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Copyright Material IEEE Paper No. PCIC-2001-02

Donald W. Zipse, P.E. Life Fellow, IEEE

Zipse Electrical Engineering, Inc. PO Box 7052 Wilmington, DE 19803-0052
Abstract - Grounding and its design is a complex subject encompassing personnel safety, lightning or static protection, electrical power system earthing and computer system grounding. One must define the purpose to be achieved, as each system may accomplish the objective by different means. The paper lists and defines the more common earthing-grounding terms. A brief history of early attempts at grounding electrical and computer systems is covered. The paper answers the questions of why and how an electrical connection is made to earth. It details the methods of connecting the various types of electrical systems to earth. Personal safety with respect to electricity is covered. Misconceptions concerning grounding and earthing are disclosed.

671 Kadar Drive West Chester, PA 19382-8123

to be imposed. Bonding is the electrical interconnection of conductive parts, designed to maintain a common electrical potential [I]. Circuit: Websters Dictionary definition, A path or route, the complete traversal of, which without local change of direction, requires returning to the starting point. b. The act of following such a path or route. 3. Electronics (IEEE Definition): a. A closed path, followed or capable of being followed by an electric current. The beginning can be arbitrarily selected. Earth: A conducting body of varying resistances, used in place of a conductor. Earth is commonly used as a reference point for building and structure wiring systems. The term is used interchangeablewith the term ground. Earthing: A connection to earth. Electric Shock: Stimulation of the nerves and possible convulsive contraction of the muscle caused by the passage of an electric current through the human or the animal body. May or may not result in electrocution. Electrode: A conductor through which, an electric current enters or leaves a medium, such as earth. Electrocution: To kill with electricity. (Note: No one is known to have been electrocuted and lived to tell about it. See electric shock.) Equipment bonding conductors: Equipment bonding conductors are short conductors used to bridge loose or flexible sections of raceway, ducts or conduits; or to connect in the US service entrance parts. Equipment Grounding: The interconnection of all the noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment, such as receptacles, motors, electrical equipment housings, metallic raceways and other metallic enclosures, to the ground electrode andlor the system grounded conductor at the service entrance equipment or at a separately derived ground. Equipment grounding conductor: A conductor that must be continuous from the source to the load. Green or green with yellow strip insulated or bare copper is used for identification. Ground: A conducting connection, whether intentional or unintentional or accidental, by which an electric circuit or equipment is connected to the earth or to some conducting body of relative large extent that serves in place of the earth [2]. (Also, see Grounding) Ground current: Current that flows through the ground, earth, equipment ground conductors, etc.

lndex Terms - Ground, grounding, earth, earthing, bonding, electrode, neutral, high resistance,

Abbreviations AFCl ANSI AWG CENELEC CSA EPD GFCl GFP IAEl Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupters American National Standards Institute American Wire Gauge European Union Standards Organization Canadian Standards Association Equipment Protective Device (Not IEEE or NEC definition. Also, see GFP) Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Ground Fault Protection (NEC definition. Also, see EPD) International Association of Electrical Inspectors International Electrotechnical Commission International Standards Organization National Institute of Standards and Technology National Fire Protection Association National Electrical Code National Electrical Safety Code Occupational Safety and Health Administration



Definition of Terns: The definitions are predominately those used in the United States unless otherwise noted. Bonding: The permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path that will ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any current likely

, Excerpted from American Hentage Talking Dictionary. Copyright 0

1997 The Learning Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.. 01CH37265

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Ground electrode: A conductor buried in the earth and used for collecting ground current from or dissipating ground current into the earth. Ground fault: See below. Ground fault current: The ground current resulting from any phase-conductor-to-earth fault. Ground fault curnmt (Normal): The flow of ground fault current should be brief, until the protectivedevice opens. This brief flow of current i:; considered normal. (Note: If the circuit is protected by a GFU, the flow will be brief as the device operates between 4 rnA and 6 mA.) Ground fault current (Abnormal): The ground fault current, which is continuous, resulting from any phase conductor coming into contact with a grounded conductor orgrounded equipment or to earth, as the result of a neutral-to-ground fault, is objectionable and the fault should be removed, corrected or repaired as soon as possible. Ground Mat: A system of closely spaced bare conductors, usually copper, that are connected to the ground grid and placed above the grid to prevent step-touch potential (voltage) hazard is where thle level may be higher than normal. Grounded metal plate or wire meshes are common forms of ground mats. (See Grounding Grid.) Ground return circuit: A circuit in which the earth or an equivalent conductinsg body is utilized to complete the circuit and allow the current circulation from or to its current source. [2] Connected to eaith or to some extended conducting body that serves instead of the earth, whether the connection is intentional or unintentionalor accidental [ ] 3. GroundedConductor: A (current carrying) conductor that is intentionally grounded. This can be the neutral or one of the phase conductors in a Corner-of-the-Delta Grounding system [4]. (Note: Can be thought of as being associated with the white wire when associated with the NEC.) Grounded, Effectively: Grounded through a sufficiently low impedance such that for all system conditions the ratio of zero-sequence reaciance to positive sequence reactance is positive and less than 3, and the ratio of zero-sequence
resistance to positive-sequence reactance ( R ~ I is positive )

Grounding conductor: Normally a non-current conductor used to connect electrical equipment or the grounded circuit of a wiring system to a grounding electrode or electrodes. Part of the equipment grounding system. Grounding electrode: A buried metal water-piping system, or metal object or device buried in, or driven into the ground so as to make intimate contact. The grounding conductor is connected to the grounding electrode. This is usually the reference connection point for a grounded wiring system [4]. Grounding electrode conductor: The NEC defines the grounding electrode conductor as: The conductor used to connect the grounding electrode to the equipment grounding conductor, to the grounded conductor, or to both, of the circuit at the service equipment or at the source of a separately derived system. Grounding grid: A system of bare conductors, usually copper, buried in the earth to form an interconnecting grid forming a ground electrode. Neutral: (IEEE Definitions) (1) (rotating machinery) The point along an insulated winding where the voltage is the instantaneous average of the line terminal voltages during normal operation. Neutral Point: (IEEE Definitions) (2) (A) (power and distribution transformers) The common point of a Y connection in a polyphase system. (B) (power and distribution transformers) The point of a symmetrical system which is normally at zero voltage. Noiseless terminal to earth (TE): A supplemental electrode for equipment grounding. IEC terminology. Under debate in the IEC. A terminal for connection to an external, noiseless earth, isolated, conductor. In the US, the PE and TE terminals must be electrically and mechanically continuous. They are not recomnaqnded to be used unless connected together. See section VI1 Computer System Grounding. IEC terminology. Protective external conductor (PE): Terminals for the protective conductor may be identified by the bicolour combination Green-and-Yellow. Similar to Equipment Grounding definition.
System, electrical: The portion o the electrical conductors, f

and less than 1 [3]. The NEC definition is: Intentionally connected to earth through a ground connection or connections of sufficiently low impedance and having sufficient current-carrying capacity to prevent the buildup of voltages that may result in undue hazards to connected equipment or to persons. Ground-Fault Protection of Equipment: A system intended to provide protection of equipment from damaging line-toground fault current; by operating to cause a disconnecting means to open all ungrounded conductors of the faulted circuit. This protection is provided at current levels less than those required to protect conductors from damage through the operation of a supply circuit overcurrent device. [4] Grounded, solidly: Electrical Systems. Connected directly through an adequate ground connection in which no impedance has been intentionally inserted [3]. Grounding: A permanent and continuous conductive path to the earth with sufficient ampacity to carry any fault current liable to be imposed on it, and of a sufficiently low impedance to limit the voltage rise above ground and to facilitate the operation of the protective devices in the circuit. [I] (Note: Can be thought of its being associated with the green wire when associated with the NEC.)

constituting a voltage level, which exists between transformers, and if the last transformer, generating the lowest system voltage, the conductors extending from the transformer to the load. Integrated Ground System: A grounding system that establishes a single point ground or earthing system that achieves an acceptably low resistance path to ground and provides for a low surge impedance path from any point in the system, often referred to as Common Point Grounding (CPG) System [2]. Zipse Law: In order to have and maintain a safe electrical installation: All continuous flowing current shall be contained within an insulated conductor or if a bare conductor, the conductor shall be installed on insulators, insulated from earth, except at one place within the system and only one place can the neutral be connected to earth.



For several years, suggestions have been made that a technical paper on grounding be presented sharing the knowledge of grounding with our new members and reinforcing our mature members. Grounding strongly affects


personnel safety, equipment safety and operation, power distribution systems, solid-state systems and computers, static and lightning protection systems. Improper earthing-grounding installations can result in equipment damage or improper operation, especially in solidstate equipment. Improper earthing-grounding systems can result in not only electrical injures and shocks, but has resulted in electrocution. Cases will be cited and corrective action prescribed. Many of the misconceptions today with the grounding systems will be disclosed and corrective action offered.. This paper will not regurgitate the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) National Electrical Code (NEC). In fact, be advised that this paper will present the technical and theoretical side of grounding, which in some cases may be in opposition or conflict with the NEC. The term ground will be interchangedwith earth in the hope that in the future the United States will adopt the European terminology as the term earth is much more descriptive and it will be one more step in unification of terms. The information contained in this paper on earthing will be confined to low voltage systems, 600-volt and under, unless otherwise indicated.



When Thomas Alva Edison started his electric illumining company and began the electrical distribution system, he used only one insulated (from earth) conductor and the earth for the return conductor. This uncontrolled flow of electric current over the earth resulted in shocking horses and his employees as they dug along side of the underground distribution systems. Traction employees working on the tracks received electric shocks, especially when separating the track joints. This prompted Edison to devise the three-wire distribution system, similar to what we use today in our homes. However, Edison insulated all three conductors. This allowed Edison to know exactly where all the current was at all times. Likewise, when the Underground Railway was being developed in London, they also elected to eliminate any stray current by using a four (4)-rail track system, two rails for supporting and guiding the coaches, one supply rail and the return conductor rail. The latter two rails were insulated from earth. Major debate raged over whether an electrical system should be connected to earth - ground. Like Edisons electrical systems, which originally were not connected to earth, the ungrounded electrical system flourished until approximately 1913. In 1913, the NEC made mandatory the connection to earth of any electrical system of 150 volts or less as measured to earth. However, when more than one connection to earth exists on the same electrical system, current can flow uncontrolled over the earth, metallic piping, equipment and through the earth causing problems with personnel safety, electrical equipment, etc., [5], [6]. Many facilities that had been designed to operate ungrounded elected to adapt a modified solidly grounded system by connecting one corner of the ungrounded delta system to earth. This accomplished the connecting of the electrical system to earth. However, as will be discussed

later, this solidly grounded system played havoc with continuous processes. Because of the need for continuous production processes to operate with minimal power interruptions, ungrounded electrical systems were popular mainly in the Chemical and Petroleum Industries. However, there are many disadvantages with ungrounded systems. These disadvantages were overcome with the advent of the high resistance grounded electrical system that came into existence in the 1930s and were adopted by industry in the 1950s. In fact it is the authors opinion that of the three types of major electrical systems; solidly, high resistance and ungrounded, the ungrounded is the least desirable as it results in damage to components on the system. Over time the United States has failed to learn from Edison, as today the utilities use the earth for a partial ground return path permitting the uncontrolled flow of parallel current over not only the earth but over the adjacent underground metallic piping and other conducting materials. The NEC also requires that multiple connections to earth of the neutral conductor be made, again permitting stray uncontrolled current to flow over the earth, metallic piping, etc., resulting in electric shocks to persons in swimming pools and showers and potentially other places. It is possible that electrocutions have occurred due to the practice of using the earth either as a parallel path or as a partial neutral return conductor [5], [6].



Before we can discuss connecting to earth several ideas must be clarified.

A. Grounding Hypothesis

The first premise that one must realize is that the earth is not a sponge that can absorb and dissipate electrons. The second is the earth is a conductor having various degrees of conductivity. The third Misconception is that every electrical circuit must be connected to earth to function. The fourth is that every electrical grounding system, whether it is used for power distribution, radio, lightning or static consists of a circuit. Most grounding problems can be resolved if one determines the circuit associated with the problem be it lightning, static or power distribution. The Power Engineering Society defines circuit as, A conductor or system of conductors through which an electric current is intended to flow. This definition is lacking. The definition of a circuit is A path or route the complete traversal of which without local change of direction requires returning to the starting point. The act of following such a path or route. A journey made on such a path or route. 3. Electronics. (IEEE Definition) A closed path followed or capable of being followed by an electric current. A configuration of electrically or electromagnetically connected


components or devices." The beginning is arbitrarily selected. This is a vital concept to remember and this idea will assist you in solving complex electrical problems.

6. Why We Ground.
The reasons and methods used for connecting various items to earth may not be the same. The object of connecting electrical power sysiems to earth is different than it is for equipment, and for grounding buildings. The reasons why grounding is used and what is affected by grounding and or bonding is contained in Table 1. Humans Equipment Structures Power Systems Lightning Static Computers Communications Equipment Power Systems Swimming Pools

Contact resistance between the electrode and the soil. Geometry of the current flow in the soil outward from the electrode to infinite earth. To explore the connection to earth a common 3 m (9.8ft.) long by 1.6 mm (5.2 ft.) diameter rod will be driven into virgin soil in a remote area unimpeded with underground metallic piping or other conducting materials. With the help of Fig. 1, visualize the flow of current out from the rod intersecting a series of successive cylindrical and hemispherical shells. Each shell consists of resistance across the shell. As the distance from the rod increases likewise the cross-section area of the shell increases. As the area increases, the individual series resistancesdecrease inversely.




Misconception 1: It is common for engineering firms to copy repeatedly with total lack of understandinga ground rod
Shells of resistance Earthing Electrode




Table I Relationship of Grounding The paper will discuss in detail each object to be grounded, why it is grounded and the function of that grounded object. C. The Connection to Earth Connections to earth minimize the voltage differences between conductive metallic objects and ground. Various methods are used to connect to earth. The connection to earth is called the grounding or earthing electrode. These connections can be divided into two groups. One group is comprised of man-made electrodes specifically designed for and used only for the electrical connection to earth. The other is objects primarily used for functions other the earthing electrodes, such as underground metallic water piping, well casings, concrete encased reinforcing bar, steel piling, etc. The connection to earth, an electrode, can be made using many different forrns such as a rod, a loop of copper conductor, a plate, oir the reinforcing bar or a length of copper conductor buried in the concrete foundation. The earthing rod can be made out of several different materials. The usual material is copper or copper clad steel. Galvanized steel or even for special cases stainless steel can be used. The resistance of the electrode to earth is made up of several components.

. .




I -~ -- I I

- I -

- I - /

- I -

- 1 - 1

- 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - ' 1 - 1 - 1 - - 1 - 1 - 1

Fig. 1 Electrode Resistance Distance from Electrode's Surface 3.0 m 7.6 m 30.5 m 305.0 m

YOof Total Resistance 94 Y o

100 % 104 % 117 %

Table I 1 Electrode Resistance [3] concept that goes back to the 1950s,or even possibly earlier. Three 3 m rods are driven on 3 m centers and connected together to form a triad grounding electrode network. See Fig. 2. At 3 m from the rod, the approximate percentage of the total resistance is 94% 131. The one hundred percent (100%) level is reached at the 7.6 m distance from the rod. The overlapping of the sphere of influence of the ground rods and negates the effectiveness of the rods. The distance between rods should be at least the depth of rod #I plus the depth of rod #2 for optimum performance of the 94 percentile of the sphere of influence.

Resistance of the electrode. The conclition of the soil. o Moisture content. o Temperature of the soil. o Material content. Type of soluble chemicals in the soil. o Concentrationof soluble chemicals in the soil o

*1997 The Learning Company, Inc. AllTalking Reserved. ,Copyright0 Excerpted from American Heritage Dictionary. Rights

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1) Number of Rods: There is an ever-decreasing return. Assuming the rods are of equal diameter and length the


3 rods 3 m long on 3 m centers Overlapping spheres of influence Fig. 2 Triad Ground RodElectrode




. A


d => depth Rod1 + depth Rod2 Fig. 3 Efficient Spacing of Ground Rods resistance of two rods is not the rule for two resistances in parallel. Three rods only average a reduction to 40% of a single rod. Thus, if a single rod's resistanceto earth were 100 ohms, three rods would reduce the resistance to 40 ohms. Not a very good return on the effort. 2) Diameter of Rod: One may think that increasingthe rod's diameter would reduce the resistance. For the same driven depth, doubling the rod diameter only reduces the resistance by about 10%. 3) Depth of Rod: Driving a longer rod does decrease the resistance over a shorter rod. However, doubling the depth of a rod only reduces the resistance by 40%. For example a 1 m (3 ft) rod with a resistance of 60 ohms when lengthenedto 2 m (6 ft) would only reduce the resistance to (60 ohms * 0.4 factor = 24 ohms; 60 - 24 = 36 ) 36 ohms. D. Cost Effective and Efficient Method of Earthing Mr. H. G. Ufer dlscovered concrete encased reinforcing bar made an excellent connection to earth. Starting in 1942, he studied 24 buildings in Tucson and Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

with reinforcing rods in the foundations. Arizona is normally dry, with less than 0.3 m (1.O Ft) of rain per year. He checked the resistance reading to earth, once every two months, for over 16 years. The maximum reading was 4.8 ohms with the minimum 2.1 ohms and the average value for the 24 buildings was 3.6 ohms. He presented his findings in 1961, at an IEEE conference. A technical paper presented in 1970 by Messrs. Fagan and Lee [7] proved the validity of the method. The NEC adopted the method thus providing general acceptance of the reinforcing bar for an earth electrode [4]. The method of connecting to earth using the reinforcing bars found in the concrete foundation is the most efficient and cost effective connection that can be made to earth, excluding chemical rods. Concrete above the earth acts as a semi-insulator, whereas concrete below the earth is a semi-conducting medium. It has been shown that each footing or foundation has a resistance lower than a single driven rod of the same depth. With the large number of footings or the long length of a foundation, the total resistive connection to ground is lower than that provided by any other non-chemical electrode. In tests made at Las Vegas, NV, the most efficient method of connecting to earth, excluding the chemical earthing electrodes, was the concrete encased electrode for all types of locations [8]. The resistance is generally 2 ohm or less for a structure. The key to an efficient connection to earth is to have either the reinforcing rod or a length of bare copper conductor, in place of the reinforcing rod, at the bottom of the concrete. The minimum length of rod or conductor needed is 6.1 m (20 ft.) and it should be placed within or near the bottom of the concrete. The conductor should be surrounded by at least 51 mm (2.0 in.) of concrqte. The reinforcing bar should be at least 12 mm (0.5 in.) in &ameter. If bare copper conductor is used, it should be not smaller than 20 mm2(# 4 AWG). The reinforcing rod or bare copper conductor should be placed within the bottom of the foundation, column or spread footing, or pad. It has been shown that it is not necessary to have the pressure and depth of a foundation or footing to be effective. A concrete pad poured for a transformer is just as efficient. It is necessary to make an electrical connection to the reinforcing rod and bring the connection out to the ground bus bar, electrical equipment or steel column. One method is to connect a copper conductor to the reinforcing rod, overlapping the reinforcing rod with approximately 0.5 m (18 in.) of bare copper conductor. The over-lapped bare copper conductor can be fastened to the reinforcing rod with the same iron wire ties used to fasten the reinforcing rods together, or plastic tie wraps. The copper conductor can then be brought out,through a non-magnetic sleeve, such as PVC that will provide mechanical protection at the surface of the concrete. To eliminate the corrosive action of the copper conductor exiting from the concrete, an insulated conductor can be used, providing the over-lapping section is bare. The copper-earthingconductor can be connected to the necessary electrical equipment earthing-groundingterminals. The other method of connecting the reinforcing rod to the outside is to connect by over-lapping the rods to one of the bolts that will hold the steel column. Again, the wire ties used to secure the reinforcing rods or plastic wire ties can be used.

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The top of the bolt Should be marked by painting or some other means so that tlhe grounding bolt can be identified later. Only foundations or footings at the perimeter of the structure are effective with respect to lightning conductivity. Interior grounding electrodes are ineffective. There have been reports of failures of the reinforcing rod method of earthing. This may stem from the IEEE Power Engineering Standards on transmission tower foundations and the standard on transmission tower construction. Before 1996, neither standard contained any information on grounding of the ireinforcing rods, insertion of copper conductors in the concrete, nor the connection of the steel towers to the reinforc:ing rods, nor to any earthing method for the towers. These over-sights might be the source -of reports of problems with lightning and the cracking of the transmission tower foundations.' Steel structures used in the chemical industries have been reported to withstand direct lightning strikes without any viijible signs of damage to the foundations. The Ufer grounding system is the second most effective earthing method. The chemical rods are the most effective, however they need to have their chemicals replaced periodically, whereas the Ufer system has no maintenance requirements.

E. Other methods oiFConnecting to Earth

7) Ground Loops: The conclusion reached, from having been involved in design and constructionfor over 35 years, is the least effective and most cost expensive design is the ground loop. The ground loop ends up being broken from actions of other trades and not repaired. When the price of scrap copper is high, it is amazing how the copper conductor will cut itself into lunch box size pieces and disappear. 2) Metal Undergniund Water Piping: Before the use of plastics, metallic water piping was installed in residences and other facilities. With the water piping in intimate contact with the earth, it was natural to make use of it as a grounding electrode. The metallic water pipe was an excellent conductor and could serve as a low resistance (impedance) path to allow sufficient fault current to flow and operate the protective device in the past. Problems developed with the use of the water pipe as an earthing electrode. Where houses are in close proximity to each other, connected by underground metallic water piping, stray current could flow from one house to another because of the NEC and the NESC requirements to multi-ground the neutral conductor. 'JVith a single phase, 3-wire service, the neutral conductor also serves as the messenger and grounding conductor. Should the messenger-neutralgrounding conductor become corroded and develop a high resistance, the return current will seek a lower impedance path. The current could and does flow over the water piping to adjacent houses. The neutral return current flows back to the transformer over the neighbor's messenger-neutralground conductor. Overloaded conductors are the result. Electric water heateis could and did burn out. Persons taking showers could and have experienced electric shocks. In addition, water meter personnel removing the water meter for inspection and repairs could and have placed themselves in the ground currentcircuit and experienced electric shocks. The advent of plastic piping and the installation of GFCls have reduced these problems. However, all metallic water

and firewater piping within a building should be connected to the electrical grounding system. 3) Building Steel: This discussion defines building steel as a structure consisting of a steel skeleton, with the steel columns bolted to the foundation piers, and the foundations having steel reinforcing rods. It has been found that in such construction, the steel columns are inherently connected to earth through the column bolts in the footers contacting the steel reinforcing rods. One of the four bolts installed to hold the steel column in place is usually, either deliberately or accidentally making contact with the reinforcing rods or the bolt is physically wire tied to the reinforcing rods. The multitude of parallel electrical paths within a steel building reduces the impedance to a low value. 4) Plate Electrodes: Although the NEC details the specifications for plate electrodes, which includes the requirement the plate, be buried 0.762 m below the surface, plates laid on the surface of a South American solid stone mountain top conducted lightning strokes as reported by Eduardo Mariani in an NFPA meeting of 780. Butt Pole Electrode: The wooden pole used to 5) support utility lines usually has a bare spiral wound copper conductor attached to the bottom of the pole that acts as a grounding electrode. With the weight of the pole pressing down on the bare copper wire on the bottom of the pole, the copper wire is placed into intimate contact with the earth. Tests have shown that this is the least effective earthing electrode [8]. 6) Ground Grid: (Power Distributionand Transmission Substations) "A system of horizontal ground electrodes that consist of a number of interconnected, bare conductors buried in the earth, providing a common ground for electrical devices or metallic structures, usually in one specific location." [2] The object of installing a grbund grid is to reduce step and touch voltage, provide a ground .plane for connection of computer grounds, and to make a low impedance connection to earth. Step and touch potentialswill be covered later. 7) Ground Loop: A number of ground rods are installed around a process facility, building or area. Each ground rod has a clay tile around it to allow for testing the resistance of either the rod or the loop. All the rods are interconnected together in a grid fashion. Some engineers use green insulated conductors to connect the rods together. However, the most common method is to use bare copper conductor. The ground loop is connected to pipe racks supports, vessels and all other major metallic process equipment as well as electrical grounding'conductors. It is the author's opinion, excluding isolated vessels, that the large use of conductive metal supports, columns and girders negates the waste of burring copper in the earth as long as the Ufer grounding system is used. One must remember that. the knowledgeable person designs using a ground return conductor in each and every circuit. Return fault current will flow adjacent to the outgoing current conductor. Motors and other electrical devices are connected to the equipment grounding conductor through the supply conductors, thus connecting the metallic frame of the motors and other devices to a ground path. In times of high copper prices the ground loop manages to cut itself into lunch box size pieces and walk off the site. In addition during construction other trades will accidentally cut the loop

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rendering it ineffective as compared to the original design concept. (Note: There is a manufacturer that offers a device that injects a current into a multiple connected ground loop with multiple rods that will measure individual rods in the system. It is used extensively by utilities on multi-neutral grounded systems. The Authors tests on single rods using this device, was less than satisfactory.) 8) Ground Mat: A solid metallic plate or a system of closely spaced bare conductors that are connected to and often placed in shallow depths above a ground grid or elsewhere at the earth surface, in order to obtain an extra protective measure minimizing the danger of the exposure of personnel to hazardous step or touch voltage. Grounded metal gratings placed on or above the soil surface or wire mesh placed directly under the crushed rock, are common forms of a ground mat. [2] A ground grid is usually installed in utility substations where persons standing to operate equipment could encounter a hazard step or touch potential resulting from high fault currents. 9) Chemical Rods: Chemical rods consist of a porous tube containing chemicals that continuously condition the surrounding soil. Special formulated chemicals; mineral salts are evenly distributed along the length of the porous tube. They are the most effective method of connecting to earth.

I C 1 c2
I .


- P2

30.5 m (100 ft)


c1 PI 62%

Current Probe c2


After an earthing electrode system is installed, it should be tested and the values of the resistance of the electrodes recorded. Ideally, the measurement of each electrode should be made during construction. For instance, if there is any doubt about the resistance of individual footers, for first time users of the Ufer electrode, the measurements should be made before any grounding interconnection between feoters is completed. There are commercially available instruments that measure ground electrode resistance. These instruments can measure resistance of the electrode connection to earth. Ideally, impedance would be of greater value since the electricity is alternating current that will be applied to the earthing system. These instruments are specially designed to measure the low resistances that may be present and they will reject spurious voltages found in the earth. They inject an alternating current other than 60 Hz. The normal ohmmeter should not be used to measure the resistance of either the earth or the electrodes. There are three methods used for measuringthe resistance of earth electrodes. They are:
A. Fall-Of-PotentialMethod.

Potential Probe

Fall-of-Potential Method

Earth Surface Potentials Various Spacings of P2

Fig. 5 Wring diagram using fall-of-potential method to measure earth electrode resistance. resistance is negated. Brass welding rod of 6.35 mm (% in) in diameter and sharpened on one end make satisfactory test electrodes. It must be noted that the above distances are for testing an individual ground rod isolated from all other earthing connections. Misconception 2: Inexperienced persons have used the above method to measure the total grounding system of a building. As the diagonal of the earthing system increases, so do the distance of the test electrodes. Assume there is a fenced area 43 m (140 ft) square. The diagonal would be 61 m (200 ft). The current probe would extend out to a distance of 217 m (710 ft). The potential probe would extend out to 62 % point from the grounding system under test; the voltage probe would be 134 m (440 ft) from the fence [3] [12]. Methods for measuring large diagonals are contained in reference 11.

The fall-of-potential method uses two auxiliary test electrodes and an alternating current. The instrument will have either three terminals or four. If four terminals are present two terminals are jumpered together, the C1 and the PI The four terminal instrument is used for obtaining the resistivity of the soil. For a single electrode to be tested, one auxiliary electrode is pushed into the earth at a distance of approximately 30.5 m (100 ft) away from the electrode under test, to which the

B. Resistivity of the Soil.

The symbol for resistivity of the soil is p, and it is measured in ohm-centimeters. Each type of soil will have an average

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resistivity. Moisture will have an effect on the resistivity of the soil as will temperature. Moisture and temperature of the soil become more stable at greater depths below the earths surface. The soil resistivity will vary directly with the moisture content and inversely with the temperature. For details on how to conduct a soil resistivity test, consult references 1 1 and 12. C. Calculating Resktance to Earth of Various Electrode Configurations.

Thus, a new standard was developed in 1965 recognizing higher voltages at the utilization point [ ] Unfortunately, 9. those that grew up with the old voltage standard occasionally still refer to the voltage at fixtures as 1 1 0 volts and 440 volt motors, instead of the correct values of 115 volts and 460 volts respectively. B. Object of Grounding Electrical Systems The object of connecting an electrical system to earth is to protect personnel from serious injuries or fatalities and to improve the system reliability and continuity of service. The object is to control the voltage to ground, or earth, within predictable limits. Grounding of the electrical system will limit voltage stress on cable and equipment. Proper installation will facilitate the protective device operation, removing hazardous fault current from flowing uncontrolled over the earth until the protective device operates. This !!?le is extremely short as compared with continuously flowing uncontrolled stray current. Each electrical system grounding method has its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, proper earthing will also conduct and convey lightning currents. When the decision is made to earth an electrical system the characteristic features one must evaluate are: [IO] Suitable for serving the load. Grounding equipment required for the method of system grounding selected. First Costs. Continuity of service Fault current, for bolted line-to-groundfault. Probable level of sustained single-phase line-toline arcing fault level. Shock Hazard No ground fault Ground fault on phase conductor Advantages Disadvantages Area of applications C. Ungrounded Electrical System. In an ungrounded electrical system, neither the phase nor the neutral conductors are directly connected to earth. However, the ungrounded system is connected to earth by the distributed phase-to-ground capacitance of the phase conductors, motor windings, etc. The cited advantages are freedom from power interruption on the first phase-to-earth fault and lower initial costs. With a single-phase fault to earth, a small charging current will flow and the protective devices will not operate since a circuit is not completed. As long as none of the other phases contacts earth, the operation can continue. However, when one of the other phases contacts earth, a phase-to-phase short circuit occurs. The available fault current, flowing into the phase-to-phase fault, can result in severe damage to equipment, flash hazards to personnel, and the operation will terminate. In order to insure the operation will continue without interruption, a ground detection system should be installed.

The resjstance to earth can be calculated for various configurations of connections to earth. There is a formula for a buried horizontal wire. Likewise, a ring of buried wire has a formula to calculate the resistance of a ring of buried wire. For each configuration of earthing electrode, there will be a formula. The formulas can be found in reference 3.

A. History:

Misconception 3: In the United States, one will hear 110 volts used for receptacles and 440 volts for motors. The standard voltages and the location of that voltage can be found in Table 2. Before 1965, the transformer was usually located at ,a remote location, such as out in the parking lot. There was a voltage drop between the transformer and the main distribution panel located just inside the building. Another voltage drop occurred from the panel to the starter and motor located out in the factory. Before 1965 if one was speaking correctly and stated 230 volts, he was referring to the main distribution panel. If the voltage used was 440 volts, the motor was being referenced.
System Before 1965 120 V 208/120 240 480 120 V 208/120 240 480 Transformer

+_------______ Location -_________----____ +

Distribution Utilization 120 208/120 240 480 120 2081120 240 480 115 20011 15 230 460 115 2001115 230 460 110 190/110 220 440 115. 200/115 230 460

After 1965

Table! 111 Relationships of Voltages

By the early 1960s, transformers were moved indoors, closer to the loads. Some of the voltage drops disappeared, as the motor control was located in motor control centers next to the main distribution panel. The previous voltage drops were eliminated, reducing utility costs. It was discovered that the voltage being applied to the motors had increased. This increase in motor voltage was utilized by the motor manufacturers, reducing the copper size used in the motors windings. This resulted in a new design for motors, the T Frame, that utilizes this increase in voltage along with many other modifications.

- 18 -

Misconception 4: Most installations make the error of placing lamps across the phases to the ground. As long as all phases are isolated from earth, the lamps will burn at less than full brightness and equally provided the lamps are the same wattage and voltage rating. When a single-phase fault to earth occurs, the lamp on that phase will dim and the other two will burn brighter, at full voltage. The problem with lamps is, an incipient fault will not be detected. Voltmeters should always be used as they are much more sensitive than trying to determine the relative brightness of any lamp. When the voltmeters indicate a difference in voltage between the phases, the weak, high impedance, phase-toground fault or the incipient fault should be located. By not locating, the phase-to-ground fault as soon as possible, the potential exists for a phase-to-phasefault to develop, resulting in a potentially hazardous condition. The disadvantage of an ungrounded system is when an arcing fault occurs, it can raise the system voltage to levels where motor windings and cable can be stressed beyond their limits. If the motor control circuits are at full voltage without the benefit of a control transformer, the extended circuit conductors increase the potential for an arcing fault. Where an operation is required to run continuously, a highresistance grounded system should be used. Detection of phase-to-ground faults will be discussed in the section on Resistance Grounded Neutral Systems, Phase-to-ground Faults Detection and Location Methods For additional detailed information, see reference 10.

D. Generating a System Neutral

There are times when it is desirable to have a system neutral when there is no neutral available. This may occur where the secondary system connection is a delta, which lacks any neutral. This may result where an old distribution system is to be upgraded or the cost of a delta secondary is less than that of a wye-connected transformer. A neutral can be generated by the use of a zigzag, Tconnected or a wye-delta transformer. Usually these transformers are sized to carry rated current for a limited time, typically 10 s or I-min. The sizing in kVA is the line-to-neutral voltage in kilovolts times the neutral current. These transformers are much smaller than a fully rated transformer. The neutral generating transformer system should be connected directly to the bus. With the neutral generating transformer system connected directly to the bus, the possibility of being disconnected is remote. The transformer should be considered as part of the bus protection scheme.

resistance intentionally inserted. The neutral should be connected to earth at only one place, preferably at the transformer. This will reduce uncontrolled, potentially hazardous circulating currents over the earth and metallic conducting paths. The solidly grounded neutral system is the most widely used in the US for not only residential, but also commercial and industrial service. The solidly grounded neutral system is the most effective for three-phase four-wire, under 600 volt, distribution systems. The solidly grounded neutral system is effective in controlling overvoltage conditions and the immediate opening of the protective device when the first phase-to-neutral or phase-to-earth fault occurs, providing the impedance is sufficiently low enough to allow adequate fault current to flow to operate the protective device. Low voltage arcing faults do not permit sufficient current to flow to open the protective device(s). The continuous arcing can destroy electrical equipment. However, low-level arcing ground faults can be detected using Ground Fault Protection devices to open the protective device(s). The low cost of the solidly grounded neutral system with the features of immediate isolation of the fault, protection against arcing fault burndown and overvoltage control, account for the wide use of the system. Some of the reasons for the use of the solidly grounded neutral systems are the benefits of protection of faulty equipment and circuits, and the ability to locate the faults. To gain the same benefit of protection against arcing fault burndown, one has to add additional equipment at a cost. One can find rave reviews on the benefits of solidly grounded neutral system that stretch the point. The disadvantages are the first phase-to-ground fault opens the protective device(s) shutting off the power, lights, control, etc. With a medical operating room or a continuous process, the sudden loss of electrical power can be catastrophic. A severe flash hazard can exist with a phase-to-ground fault. Severe damage can occur to electrical equipment because of the high available fault current. It can be extremely dangerous to work on live electrical systems. The immediate removal of the electrical power with the first phase-to-ground fault is considered by some as a major detriment, especially when a critical process or service is considered. To avoid disorderly and abrupt shutdowns, when the first phase-to-neutralfault happens, one should consider a high resistance grounded system, which has the advantages of a solidly grounded neutral system and none of the disadvantages. For additional details, see reference 10.

E. Solid Grounded Neutral System

Electrical systems should be grounded by some means, not necessarily solidly grounded. Numerous advantages are attributed to any electrical system that is connected to earth by one of the many means. The advantages can be greater personnel safety, excessive systems overvoltages are eliminated, phase-to-ground faults are easier to detect and locate. The solidly grounded neutral system has the source transformer neutral point directly connected to earth through an adequate solid, ground connection. The connection between the transformer and the earth has no impedance or

F. Comer-of-the-delta Grounded System

The corner of-the-delta grounded system is one in which one corner of the delta, a phase conductor, is intentionally connected through a solid connection to earth. The connection from the phase conductor to the ground has no intentionally inserted impedance. For safety of the electrician, the grounded phase should be identified, marked throughout the system. In the US, the grounded phase conductor must be located in the center of any three-phase device such as a switch, meter socket, etc. As mentioned previously, the ungrounded delta system is used in some manufacturing facilities to allow for continuous

- 19 -

operation. When such an ungrounded delta system is encountered and it has been decided to convert the ungrounded system to a solidly grounded system, the cornerof-the-delta can be arid has usually been selected. All motor control overload relays and instrumentation must be connected to the lungrounded phases. The motor control may have only two overload relays in the motor circuit. These two relays must be installed on the two ungrounded phases to assure proper operation.

Fig. 7 Methods of connecting electrical systems to earth Should the grounded conductor, such as the grounded neutral, contact earth or a grounded conductive material; a parallel path will result allowing the cbrrent to flow over the earth uncontrolled. The ground fault current can go undetected resulting in a hazardous flow of uncontrolled continuous current flowing over the equipment ground conductors, the earth, metallic piping, etc. 1. Insulation: With the corner of the delta grounded, the other two phases will have 173% insulation stress. Usually no problem exists, since these systems are predominately used on system with voltages of 600 volts or less. If the system voltage was 380 V, then 300-volt insulation could be used, as the two phases woulcl see a stress of 277 V. When 480 V and 120/208 V systems aire installed in the same building, it is normal for 600 volt rated insulation conductor to be used for both systems. However, where costs are to be strictly controlled two different conductor insulations could be used, 600 V and 300 V. Udess there are strict safeguards to prevent interminglingof the conductors insulation, severe
problems could develop over time. The mixing of insulation

delta with a third single-phase, 240 V transformer, full rating of the two single-phase, 240 V transformers could be supplied. The mid-point on the one phase is sometimes called a neutral for that winding. However, the middle point is not in the middle of the electrical system as a pure neutral would be. For our discussion, it will be called a neutral for ease of identification. The phase leg opposite the mid-point will have an elevated voltage with respect to earth or neutral. If the three-phase voltage is 240 V, then the voltage from either phase on either side of the mid-point of the center-tapped phase will be 120 V. Since the mid-point of the centered tapped phase is grounded the phase leg opposite the mid-point, to the neutral or earth, will be 208 V. This voltage from the phase opposite the phase that is tapped in the middle, to the neutral or earth is referred to as the high leg, red leg, bastard leg, etc. See Fig. 6 at the end of the paper. The hottest high leg must be positively identified throughout the electrical system. It should be the center leg in any switch, motor control, 3-phase panelboard, etc. It was usually identified by red tape, however today the NEC requires orange color tape. For additional, detailed information, see references 7 and I O . H. Resistance Grounded Neutral Systems The resistance grounded neutral systems offer many advantages over the solidly grounded systems. As with all electrical systems, destruction results when a phase-to-phase fault occurs. The resistance grounded system limits the amount of fault current that can flow when a phase-to-earth fault occurs. Destructive transient voltages are also controlled. Other reasons are: Arc blast or flash hazard to personnel is reduced when a phase-to-ground fault occurs and the personnel are in the area of the fault. The continuous phase-to-ground fault currents are reduced and limited.

on the same project is not recommended. For additional

detailed, information see reference (10 . 1 G. Mid-phase Grounded (Neutral) System The Mid-Phase Grounded (Neutral) System is one where the 3-phase delta transformer has one side tapped in the middle and this tap, the so-called neutral, is connected to earth. This connection came into expanded use in the mid 1940s in the United States, in residential neighborhoods where small corner stores existed. The typical service was from a large single phase, 3-wire, 240/120 V transformer. With the advent of (air conditioning, the local store needed three-phase power. It was simple to add a single-phase transformer with a secondary of 240 V iconnected to one end of the large single phase, 3-wire, 240A20 V transformer in an open delta configuration. This resulted in a 240/120 V, 3-wire, 1 phase service from the single large transformer and from the two transformers, wired as an open delta, a three phase 240 V, 3wire service. The open delta transformer connection is limited to 58% of the 240 V single-phase transformer rating. By closing the


destructive burning of

phase-to-ground fault

currents is reduced, resulting in less destruction of electrical equipment. Stress is reduced in electrical equipment when a phase-to-ground fault happens. No voltage dip occurs, as happens when a phase-toground fault occurs in a solidly grounded system. Allows continuous process operation during a single phase-to-ground fault. (A phase-to-phase fault will develop if either of the other two phases contact earth. The fault current from the first phase-to-groundfault will flow through the earth to the point of the second phaseto-ground fault.) There are two methods of resistance grounding.

1. High-resistance Grounded Neutral System

This system typically uses a resistance, which will limit phase-to-ground fault current to 5 amperes. When a phaseto-ground fault occurs, little if any damage occurs when the electrical system is grounded using high-resistancegrounded neutral method.

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Misconception 5: Lighting systems using 277-volt fixtures can be used on a 4801277-volt high resistance grounded system. No phase to neutral loads are permitted on any resistance grounded systems. A separate transformer is used to serve single-phase loads. For instance on a 4801277 V system a separate transformer connected 480 delta primary to 4801277 V wye secondary would be used for the 277 V lighting and other loads. The resistor in the neutral to earth connection prevents excess ground fault current from flowing. Because of the capacitanceeffect between the phase conductors and earth of the conductors connected to the loads, a charging capacitance current will flow. The trip value of the detection relay has to compensate for the charging current. The charging current can be measured by methods described in reference 13. It is important to find the phase-to-ground fault as soon as possible. Should either of the two other phases contact earth, a phase-to-phase fault would occur. This would result in the operation of the protective device(s) and the cessation of the operation. When a single phase-to-earth fault occurs, the potential to earth on the other two phases rises to the phaseto-phase potential. Depending on the conductor insulation, this may cause a problem. The high resistance grounded system has been tried on high voltage systems, 15 kV, with less than satisfactory results. The system has been used on 5 kV without any adverse results. For additional detailed information, see reference 10 and 13. Misconception 6: It is not necessary to install a neutral disconnect in the generator circuit when two or more generators are used on offshore platforms and connected using a high resistance grounded system. A second part is an isolation transformeris not needed to supply 277 V lightning loads. The lack of an isolating transformer with a 480 V delta primary and a secondary wye 4801277 V to supply the 277 V lightning can raise the platform to 480 volts when a phase-toground fault occurs. It is possible the platform can be elevated to 480 volts. A person touching the neutral connection in an off line wye connected generator, expecting the generator neutral to be at ground potential or touching the un-energizedphase conductors at the terminals of the generator, and at the same time touching a grounded conducting surface can experience a voltage of 277 volts, which can and has been fatal. 7) Insulation: This section applies to all ungrounded and resistance grounded systems, particularly to high voltage cables. When a phase-to-earth fault occurs, the potential to earth on the other two phases rises to the phase-to-phase potential. Depending on the conductor insulation level, and the time that the fault remains on the system, this may cause a problem. Medium voltage cables are rated as 100 percent, 133 percent and 173 percent voltage insulation level. The guidelines for fault duration are: 100 Percent Cable Insulation Level. If the phase-toground fault is detected and removed within 1 minute, 100 percent insulation cable can be used. 133 Percent Cable Insulation Level. When the phaseto-ground fault is expect to remain on the system for a

period not exceeding 1 hour, 133 percent cable insulation level should be used. 0 173 Percent Cable Insulation Level. If the phase-toground fault will remain on the system for an indefinite time before the fault is de-energized, 173 percent cable insulation level should be used. Cable with 173 percent insulation level is recommended to be used on resonant grounded systems. Low voltage construction wire is normally rated line-to-line. Thus, a 600 vac cable has a line-to-ground rating of 346 volts, which is less than the phase-to-ground rating of a high resistance grounded system. 2) Phase-to-ground Faults, Detection and Location Methods: It is imperative that a phase-to-groundfault on electrical systems other than solidly grounded systems, be detected, found and repaired as soon as possible. Resistance grounded systems can have one of two detection methods installed. Resistance grounded systems can have a relay installed that respond to changes in voltage between phase and ground across the resistor. Commercial equipment is available that will place a high frequency signal on the system. This high frequency signal can be traced to the fault. A current relay can be connected to a current transformer installed around the conductor connected to the transformer neutral terminal and run through the resistancelimpedance device to the earth connection. Any flow of current returning to the transformer neutral, would be an indication of a phase-to-ground fault, which the relay can detect. See Fig. 8. Because of patents on the .current transformer method, another method using the principle of voltage differential was developed. When phase-to-groundfault current flows through grounding resistor, a voltage will be developed across the resistor. A voltage-sensing relay can detect this fault current flow and operate the alarm system. See Fig. 8. High resistance grounded systems can have a square wave pulsing system installed. See Fig. 8. A timer operating at a rate of about 20 to 30 equal pulses per minute shorts out part of the high resistance-groundingresistor. With part of the resistance removed from the circuit, the flow of phase-toground fault current will increase. This increase in fault Phase C

Phase A

Voltage Relay Method

Current Transformer Method

Fig. 8 Ground fault current detection methods.


current will generate a square wave. To find the fault, a clamp-on-ammeter with a large opening is used. The phase-to-groundfault current will be flowing on the phase that is faulted. By placing the large opening clampon ammeter on the outgoing raceways, if the fault current is flowing within the raceway being checked, the ammeter will pulse. The other raceways without any fault current flowing will not disturb the ammeter. Tracing the fault current to the exact point of the phase-to-ground fault is an art, not a scientific method. A person must be able to determine the extent of the deflection of the ammeter and recognize the possibility o f parallel ground fault return paths. Some of the newer solid state smart starters have the ability to detect and alarm on high resistance ground fault.

contribution of the generator to a value no greater than the three-phase bolted fault current. This type grounding system is not practical on systems requiring phase to neutral loads as there may not be sufficient fault current to operate the protectivedevice@). For additional information, see reference10. L. Separately Derived Systems The NEC defines a separately derived system as a premises wiring system whose power is derived from a battery, a solar photovoltaic system, or from a generator, transformer, or converter windings, and that has no direct electrical connection, including solidly connected grounded circuit conductor, to supply conductors originating in another system. The major application of a separately derived system is the installation of a transformer to supply lighting and appliance loads. An example would be where the electric service to the building or facility is 380/220 V, 3 phase, 4 wire and a load requiring 120 V is needed, perhaps to supply a computer system or other special loads. A transformer with a 380 V, single-phase primary and a secondary of 240/120 V, single phase, 3-wire is used. The 2401120 V system has no secondary connection back to the primary. For safety and code requirements, this separately derived electrical system will need to be connected to earth or to an effectively grounded building structural member. The key to a proper installation is to connect only the transformers neutral terminal to the grounding electrode. The grounding electrode should be as near as practical and in the same area as the transformer. In order of preference the connection should be made to (1) the nearest effectively grounded building steel, (2) the nearest available effectively grounded metallic water pipe, (3) other electrodes that are not isolated from the main electrical system. If necessary, the grounding conductor should be connected back to the system ground for the building.

J. Low-resistance Grounded Neutral System

The low-resistance grounded neutral system has a low value resistor intentionally inserted between the transformer neutral terminal and the grounding electrode similar to the high resistance systern. This resistor limits the fault current to a range of 25 to 1000 amperes. This low resistance limits the fault current under ground fault conditions to a level that significantly reduces the fault point damage. It still allows sufficient current to flow to operate the protective device(s). The fault can be isol,ated by ground fault detection devices. This grounding method is usually used on industrial systems of 5 kV to 25 kV. Initially this system was hampered by the lack of sensitive, low cost, ground fault protective device@)for application on downstream circuits. The application, in industrialfacilities for the powering of large motors, and the distribution of power in the 5 kV to 25 kV range, has become commonplace. (Caution: The neutral can become energized without warning. Proper phase insulation and guarding is required for the neutral to earth conqection.) The low-resistance grounded system with sensitive ground fault sensing, allows the application of 100 Percent Level conductor insulation. For additional information,see reference 10. K. Low-reactance Grounded Neutral System The low-reactance grounded neutral system is one with a low-value reactor inserted between the transformer neutral terminal and the ground electrode. The low-value reactor limits the fault current to a value not less than 25 percent to 100 percent of the three-phase bolted fault current. It is not used very often. The low-reactance grounded neutral system effectively controls to a safe level the overvoltages generated in the power system by resonant capacitive induced circuits, restriking of ground faults and static charges. The system cannot control overvoltages from contact with a higher voltage system such as may occur when a pole line contains on top a 138 kV circuit and a distribution circuit under the 138 kV circuit. The 138 kV circuit conductor breaks and fall onto the lower voltage circuit. This method of grounding is used where the capabilities of the mechanical or electrical equipment requires reducing the ground fault current. The main applications have been with generators less than 600 volts, to limit the ground fault

M. Resonant Grounding (Ground Fault Neutralizer)

This method of system grounding is used for distribution andlor transmission lines, primarily on systems above 15 kV. The Resonant Grounding (Ground Fault Neutralizer) system consists of a reactor connected between the transformer neutral terminal and the grounding electrode, which is connected to earth. The reactor is selected to have a relative high value of reactance and is tuned to the systems capacitive charging current. This results in the ground fault current having a low value. Being a resistive fault current, it is in phase with the line to neutral voltage and the current zero and the voltage zero occur at the same time. A built-in feature of this method of grounding is with transmission line insulators experiencing a flashover, the flashover may be self-extinguishing. For additional, detailed information, see references 10 and 14.

N. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Grounding

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is considered a separately derived electrical system. The separately derived neutral will need to be connected to earth. The grounding electrode should be as near as practical and in the same area

22 -

as the UPS. In order of preference the connection should be made to: (1) The nearest effectively grounded building steel, (2) The nearest available effectively grounded metallic water pipe, (3) Other electrodes that are not isolated from the main electrical system. If necessary,the grounding conductor should be connected back to the system ground for the facility. Most UPS have the incoming power supplying a rectifier, which converts the ac into dc and charges batteries and supplies the inverter. The inverter converts the dc back into ac. The inverter generates a separate and new neutral that is not connected back to the building neutral, unless through the alternate source by-pass transformer. In addition, there is usually an alternate power source for the UPS. The UPS can switch from the inverter to the alternate power source should the inverter fail. This assumes that the neutral is not connected to the UPS load through the alternate power source to the building earthing connection. If the UPS load neutral is solidly connected to the alternate power supplys neutral, without any switching, then no connection of the UPS derived neutral should be made to earth. The alternate power supply may have a transformer on the line side of the UPS alternate supply. The UPS neutral may be solidly connected to the UPS load side neutral and the alternate transformers neutral. Because of the ease of access and checking, the UPS neutrals connection to earth should be made within the terminal compartment of the UPS, even if transformers are associated with the UPS. Only one connection of the neutral to earth should be made. 0. Autotransformers Autotransformershave the line side neutral connected
Power Source #1 Power Source #2

transformers terminal block, Xo, no additional connection to the neutral should be made. Any second connection to the neutral, for instance at the secondary neutral terminal of the autotransformer, will afford the parallel path through the earth of uncontrolled current. On any power system with a neutral, only one connection to earth should be made.

P. Wye- Wye Transfomer Grounding

A wye-wye transformer is one with both the primary and transformers winding connected in a 4-wire wye configuration with the primary and secondary neutrals connected together. This connection is not recommended using three single-phase transformers for commercial or industrial installations as currents can circulate between the primary and secondary circuits. When the wye-wye connection is used, the transformer needs to be constructedwith five cores (shell-type core) to reduce the possibility of ferroresonance. This is an additional cost. Utility distribution systems that are solidly grounded and which require the primary supply switches to be opened one phase at a time may generate ferroresonance. In addition, to minimize the neutral to earth potential throughout the length of the distribution system, the utilities usually multi-ground the primary neutral point. The neutral to transformer case and ground connection minimizes secondary neutral-to-ground voltage during a fault between primary and transformer case. Misconception 7: It has been noted that less knowledgeable consulting and engineering firms specify wyewye transformers with five cores since the local utility uses wye-wye transformers. Unless there is a valid reason, other than that the local utility uses them, the more costly wye-wye transformation with the 5-core transformer should not be used. A delta-why transformer should be used instead. Typically, the utilities have used bare concentric neutral cables in underground primary distribution circuits for residential areas. Bare concentric neutrals contribute to the uncontrolled flows of stray current over the earth and should not be used. What type should be used is a cable that has an outer insulatingjacket over the bare concentric neutrals. [6] In order to supply zero sequence current, with secondary neutral connectedto earth, the primary neutral of the wye-wye transformer will be required to be connected to the secondary neutral. The wye-wye transformer is not a source of zerosequence current, unlike a delta-wye connection. On the other hand, if a delta tertiary winding is added to a wye-wye transformer, it will supply the zero-sequence current.




4i Recommended Earthing Location

~ _ _

Q. Special Applications

electrical system earthing


Earthing location connectedto nearest effectively earthed building steel

Solid Neutral Transfer



Fig. 9 Uninterruptible power supply wiring diagram. solidly to the load side neutral. Since the line side neutral should have been connected to earth within the originating

Both ac and dc separately derived power supplies should have one conductor connected to earth. Should the object containing the power supply be a car, a plane, space vehicle, computer, etc., the earth can be the metallic enclosure, the metallic base plate or the equipment ground conductor contained in the cord supplying power to the device. Under no case should the neutral, which is connected to earth back at the supplying power transformer, be used for the connectionto earth. Misconception 8: Since the supply neutral is connected to earth at the originating transformer, the neutral can be used as the source of earth. It is not uncommon to inspect a piece

- 23

of electrical equipment built by a less than knowledgeable electrician or instrumentation person and find the neutral connected to the wse of the device and used as the equipment grounding conductor or as the grounding point for a dc system.

T. Isolated Power Systems or Supplies

Isolated power systems or supplies are used in hospital operating rooms using certain anesthetizing chemicals, wet locations and life support equipment which must continue to operate when one phase-to-ground fault exists, such as intensive care areas, coronary care areas, etc. Isolated power systems consist of a motor-generator set, isolation transformer or batteries and a line isolation monitor, monitoring ungrounded conductors. For approximately the last thirty years, the components comprising the isolated power system have been package together in one assembly referred to as an isolated power package. The package is less costly than assembling the components. All of the wiring in the system is monitored for leakage current and voltage differential. The maximum safe current leakage limits range from 10 FA for catheter electrodes inside the heart to 500 pA for appliances, lamps, etc. The maximum safe voltage differential is 20 mV. The advantages, disadvantages and limitations are different for health care facilities than for the normal electrical system grounding. For additional detailed, information see reference 15.

R. Instrumentation.
The dc or ac separately-derived power supply needs to have one conductor connected to earth.

S. Motor Control Cinxits.

All motor control circuits should have the control circuit powered by either a common control circuit or a separate, individual control power transformer in each motor circuit. The latter is the preferred method, as the failures on the common control circuit will jeopardize all the motors. Motor control circuit, using1 one phase of the motor circuit, will extend, unnecessarily, the power circuit susceptibility to conductor insulation failure. Should the system grounding method be "ungrounaled", any arcing on-the control circuit can raise the floating mid-point of the ungrounded system to voltage levels twice lor more of the base voltage. This high voltage excursion, because of the arcing combined with the capacitance of the conductors to earth, can damage equipment insulation, especially motors. It is not unusual for the motors to fail sorrie period after the arcing. One side of the control transformer should be grounded, connected to the grounded equipment enclosure. There have been many debates on the advantages and disadvantages of
Phase A Phase C


Generators are unique and have characteristics considerably different from other electrical devices such as transformers and other sources of power. The construction of the generator lacks the ability to withstand the mechanicaland heating effects of short circuit currents. The reactances of the generator are not equal unlike those of a transformer. A generator can develop third harmonics voltages. The space limitations restrict the amount of insulation that can be installed. Internal faults to the generator ground can result in extremely high current flow that can damage the laminations. Generators can be operated in parallel, producing additional potential problems. Depending on the voltage, generators should be grounded using one of the methods listed above. For additional information on industrial generation grounding see reference 3 and for utility generators see IEEE Power EngineeringSociety Standards.

wiring contained within starter




( U )

Earth one side of control transformer



Field wiring

, . 1
Holding contact

Motor running overload relay


Fig. 10 Motor control wiring diagram. which side the pushbuttons should be located. The agreedupon methods is the ungrounded side of the control power transformer should be protected by either a fuse or circuit breaker and then slipply the operating devices in the circuit such as pushbuttons. The grounded side of the control power transformer should go the motor running overload relays. The other side of the niotor running overload relays 'should be connected to the operating coil of the motor contactor.

A major problem is the earthing of sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, process control equipment, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), instrumentation distributed (process) control systems (DCS), and similar sensitive electronic equipment. The-above items will be lumped together into one term, computers, for ease of discussion. The proper installation method of earthing is critical in order to achieve satisfactory operation of this line of sensitive electronic equipment. Computers operate at low voltages. These low voltages make them extremely sensitive to interference from other low voltage sources, voltages that are not perceptible to humans. These extremely low voltages do not affect electrical power equipment. Thus when computers came on the scene, new techniques had to be. developed, new logic applied, and new methods used to

- 24 -

effectively connect these . sensitive electronic pieces of equipment to earth.

A. History of Computer Grounding and the Misconceptions That Prevailed

It was unfortunate that the majority of the electronic technicians, who were not schooled in either power distributiongrounding or in the radio and antenna construction techniques, became the leaders in this new field of Computers. One electronic/computer leader of a large project to automate the manufacturing of explosive blasting caps wanted to use, and insisted on using, 120 volts to power a 50 hp motor as 120 volts was safer than higher voltages. (120 volts can harm humans, see Personnel Safety Protection section.) Misconception 9: Lacking a green equipment grounding conductor one can use instead, the white neutral conductor for the grounding connection. Fitting into the little knowledge can be harmful class, were many who knew the neutral was connected to earth. Therefore, when a connection to earth was needed in the computer circuit, the neutral was employed and was usually connected to the metal cabinet of the device under construction, especially where the equipment ground conductor was not present. Isolation of the electrical conduit from the computer equipment frame became prevalent. Plastic couplings were required to be installed in the power supply conduit to the computer to isolate the computer frame from the building electrical equipment ground system. Yet, the copper computer water piping, used for cooling, was connected to the computer by those who were not aware of the fact that the metallic water piping was connected to the system neutral, the equipment ground system and earth. Then there were those who viewed the earth as a collection of insulated sponges that were capable of absorbing electrons. All of these misconceived conceptions led to mass confusion and erroneous grounding methods that were applied to computer grounding by, not only leading computer manufacturers, but the class of engineers that were developing, known as (electronic) instrumentation engineers. Misconception I O : A separate and isolated connection to earth is necessary for all types of computers to work. Because of the early interconnection of neutral conductors and the other wiring mistakes, uncontrolled current flowed over the computer circuits, resulting in damage to the computers. The concept of isolated earth connection for computers grew. It became necessary, to meet the requirements of the computer companies and the instrumentation engineers, to run the computer grounding connection out to the parking lots pink petunia bed and drive a rod for the computer earthing system. Common sense was lacking for all one had to do was look to the heavens to the circling space ships with five or more computers on board. If it was necessary, for the operation of a computer, to be connected to earth through a rod driven in the parking lot, then can you imagine the space ships circling the earth trailing a wire connected to earth for their computers. The science of computer earthing has progressed to where the majority of the misconceptions have been dispelled. Correct concepts are now in place and are being used.

Primarily is the concept that there is only one connection to earth and that connection is by way of the electrical power systems equipment grounding conductor to the grounding electrode conductor to the earth electrode.

B. Types of Computer Ground Systems

Because of the various earthing functions thought necessary for computers, several types of computer earthing systems came into being. The necessity for personnel safety required the frame of the computer equipment to be connected to the electrical system equipment-grounding conductor. This grounding connection became known as the Safety Ground Bus. It was also called, naturally, the Equipment Ground Bus. This was normally the green wire emanating from the electrical power system earthing connection. The shield wires from the remote instrumentation signals needed to be connected to earth. All the signal shields were gathered together and at one time connected to a separate isolated earth connection. The connection became known as the signal ground. The computer had its own power supplies. These ac and dc power supplies needed to have one side connected to earth. Since the object was to keep voltage excursions to a minimum, it would have been sufficient to connect one side of the power supply to the equipment metallic enclosure. Nevertheless, a separate isolated earth connection was required for the DC Power Supply Reference Ground Bus. For each application where an earth connection was required, an isolated earth connection was listed as needed. There were many different names for these connections to earth such as: Computer Referehce Ground, Earth Common, DC Master Ground Point, AC Safety Ground, DC Signal Common, DC Ground Bus, Power Supply Common Ground Point or Bus. There were no standards for the computer grounding systems and each computer company had its own terminologies. There were usually at least three separate ground buses in each computer system. C. Computer Grounding Methods There is only one connection to earth and that connection is by way of the electrical power systems equipment ground conductor. How the various earthing buses are routed or connected is a function of the computer grounding system design. It is necessary to distinguish between the electrical power system equipment (safety) ground and all the other ground buses. The equipment grounding conductor is insulated and colored green or green/yellow.

D. Single Point Grounding Systems

It is necessary to keep stray uncontrolled current from entering the computer system, its signal conductors, its power supplies, etc. The method used to accomplish the control of stray currents is to connect the computer ground buses to the equipment ground system at only one point. It is desirable to keep the computer grounding system parts isolated from each other, except at one point where the separate ground systems will be connected together.

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E. Fiber Optics
The problems of ground currents flowing over shields and being injected into the signal conductors is eliminated with the use of fiber optic cable connections between remote locations. Fiber optic cable can be used within the control building and it will eliminate interference from adjacent current-carrying conductors. Fiber oiptic cables are offered with a grounding conductor or shield and/or current-carrying conductors. Remember that a shield can carry unwanted and interfering current from one plac:e to another.

as an outer shield and being grounded at multiple points every

3 m, attenuated high frequency interference and the large

magnetic fields from nearby lightning strikes. One Independent Power Produced, IPP had a nearby lightning strike that damaged the process computer along with several programmable logic controllers. After extensive examination of the facility by lightning experts and electrical engineers the conclusion reached was the absence of sufficient magnetic shielding such as would have been provided by rigid metallic ferric conduit. The installation of cable tray eliminated the rigid conduit and the protection it gave against high frequency interference and lightning strikes. Computer controlled instrumentation has inputs of 3 to 5 volts today. At this low voltage, interference is easily injected into the instrumentation control cables. A nearby lightning strike can induce sufficient voltage to destroy the sensitive control circuits and equipment. Instrumentation cables are manufactured with an inner shield over the signal conductors and they offer a construction with an outer overall shield. However, this overall shield lacks sufficient ferric cross-section to negate large, through the earth or air, current flows or strong magneticfields and usually has insufficient current carrying capacity. Therefore, for maximum protection against interference from large current flow through the earth and the magnetic fields associatedwith lightning and other strong electric and magnetic fields from adjacent current-carrying conductors, all sensitive electronic circuits extending outside of the control room should be installed within ferric conduit or fiber optic cable used. In particular, ferric conduit should be used underground as PVC conduit offers no protection against magnetic interference.

F. Groundingof Insr'rumentationShields
Instrumentation cable should have a shield consisting of either a solid metal foil or an expanded braided wire shield over the signal coriductors to eliminate interference from being inducted into the signal-carrying conductors. To be effective the shield must be grounded. The method of connecting the shields to earth is a function of the voltage difference at the ends, the frequency of the interference signal and the need to protect against lightning and large current flows. If one can be assured that the only interference will be from either low frequency or high frequency, then a single shield will be adequate. However, if frequencies below 1 MHz and also above 1 MHz are to be encountered, then a single shield will be insufficient. For interference below 1 MHz the shield needs to be grounded at one end only, to prevent circulating currents from inducing interference. Above 1 MHz, the shield needs to be grounded, not only at both ends, but it may be necessary to earth the shield at points in between in order to attenuate the high frequency interference. The earthing leads need to be short as they develop impedance proportionalto the length and the frequency of the interference. It is important that the earthing connections be as short as possible as the length of the lead longer than 1/20 of the wavelength can develop a resonating circuit. As the wave travels down the conductor, if the length is the same as the wavelength, as the peak is reflected back, a new pulse will occur at the same time, effectively doubling the pulse. Peaks will occur at % wavellength. The speed of ari electromagnetic wave in a vacuum is 300,000 km (186,000 miles) per second. A 10 MHz pulse will travel approximately 29.87 m (98 ft) in free space during one cycle. In a conduc:tor, the speed is lower. The pulse will travel 26.82 m (88 ft) in 1/10 ps. The peak will occur at % wavelength, 6.7 m (22 ft). Thus, the connection cannot be longer than 6.7 m if 1he voltage is to be equalized between the ends. If current were to flow over the inner shield, the current could induce unwanted voltages into the signal conductors. In order to eliminate current flow over this inner shield and the injection of unwanted low frequencies, the shield is connected to earth at only one end, usually at the control end. (The exception is thermocouples where the shield is connected at the thermocouple.) If the shield were connected at both ends capacitive current could flow over the shield. Before the advent of cable tray installations, instrumentation cables were installed within rigid metallic ferric conduit. This overall shield, the rigid conduit, was connected to ground at support. points, approximately every 3 m. It acted


Voltage alone does not kill. The voltage is the driving force that determines how much current will flow through the resistance of the body. Current is the important factor. In a human, of the five layers of skin, all of the resistance is in the first layer of dead, dry skin. It takes a pressure of over 35 volts to penetrate this first layer of dead, dry skin. Type of Resistance Dry Skin Wet Skin Internal Body Hand to Foot Ear-toAEar ResistanceValues 100,000 to 600,000 Ohms


400 to 600 Ohms 100 Ohms

A. Effects of Current on the Human Body When an electrical shock happens, the current is the most important factor. Current flow through the chest cavity should be avoided as the current can affect the heart. Eight milliamperes has been accepted as the upper limit of safe current. The reaction to the electrical shock can be hazardous as one could be knocked from a ladder, fall, etc.

26 -

6. Electrocution
The act of electrocuting a person in the electric chair can be considered the ultimate application of current and voltage. Three electrodes are used. An application of conductive jelly is applied before the electrodes are placed on the shaved head and both ankles. To arrest the heart, 2,000 volts is sufficient. However, an additional 400 V are added for hefty persons and 240 V to compensate for the voltage drop. Thus, 2,640 V and 5 A are used. The body will burn if more than six amperes is applied. Two oneminute jolts are applied. After the first jolt, the adrenal activity keeps the heart in action. The second jolt is applied after a IO-second delay. Within 4.16 ms, consciousness is lost. Approximately $ 0.35 (1980) of electricity is used. [I] I C. Ground Fault Circuit Intempters (GFCI) Misconception 11: Ground fault circuit interrupters will always protect a person from harm. The ground fault circuit interrupters are devices that measure the current flowing on the supply line and compare it with the current on the return line. If there is a difference between 4 mA and 6 mA, the circuit protective device opens. The Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a US testing company, classifies this device as a Class A device. GFCls will not protect a person if that person touches both the phase conductor and the neutral conductor at the same time, since the supply current will equal the return current. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are required on certain type of circuits in the United States, Canada and other countries to offer protection for humans. In some European countries, the main services have similar devices.
60 Hz. Current

The GFCl devices are usually in the typical range of 15 to 30 amperes and are available in circuit breakers, built into receptacles and extension cords. If the device is set to operate about 20 mA, the UL classifies it as a Class B device. One of the applications in the US is for the protection of swimmers on swimming pool lighting installed before 1965. D. Equipment Ground Fault Protection (GFP) These devices measure the current flowing on the supply line and compare it with the current on the return line. If there is a difference between the two, the circuit protective device opens the circuit. These devices are for the protection of equipment. The common settings are 30 mA to 50 mA. Other values are available. One of the uses for ground fault protection devices is the protection of electric heat tracing lines and devices. The low value of trip current for a GFCl would result in nuisance tripping if applied to heat tracing circuits. Such circuits can have leakage currents greater than 0.5 mA. GFPs are also available for 3-wire, single-phase circuits. They measure the flow of current on the two-phase conductors and the neutral. If the sum of the currents does not equal zero and exceeds the trip rating, the GFP opens the circuit. The GFCI devices are usually found in the typical circuit breakers. There are heat-tracing controllers that have GFP built in to them.

E. Ground Fault Sensing

The application of groundfault sensing is for power distribution systems to protect against equipment damaging continuous low-level current, low voltage arcing. Solidly grounded wye electrical systems where the phase voltage to ground exceeds 150 volts, can develop an arcing fault with insufficient fault current to operate the protective device. The NEC requires any service disconnect or feeder rated 1000 amperes or more to have Ground Fault Protection of equipment. Ground fault sensing using induction disk or solid-state relays can detect phase unbalance. Ground fault sensing can be detected three ways using relays. The neutral conductor of the wye transformer has a ground fault relay inserted in the conductor going from the transformers neutral tap to the grounding electrode. This relay will detect any current flow returning from the earth to the transformer. Tripping of the protective device can then be set to a safe value. Another method is to use a zero sequence or toroidal transformer enclosing the phase and neutral conductors. If the sum of the currents on the conductors does not equal zero within the zero sequence sensing or toroidal instrument transformer then a current is produced by the instrument transformer. The current produced can be used as the tripping value for the protective device. Improper operation is sometimes encountered as a result of improper routing of the shield ground conductor through the zero sequence transformer.

Effect Threshold of sensation - Not felt. Shock, not painful, can let go, muscular control maintained. Painful, can let go, control maintained. muscular

1 milliampere, or less

1 to 8 milliamperes
Unsafe Current Values 8 to 15 milliamperes

15 to 20 milliamperes

Painful shock. Cannot let go, muscular control of adjacent muscle loss. Painful. Breathing difficult. Severe muscle contractions. valves do not operate correctly. They flutter, thus no blood is pumped. Results in death.

20 to 50 milliamperes

100 to 500 milliamperesVentricular Fibrillation - Heart

200 and over

Severe muscular contractions chest muscles clamp the heart and stop it as long as the current is applied. Severe burns, especially if over 5 amperes.

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The third method i s to insert in the phase overcurrent relay circuit a ground fault relay that will measure the differential current by the summation of the phase currents.

F. Arc Fault Circuit lntermpter (AFCI)

The arc fault circuit interrupter is a solid-state circuit breaker with software built into the breaker, to detect arcing within the wiring. The arcing current is usually inadequate to generate sufficient current flow to operate the protective device. The AFCl will detect the arcing of a damaged extension cord, or the cable within the wall that has been damaged by the accidental driving of a nail through the conductors. The electrical signatures of arcing faults have been recorded. A computer analyzes the current wave shape and compares the actual real time current wave against stored wave shapes. Should a match occur the breaker is sent a trip signal to oiperate opening the circuit. An AFCl must clear a 5 A arc in no more than 1 second and clear a 30 A arc: in no more than 0.11 sec. The device must trip in four full cycles. Should the extension cord or cord be cut, the device may have to open with a 100 A fault in eight half cycles. Because of the arcing, testing may be based on % cycles now. G. Step Voltage The technical definition is The difference in surface potential experienced by a person bridging a distance of 1 m with his feet without contacting any other grounded object. [2] The soil has resistance. When a high fault current flows through the earth due to a failure of a conductor meeting the earth, a voltage is developed across the earth as long as the current flows.

electrical equipment, cause fires and generates magnetic fields. Since the magnitude of current through the body that can set the heart into fibrillation, resulting in death, is much less than required to burn the body, there may have been persons electrocuted in showers. In swimming pools, without any electrical devices, and in particular showers, investigators would not look for or examine a person succumbing in the water for signs of electrocution. In fact, without any signs of burning, there is no difference between natural heart failure and electrocution. This was confirmed by the author with the Medical Examiners Office in Wilmington, DE. Many Medical Examiners fail to recognize the need to find the entry and exit locations on a body that has been involved with an electrical current.

If a person develops the concepts and insight to gain a complete understanding of earthing-grounding theory and approaches earthing-grounding with the same intensity, vigor and rigid attention to detail that is applied to the electrical distribution system design, a safe and efficient design of the earthing-grounding system will result.

The author thanks the several members of PClC who struggled through the draft of this paper and sent their comments. In addition, the author is grateful for the time John Cooper and David Pace spent correcting the many grammatical errors and their suggestions for improving the

H. Touch Voltage
The potential difference between the ground potential rise and the surface po,tential at the point where a person is standing, while at the same time having his hands in contact with a grounded structure. [2] This is the same as the step voltage, except the person is standing on the ground and at the same time touches a grounded metal object. The potential difference between the point on the earth where the person is standing and the point where that person touches the metal object is cialled the touch voltage, or touch potential. 1. Uncontrolled Flow of Current over the Earth
It is an unsafe practice to allow current to flow over the earth continuously, uncontrolled. All continuously flowing current must be contained within insulated electrical conductors. During the time a phase conductor faults to and contacts earth, it is expected to have the current flow over the earth, until the protective device(s) operate to clear the circuit and stop the current flow. The time should be seconds or less. Neutral to earth faults allow the current to flow uncontrolled over the earth continuously. This uncontrolled flow of current over the earth results in electrical shocks to humans and animals, causes computer screens to flutter, damages

ANSlllEEE Std. 100, IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronic Terms, New York, NY ANSlllEEE Std. 80,IEEE,Guide for Safety in Substation Grounding, New York, NY ANSVIEEE Standard 142, Recommended Practice for Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems (Green Book), Piscataway, NJ.. NFPA Standard 70, National Electrical Code Quincy MA. D. W. Zipse, Electrical Shock Hazard Due to Stray Current, (Subtitled, The Shocking Shower) in IEEE I&CPS Conference Record, May 1999. D. W. Zipse, Are The National Electrical Code and the National Electrical Safety Code Hazardous to Your Health?, (Subtitled, The Shocking Swimming Pool) in IEEE I&CPS Conference Record, May 1999. R. H. Lee 8, E. J. Fagan, The Use of Concrete- Encased Reinforcing Rods as Grounding Electrodes, IEEE IAS 1970. Transactions IGA-6, pp 337-348,


[8] Grounding l Earthing Electrode Studies, 1 of 2, Conducted by Travis Lindsey, IAEI Member, IAEllSNC Grounding Committee, Clark County Building Department, Las Vegas, NV 89101. [9] ANSI Standard C84.1-1977.

Donald W. Zipse (S58-M62-SMt89-F94-LF97) was graduated from the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades with honors where he gained practical experience in electrical construction and in power plant operation. He received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Delaware and went to work for Cutler-Hammer as an area sales engineer. He spent 16 years with IC1 America, Inc in their Central Engineering Department as a company wide electrical specialist. For the next 14 years, he was with the FMC Corporation in their Engineering Service organization, functioning as an Electrical Engineering Consultant, responsible for providing electrical design of new facilities and consulting service to the total corporation, both chemical and mechanical groups. He is a registered Professional Engineer. He represents the IEEE on the National Electrical Code Making Panel #14, Hazardous Locations as well as the Lightning Standard NFPA 780 and is a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. He serves on the National Electrical Safety Code Grounding Subcommittee. He has served on many IEEE committees, participated in the color books (IEEE Recommended Practice), and standards groups, including the Standards Board and the Standards Boards Review Committee. He is a member of the IEEE COMAR, Committee On Man And Radiation and Standards Correlating Committee #28, Non-Ionization Radiation. Mr. Zipse received the Standards Medallion for his work in and promoting standards. He has published many technical papers on such diverse and controversial subjects as Unity Plus Motors, Computers, Neutral to Ground Faults, NEC Wire Tables, Health Effects of Electrical and Magnetic Fields, Measuring Electrical and Magnetic Fields, Lightning Protection Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages, the NESC and the NEC: Are Dangerous to Your Health? Electrical Shock Hazard Due To Stray Current and has participated on National Electrical Code panels and in teaching the Code. For the last five years, he has been President of Zipse Electrical Engineering, Inc., a consulting firm. For the past six years, he has been primarily involved as a forensic engineer and expert witness in cases resulting from electrical accidents and electrocutions.

[IO] F. J. Shields, Chairman, System Grounding for Lowvoltage Power Systems, General Electric Company, Industrial Power Systems Engineering Operations, Schenectady, NY 12345GET-3548B,12-76

[I Fred A. Leutcher Associates, Inc. of Boston, MA I]

AlEE Committee Report, Application of Ground Fault Neutralizers, Electrical Engineering, vol. 72, July 1953, p. 606 ANSIlIEEE Std. 602, IEEE Recommended Practice for Electric Systems in Health Care Facilities. ANSlllEEE Standard 1100, Recommended Practice for Grounding and Powering Sensitive Electronic Equipment (Emerald Book), Piscataway, NJ.. B. Bridger, Jr. High Resistance Grounding, IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl. JanlFeb 1983, pp. 15-21 Getting down to earth . . ., James G. Biddle Co., Blue Ball, IEEE Standard 81, IEEE Guide for Measuring Earth Resistivity, Ground Impedance and Earth Surface Potentials of a Ground System in Part 1: Normal Measurements. John P. Nelson. High Resistance Grounding Of Low Voltage Systems IEEE - IAS.- PClC 96-3 Conference Record, Sept. 1996.

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Alternale method Fasten "J" bolt used to anchor steel colunin to reinforcing rod Identify bolt

Coiled earthing conductor waiting to be connected to building steel column Non-ferric conduit sleeve

Wire cage foundation for column

Wire Ties or Tie Wrap

contact with e m -

Not less than 0.8 mm (2.0 in) concrete below re-blar

L overlap bare copper wire 0.46 m (18 in) ,! Not less than 6.1 m (20 ft) bare or electrically conductive reinforcing rod not less than 12.7 mm (1/2 in) diameter Re-inforcing Bar Cage before Concrete Pour
Fig. 4 Ufer ground electrode using reinforcing bar.

Line 3


Utility Service [Entrance

240 V
Line 1 Neutral Single Phase Loads



Line 2 Earth / Ground

Ground Electrode

1Ground Electrode

Fig. 6 3 Phase, Open Delta, With One Phase Center Tapped

30 -