149
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
! The addition of extra copper will not greatly improve the grid resistance.
Taking the basic grid (case A) to which we add 4x12 stakes (case B), will
reduce the resistance by 16%. Doubling the number of stakes (case C) reduce
the grid resistance by only a further 2% (i.e. negligible). The first addition of
stakes on the periphery of the grid effectively increases the area (A) and hence
reduces R
grid
. As the resistivity of the top layer of soil is less than the deep
layer the fault current tends to travel in this top layer. There is an optimum
point where the current density is such that any additional copper in the
ground will not reduce grid resistance significantly.
Table A13 compares resistance values calculated from various empirical equations
(using average resistivity value) and a computer program based on Maxwells
Equation (using a 2 layer resistivity model).
Table A13
Empirical vs Analytical Calculations
Calculation Method Resistivity
(.m)
Earthgrid
Resistance
R
g
()
% error
(Eqn.7-8) R
A
g
=
t
4
244 1.77 -43%
(Eqn. 7-10) R
A L
g
= +
t
4
244 1.96 -37%
R
L
A
h
A
g
= + +
+
|
\

|
.
|
|
|
|

(
(
(
(

1 1
20
1
1
1
20
(Eqn.7-10)
244 1.94 -37%
Analytical - Maxwells Equations

1
=120(17m)

2
=1550
3.10 Reference
From Table A13, we find that the empirical calculations give a much lower value of
grid resistance (R
g
) when compared with the analytical equations. This would lead to
an incorrect assessment of the EPR by between 37% and 43%.
Table A14 summarises the results of analytical calculations for a range of grid
configurations (See Table A6 and Figure A2). Note that the same external
configuration (i.e. OHEW and cable sheaths) is assumed as for Table A11 and A12 in
calculating EPR and the inductive effect included.
Appendix A Case Study 150
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
Table A14
Analytical Calculation Results
Design Configuration
Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
A C D
Mesh 5m x 24m 5m x 24m 10m x 24m
(.m) 244
(1)
120(17m)/1550
(2)
120(17m)/1550
(2)
Vertical Electrodes None 8 x 12m 8 x 12m
Total length of conductor
(m)
1000 1100 730
Earthgrid Resistance
R
g
() 1.7 2.6 2.665
Earthing system
impedance ()
0.751 0.869 0.872
EPR (V) 5182 5996 6017
V
touch
outside (404V)
7.8%EPR
(276V)
4.6%EPR
(319V)
5.3%EPR
V
mesh
touch inside (674V)
13%EPR
(336V)
5.6%EPR
(499V)
8.3%EPR
V
transfer
100m
(3)
(897V)
17.3%EPR
(2758V)
46%EPR
(2762V)
45.9%EPR
Note:
(1) Based upon average (homogeneous equivalent) soil resistivity for electrode spacings
up to 100m (see Table A2).
(2) Based upon two layer soil model using electrode spacings up to 100m (see Table A2).
(3) V
transfer
100m refers to the soil voltage at a point 100m from the substation perimeter
relating to the voltage transferred to houses (refer to Section A19 for further
discussion).
The empirical equations for voltage are often solved for the length of grid conductor
(L) to give the required mesh voltage (V
mesh
). This leads to the assumption that more
copper will reduce grid resistance (R
g
) and hence EPR (refer to Section 7.1).
Note that increasing the mesh width from 5m (Case 2) to 10m in Case 3 gives only a
slight increase in EPR.
Figure A3 provides a 3-dimensional view of the surface voltage gradient for Case 1.
(See Table A14).
Appendix A Case Study 151
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
-20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Distance (m)
3000
3500
4000
4500
5000
5500
6000
V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
Case 1 (A) EPR = 5182V
Case 2 (C) EPR = 5993V
Case 3 (D) EPR = 6017V
Figure A3 : Surface Voltage Gradient
Figure A4 compares the surface gradients for a traverse along the centre of the edge
mesh for the three cases given in Table A14.
Figure A4: Voltage profiles
Appendix A Case Study 152
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
! 11kV Earthfault Case
For the purposes of brief comparison the 11kV EPR is calculated using the following
parameters:
Fault current: The bus fault will not yield any EPR due to the source
transformer star points being located within the same grid area.
Therefore, the usual approach is to add a one (1) ohm fault resistance
to take into consideration any impedances in lines or at the fault point.
In this case a 200 amp earth fault level is used, as there is no inductive
return current.
Earthing System Impedance: The conductive impedance seen by the
earth fault will be essentially the same as for the 66kV case. For Case
3 (i.e. configuration D, Figure A2) the resultant EPR, for an 11kV
earth fault is:
EPR (11kV earth fault) = 200 * 3.64 // 2 // 2.665
= 174 volts
This voltage is below the allowable touch voltage of 600 volts, therefore, no
additional consideration is necessary for the 11kV earth fault case.
A17 Touch And Step Voltage Safety Check
As outlined in Section A16, the touch and step voltages may be maintained beneath
the safety criteria provided a layer of crushed rock is installed both inside and outside
the (2m wide) perimeter fence.
A18 Primary And Secondary Mitigation Measures
As the touch and step hazards are maintained within safe levels using a relatively
simple grid, crushed rock and coupling to the OHEW and underground cable sheaths
with low terminating impedances no further mitigation measures are required at this
stage (see Section 7.7).
A19 Transfer Voltage Problems
Possible transfer voltage problems are mainly associated with the telecommunications
cabling to the substation and adjacent houses. Therefore, calculation of the 430V
voltage contour is required to ascertain the point(s) at which the cables may be
accessed by staff (refer to Section 7.4).
Possible transfer hazards due to conductive paths terminating at the substation
include:
Appendix A Case Study 153
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
8000
9000
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
Distance from the edge of the earthgrid (m)
S
u
r
f
a
c
e

v
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
rho = 165 Ohm.m
rho = 244 Ohm.m
rho = 450 Ohm.m
rho = 1550 Ohm.m
Analytical (Case 2)
! Water supply - use PVC pipe
! Protection pilots - use isolation transformers and 430 volt exclusion zone
! Phone cabling - use isolation transformers in conjunction with the 430 volt
exclusion zone.
A20 Transfer Voltage Calculations
Use of the analytical and empirical equations (see Section 7.5.2) for voltage yield the
following results:
Table A15
Voltage Contour Distances
Empirical
Analytical
Case 2
= 165.m = 244.m = 450.m
=
1550.m
430V 384m 576m 1077m 3750m 1200m
1000V 144m 221m 422m 1494m 500m
It can be seen that the underlying high resistivity soil layer causes the voltage gradient
to spread out considerably. Use of the average resistivity simplification is not
conservative, yielding unsafe distances in this instance.
Figure A5 : Voltage as a function of distance away from the edge of the grid
Appendix A Case Study 154
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
A21 Transfer Hazard Mitigation Methods
If the transfer voltages cannot be limited to within permissible limits then additional
mitigation methods have to be adopted too make the system safe for plant and people.
The touch and step voltages both inside and just outside the substation are found to be
within the permissible limits. However, the transferred voltage at 100m (ie. where
houses are located) is above the permissible limit of 430V. This high transferred
voltage profile is attributable to the high resistivity of the lower layer (compared to
that of the upper layer) which causes the voltage profile to spread widely in the radial
direction from the source of fault. The following are a number of possible means to
mitigate the transfer voltage hazards.
! Reduction of fault clearing time: The design is based on a fault clearing time
of one second. Reduction of the fault clearing time, including that for the
backup protection can be achieved by reinforcing the primary protection
arrangement. For protection clearing time less than one second, a 1000V
contour distance of 500m would be applicable. For telecommunication cabling
however, the 430V contour is still applicable for households [77].
! Reduction of the fault current through the earth grid: This is achieved by
creating a lower resistivity path for the fault current through the OHEW and
the underground cable sheaths. Use of large sized OHEW together with
reduced earth resistance of the towers, OHEW and cable terminations enable
the reduction of the fault current through the earth grid.
! Bonding the earth grid to the low voltage distributors MEN: A bond to
an impedance of less than 0.2 will achieve the required voltage reduction.
However, this is only possible if the distributors policy allows for such
connection. This bond could be subject to analysis at the time of the
commissioning injection tests.
! Insulating the Communication Network: To meet the permissible transfer
voltage criteria, cables and equipment may be insulated and isolated,
however, the cost of this option is often prohibitive if many consumers are
involved and difficult to supervise.
! Reduction of Grid impedance: Analysis indicates that putting more
earthing material within the specified area will not always reduce the earth
grid resistance significantly. This is due to having a high resistivity lower
layer which forces the voltage profile to spread over a wider area. To reduce
the grid resistance through the use of a larger earth grid, an area of 26208
square metres is required, which is seven times larger than the available space.
This option is not practicable. Alternatively an area of lower resistivity could
be sought and an auxiliary grid installed (ie. interconnected by OHEW), or the
substation moved.
Appendix A Case Study 155
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
A22 Transient Voltage Design
In this case the use of shielded overhead lines and appropriate lightning shielding of
the substation should provide adequate protection for staff and secondary equipment
(eg protection wiring) in the event of a lightning strike. Secondary system cabling
and terminations do require careful specification and installation to provide an
adequately robust system.
A23 Final Installation And Commissioning Tests
It is vital that a commissioning programme be undertaken as discussed in Chapters
11 and 12. The commissioning programme plays a critical role in ensuring that hazard
levels are within allowable risk levels and for setting the benchmarks for ongoing
supervision and maintenance of the earthing system.
The as-built drawings, design and injection test date should be carefully filed for
reference and inclusion in the ongoing maintenance programme. When coordination
issues regarding telecommunications circuits or special installation requirements such
as external crushed rock are specified, it is even more vital that the system be
commissioned, documented and supervised on an ongoing basis.
Bibliography 156
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
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77. ESAA CJC Earth Potential Rise - Code of Practise. Draft 1995.
78. Dawalibi, F., Mukhedkar, D., Transferred Earth Potential in Power Systems,
IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus Systems, Vol.PAS-97, No.1. Jan
1978, pp90.
79. Buccheri, P., Mangione, S., Parise, G., Influence Between Earthing Systems
Without Metallic Connection, Cigre Symposium (Brussells) S06-85. pp
410-09, Item 4.1.
80. Caroli, C., Santos, N., Kovarsky, D., Pinto, L., Mitigation of Touch Voltages
in Fences and Water Pipes, Caused by ITAIPU HVDC Ground Return
Current, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol PWRD-2, No.1, January
1987, pp 281-288.
81. Rudenberg, R., Fundamental Considerations of Ground Currents, Electrical
Engineering, January 1945.
82. Bodle, D.W., Earth Potential Distributions Associated with Power Grounding
Structures, AIEE Paper No. CP 62-205, Winter General Meeting, January
1962.
83. Shier, R.M., Position Paper on Power System Fault Parameters which Impact
on Telecommunication Plant, Bell practices, section 876-3100-100, Issue 1,
April 1973.
84. Kovarsky, D., Pinto, L.J., Caroli, C.E., Santos, N., Soil Surface Potentials
Induced by Itaipu HVDC Ground Return Current - Part I - Theoretical
Evaluation, Part II - Measurements, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery,
Vol.3, No.3, July 1988, pg1204-1216.
85. Strnad, A., Reynaud, C., Design Aims in HV Substations to Reduce
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) in Secondary Systems. Electra No. 100,
May 1985 pg 87-107.
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86. Uman, MA., The Lightning Discharge, Academic Press (1987).
87. Strnad, A., Rohsler, H., Noise Sources and Interference Values in High
Voltage Substations. Conf on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Zurich March
1985.
88. Mitani, H., Magnitude and Frequency of Transient Induced Voltages in
Low-Voltage Control Circuits of Power Stations and Substations. IEEE Trans
Vol PAS-99, No. 5 Sept/Oct (1990), pg 1871-1878.
89. Aanestad, H., et al. Substation Earthing with Special Regard to Transient
Ground Potential Rise - Design Aims to Reduce Associated Effects. CIGRE
WG 23 paper. (1988).
90. Dick, E.P., et al. Transient Ground Potential Rise in Gas-Insulated
Substations: Problem Identification and Mitigation, IEEE Transactions on
Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol. PAS-101, No. 10, pg 3610-3619, October
1982.
91. Materials and Minimum Dimensions for Corrosion in Earthing. DIN VDE
0151 (German).
92. Sverak, J.G., Sizing of Ground Conductors Against Fusing. IEEE Trans.
Vol. PAS-100, No. 1, Jan 1981, pg 51-59.
93. Morgan, V.T., Rating of Conductors for Short-Design Currents. Proc. of
IEEE, Vol.118, No.3-4, Mar/Apr 1971, pg555-.
94. IEEE Standard for Qualifying Permanent Connections Used in Substation
Grounding. IEEE Std 837-1984.
95. Laying of Earth Conductors, Inserting of Earth Electrodes, Earthing of
Outdoor Switchgear. Switching Stations: E MAIMS 227-220, 05/1982.
Siemens Installation Instructions.
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Grids. IEEE Trans PAS Vol. PAS-100, No. 3 March 1981. Pg 1341-1350.
97. IEEE Grounding System Measurement Guide 81 Part I. (1983).
98. Valjus, J., Sarmanto, R., Practical Earthing Measurements of Large Rural and
Urban Substations. CIGRE August 29 - September 6, 1984, International
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99. Zupa, F.P., Laidig, J.F., A Practical Ground Potential Rise Prediction
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207-216.
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100. Sarmiento HG, Fortin J, Mukhedkar D, Substation Ground Impedance:
Comparative Field Measurements with High and Low Current Injection
Methods. IEEE PAS 103 No. 7 July, 1984, pp 1677-1683.
101. Fortin J, Guide for Measuring Hydro-Quebecs Grounding System
Installations. Master of Applied Science Thesis, Electrical Engineering
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Montreal, Canada H3C 3A7. December 1985. Report No. 85102.
102. IEEE: Guide for Inductive Co-ordination of Electric Supply and
Communications Lines, IEEE Std. 776-1987.
103. IEEE: Guide for Determining the Electric Power Station Ground Potential
Rise and Induced Voltage from a Power Fault, IEEE Std. 367-1987.
104. IEEE: Guide for the Protection of Wire Line Communications Facilities
Serving Electric Power Stations, IEEE Std. 487 -1980.
105. IEEE Guide 81, Part II Measurement of Impedance and Safety Characteristics
of Large, Extended or Interconnected Ground Systems - Draft 17, 30-10-87.
106. Energy Authority of NSW, Earthing Handbook, EANSW EDP-10, June
1983.
Index 164
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
Index
A
Above-ground conductors . 1, 2, 13, 15,
17, 22, 27, 125
Above-ground inspection . . . . . . . . . 125
ABS handle earthing . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
AC harmonic filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
AC mutual coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
AC/DC converter stations . . . . . . . . . 93
Aerial conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Aggressive soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Air service lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65, 88
Allowable prospective touch voltages 22
Aluminium conductors . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Analytical procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Anti-climbing devices . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Apparent grid resistance . . . . . . . . . . 86
Apparent resistivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Apparent soil resistivity . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Arc gap operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Asphyxia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Asymmetrical
Current waveshape . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Grids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Atmospheric events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Auxiliary
Earth electrode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Earthing system . . . . . . . . 48, 56, 60
Test electrodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
B
Background noise interference . . . . 119
Beat frequency method . . . . . . . . . . 118
Below-ground inspection . . . . . . . . . 125
Biological shock factors . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Bitumen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 88
Bodle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Body impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Bonding connections . . . . . . . . . 88, 122
Boundary conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Brick external walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Building construction details . . . . . . . 11
Building foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Buried
Conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57, 59
Metalwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Piping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
C
Cable box earthing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Cable sheath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 58, 90
Capacitive coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Cast iron plates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Cathodic protection system . . . . . . . 101
Chemical
Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Circuit breakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Civil earthworks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Clearing time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Close fault effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Combined mesh and rod earthing system
resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Commissioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 122
Common mode voltages . . . . . . . . . . 89
Communications lines . . . . . 11, 62, 125
Complex grid configurations . . . . . . . 81
Concrete encased electrodes . . . . . . . 57
Conductive current . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 39
Conductive interference . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Conductor
Breakage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Conductivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Cross section selection . . . . . . . . 103
Deterioration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Galloping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Sizing . . . . . . . . . . . 35, 36, 38, 102
Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Contact resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . 28, 29
Continuity testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Converter station earthing . . . . . . . . . 93
Conveyors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41, 72
Corrosion properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Counterpoise electrodes . . . . . 58, 59, 79
Crushed rock . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 65, 88
Index 165
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
Current
Density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33, 114
Duration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Injection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Injection point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Probe separation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Splitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Curve matching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
D
Data gathering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
DC continuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
DC offset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Decoupled method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Decrement factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Depth of return . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Design methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Dipping beds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Direct current offset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Disconnectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Distribution neutrals . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Distribution substations . . . . . . . . . . 125
Disturbed earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Driven earth electrodes . . . . . . . . . . 109
Driven rods . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30, 48, 109
Dry soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
E
Earth electrode sizes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Earth fault currents . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 34
Earth fault limitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Earth mutual resistance effect . . . . . 118
Earth network impedances . . . . . . . . 123
Earth potential rise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Earth resistivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75, 128
Earth resistivity testing procedure
guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Earth stake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Earth system impedance . . . . . . . . . 115
Earthfault current duration . . . . . . . . 100
Earthfault current restriction . . . . . . . 87
Earthgrid potential rise . . . . . . . . 61, 114
Earthing system maintenance . . . . . 122
Earthing systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 59
Effective length . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58, 116
Electrical performance . . . . . . . 123, 125
Electrical rating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Electrical services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Electrochemical reaction . . . . . . . . . 101
Electrocution equations . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Electrolytic tank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Electromagnetic forces . . . . . . . . . . 101
Electromagnetic induction . . . . . . . . . 14
Electromagnetic waves . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Empirical expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
End effect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Energy dissipation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Environmental factors . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Equipment
Bonding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Deterioration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Equipotential contours . . . . . . 65, 68, 79
Equivalent depth of return . . . . . . . . . 58
Equivalent hemisphere model . . . . . . 76
Exposed metalwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Extended grid conductors . . . . . . . . 119
External earthing conductors . . . . . . 110
External to substation (gradients) . . . 74
F
Fall-of-potential method . . . . . . . . . 115
Fault
Clearing time . . . . . . . . . 10, 87, 106
Current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Current asymmetry . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Current dissipation . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Duration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 23, 44
Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 38
Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Outside the substation . . . . . . . . . 42
Within the substation . . . . . . . . . . 39
Fence independent of main grid . . . . . 67
Fences 11, 41, 65, 72, 88, 102, 125, 128
Fibrillating current threshold . . . . . . . 15
Field check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Flexible bonding braids . . . . . . . . . . 122
Foot-to-ground contact resistance 18, 65
Frame leakage protection . . . . . . . . . 122
Frozen soil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Future augmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Index 166
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
G
Geological data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Geological fault . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Geometric mean radius . . . . . . . . . . . 58
GIS installations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Gloves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 88
Gradient control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Grading ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128, 129
Graphical curve matching . . . . . . . . . 31
Grid
Condition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Conductor redundancy . . . . . . . . 109
Current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . 31, 62, 128
Improvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Irregularity factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Guided interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Guided waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
H
Hand-to-hand touch voltage . . . . . . . . 23
Hazard determination . . . . . . . . . . 35, 65
Heart current factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
High ambient electrical noise levels 124
High power 50Hz injection . . . . . . . 119
High resistivity soil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
High-speed reclosing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Homogeneous isotropic earth . . . . . . 29
Horizontal mesh layout . . . . . . . . . . 107
HVDC earthing systems . . . . . . . . . . 93
Hydro-electric power stations . . . . . . 11
I
Impedance reduction . . . . . . . . . 87, 109
Impedance stabilisation . . . . . . . . . . 110
Impedances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Inadvertent breakage . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Incoming equipment rating . . . . . . . . 37
Indirect contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Induced voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 71
Inductive coupling . . . . . . . . . . . 29, 118
Inductive energy transfer . . . . . . . . . . 37
Inductive loads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Industrial complexes . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Information gathering . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Inhomogeneities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Injection testing . . . . . . . . . . . . 113, 125
Input impedance . . . . . . . . . . . 39, 57, 81
Inspection frequencies . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Inspections, above-ground . . . . . . . . 125
Installation guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Installation techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Insulated footwear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Insulating materials: resistance . . . . . 17
Insulation breakdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Interconnected systems . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Interference compensation . . . . . . . . 118
Interference mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . 91
Inverse Schlumberger Array . . . . . . . 28
Investigation and documentation . . . 128
Isolated zone substations . . . . . . . . . 125
Isolation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Isolation equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
J
Jointing bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
L
Land electrodes - DC . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Large grid dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Leakage current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Length of conductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Lightning
Arresters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Phenomenon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 89
Spires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Local potential control . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Low current injection . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Low soil resistivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Low voltage neutral wires . . . . . . . . . 72
LV reticulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
M
Magnetic fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Maintenance programme . . . . . . . . . 129
Maintenance requirements . . . . . . . . 125
Maintenance strategies . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Maloperation of circuitry . . . . . . . . . . 90
Material selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Maximum
Index 167
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
Earthgrid current . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Potential rise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Step potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Mechanical fatigue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Mechanical rating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
MEN earth conductor size . . . . . . . . 128
MEN earths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Mesh layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Mesh voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63, 86
Meshed earthing system . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Metallic Fences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Metallic
Pipeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Structure earths . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . 68, 79, 114
Minimum
Conductor size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Grid impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Resistance value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Modelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Moisture content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Monopolar DC schemes . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Multilayer soil resistivities . . . . . . . . 81
Mutual
Coupling . . . . . . . . 41, 115, 117, 118
Impedance errors . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49, 59
N
Neutral earth connection . . . . . . . . . 123
Neutral earthing resistors . . . . . . . . . . 87
Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
O
Off-power frequency tests . . . . . . . . 118
Oil pipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Older earthing systems . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Open circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Operating handles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Operational checks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Overhead shield wires . . . . . . . . . 10, 57
P
Parametric analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Periodic integrity checks . . . . . . . . . 124
Periodic testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Peripheral conductor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Peripheral meshes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Permanent line faults . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Permissible body current . . . . . . . . . . 21
Personnel safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36, 114
Personnel safety hazard determination 38
Phase reversal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Physical inspection . . . . . . . . . 122, 125
Physical protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Physiological safety constraints . . . . . 13
Pilot cable earth isolation . . . . . . . . . 128
Pilot cable sheaths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Pipelines . 11, 41, 57, 69, 72, 79, 88, 125
Portable earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Portable earth testers . . . . . . . . 111, 126
Portable safety earths . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Potential gradient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Potential probe separation . . . . . . . . 117
Power frequency performance . . . . . . 47
Power frequency standing voltages . 118
Power stations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2, 5, 110
Preliminary investigation . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Primary earthing system . . . . . . . . . 110
Primary earthing system impedances . 48
Primary source hazard prevention . . . 87
Professional responsibilities . . . . . . 126
Prospective
Fault current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Source impedances . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Touch voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Protective devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Protective measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Proximity effect . . . . . . . . . . . 58, 60, 81
R
Radiated interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Radio transmitters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Railway lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41, 72
Rainfall data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Reciprocity theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Reclosing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Rectangular grids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Reduction factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 39
Reflection factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Refurbishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122, 126
Regular maintenance check . . . . . . . 125
Remedial measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Remote earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Index 168
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
Resistance fluctuations . . . . . . . . . . 125
Resistance of insulating materials . . . 17
Resistive coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Resistive earthing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Resistivity
Anomalies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Fluctuations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Result interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Soil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 25, 82
Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Review procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Rivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Roadside crash barriers . . . . . . . . . . 72
Rod driving depths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Rodbed resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Routine tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
S
Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Safety criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Safety precautions . . . . . . . . . . 111, 124
Scale model test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Schlumberger array . . . . . . . . . . . 26, 30
Screening factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Seasonal variations . . . . . . . . . . 11, 125
Secondary earthing system . . . . . . . 110
Secondary effect mitigation . . . . . . . . 88
Secondary wiring interference . . . . . . 90
Self impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Series impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Shock circuit equations . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Shock situations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Signal analyser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Simplified equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Site selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Sizing grid conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Soil conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Soil layer definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Soil model effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Spacing range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Square grids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Staged fault injection test . . . . . . . . . 118
Steel structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Step voltage reduction . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Step voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Structural members . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Substation
Fencing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Primary faults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Secondary faults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Surface condition . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Surface
Gradient control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Potentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Voltage gradients . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Surge diverter earthing points . . . . . 126
Switch arcing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Symmetrical earthgrids . . . . . . . . . . . 86
System drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
System operating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
T
Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Testing
Lead positions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Thermal breakdown limitation . . . . . 100
Topography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11, 25
Total grid impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Touch voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 19, 62
Tower footing resistance . . . . . . . . . . 58
Transfer potential hazards 110, 125, 128
Transient
DC offset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37, 62
Decrement factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Earth potential rise . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Ground potential rise . . . . . . . . . 109
Phenomena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Voltage design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Transmission structure configurations 33
Traverse locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Tunable voltmeter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Two layer soil structure . . . . . . . . . . . 82
U
Unconnected metalwork . . . . . . . . . . 82
Underground cable sheath input
impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Underground power cables . . . . . . . . 72
Undistorted voltage gradients . . . . . . 76
Index 169
ESAA Substation Earthing Guide ESPA-EG1(97)
V
Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . 102, 124, 126
Ventricular fibrillation . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Vertical faults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Voltage
External to the substation . . . . . . . 66
Gradient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Gradient control mats . . . . . . . . . 108
Inside the substation . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
W
Warning signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Water pipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Water table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Watercourse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Weather patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Weighted averaging techniques . . . . . 31
Wenner array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Z
Zero - sequence self impedance . . . . . 58