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Earthing in electrical network

The main reason for doing earthing in electrical network is for the safety. When all
metallic parts in electrical equipment are grounded then if the insulation inside the
equipment fails there are no dangerous voltages present in the equipment case.

The process of electrically connecting to the earth itself is often called “earthing”,
particularly in Europe where the term “grounding” is used to describe the above ground
If the live wire touches the grounded case then the circuit is effectively shorted and fuse
will immediately blow. When the fuse is blown then the dangerous voltages are away.

Purpose of Earthing
1. Safety for Human life / Building /Equipment
 To save human life from danger of electrical shock or death by blowing a fuse i.e.
To provide an alternative path for the fault current to flow so that it will not
endanger the user
 To protect buildings, machinery & appliances under fault conditions.
 To ensure that all exposed conductive parts do not reach a dangerous potential.
 To provide safe path to dissipate lightning and short circuit currents.
 To provide stable platform for operation of sensitive electronic equipment i.e. To
maintain the voltage at any part of an electrical system at a known value so as to
prevent over current or excessive voltage on the appliances or equipment .

2. Over voltage protection

Lightning, line surges or unintentional contact with higher voltage lines can cause
dangerously high voltages to the electrical distribution system. Earthing provides an
alternative path around the electrical system to minimize damages in the System.

3. Voltage stabilization
There are many sources of electricity. Every transformer can be considered a separate
source. If there were not a common reference point for all these voltage sources it
would be extremely difficult to calculate their relationships to each other.

The earth is the most omnipresent conductive surface, and so it was adopted in the
very beginnings of electrical distribution systems as a nearly universal standard for all
electric systems.

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Conventional methods of earthing

1. Plate type Earthing
 Generally for plate type earthing normal Practice is to use
 Cast iron plate of size 600 mm x600 mm x12 mm. OR
 Galvanized iron plate of size 600 mm x600 mm x6 mm. OR
 Copper plate of size 600 mm * 600 mm * 3.15 mm
 Plate burred at the depth of 8 feet in the vertical position and GI strip of size 50
mmx6 mm bolted with the plate is brought up to the ground level.
 These types of earth pit are generally filled with alternate layer of charcoal & salt
up to 4 feet from the bottom of the pit.

2. Pipe type Earthing

For Pipe type earthing normal practice is to use GI pipe [C-class] of 75 mm diameter,
10 feet long welded with 75 mm diameter GI flange having 6 numbers of holes for the
connection of earth wires and inserted in ground by auger method.

These types of earth pit are generally filled with alternate layer of charcoal & salt or
earth reactivation compound.

Method for Construction of Earthing

 Excavation on earth for a normal earth Pit size is 1.5M X 1.5M X 3.0 M.
 Use 500 mm X 500 mm X 10 mm GI Plate or Bigger Size for more Contact of
Earth and reduce Earth Resistance.
 Make a mixture of Wood Coal Powder Salt & Sand all in equal part
 Wood Coal Powder use as good conductor of electricity, anti corrosive, rust
proves for GI Plate for long life.
 The purpose of coal and salt is to keep wet the soil permanently.
 The salt percolates and coal absorbs water keeping the soil wet.
 Care should always be taken by watering the earth pits in summer so that the pit
soil will be wet.
 Coal is made of carbon which is good conductor minimizing the earth resistant.
 Salt use as electrolyte to form conductivity between GI Plate Coal and Earth with
 Sand has used to form porosity to cycle water & humidity around the mixture.
 Put GI Plate (EARTH PLATE) of size 500 mm X 500 mm X 10 mm in the mid of
 Use Double GI Strip size 30 mm X 10 mm to connect GI Plate to System
 It will be better to use GI Pipe of size 2.5″ diameter with a Flange on the top of GI
Pipe to cover GI Strip from EARTH PLATE to Top Flange.
 Cover Top of GI pipe with a T joint to avoid jamming of pipe with dust & mud
and also use water time to time through this pipe to bottom of earth plate.
 Maintain less than one Ohm Resistance from EARTH PIT conductor to a distance
of 15 Meters around the EARTH PIT with another conductor dip on the Earth at
least 500 mm deep.
 Check Voltage between Earth Pit conductors to Neutral of Mains Supply 220V
AC 50 Hz it should be less than 2.0 Volts.

Factors affecting on Earth resistivity

1. Soil Resistivity
It is the resistance of soil to the passage of electric current. The earth resistance
value (ohmic value) of an earth pit depends on soil resistivity. It is the resistance of the
soil to the passage of electric current.

It varies from soil to soil. It depends on the physical composition of the soil, moisture,
dissolved salts, grain size and distribution, seasonal variation, current magnitude etc. In
depends on the composition of soil, Moisture content, Dissolved salts, grain size and its
distribution, seasonal variation, current magnitude.

2. Soil Condition
Different soil conditions give different soil resistivity. Most of the soils are very poor
conductors of electricity when they are completely dry. Soil resistivity is measured in
ohm-meters or ohm-cm.
Soil plays a significant role in determining the performance of electrode. Soil with
low resistivity is highly corrosive. If soil is dry then soil resistivity value will be very
high. If soil resistivity is high, earth resistance of electrode will also be high.

3. Moisture
Moisture has a great influence on resistivity value of soil. The resistivity of a soil
can be determined by the quantity of water held by the soil and resistivity of the water
itself. Conduction of electricity in soil is through water.

The resistance drops quickly to a more or less steady minimum value of about 15%
moisture. And further increase of moisture level in soil will have little effect on soil
resistivity. In many locations water table goes down in dry weather conditions.
Therefore, it is essential to pour water in and around the earth pit to maintain moisture
in dry weather conditions. Moisture significantly influences soil resistivity.

4. Dissolved salts
Pure water is poor conductor of electricity. Resistivity of soil depends on resistivity of
water which in turn depends on the amount and nature of salts dissolved in it.

Small quantity of salts in water reduces soil resistivity by 80%. Common salt is most
effective in improving conductivity of soil. But it corrodes metal and hence

5. Climate Condition
Increase or decrease of moisture content determines the increase or decrease of soil
resistivity. Thus in dry whether resistivity will be very high and in monsoon months the
resistivity will be low.
6. Physical Composition
Different soil composition gives different average resistivity. Based on the type of soil,
the resistivity of clay soil may be in the range of 4 – 150 ohm-meter, whereas for
rocky or gravel soils, the same may be well above 1000 ohm-meter.

7. Location of Earth Pit

The location also contributes to resistivity to a great extent. In a sloping landscape,
or in a land with made up of soil, or areas which are hilly, rocky or sandy, water runs
off and in dry weather conditions water table goes down very fast. In such situation
back fill compound will not be able to attract moisture, as the soil around the pit would
be dry.

The earth pits located in such areas must be watered at frequent intervals,
particularly during dry weather conditions.
Though back fill compound retains moisture under normal conditions, it gives off
moisture during dry weather to the dry soil around the electrode, and in the process
loses moisture over a period of time. Therefore, choose a site that is naturally not well

8. Effect of grain size and its distribution

Grain size, its distribution and closeness of packing are also contributory factors, since
they control the manner in which the moisture is held in the soil.

Effect of seasonal variation on soil resistivity: Increase or decrease of moisture

content in soil determines decrease or increase of soil resistivity. Thus in dry weather
resistivity will be very high and during rainy season the resistivity will be low.

9. Effect of current magnitude

Soil resistivity in the vicinity of ground electrode may be affected by current flowing
from the electrode into the surrounding soil. The thermal characteristics and the
moisture content of the soil will determine if a current of a given magnitude and
duration will cause significant drying and thus increase the effect of soil resistivity.

10. Area Available

Single electrode rod or strip or plate will not achieve the desired resistance alone.

If a number of electrodes could be installed and interconnected the desired resistance

could be achieved. The distance between the electrodes must be equal to the driven
depth to avoid overlapping of area of influence. Each electrode, therefore, must be
outside the resistance area of the other.

11. Obstructions
The soil may look good on the surface, but there may be obstructions below a few feet
like virgin rock. In that event resistivity will be affected. Obstructions like concrete
structure near about the pits will affect resistivity.

If the earth pits are close by, the resistance value will be high.

12. Current Magnitude

A current of significant magnitude and duration will cause significant drying condition
in soil and thus increase the soil resistivity.

Measurement of Earth Resistance by

use of Earth Tester
For measuring soil resistivity Earth Tester is used. It is also called the

 It has a voltage source, a meter to measure Resistance in ohms, switches to change

instrument range, Wires to connect terminal to Earth Electrode and Spikes.
 It is measured by using Four Terminal Earth Tester Instrument. The terminals are
connected by wires as in illustration.
 P=Potential Spike and C=Current Spike. The distance between the spikes may be
1M, 2M, 5M, 10M, 35M, and 50M.
 All spikes are equidistant and in straight line to maintain electrical
continuity. Take measurement in different directions.
 Soil resistivity =2πLR.
 R= Value of Earth resistance in ohm.
 Distance between the spikes in cm.
 π = 3.14
 P = Earth resistivity ohm-cm.
 Earth resistance value is directly proportional to Soil resistivity value

Measurement of Earth Resistance

(Three point method)

Measurement of Earth Resistance (Three

point method)

In this method earth tester terminal C1 and P1 are shorted to each other and connected
to the earth electrode (pipe) under test. Terminals P2 and C2 are connected to the two
separate spikes driven in earth. These two spikes are kept in same line at the distance
of 25 meters and 50 meters due to which there will not be mutual interference in the
field of individual spikes.
If we rotate generator handle with specific speed we get directly earth resistance on
scale. Spike length in the earth should not be more than 1/20th distance between two
spikes. Resistance must be verified by increasing or decreasing the distance between the
tester electrode and the spikes by 5 meter.
Normally, the length of wires should be 10 and 15 meters or in proportion of 62% of

Suppose, the distance of Current Spike from Earth Electrode D = 60 ft, Then, distance
of Potential Spike would be 62 % of D = 0.62D i.e. 0.62 x 60 ft = 37 ft.

Four Point Method

In this method 4 spikes are driven in earth in same line at the equal distance. Outer two
spikes are connected to C1 & C2 terminals of earth tester. Similarly inner two spikes
are connected to P1 & P2 terminals. Now if we rotate generator handle with specific
speed, we get earth resistance value of that place.

In this method error due to polarization effect is eliminated and earth tester can be
operated directly on A.C.

GI Earthing Vs Copper Earthing

 As per IS 3043, the resistance of Plate electrode to earth (R) = (r/A) X under
 Where r = Resistivity of Soil Ohm-meter.
 A=Area of Earthing Plate m3.
 The resistance of Pipe electrode to earth (R) = (100r/2πL) X loge (4L/d).
 Where L= Length of Pipe/Rod in cm
 d=Diameter of Pipe/Rod in cm.
 The resistivity of the soil and the physical dimensions of the electrode play
important role of resistance of Rod with earth.
 The material resistivity is not considered important role in earth resistivity.
 Any material of given dimensions would offer the same resistance to earth.
Except the sizing and number of the earthing conductor or the protective
Pipe Earthing Vs Plate Earthing
 Suppose Copper Plate having of size 1.2m x 1.2m x 3.15mm thick. soil resistivity
of 100 ohm-m,
 The resistance of Plate electrode to earth (R)=( r/A)X under root(π/A) =
(100/2.88)X(3.14/2.88)=36.27 ohm
 Now, consider a GI Pipe Electrode of 50 mm Diameter and 3 m Long. soil
resistivity of 100 Ohm-m,
 The resistance of Pipe electrode to earth (R) = (100r/2πL) X loge (4L/d) =
(100X100/2X3.14X300) X loge (4X300/5) =29.09 Ohm.
 From the above calculation the GI Pipe electrode offers a much lesser resistance
than even a copper plate electrode.
 As per IS 3043 Pipe, rod or strip has a much lower resistance than a plate of
equal surface area.

Length of Pipe Electrode and Earthing

The resistance to earth of a pipe or plate electrode reduces rapidly within the first few
feet from ground (mostly 2 to 3 meter) but after that soil resistivity is mostly uniform.

After about 4 meter depth, there is no appreciable change in resistance to earth of the
electrode. Except a number of rods in parallel are to be preferred to a single long rod.

Amount of Salt and Charcoal (more

than 8Kg)
To reduce soil resistivity, it is necessary to dissolve in the moisture particle in the Soil.
Some substance like Salt/Charcoal is highly conductive in water solution but the
additive substance would reduce the resistivity of the soil, only when it is dissolved in
the moisture in the soil after that additional quantity does not serve the Purpose.
5% moisture in salt reduces earth resistivity rapidly and further increase in salt content
will give a very little decrease in soil resistivity.

The salt content is expressed in percent by weight of the moisture content in the soil.
Considering 1M3 of Soil, the moisture content at 10 percent will be about 144 kg. (10
percent of 1440 kg). The salt content shall be 5% of this (i.e.) 5% of 144kg, that
is, about 7.2kg.

Amount of Water Purring

Moisture content is one of the controlling factors of earth resistivity. Above 20 % of
moisture content, the resistivity is very little affected. But below 20% the resistivity
increases rapidly with the decrease in moisture content.

If the moisture content is already above 20% there is no point in adding quantity of
water into the earth pit, except perhaps wasting an important and scarce national
resource like water.

Length Vs Diameter of Earth Electrode

Apart from considerations of mechanical strength, there is little advantage to be gained
from increasing the earth electrode diameter with the object in mind of increasing
surface area in contact with the soil.

The usual practice is to select a diameter of earth electrode, which will have enough
strength to enable it to be driven into the particular soil conditions without bending or
splitting. Large diameter electrode may be more difficult to drive than smaller diameter

The depth to which an earth electrode is driven has much more influence on its
electrical resistance characteristics than has its diameter.
Maximum allowable Earth resistance
 Major power station = 0.5 Ohm
 Major Sub-stations = 1.0 Ohm
 Minor Sub-station = 2 Ohm
 Neutral Bushing = 2 Ohm
 Service connection = 4 Ohm
 Medium Voltage Network = 2 Ohm
 L.T.Lightening Arrestor = 4 Ohm
 L.T.Pole = 5 Ohm
 H.T.Pole = 10 Ohm
 Tower = 20-30 Ohm

Treatments to for minimizing Earth

 Remove Oxidation on joints and joints should be tightened.
 Poured sufficient water in earth electrode.
 Used bigger size of Earth Electrode.
 Electrodes should be connected in parallel.
 Earth pit of more depth & width- breadth should be made.
Originally published at Electrical Notes and Articles
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Jignesh Parmar
Jignesh Parmar has completed M.Tech (Power System Control) ,B.E(Electrical). He is
member of Institution of Engineers (MIE),India. Membership No:M-1473586.He has
more than 13 years experience in Transmission -Distribution-Electrical Energy theft
detection-Electrical Maintenance-Electrical Projects (Planning-Designing-Technical
Review-coordination -Execution). He is Presently associate with one of the leading
business group as a Deputy Manager at Ahmedabad,India. He has published numbers of
Technical Articles in "Electrical Mirror", "Electrical India", "Lighting India",
"Industrial Electrix"(Australian Power Publications) Magazines. He is Freelancer
Programmer of Advance Excel and design useful Excel base Electrical Programs as per
IS, NEC, IEC,IEEE codes. He is Technical Blogger and Familiar with English, Hindi,
Gujarati, French languages. He wants to Share his experience & Knowledge and help
technical enthusiasts to find suitable solutions and updating themselves on various
Engineering Topics.


NOV 13, 2018
Sir ,my question is that,can a industry or a building contains tow or more COPPER

arthing For Safety

Provision of adequate grounding in a substation and switching stations are very
important for the safety of operating personnel as well a electrical devices do
not rise above tolerable thresholds and that the earth connection is rugged to
dissipate the fault to the earth.

What does a good grounding of the power substation and switching station
really mean?
The importance of an effective, durable and a dependable earth for ensuring
safety from electrical hazards does not require to be elaborated upon more.

By earthing, connecting the electrical equipment to the general mass of the

earth, this has a very low resistance.

1. Requirements Of a Good Substation Earthing
2. Maximum Permissible Resistance Of Earthing System
3. Touch Voltage (E-TOUCH)
4. Step Voltage (E STEP)
5. Earthing System In a Substation
 Earth Mat or Grid
 Construction of Earth Mat
 Earth Mat in a Substation
6. Location Of Earth Electrode
 Pipe Electrode
7. Earthing Of Various Equipment In The Substation
 Isolators and Switches
 Lightning Arresters
 Circuit Breakers
 Transformers
 Current Transformers and Potential Transformers
 Other Equipment
 Fences
 Ground Wire
 Cables and Supports
 Panels and Cubicles
8. Distribution Transformer Structure Earthing
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1. Requirements Of a Good Substation

The object of an earthing system in a substation is to provide under and around
the substation a surface that shall be at a uniform potential and near zero or
absolute earth potential as possible.

The provision of such a surface of uniform potential under and around the
substation ensure that no human being in the substation subject in shock of
injury on the occurrence of a short circuit or development of other abnormal
conditions in the equipment installed in the yard.
The primary requirements of a good earthing system in a substation are:
1. It stabilizes circuit potentials with respect to ground and limits the overall
potential rise.
2. It protects life and property from over voltage.
3. It provides low impedance path to fault currents to ensure prompt and
consistent operation of protective devices during ground faults.
4. It keeps the maximum voltage gradient along the surface inside and around
the substation within safe limits during ground fault.
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2. Maximum Permissible Resistance Of

Earthing System
Large power station 0.5 ohms
Major sub-station 1.0 ohms
Small sub-station 2.0 ohms
In all other cases 8.0 ohms
The earth continuity inside an installation 1.0 ohms
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3. Touch Voltage (E-TOUCH)

Definition – The potential difference between a ground metallic structure and a
point on the earth’s surface separated by a distance equal to the normal
maximum horizontal reach of a person, approximately one meter as shown in
figure 1.
Figure 1
– Touch voltage at a grounded structure

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4. Step Voltage (E STEP)

Definition – The potential difference between two points on the earth surface
separated by distance of one pace that will be assumed to be one meter in the
direction of maximum potential gradient as shown in figure.
Figure 2 – Step voltage at a grounded structure

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5. Earthing System In a Substation

The earthing system comprises of earthing (or) grid, earthing electrodes,
earthing conductors and earth connections.

5.1 Earth Mat or Grid

The primary requirement of earthing is to have a very low earth resistance. If
the individual electrodes driven in the soil are measured it will have a fairly high

But if these individual electrodes area inter linked inside the soil, it increases
the area in constant with soil and creates a number or paralleled paths and
hence the value of earth resistance in the interlink state, which is
called combined earth resistance, will be much lower than the individual

However interlinking of earth pit electrodes is necessary. The substation

involves many earthing through individual electrodes. In order to have uniform
interconnection, a mat or grid or earthing conductor is formed inside the soil.
Thus a mat is spread underneath the sub-station.
Hence if a ground electrode is driven in the soil, the interlinking can be done by
a small link between that electrode and earth mat running nearby.

The spreading of such a mat in the soil also ensures the object of earthing
that and surface under and around the sub-station is kept at as nearly
absolute earth potential as possible.

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5.2 Construction of Earth Mat

The sub-station site including the fence is segregated at intervals, of say four
meters width along with length and breadth wise. Trenches of one meter to 1.5
meter depth and one meter width is dug along these lines. The earthing
conductors of sufficient sizes (as per fault current) are placed at the bottom of
these trenches. All the crossing and joints are braced.

The trenches are then filled up with soil of uniform fine mass of earth mixed with
required chemicals depending upon the soil resistivity. If location of equipment
is fixed, the intervals are also arranged that the earth mat passes nearby the
equipment location to facilitate for easy interlinking.

It is preferable to extend the mat beyond the fence for about one meter that
fence can also be suitably earthed and made safe for touching.
Normally the earth mat is buried horizontally at a depth of about half a meter
below the surface of the ground and ground rods at suitable points.
Figure 3 – Substation grounding

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5.3 Earth Mat in a Sub-Station
Earth Mat is connected to the Following in a Substation:

 The neutral point of such system through its own independent earth.
 Equipment frame work and other non-current carrying parts of the
electrical equipments in the sub-station.
 All extraneous metallic frame work not associated with equipment.
 Handle of the operating pipe.
 Fence if it is within 2 m from earth mat.
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6. Location Of Earth Electrode

The location of earth electrode should be chosen in one of the following
types of soil in the order of preference:

 Wet marshy ground.

 Clay, loamy soil and arable land
 Clay and loam mixed with varying proportions of sand, gravel and stones.
 Damp and wet sand, peat.
Dry sand, gravel chalk limestone, granite, very stone ground and all locations
where virgin rock is very close to the surface should be avoided.
Figure 4 – Substation ground grid

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6.1 Pipe Electrode

It should be made of ‘B’ class G.I pipe. The internal diameter should not be
smaller than 38 mm and it should be 100 mm fore cast Iron pipe. The length of
the pipe electrode should not less than 2.5 m. It should be embedded
Where hard rock is encountered it can be inclined to vertical. The inclination
shall not more than 30 from the vertical.

To reduce the depth of burial of an electrode without increasing the

resistance, a number of pipes shall be connected together in parallel. The
resistance in this case is practically proportional to the reciprocal of the number
of electrodes used so long as each is situated outside the resistance area of the
The distance between two electrodes in such a case shall preferably be not less
than twice the length of electrode as shown in figure 5.
Figure 5 – Pipe Electrode

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7. Earthing Of Various Equipment In The

7.1 Isolators and switches
A flexible earth conductor is provided between the handle and earthing
conductor attached to the mounting bracket and the handle of switches is
connected to earthing mat by means of two separate distinct connections made
with MS flat.

One connection is made with the nearest longitudinal conductor, while the
other is made to the nearest transverse conductor of the mat.
Figure 6 – HV switch
grounding (photo credit: Brink Constructions, Inc.)

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7.2 Lightning Arresters
Conductors as short and straight as practicable to ensure minimum
impedance shall directly connect the bases of the lightning arresters to the
earth grid. In addition, there shall be as direct a connection as practicable from
the earth side of lightning arresters to the frame of the equipment being

Individual ground electrodes should be provided for each lighting arrester for
the reason that large grounding system in itself may be relatively of little
use for lightning protection. These ground electrodes should be connected to
the main earth system.
In the case of lighting arresters mounted near transformers, earthing conductor
shall be located clear off the tank and coolers in order to avoid possible oil
leakage caused by arcing.

Figure 7
– 144kV Lightning Arresters with grounded bottom terminals and with insulated
leads (photo credit:
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7.3 Circuit Breakers

For every breaker there will be five earth connections to the earth mat with: MS
flat (i) breaker body (ii) relay panel (iii) CTs of the breaker (iv) Two side of the
breaker structure.

Figure 8 – Circuit breakers grounding (photo credit: Casteel Corporation)

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7.4 Transformers
The tank of each transformer shall be directly connected to the main grid. In
addition there shall be as direct a connection as practicable from the tank to the
earth side of projecting lightning arresters.

The transformer track rails shall be earthed either separately or by bonding

at each end of the track and at intervals not exceeding 60.96 meter (200
The earthing of neutral bushing shall be by two separate strips to the earth grid
and shall likewise be run clear to rank cell and coolers.

Figure 9 – Transformer structure grounding

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7.5 Current Transformers and Potential Transformers

The supporting structures of Current Transformer and Potential Transformer
unit of bases, all bolted cover plates to which the bushings are attached
connected to the earthing mat by means of two separate distinct connections
made with MS flat.

One connection is made with the nearest longitudinal conductor, while the
other is made to the nearest transverse conductor of the mat.

Figure 10 – High Voltage Substation (circuit breakers, instrument transformers)

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7.6 Other Equipment

All equipment’s, structures, and metallic frames of switches and isolators shall
be earthed separately as shown in figure 11.
Figure 11 – Structure

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7.7 Fences
The Sub-station fence should be generally too far outside the substation
equipment and grounded separately from the station ground. The station and
the fence ground should not be linked.

To avoid any risk to the person walking near the fence inside the station, no
metal parts connecting connected to the station ground, should be near to
the fence five feet and it is desirable to cover the strip about ten feet wide
inside the fence by a layer of crushed stone which keeps its high resistively
even under wet condition.
If the distance between the fence and station structures, cannot be increased at
least five feet and if the fence is too near the substation equipment structure
etc., the station fence should be connected to the fence ground.

Otherwise a person touching the fence and the station ground

simultaneously would be subjected to a very high potential under fault

Figure 12 – Substation fence earthing

In a fence very near to the station area, high shock voltage can be avoided by
ensuring good contact between the fence stations and by grounding the
fence at intervals. The station fence should not be connected to the station
ground but should be grounded separately.

If however, the fence is close to the metal parts of substation, it should be

connected to the station ground.

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7.8 Ground Wire

All ground wires over a station must be connected to the station earth

In order that the station earth potentials during fault conditions are not applied
to transmission line ground wires and towers, all ground wires coming to the
station must be broken at and insulated on the station side of the first
tower or pole external to the station by means of 10” disc insulator.

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7.9 Cables and Supports

Metal sheathed cables within the station earth grid area must be connected to
that grid. Multi-core cables must be connected to the grid at least at one
point. Single core cablesnormally should be connected to the grid at one point

Where cables which are connected to the station earth grid pass under a
metallic station perimeter fence, they shall be laid at a depth of not less than
762 mm (2’-6”) below the fence, or shall be enclosed in an insulating pipe for
a distance of not less than 1524 mm (5’) on each side of the fence.
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7.10 Panels and Cubicles

Each panel or cubicle should be provided near the base with a frame earth bar
of copper to which shall be connected the metal bases and covers of switches
and contactor unit.

The frame earth bar shall in turn be connected to the earth grid by an
earthing conductor.

Figure 13 –
Panel earthing

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8. Distribution Transformer Structure

Let’s see the following nine rules you should follow for correct grounding
of distribution transformer structure:

1. For earthing three earth pits in triangular formation at a distance of six meter
from each other are to be provided.
2. Earth pit should be digged for 45 cm x 45 cm size and 5 ft. depth.
3. 3 Nos. of 40 mm dia and 2.9 mm thickness and 3 mts. (10 ft) length of earth
pipe should be used for earthing.
This earth pipe is erected in 5 ft. depth earth pit and for the balance length of
earth pipe is driven by hammering into the ground.
4. When a pipe is driven into the earth, the earth surrounding the pipe can be
considered to be consisting of concentric cylinders of earth which will be
bigger in size and area, as they are away from the pipe. The current can
travel into the earth with large area having little resistance.
5. 3 m. length of electrode will have contact with the earth area of 3 m in
radius. Hence to have better effect 3 m pipe should be fixed at a distance of
6 m (i.e.) twice the distance of pipe length.
6. For better earth connection, one G I clamp should be welded to the earth
pipe and the other clamp bolted with 2 nos. 11/2 x 1⁄2 G I bolt nuts and 4
nos. G. I. washers to the earth pipe.
7. Two separate distinct connections through G I wire should be made from the
transformer neutral bushing to the earth pit No. 2.
8. Two separate distinct connections through GI wire should be made from the
transformer HT lightning Arrester to the earth pit No. 1.
As far as possible this earth wire should not have contact with other earth
wire connections. If needed PVC sleeves can be used for insulation.
9. Two separate distinct connections through GI wire from the following parts of
the structure should be made to the earth pit No. 3 as shown in figure 14
 Metal part of the disc and stay.
 Top channel.
 AB switch frame, metal part of the insulator, side Arms.
 HG fuses frame and metal part of the insulator.
 LT cross arm, metal part of the insulator, open type fuse frame.
 AB switch guide and operating pipe ( At the top and bottom )
 Transformer body.
 Belting angle.
 Seating channel
 LT lightning arrester.
The above earth connections should be made as far as possible without
joints. Wherever joints are necessary, GI sleeves should be used by proper

The earth pits No. 2 and 3 can be interlinked to serve as parallel path and lower
the earth resistance.
If the earth resistance of the earth pit No. 1 is high, then another earth pit No. 4
can be formed as a counter poise earth and linked with the HT lightning arrester
Figure 14 – Earthing of Distribution Transformer Structure
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Reference // Handbook on maintenance of electrical general services

substation by Government of India / Ministry of railways
Related electrical guides & articles

2. Maximum Permissible Resistance Of Earthing System

Large power station 0.5 ohms

Major sub-station 1.0 ohms
Small sub-station 2.0 ohms
In all other cases 8.0 ohms
The earth continuity inside an installation 1.0 ohms
Dec 18, 2017

BS 7671 lists five types of earthing system: TN-S, TN-C-S, TT, TN-C, and IT. T = Earth (from
the French word Terre) N = Neutral S = Separate C = Combined I = Isolated (The source of an
IT system is either connected to earth through a deliberately introduced earthing impedance or
is isolated from Earth.