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1. Defining Design Objective

Grounding system
Equipment grounding
System Grounding
Ground rod and Grounding electrode
2. Soil resistivity and Ground Resistance Measurement
Soil Characteristic
Resistivity Measurement
Resistance Measurement
3. Grid substation Grounding
4. Ground Grid Calculation
5. Grid Resistance
6. Computer aided Ground grid design 2


Bonding is intentional electrical interconnecting of conductive
path in order to ensure common electrical potential between
the bounded parts.
Bonding is simply the act of joining two electrical
conductors together.
These may be two wires, a wire and a pipe, or these may be
two equipments.
Bonding has to be done by connecting of all the metal parts
that are not supposed to be carrying current during normal
operations to bringing them to the same electrical potential
Example of bonding

Earthing means connecting the dead part (it means
the part which does not carries current under normal
condition) to the earth for example electrical equipments
frames, enclosures, supports etc.
The purpose of earthing is to minimize the risk of
receiving an electric shock if touching metal parts
when a fault is present.
Generally green wire is used for this as a nomenclature.

Grounding means connecting the live part (it means
the part which carries current under normal condition) to
the earth for example neutral of power transformer.
It is done for the protections of power system equipment
and to provide an effective return path from the machine
to the power source.
Because of lightning, line surges or unintentional contact
with other high voltage lines, dangerously high voltages
can develop in the electrical distribution system wires.
Grounding provides a safe, alternate path around the
electrical system of your house thus minimizing damage
from such occurrences.
Grounding vs Earthing

Micro Difference between Earthing and
1. Difference in Terminology
In USA term Grounding is used but in UK term Earthing is
2. Balancing the Load VS Safety
Ground is a source for unwanted currents and also as a
return path for main current some times. While earthing is
done not for return path but only for protection of delicate
equipments. It is an alternate low resistance path for current.
When we take out the neutral for a three phase unbalanced
connection and send it to ground, it is called grounding.
Grounding is done to balance unbalanced load. While
earthing is used between the equipment and earth pit so as to
avoid electrical shock and equipment damage.
Micro Difference between Earthing and
3. Equipment Protection Vs Human Safety
Earthing is to protect the circuit elements whenever high
voltage is passed by thunders or by any other sources while
Grounding is the common point in the circuit to maintain the
voltage levels.
4. System Zero Potential Vs Circuit Zero Potential
Earthing and Grounding both is refer to zero potential, but
the system connected to zero potential is differ than
equipment connected to zero potential .If a neutral point of a
generator or transformer is connected to zero potential then it
is known as grounding.
At the same time if the body of the transformer or generator is
connected to zero potential then it is known as earthing.
Grounding Terms

Grounding System (IEEE) as a conducting connection,

whether intentional or accidental by which an electric
Circuit or equipment is connected to the earth.

Equipment Grounding is interconnecting all non current

carrying metal part (Body) of an electrical power system,
and then connecting the interconnected metal parts to the earth.

System grounding is the process connecting neutral point

of system equipment to ground.

The reasons for grounding :
Personal safety by limiting potentials between
all non-current-carrying metal parts of electrical power system.
Personal safety and control of electrostatic discharge (ESD)
by limiting potentials between all non current-carrying metal
parts of an electrical power system and the ground.

To provide a low-impedance fault return path to the power

source to facilitate the operation of over current device
during the ground fault.

System Grounding:
Ungrounded System
Grounded System
- Solid grounding
- Resistance grounding
- Reactance grounding
- Ground fault neutralizer
- Distribution Transformer, etc
There is no one best system grounding method. In
choosing among the various options, the designer
must consider the requirements for safety, continuity
of service, and cost. 13
Figure 1: Equipment Grounding and System
Ungrounded means that there is no intentional
Between a current-carrying conductor and ground

Solidly grounded means that an intentional zero impedance

Connection is made between a current-carrying conductor
and ground.
Impedance-grounded means that an intentional impedance
Connection is made between a current-carrying conductor
and ground.

Criteria of System Grounding
Low Resistance : Ro 2 Xo and IFG = (10% - 25%) I3

High Resistance : Ro Xco/3 and IFG is small

Effective X0 3 X1 ; Ro X1 and IFG > 60 % I3

Reactance X0 10 X1 and IFG = (25% - 60 % ) I3

Figure 2: Solid Grounded Wye System

Figure 3: Ungrounded Delta System

The basic reasons for system neutral grounding
To limit over voltage
To limit electric potential difference
To isolate faulty equipment and circuits
To provide low-impedance return path from the
Load back to the source and improve fault protection.
To hold system neutral point equal ground point

Table Comparison of system Grounding Methods
No. Characteristic assuming No System Grounding Method
Escalation Solidly Ungrounded High
Ground resistance
1. Operation of over-current Yes No No
device on First ground fault
2. Control of internally generated Yes No Yes
transient Over-voltage
3. Control of steady state over- Yes No Yes
4. Flash Hazard No Yes No
5. Equipment damage from arcing No Yes No
ground fault (can be controlled)
6. Over-voltage (on un-faulted L-N >> L-L L-L
phases) from Ground Voltage Voltage Voltage
7. Can serve line to neutral load Yes No No
Ground Rod and Grounding Electrode ?
Ground rod is an electrode rod buried in the earth for
purpose of grounding systems.
Grounding conductor is conductor that connect the grounding
system to earth for purpose to keep the entire grounding
system at the earth potential.
Grounding electrode is a conductor can be as wires/rod, strips,
plates in intimate contact with the earth for the purpose
of providing a connection with the grounding
and bonding.
Grounding conductor

Grounding electrode

Ground rod

Ground rod made of :
Ion or steel rods must be at least 5/8 in (15 mm) diameter;
Copper-clad stainless-steel, or stainless steel-clad rod
must be at least -in (12 mm).
Rods should be driven to at least 8 ft (2.45m).
If a driven rod hits a rock bottom, the depth may < 8 feet.

Part of a Ground electrode system available in a facility,

Metal underground water pipe
Metal frame of building or structure
Concrete-encased electrodes.
Ground encircling a building. 24

The main factors that influence the resistance are
the number of rods (paralel) , resistivity of the soil
and the length.

Formula resistance of a rod of length (l) and

diameter d, resistivity of the soil,

R= ln 1 Ohm
2l d

Soil Resistivity
Soil resistivity is one of the most important factors,
in designing, grounding system of a substation.
The characteristic of the soil resistivity are primarily
affected by:
Soil type (size, variability and density),
Salt content
Typical Values of Resistivity of Some Soils

Resistivity (Ohm-m)
Type of soils

Loam, garden 5 50
Clay 8 50
Sand and gravel 60 100
Sandstone 10 500
Rocks 200 10,000

Figure 4: Effect of salt, moisture, and temperature on Soil
Permissible Ground Resistance
IEEE recommend a ground resistance
value of 5 ohms or less for domestic user

Soil Resistivity Measurement

1) Wenner Method (Equally spaced)

2) Schlumberger-Palmer Method
(Unequally spaced)

Wenner Method

Figure 5: The Wenner soil resistivity measurement

Wenner Method

Figure 6: The Wenner soil resistivity measurement

Wenner Method
Spaced a distance of a meters apart.
Driven rod to a depth not normally exceeding 0.1a (about
0.3 meters)
Outer probes are connected to the current terminal
(C1and C2)
Inner probes to the potential terminals (P1 and P2).
If (d<<a), then the apparent resistivity :

=2 -m

=soil resistivity;= electrode spacing; 34

R = apparent resistance
Schlumberger-Palmer Method

Figure 7: The Schlumberger-Palmer method soil

resistivity measurement arrangement
Schlumberger-Palmer Method
Similar to Wenner, except that the inner
(voltage) probe spacing is varied independently
of the current probe spacing.
If the depth of burial of the electrodes b is small
compared to their separation d and c, measured
resistivity can be calculated
=(+) / -m

Ground Resistance Measurement
Consists of measuring the resistance of a body of earth
surrounding a grounding electrode.
Normally the fall of potential method (sometime called as the
three-point technique) is the practical and reliable method for
measuring the ground resistance.

Figure 8: The fall of potential method arrangement
Fall of Potential Method
In this method, a current I is injected into the earth using
current probe.
The potential probe which is inserted at intervals within
the current path will measure the voltage drop produce
by the current.
The form of fall of potential method is obtained when the
ground electrode, potential probe and current probe are
on a straight line and potential probe is located between
ground electrode and current probe.
When Vx/I is plotted as a function of the potential probe
distance, the curve as shown in Figure 9 are produced.
It is usually accepted that the flat section of the curve
give the correct magnitude of the resistance measured.
Fall of Potential Method

Figure 9: The fall of potential method arrangement

Fall of Potential Method

Figure 9: Resistance plot for the electrode 40

Fall of Potential Method

Resistance of a rod of length l (m) and

diameter d (m) in uniform soil of resistivity

R= ln 1
2l d

Grid Substation Grounding
A common method for obtaining a low ground
resistance at high voltage substation is to use
interconnected ground grid.
The substation grounding provides the ground
connection for the neutral system, the discharge
path for surge arresters and ensure safety to
operating personal.
It also provides a low resistance path to ground
to minimize the rise in ground potential.
Many utilities add ground rods for further
reduction of the resistance. 42
Grid Substation Grounding

Two main design goals to be achieved

1) To provide means to dissipate electric currents
into the earth without exceeding any operating
and equipment limits.
2) To assure that a person in the vicinity of
grounded facilities is not exposed to the danger
of critical electric shock.

The arrangement of the grounding grid with 72 meshes.

There are two conditions that person within or
round the substation may be experience
Touch voltage
Step voltage

A touch voltage is normally considered a hand to foot

or a hand to hand contact;
A step voltage creates a path through the legs
from one foot to the other.
IEEE Definition
Touch voltage the voltage between any point on the
ground where a person may stand and any point that
can be touched simultaneously by either hand
Step voltage the voltage between any two points on
the ground surface that can be touched simultaneously
by the feet



Exposure to touch voltage



Touch voltage, Station Grid

Etouch = Ib (RB + Zth )

The resistance of two feet in parallel Zth = Rf / 2

Zth = Rf / 2 = 1.5 s Terminal H

Touch voltage Circuit Equivalent Zth

Terminal F 48
Vth : Touch voltage


Exposure Step voltage


The step voltage Ib

Estep = Ib( RB +Zth)

Station Grid

The Thevenin equivalent Terminal F1

Impedance for 2 feet
Zth = 2 Rf = 6 S Vth

Step voltage Circuit Equivalent

Terminal F2
Permissible Body Current Limit
Dalziel concludes of all men could withstand,
without ventricular fibrillation,

Ib = A

Ib : rms magnitude of the current through the body, A

ts : duration of the current exposure, sec
k : 0.116 for a 50 kg person and 0.157 for a 70 kg person.
based on test in the range of 0.03 to 3.0 second duration

Table limitations of the electric currents flow through the body

Permissible Step and Touch Voltages (Volt)

Step voltage for the body 50 kg and 70 kg,


If no protective surface layer is used,

then Cs =1 and s = .
Touch voltage for the body 50 kg and 70 kg, respectively

Vtouch(50) = (1000 + 1.5C s s )

Vtouch( 70) = (1000 + 1.5C s s )

s : Soil resistivity at the surface, Ohm-m

Cs : reduction factor for derating the nominal value of s
ts : Fault clearing time, seconds.

Steps of grid calculation analysis:
Investigation of soil characteristics
Determination of maximum ground fault current
Preliminary design of the ground system
Calculation of resistance of the ground system
Calculation of step voltage at periphery
Calculation of internal step and touch voltages
Refinement of preliminary design.

The maximum grid current IG.
IG = SfIf
IG : Symmetrical ground fault current (3I0), A
If : Rms value of symmetrical fault current, A
Sf : Ratio of grid current to fault current.

The maximum grid current

Df is the decrement factor for the fault duration.

A single line to ground fault,
I0 =
X1 + X 2 + X 0

A double line to ground fault,

I0 = V
X1(X 0 + X 2 ) + X 2 X 0

X1, X2 and X0 are Positive, Negative and Zero

sequence reactance, respectively.

Selection of Conductor
Conductors are used for grounding system, grid conductors,
connections, connecting lead, and all primary electrodes must
be adequate criteria as below;
i). Have sufficient conductivity
ii). Resist fusing and mechanical deterioration under short
iii).Be mechanically reliable and rugged to a high degree.
iv).Be able to maintain its function even exposed to corrosion
or physical abuse

Conductor materials may be used:
Cooper is used for grounding.
Copperclad steel is used for underground rods and
occasionally for grid conductors, especially where
theft is a problem.
Aluminum is used for ground grids less frequently.
Steel can be used for ground grid conductor and rods.

The calculation tolerable Step, and mesh
voltage based up on IEEE standard 80-1986.

Vstep = K S Ki (IG / L)

1 1 1 1 1
Ks = ( + + + )
2h D + h 2 D 3D

Ki = 0.172 N + 0.656
N = number of grid conductors

L = Lc + 1.15 LT (with ground grid and rods)

LC : total length of the ground conductor, m

LT : total length of the ground rods, m
D : spacing between parallel conductors, m
h : depth of the ground grid conductors, m

Number of conductors in horizontal Nx = (Lx/D + 1)

Number of conductors in vertical Ny = (Ly/D + 1)

Length total in horizontal =

Length total in horizontal =

The mesh voltage tends to be highest in
the mesh rectangle nearest to the perimeter.

K m I G Ki
Vmesh =

1 D 2 1 3 5 7
K m = ln + ln
2 16hd 4 6 8

d : diameter of the grid conductor, m.

h : depth of grid

The ground resistance of grounding grid,

R : substation ground resistance,
: soil resistivity, m
A : area of the grounding grid m2

According to Laurent and Nieman

According to Svarack Equation,


The calculation tolerable Step, and mesh voltage
based up on IEEE standard 80-2000.

Mesh Voltage

Km = the geometrical factor

Ki = a corrective factor,

For grids with no ground rods or grids with only a few ground rods, none located in
the corners or on the perimeter.

Step Voltage

Ks = The geometrical factor,

Ki = The corrective factor,

For grids with or without ground rods, the effective buried

conductor length, LS, is

The required data for the program for analysis/design
The soil resistivity at the substation location
Fault duration Current division factor
System impedance
Line to line voltage at worst-fault location
Crushed rock resistivity
Thickness of crushed rock surface
Depth of grid
Span distance of conductor
Available ground area
Conductor type in use
Fault Clearing 68
Improving The Performance of The Grounding Grids
Increasing the grounding area; the most effective way to
decrease ground resistance is by increasing the area
occupied by the grid.
Improvement of gradient control; If mesh voltage is higher
than the allowed touch voltage, a modified grid can be
designed by subdividing the meshes.
Addition of a relatively high resistance surface layer.
A layer of crushed rock can be added on the surface of
the substation to increase the series with the body.
The available fault current magnitude may be reduced by
connecting overhead ground wires of transmission lines.
Limiting of short-circuit current to the ground grid.

1200 A=100x100 m^2

A=150x150 m^2
1000 A=200x200 m^2
Teg. Mesh (Volt)





0 300 600 900 1200
Tahanan Jenis Tanah (ohm -m )

Fig. Mesh voltage for different grid area

a modified grid can be designed by
subdividing the meshes

Example 1.
A grid substations have parameter are
given as below
Number of parallel conductor, n = 16
Soil resistivity, = 750 ohm-m
S = 3,000 ohm-m
Fault current, IG = 1,200 A and clearing time, t = 0.75 sec.
Total length of conductor, L = 1,600 m
Conductor spacing in parallel, D = 4 m
Conductor diameter, d = 0.016 m
Depth of grid conductor, h = 0.8 m
For the above condition, the values of factors such as
Km = 0.3695, Ki = 3.042 , and Ks = 0.4014.
Body resistance is 1,000 ohm
(i) Calculate mesh voltage and step voltage
(ii) Calculate allowable step voltage and touch voltage 72