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ASIF EQBAL

Electrical & Electronics Engineer

E54530

BASICS OF EARTHING

Contents
1.
2.
3.
4.

5.

6.

7.

TERMINOLOGIES
DISADVANTAGES OF UNEARTHED SYSTEM
TYPES OF EARTHING
BASIC PRINCIPLE
& METHODS OF SYSTEM EARTHING
SCHEME ADOPTED IN PROCESS PLANT FOR SYSTEM
EARTHING
EARTHING CONDUCTORS SCHEDULE FOR SUBSTATIONS OF
PROCESS PLANT
RECOMMENDED PRACTICES AS PER IEC 60364 AND IS 3043

Terminologies
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

CLASS I EQUIPMENT
CLASS II EQUIPMENT
EARTH ELECTRODE
EARTH ELECTRODE RESISTANCE
EARTH FAULT LOOP IMPEDANCE
EARTH LEAKAGE CURRENT
PROTECTIVE CONDUCTOR
NEUTRAL CONDUCTOR
PEN CONDUCTOR
RESIDUAL CURRENT DEVICE
RESIDUAL OPERATING CURRENT
TOUCH VOLTAGE
STEP VOLTAGE
EARTH GRID
EARTH MAT

Disadvantages of Unearthed
System
1.

2.

3.

4.

Unearthed system experience


repeated arcing grounds.
Insulation failure occurs during single
phase to ground faults.
Earth fault protection for unearthed
system is difficult.
Voltage due to lightning surges do not
find path to earth.
4

Types of
Earthing
1.
2.
3.
4.

SYSTEM EARTHING
EQUIPMENT EARTHING
REFERENCE OR SIGNAL EARTHING
STATIC AND LIGHTNING PROTECTION EARTHIN

Equipment Earthing
The connection between non current carrying

1.
2.
3.

metallic parts in electrical installation to earth is


equipment or body earthing.The basic objectives
are:Freedom from Electric shock.
To provide adequate current carrying capability.
Avoidance of thermal distress & preservation of
system performance.

Reference or Signal Earthing

1.

2.

3.

The connection of floating point in the circuit to earth is called


reference or signal earthing. It is performed to achieve both a
suitable level of protection for personnel and equipment,& to
provide suitable electric noise immunity for signal ground
references in generating stations.
Mainly used in electronic, communication & data processing
equipment in electrical installation building.
Earthing of chassis of instruments, computer room ensures
freedom from electromagnetic disturbances on operation of
isolator,thyristors in main power circuits.
It is of three type Single point earthing, Multiple point earthing
& floating earth.

Basic Principles & Methods of


System Earthing
1.

2.

3.

4.

The potential of neutral is held at


earth potential due to earthing.
The fault current lags behind the
voltage of unhealthy line by 90
degree due to predominantly
inductive nature of circuit.
The current through neutral in
this case is in phase opposition to
capacitive ground current.
By neutralisation of capacitive
ground currents arcing grounds is
eliminated.

R
Y
B
N

PE

Basic Principles &


Methods of System
Earthing(cont.)
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

For a ground fault in line B the


vectorial sum of current measured
by CBCT non zero.
In case of small unbalance this sum
is non zero and there will be flow
current through neutral.
So the current flowing through
neutral has to be distinguished for
being due to ground fault or due to
small unbalances.
To make this differentiation we
employ a protective earth conductor
(PE) .
The path of fault current gets
essentially completed through this
conductor providing low impedance.

R
Y
B
N

PE

Basic Principles & Methods of


System Earthing(cont.)
1.

2.

3.

So measuring the current through


PE which is equal to fault current
is the principle of System
earthing.
Any other normal current
especially the neutral current
under small unbalances must not
flow through PE in order to avoid
nuisance tripping.
Two ways to measure the current
through PE is by Residual current
sensing & by source ground return
sensing.

R
Y
B
N

PE

10

Methods OF System Earthing


1.
2.
3.

Non-effective earthing with resistance or reactance.


Effective earthing or solid earthing.
Resonant earthing.
There is no rule or theory as regards which earthing should be used resistance
or reactance. If resistance is used fault current is limited and system reactance
provides the necessary phase opposition between capacitive ground current &
fault current. Circuits where high charging currents are involved such as
transmission lines, underground cables Reactance earthing is preferred.
Generally one neutral ground is provided at each voltage level. Between
generator voltage level and distribution voltage levels. One ground is provided
at each voltage level. The earth is provided at source end & not load end.
To avoid circulating current only one generator neutral is earthed at a time if
several generators are operating in parallel.

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Scheme Adopted in Process


plants for System Earthing
SYSTEM

VOLTAGE

NEUTRAL
EARTHING

MAIN RECEIVING SUBSTATION

220kV,3 phase,3 wire

Solidly earthed

MAIN POWER GENERATORS

11-19kV,3 phase,3 wire

High resistance earthed

MAIN POWER DISTRIBUTION

33kV,3 phase,3 wire

Solidly earthed

SECONDARY POWER
DISTRIBUTION

11kV,3 phase, 3 wire


6.6kV,3 phase,3 wire

Low resistance earthed

EMERGENCY POWER
GENERATION

6.6kV,3 phase,3 wire


415V,3 phase,3 wire

Low resistance earthed


Solidly earthed

LV POWER DISTRIBUTION

415V,3 phase,4 wire

Solidly earthed
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Earthing Conductors
Schedule
EQUIPMENT

BODY EARTH
CONNECTION

INSTRUMENT/CLEA
N EARTH

Transformer
33/6.6kV
Neutral Point To
NER

75X10mm, at 4
places
Single Core XLPE
cable of relevant
size

Not Required

NER to Earth Pit

75X10mm,with 2
pit connections
75X10mm (2
No's)

Not Required

Marshalling Box

Not Required

Not Required
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Earthing Conductors Schedule


EQIPMENT

BODY EARTH
CONNECTION

INSTRUMENT/CLEA
N EARTH

Transformer 6.6/0.433kV

75X10mm,at 4 places

Not required

Neutral

75X10mm,with 2 pit
connections

Not required

Bus-Duct

1cX70 sq mm

Not required

Trip Push button, Welding


Socket, HVAC Duct,

1cX35 sq mm

Not required

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Earthing Conductors Schedule


EQUIPMENT

BODY EARTH
CONNECTION

INSTRUMENT/
CLEAN EARTH

6.6kV Switchgear
PCC,MCC,Battery
charger,VFD,main
earth grid & riser
conductor

75X10mm

1cX16 mm sq only
for PCC,MCC VFD

Fiber optic panel,


HVAC control panel
DBs Space heater
panel.

50X6mm

Only for Fiber optic


panel & HVAC control
panel

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Recommended practices for


system Earthing

1.

2.

Power system earthing arrangements are distinguished


as follows:
The first letter denotes the connection between earth and
power supply equipment (generator or transformer). The
second letter denotes the relationship of the exposed
conductive parts of the installation to earth i.e.
connection between earth and electrical device being
supplied.
T-direct connection of one or more points to earth.
(French:terre).
N-direct electrical connection of the exposed conductive
parts to the earthed points of the source of energy,
which for AC,is usually the neutral point

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Recommended practices for


system Earthing
Further classification of TN system of earthing
For low voltage systems the designation 'TN' is further
subdivided depending on the arrangement of neutral and
protective conductors, the arrangement being denoted by a
further letter or letters:
S = neutral and protective functions provided by separate
conductors (N and PE).
C = neutral and protective functions combined in a single
conductor (PEN).

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Earthing system IEC 60364


1.

2.

3.

E56888

TT system

The Neutral point of


LV transformer is directly
connected to an earth
electrode

R
Y
B
N

The exposed conductive


parts of the installation are
connected to an electrically
separate earth electrode
The protective earth
connection of the consumer is
provided by a local connection
to earth, independent of any
earth connection at the
generator or supply end.

PE
Rn

Ru

Earthing system IEC 60364


1.

2.

The star point of the LV


transformer is directly
connected to an earth
electrode (source earth)
The exposed conductive
parts of the installation are
connected by the PE to the
same earth electrode (The
body of the electrical device
is connected with earth via
this earth connection at the
transformer).

E56890

TN system
R
Y
B
N
PE

Earthing system IEC 60364


The PE and Neutral
conductor are separate (They are connected
together only near the power source. ).

E56890

TN-S system
R
Y
B
N
PE

Earthing system IEC 60364


The PE and Neutral conductor are common
= the PEN
(A combined PEN conductor fulfils the functions

).

of both a PE and an N conductor

E56892

TN-C system
R
Y
B
PEN

Earthing system IEC 60364


Part of the system uses a combined PEN
conductor, which is at some point split up into
separate PE and N lines.
The combined PEN conductor typically occurs
between the substation and the entry point into the
building, whereas within the building separate PE
and N conductors are used.
(This system is also known as protective multiple
earthing (PME), because of the practice of
connecting the combined neutral-and-earth
conductor to real earth at many locations, to reduce
the risk of broken neutrals .
This system is also designated as multiple earthed
neutral (MEN) particularly in Australia.

E56892

TN-CS System
R
Y
B
N
PE

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TN system examples

For HV Systems supplied from an overhead line, the earthing


system shall be of the TN configuration from the point of supply.
Refer Figure for explanatory schematic.
SOURCE

OVERHEAD LINE

POINT OF SUPPLY

L1
L2
L3
PE

SOURCE
EARTH

INSTALLATION
EARTH

EXPOSED
CONDUCTIVE
PARTS ARE
CONNECTED TO
PE

CONSUMER
EQUIPMENT

Figure : TN System for installation supplied from Overhead Line

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TN system examples
TN-S System is adopted for LV System Earthing.
Refer following Fig. for an explanatory
schematic of a TN-S system.
SOURCE
L1
L2
L3
N
PE

EXPOSED CONDUCTIVE
PARTS ARE CONNECTED
TO PE

CONSUMER
EQUIPMENT

SOURCE EARTH

CONSUMER EQUIPMENT

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The Protective Conductor (PE)


system
1.

2.

3.

An electrically continuous system which provides a permanent direct return


path for fault currents between exposed conductive parts (e.g. the metallic
enclosure of electrical equipment) and the neutral of the source of supply.
In conjunction with protective devices, the PE system controls magnitude
and duration of touch voltages to safe levels.
In permanent LV systems PE's and protective devices shall ensure automatic
disconnection of an earth fault from the source of supply within one second
For personnel safety and to ensure proper operation of the protection relays
the impedance of the return path shall be as low as possible, hence the PE
should be integrated in the power cable.
Common examples of PE's are Cable armouring, cable screens, neutral
point connections, earth bars etc. Where no suitable cable armour or screen
is available either the power cable shall have an additional PE conductor or
a separate PE conductor shall be installed parallel to the power cable
(yellow/green PVC sheath).

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The Equi potential bonding


Conductor(EB) system
1.

2.
3.

4.

An electrically continuous system which directly or indirectly (via the earth


grid) interconnects exposed conductive parts (e.g., the metallic enclosure
of electrical equipment) with extraneous conductive parts (of nonelectrical equipment, e.g., a skid) and earth to ensure Equi potential
between these parts and earth under normal and electrical fault
conditions. This system generally consists of a common earth grid and EB
conductors connecting exposed and extraneous parts to the earth grid.
Common examples of EBs are Earth grids in oil and gas facilities
,substations and earth mats in switchyards with outdoor equipment.
The general rule is that, for reasons of reliability, the exposed and
extraneous conductive parts of equipment shall be connected to the EB
system by two separately routed earth conductors, marked green/yellow.
These conductors shall be connected to the equipment at physically
different points (e.g., diametrically opposite).
The cross-section of conductors for the PE and EB systems shall in general
be determined by the prospective fault level, which will vary from location
to location, and the type of fault.

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PE and EB system
Although the PE-system and the EB-system have
distinctly different functions (namely fault clearing and
Equipotential), these systems are permanently interconnected.
Thus, in addition to its function the EB-system will affect earth
loop impedance and fault clearing. Similarly, in addition to its
function, the PE-system will provide supplementary connections
between exposed conductive parts and the earth grid, via the
neutral point of the source of supply.

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Earthing system IEC 60364


1.

2.

3.

The star point of the LV


transformer is not connected
to an earth electrode (or it has only a
high
impedance connection).
The exposed conductive parts
of the loads are connected by
the PE conductor to a common
earth electrode
In such systems, an insulation
monitoring
device is used to
monitor the impedance.

E56894

IT system
L1
L2
L3
N
PE

Earthing System conclusions


IEC 60364
Earthing
System

TN-C

TN-S

TT

IT

I fault

High

High

Low

Very low

Protection
of people

SCPD

SCPD

RCD

No problem

Fire
Protection

Forbidden

Not
recommended

Recommended
with RCD

Recommended
with RCD

Cost

Most

economical

Expensive

economical

than TN

TT and IT Systems naturally manage the Fire Risk by limiting the fault current

ELECTROMAGANETIC
COMPATIBILITY
IEC 60364
Earthing
System

TN-C

EM
Forbidden
disturbances PE and
Neutral are
together
(PEN)

TN-S

TT

IT

Good
But be careful
avoiding PE
and Neutral to
be in contacts

Very good
No problems
even if Neutral
and PE are in
contacts

Very good
No problems
even if Neutral
and PE are in
contacts
l

There isn't any fault current in TT and IT System even if the PE


and Neutral are in contact

Thank You

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