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National Electrical Engineering Consultancy

Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
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ABN: 86132586675

NATIONAL ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING


CONSULTANCY

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

Prepared by:
M. Nassereddine

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

Abstract:
The existing of the High Voltage (HV) infrastructure creates a special set of safety
circumstances. Earthing system is one of the main elements to mitigate any unsafe conditions.
Commissioning the earth grid certify that the implemented system fulfill to the pertinent
necessities. This paper endeavor to present vital information on how to perform the earth grid
commissioning of an HV infrastructure; it minutiae the minimum necessities to guarantee the
test will symbolize the actual fault case that the design was based on. A flow chart diagram was
established and presented in this paper to allow for the determination of the most suitable
injection route.
I. INTRODUCTION
The demand on High voltage (HV) infrastructures is growing due to the corresponding growth
in industries and population, mishandling HV infrastructure can cause damages to properties and
may inflict injuries and fatalities. High voltage infrastructure necessitates earthing design to
warrant the safety and the acquiescence of the system to the confined standards and regulations.
Earthing system presents a safe working environment for workers and people passing by during a
fault or malfunction of the power system.
The assumption that any grounded object can be safely touched is not always correct. A serious
hazard may result during a ground fault from the transfer of potential between the ground grid
area and grounded object locations. Adequate earthing system provide a safe pass for the fault
current and warrant all the ground voltages potential are within the acceptable limits. During the
design stage of the earth grid, the designer gather all the possible information from soil
resistivity, services in the area and the layout of the proposed substation. This information may
not be very accurate which will not symbolize the real case. For example, it is hard to institute an
exact soil resistivity structure to represent the actual one of the area; a number of designers follow
the single layer structure approach, some others follow the two layers soil structure approach. The
output of these two approaches provides a slightly different earthing system data. Before
commissioning the HV infrastructure it is imperative to commission the earthing system to certify
that the implemented earth grid meets the requirements. Commissioning the earthing system is to
simulate an actual fault using low frequency injection set; the commissioning of the earthing
system can be divided into:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Earth grid resistance measurement


Step & Touch voltage measurement
EPR contour measurement
Transfer voltage measurement

The current injection test facilitates inclusive testing of earthing systems, the test can certify
many vital parameters such as touch, step and transferred voltage, it determines the actual voltage
contour and the actual split factor under the presence of the return path. The CIT allows the test

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

of the actual voltage transfer to nearby infrastructure such as farm fences, water, gas pipeline, and
telecommunications. Also the test permits measuring the actual AC interference on any metallic
structure running parallel the feeder
This paper endeavour at presenting a general overview of the earthing system commissioning,
it discuss the minimum requirement to complete the commissioning which will correspond to an
actual fault situation.
II. THEORETICAL STUDY
The commissioning team of the earthing system could be from different company to the one that
completed the design, therefore, the first step is gathering the information, which will assist to
understand the extend of the test and what shall be tested. It is important to make sure all the
following information are available:

Site layout
Grid layout
Maximum fault current
Clearance time
Back up time
Location of the feeding station
Near-by utility
Communication network in the area
Feeding characteristics
Any special considerations
Surrounding infrastructure

If is vital to evaluate the gathered information with the one from the earthing design report. It is
important to choose an injection set that will prevent any interference from occurrence especially
the interference from another transmission mains or substations. Every AC electrical power run
on a nominated frequency range, in the USA 60 Hz is used and in Australia 50 Hz is used. Each
frequency has its own harmonic series, for example, the 60 Hz frequency has 120, 180, 240, 300
Hz as harmonic frequencies, for the 50 Hz the harmonics are 100, 150, 200, 250, 300 Hz.
The injection set frequency should be chosen to ensure no overlap on the harmonic frequency
between the 50Hz and the injection frequency.
HV substation earth grid commissioning can be divided into two sections:
1. Substation supplied with return path (cable screen/OHEW)
2. Substation supplied without return path
Return Path
Under the existing of the return path, and in order to achieve a real fault scenario, it is important
to inject using the in-feed to the substation to allow for the mutual impedance between the faulted

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

phase and the return path, figure 1 shows a tested circuit with an OHEW as a return path, if the
injection test occur in any other way, it will not yield to an accurate output. The current injection
test shall provide the followings as the minimum outputs:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Earth grid resistance value


Split factor (under the existing of a return path)
Actual Touch voltage
Actual Step voltage
Actual EPR contour
Actual transfer voltage to near by infrastructure

In order to achieve the actual value of Step, Touch and EPR, it is important to have the actual
current that use the return path and the actual current that use the earth grid of the substation, this
only possible if the test allow for the mutual impedance to be present during the test. Figure 1
shows the mutual impedance under the presence of the return path

Figure 1: HV transmission main with return path

Without Return Path


In some cases, HV substation is supplied with and over head feeder without the existence of an
over head earth wire, or it could be an underground feeder, with the cable screen not bonded both
end. Figure 2 shows the HV substation supplied with an OH feeder without any return path.
Under this condition, it is possible to set up an injection path as long it maintains the required
separation between the tested earth grid and the injection electrode.
Two methods to commission the earth grid system without a return path:
1. Use the feeder phase as an injection path
2. set up an injection lead with temporary injection electrode

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

If the injection uses the feeder phase as the injection path, it will allow for an AC interference
measurement check if there is any metallic object running parallel to the feeder such as pipe line
or metallic fence.

Figure 2: Substation Feed without a return path

NEEC established the diagram in figure 3 as a guide to assist in determining the injection path
and the minimum measurements required to yield the best output results for the CIT. the
established diagram can apply to all type of earthing commissioning for high voltage
infrastructure.
Measuring the grid resistance of the high voltage infrastructure required a reference voltage; the
reference voltage path shall be at 90 degree from the injection path if possible to eliminate/reduce
the interference between the injection current and the reference voltage route. Also the separation
between the voltage reference electrode and the tested earth grid should be large enough to ensure
an accurate reading, as a general rule, the voltage reference electrode should be separated by at
least 10 times the diagonal distance of the earthing system under test. For a large substation that
contains a return path like OHEW, it is hard to establish a new route that represents 10 times the
size of the earth gird (the OHEW with the earth grid on each pole form part of the earth grid
under test). Under this situation, there are two possible methods for providing the remote earth
reference:
1. Use the phase of another feeder as a route for the voltage reference and the earth grid of
the substation of this feeder as the electrode reference (this works if this feeder is fed from
different substation to the injected feeder)
2. A spare telecommunications circuit, these telecommunication circuit often run over a
large distance and have an earth electrode at their pits
It is important to insure that the reference voltage electrode is located outside the EPR zone of the
injected system. If using distribution transformers earth grid as the reference voltage, it is
important to ensure the there is no CMEN for this system otherwise there will be an EPR area
around the reference voltage electrode which yield to incorrect measurement. Figure 4 represents
the current injection test layout for measuring the earth grid resistance of an HV infrastructure.

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

Figure 3: NEEC diagram for CIT procedures

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

Figure 4: Current injection test layout for grid resistance determination

Figure 5 represents the shape of the measured reference voltage under different separation
distance between the reference electrode and the earth grid under test, the voltage increases as the
distance increases until it flatten out, the value of the flatten out can be used to determine the
earth grid resistance using equation 1, in this equation, it is vital to use the current that utilize the
earth grid as path under the presence of the OHEW, this only can be achieved if split factor
measurement was completed. (It is important to note: Under the presence of a return path,
I grid is not the injected current, it is the current that use the earth grid as a path)

Z Grid =

VMeasured flatten area


I grid

(1)

Safety requirements
The measured touch and step voltage shall be assessed against the allowable safety limits, the
step and touch voltage can be determined from the two equations 2 and 3, these two equations are
calculated using the resistance from a 50 Kg person that is used when assessing the public access
area. Equations 4 and 5 calculate step and touch voltage using 70Kg body weight.

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

V touch=

V step=

116 + 0.174Cs s
t

116 + 0.696Cs s
t

(2)

(3)

V touch=

157 + 0.236Cs s
t

(4)

V touch=

157 + 0.942Cs s
t

(5)

0.091
s
Cs = 1
2hs + 0.09

(6)

Where
Cs is the derating factor relating to
surface layer thickness and resistivity
s is the top surface layer
t is the primary clearance time

Figure 5: measured voltage against separation distance

EPR contour can be determined using the maximum EPR and the measured voltage in figure 8,
equation 7 represent the maximum EPR, equation 8 represent the EPR contour. This process can
be repeated for different direction to ensure accurate data is obtained to draw the EPR contour of

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure

National Electrical Engineering Consultancy


Design

Management

4 54/60 Links RD
St Marys, NSW, 2760
ACN: 132586675

Construction
www.NeecGroup.com
Info@neecgroup.com
ABN: 86132586675

the tested earth grid. Figure 6 represents the EPR contour computation; the EPR is high at the
substation and decreases as the distance from the tested grid is getting greater
EPRmax = I grid Z grid

(7)

EPRcontour = EPRmax V fig 5

(8)

Figure 6: EPR contour against the separation distance

III. CONCLUSION
This paper shows the important of choosing the right injection path when completing a CIT for
HV infrastructure, depending on the HV feeding arrangement and its route surrounding
infrastructures, the CIT route shall be determined to ensure that the test will yield acceptable
results.
This paper introduce NEEC CIT diagram, it shows the important of using NEEC diagram and
how it leads to more accurate results especially when it comes to earth grid resistance
measurement.

Current Injection Test (CIT) Procedures for High Voltage Infrastructure