Report
Technical Report
EPRI Project Manager
A. Phillips
EPRI 3412 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94304 PO Box 10412, Palo Alto, California 94303 USA
800.313.3774 650.855.2121 askepri@epri.com www.epri.com
Tower Grounding and Soil
Ionization Report
1001908
Final Report, February 2002
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iii
CITATIONS
This report was prepared by
EPRIsolutions
115 East New Lenox Rd.
Lenox, MA 01240
Principal Investigators
P. White
J. Anderson
K. King
This report describes research sponsored by EPRI.
The report is a corporate document that should be cited in the literature in the following manner:
Tower Grounding and Soil Ionization Report, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2002. 1001908.
v
REPORT SUMMARY
Deregulation of the powder industry has increased the need for greater reliability of the
transmission system. Unplanned outages can have significant financial implications, and
lightning activity is often cited as one of the main reasons. To address this issue, EPRI is
conducting research to increase understanding of the lightning performance of transmission lines.
This report details the results of one such study.
Background
The historical challenge of providing reliable electrical service is becoming more important.
With electronic equipment in almost all facets of life, even momentary outages and power
quality problems can adversely affect customers at home and work. Lightning causes many such
momentary customer outages, and EPRIs TFlash program was developed to help utility
engineers evaluate the lightning performance of power systems.
Objectives
To provide more accurate grounding algorithms for the TFlash program.
Approach
Published algorithms, and those generally used by the industry for computing surge current
dynamic resistance of ground rods and concrete foundations, provide wide divergences in
predicted values. Also, in spite of almost a century of experience, the actual dielectric properties
of soils are still a matter of debate. These dielectric properties have a profound effect on the
lightning performance of transmission lines. Therefore, the grounding research documented in
this report encompasses two fundamental activities: determining the dielectric properties of some
typical soils and selecting dynamic resistance models of ground rods and concrete foundations as
a function of current in these soils. The project team concentrated on ground rods and concrete
foundations because these grounding geometries are so prevalent on transmission and
distribution lines.
Results
Study results, together with previous EPRI research, are being used to develop more accurate
models to predict transmission line performance. These models, in turn, will be included in
EPRIs stateoftheart Transmission Line Lightning Performance Prediction Software, TFlash.
The results also will be used to develop guidelines for utilities on how to effectively design,
construct, and maintain transmission line grounding systems.
EPRI Perspective
TFlash is a stateoftheart design tool that allows engineers to analyze the effect of a specified
lightning challenge on a given transmission line as well as specified mitigation techniques such
vi
as shielding, improved grounding, line arresters, and upgraded insulation. With this software,
utility engineers can analyze the degree of protection an existing line has, define changes to the
line to improve protection, or design a new line with economical lightning protection. As a
result, TFlash has potential to help utilities achieve costeffective improvements in lightning
protection and customer reliability.
Keywords
Lightning
Grounding
Soil ionization
TFlash
LPDW (Lightning Protection Design Workstation)
vii
CONTENTS
1 OVERVIEW......................................................................................................................... 11
2 THEORY OF GROUND ELECTRODE RESPONSE............................................................ 21
Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 21
Ground Rod Resistance ..................................................................................................... 22
Concrete Foundations ........................................................................................................ 25
CIGR Dynamic Resistance Models .................................................................................. 26
LiewDarveniza Dynamic Resistance Model ....................................................................... 29
The ChisholmJanischewskyj Model..................................................................................211
The Robbins/TFlash Model................................................................................................214
Other Models.....................................................................................................................214
3 SMALLSCALE PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTS ON ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES
OF SOIL ................................................................................................................................. 31
Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 31
Uniform Field Dielectric Strength of Soils............................................................................ 31
Soil Resistivity .................................................................................................................... 33
NonUniform Field Dielectric Strengths of Soils .................................................................. 35
4 LARGESCALE EXPERIMENTS ON DYNAMIC RESISTANCES OF GROUND RODS ..... 41
Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 41
Test Configurations and Soils............................................................................................. 41
Digital Filtering.................................................................................................................... 43
Voltage and Current Waveshapes...................................................................................... 44
Initial Dynamic Resistances................................................................................................ 45
Dynamic Ohms vs. Applied Current.................................................................................... 48
Effect of Rod Length and Separation.................................................................................. 48
Comparison of Tank Test Values with Dynamic Algorithms................................................ 49
LiewDarveniza Algorithm..................................................................................................410
viii
CIGR/Weck Algorithm.....................................................................................................411
Chisholm  Janischewskyj Algorithm..................................................................................412
TFlash Algorithm...............................................................................................................413
Effect of Rod Shape and Artificial Streamers.....................................................................413
Response of Concrete Ground Electrodes ........................................................................417
Chemical Enhancement ....................................................................................................418
ButtWrapped Poles ..........................................................................................................418
Computer Modeling of Dynamic Resistance......................................................................420
5 SUMMARY .......................................................................................................................... 51
6 GOOD GROUNDING PRACTICES ..................................................................................... 61
7 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE WORK.................................................................... 71
8 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 81
A THE CIGR CRITICAL CURRENT EQUATIONS............................................................... A1
B THE LIEWDARVENIZA ALGORITHM............................................................................... B1
C THE GND_ROD1 ALGORITHM.......................................................................................... C1
D THE CHISHOLMJANISCHEWSKYJ (CJ) MODEL........................................................... D1
E THE ROBBINS/TFLASH DYNAMIC RESISTANCE MODEL.............................................. E1
F DRIVEN ROD RESISTANCES IN TWOLAYER EARTHS.................................................. F1
G ADJUSTMENT OF RODTANK RESISTANCES TO ROD RESISTANCES IN AN
INFINITE PLANE....................................................................................................................G1
ix
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 21 Dimensions for a single vertical ground rod............................................................ 22
Figure 22 The Wenner four electrode method of measuring earth resistivity. ......................... 23
Figure 23 Dielectric breakdown of soil around rod electrodes. ............................................... 24
Figure 24 Reduction of rod resistance with time..................................................................... 25
Figure 25 Concrete foundation in moist soil. .......................................................................... 25
Figure 26 Replacing a ground rod with a conducting hemisphere. ......................................... 27
Figure 27 Dynamic resistance of a concrete foundation vs. time............................................ 28
Figure 28 LiewDarveniza ground rod surrounded by concentric cylindrical shells of
earth...............................................................................................................................210
Figure 29 Modernized version of the Korsuncev Curve (from Oettle). ...................................212
Figure 210 Relationship of Parameter S to Ionization Zones.................................................213
Figure 31 Rogowski Electrode Test Cell. ............................................................................... 32
Figure 32 Test Circuit for Soil Uniform Field Dielectric Tests.................................................. 32
Figure 33 Resistivity Test Cell................................................................................................ 33
Figure 34 Photo of the Concentric Cylindrical Test Cell. ........................................................ 35
Figure 35 Electrical Diagram of the Concentric Cylindrical Test Cell. ..................................... 36
Figure 36 Concentric Test Cell Voltage Waves Before and During Breakdown...................... 38
Figure 41 Large Test Tank Dimensions and Circuitry............................................................. 42
Figure 42 Photo of Large Test Tank Installation..................................................................... 42
Figure 43 Unfiltered Data. ...................................................................................................... 44
Figure 44 Chebyshev Filtered Data........................................................................................ 44
Figure 45 Typical VoltageCurrent Waves During Rod Tests. ................................................ 45
Figure 46 Initial Dynamic Resistance Computation. ............................................................... 46
Figure 47 Dynamic Ohms vs. Applied Current. ...................................................................... 48
Figure 48 Dynamic Resistance at Two Microseconds As a Function of Current Into One
30Foot Rod or Two 15Foot Parallel Rods Spaced 10 Feet Apart. ................................. 49
Figure 49 Liew Darveniza Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Test
Values. ...........................................................................................................................410
Figure 410 CIGR/Weck Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Test Values. .....411
Figure 411 C_J Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Test Values.....................412
Figure 412 TFlash Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Values. .......................413
Figure 413 Artificial Streamers Attached to a Ground Rod. ...................................................414
x
Figure 414 Dynamic Resistance With Artificial Streamers in Place. ......................................414
Figure 415 Dynamic Resistance With Artificial Streamers Removed.....................................415
Figure 416 Tested Bar CrossSection. ..................................................................................415
Figure 417 Rectangular Bar Ground Rod Dynamic Resistance in sand. ...............................416
Figure 418 One Inch Diameter Round Rod in Sand. .............................................................416
Figure 419 VoltageCurrent Waves on a ConcreteEncased Rebar. .....................................417
Figure 420 4.5Foot Ground Rod Surrounded With Eight Inch Diameter GEM Material. .......418
Figure 421 Photo of Bottom End of ButtWrapped Pole. .......................................................419
Figure 422 Dynamic Resistance of a ButtWrapped Pole in Loam. .......................................419
Figure 423 Comparison of Lowest Dynamic Ohms Calculated by Korsuncev and Liew
Darveniza Algorithms. ....................................................................................................420
Figure 424 Single Rod Korsuncev Dynamic Resistance vs Rod Length and Soil
Resistivity. ......................................................................................................................421
Figure 425 Dynamic Resistance of Two ground Rods in Parallel vs. Rod Length and
Separation Distance (Korsuncev). ..................................................................................422
Figure 426 Variation of Double Rod Low Frequency Resistance With Spacing. (1in.
Diam. Rod, 3 Feet Long, =100 ohmmeters).................................................................423
Figure A1 A thin soil resistance shell surrounding an embedded conducting
hemisphere. .................................................................................................................... A1
Figure A2 Gradient at the surface of a conducting hemisphere............................................. A2
Figure B1 LiewDarveniza ground rod model surrounded by concentric shells of earth......... B1
Figure C1 Collision of Soil Resistance Shells for Two Rod Case .......................................... C1
Figure D1 The Korsuncev Curve for Ground Electrodes ....................................................... D2
Figure D2 Application of the Characteristic Dimension S. ..................................................... D2
Figure E1 Expanding ionization zone around a rod............................................................... E1
xi
LIST OF TABLES
Table 31 Uniform Field Dielectric Tests.................................................................................. 34
Table 32 Breakdown Vs Waveshape: KilnDried Sand........................................................... 37
Table 33 Effect of Moisture and Tail Time.............................................................................. 38
Table 41 Large Scale Dynamic Resistance Tests. ................................................................. 43
11
1
OVERVIEW
This report discusses work performed in 2000 and 2001 on lightning grounding research. The
work was initiated by the clear necessity of providing better grounding algorithms for the EPRI
TFlash transmission line lightning performance program. In 1982 EPRI published a first
comprehensive report (Reference 7) on transmission line grounding, but this report was directed
primarily to ac grounding and said little about ground electrode dynamic response under
lightning surge currents. Published algorithms and those generally used by the industry for
computation of surge current dynamic resistance of ground rods and concrete foundations
provide wide divergences in predicted values. Also, in spite of almost a century of experience,
the actual dielectric properties of soils are still a matter of debate, and these dielectric properties
have a profound effect on the lightning performance of transmission lines. Therefore, grounding
research in 2001 has encompassed two fundamental activities: determination of the dielectric
properties of some typical soils, and the selection of dynamic resistance models of ground rods
and concrete foundations as a function of current in these soils. In 2001, attention was
concentrated on ground rods and concrete foundations because these grounding geometries are
so prevalent on transmission and distribution lines. This report is organized in the following
sections:
Section 2 of this report reviews present theories and limitations of ground electrode dynamic
resistances under high impulse currents. This review is to acquaint the reader with the dynamics
of the electronic processes involved.
Section 3 reports results of smallscale experiments to clarify the dielectric properties of various
soils, particularly sand, clay and loam, and how these results can apply to large scale electrode
response.
Section 4 shows some results of largescale high current experiments on rods and concrete
electrodes (including conductivity enhancement chemicals) in a special soilcontainment tank,
and how these results fit various theoretical algorithms.
Section 5 then sums the results and makes recommendations for algorithms to apply in the
TFlash program.
Section 6 makes recommendations  based on the results of the present investigation  for better
tower grounding strategies and grounding enhancement procedures.
Section 7 outlines needed future work, including extension of the present work to concrete
foundations and substations, rods in twolayer soils and development of better data acquisition
methods to determine soil constants on rightsofway that control the dynamic response of tower
grounds.
21
2
THEORY OF GROUND ELECTRODE RESPONSE
Introduction
The simplest practical ground electrode used on transmission and distribution lines is a vertical
ground rod. Often this rod penetrates into two or more layers of earth with different resistivities,
such as a layer of loam above a layer of clay or glacial till. The total rod resistance to earth is the
parallel combination of the rod resistances in each layer. Earth is a poor dielectric, and at high
lightning surge currents electrical streamers and glow discharges develop in the soil around a rod
as the soil breaks down, effectively enlarging the rod electrical radius. Electrical streamers also
penetrate down into the earth off the bottom tip of the rod, thereby effectively increasing the rod
length. In addition, as current is injected into a ground rod, magnetic energy is stored in the
earth and in the air just above the rod, and at lightning frequencies this energy is evidenced as an
inductance in series with the rod. Finally, the relative dielectric constant of earth can be 10 or
more, so a rod has a capacitance to earth in parallel with its resistance that is sometimes taken
into account at lightning frequencies.
The inductance and capacitance are usually assumed constant for a given rod and independent of
earth resistivity. However, clearly the rod capacitance increases as the streamers increase the rod
diameter. As for inductance, the conductivity of the metal rod is so much higher than the
conductivity of the streamers in an axial direction parallel to the rod that inductance is assumed
independent of streamer development. This ignores the fact that each streamer is carrying
current and also sending magnetic energy into the soil and that the current in the rod is greater at
the earth's surface than down at the rod tip.
Even for the simplest case of a single vertical rod, the entire electrical event when a stroke
current surge enters the rod is very nonlinear. Calculation of rod dynamic resistance vs. time is
further complicated by a lack of information on earth resistivities around the rod and
uncertainties as to the earth dielectric strength and its ionization time constants. Concrete
foundations are in some ways, simpler because of the large surface area of the concrete and its
slow variation of resistance with soil moisture. Theories of ground electrode dynamic resistance
abound in the literature, and some of the many references are listed at the end of this report.
Reference 2 by Mousa provides a particularly comprehensive list of grounding references
relevant to this technology.
Because of the complexity of the process and the many uncertainties about the soil electrical
environment around any transmission tower electrode, this report has, insofar as possible, tried to
simplify the dynamics, and to not describe with great mathematical precision that which is in fact
known only very approximately, if at all. The simplified models thus developed should be
sufficient until more precise information of soil electrical properties are available.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
22
Ground Rod Resistance
When a single vertical rod is driven into the earth (Figure 21), its resistance, R
o
to the flow of
low frequency low amplitude current is given by Eq. 21 by Dwight:
d
L
Figure 21
Dimensions for a single vertical ground rod.
(

.

\

= 1
8
log
2 d
L
L
R
o
Equation 21
where:
R
o
= low frequency, low current resistance, ohms
= earth resistivity, ohmmeters
L = rod length, meters
d = rod diameter, meters
This resistance R
o
is to a uniform infinite earth. It assumes that no skineffect exists near the
surface of the earth in spite of the high frequencies contained in any lightning surge current
flowing into the rod, no dielectric breakdowns of soil around the rod caused by high voltages on
the rod, no effect of retardation time (the current has spread to infinity instantly  an obvious
impossibility), no variations in earth resistivity with frequency or with depth, and no effect of the
dielectric constant of the earth around the rod. However, in spite of its shortcomings for fast
high transient currents, Eq. 21 is the standard Dwight equation frequently used in transmission
line lightning simulation programs for rod resistance before any soil ionization processes begin,
and is used as a starting point for most dynamic resistance calculations.
Eq. 21 can also be used to determine earth resistivity in some situations. This is done by driving
a rod into the earth, measuring its R
o
with a ground resistance megger and then rearranging Eq.
21 to calculate the equivalent earth resistivity that results in the observed resistance R
o
.
However, as will be noted in more detail later, driving a ground rod will  in some soils  vibrate
the rod sufficiently so that the hole containing the rod is slightly enlarged, making only partial
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
23
electrical contact on some of the rod surface areas, and thereby producing a significant resistance
error. This effect has been encountered in EPRI tests of ground rods in sand. Also, if varies
with depth, the calculated resistivity will not indicate the resistivity at any particular depth.
I
x
v
Figure 22
The Wenner four electrode method of measuring earth resistivity.
A more accepted onsite method of measuring earth resistivity (valid for a uniform earth) is
shown in Figure 22. An alternating current I is fed between the two outer rods, creating a
voltage drop along the surface of the earth, resulting in a voltage V between the two inner rods.
The indicated earth resistivity is then:
I
V
x 2 = Equation 22
where:
x = distance between the two inner rods, meters.
= earth resistivity, ohmmeters
Wenner resistivity measurements (Eq. 22) are often complicated by stray earth currents and by
the fact that both V and I are often small in field measurements. The problem with many onsite
measurements of earth resistivity is that the earth often consists of an upper layer of sand, loam
or clay only a few meters thick on top and another layer of rock, gravel or earth underneath with
a much different resistivity. Aerial surveys at frequencies from 10 to 100 kHz can provide useful
resistivity data in multiple layer soils. For a twolayer case, Eq. 22 will indicate different
resistivities as the spacing x is changed, and this variation has been used (Reference 7) to infer
the nature of the resistivity layers underneath A special EPRI Fortran program RESIST was
developed for this purpose. However, it still required substantial interpretive skills to infer the
nature of the subsurface strata.
The dynamic resistance of a ground rod will usually be much less than its lowfrequency low
current resistance R
o
, and this dynamic resistance is used by TFlash to evaluate transmission line
lightning performance. If a surge current of 50 kiloamperes flows into a single ground rod
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
24
having a resistance R
o
of 20 ohms (a condition easily occurring in service) a voltage of 1000 kV
will appear on the rod if R
o
remains constant. On the rod  particularly at its deep end and along
its wall surfaces the electric gradients will reach magnitudes far greater that the dielectric
strength of any soil, and the soil will start ionizing and failing electrically. This ionization
consists of a set of radial electrical streamers and glow discharges accompanied by strong void
ionizations between soil particles extending out beyond the electrode (Figure 23).
I I
Figure 23
Dielectric breakdown of soil around rod electrodes.
This ionization has the effect of enlarging the electrical diameter of the rod, and by Eq. 21 is
equivalent to reducing the rod resistance. Note in Figure 23 that for two rods, the streamers
and/or ionization between the two rods will be shorter that the outer streamers because both rods
are at the same potential. The reduction in rod resistance can be dramatic, and reduces the
likelihood of insulator flashovers on any tower or pole connected to the rod. Ionization of the
soil can continue after voltage crest has been reached, so the rod resistance can continue to drop
out on the tail of the surge current wave (Figure 24) and then gradually return to a value
somewhere near its predischarge value as the soil deionizes. Experiments have shown
(Reference 5) that the streamer velocities are quite slow, but ionization in the soil voids can
proceed rapidly, making the latter play a dominant role in the resistance reduction. A
fundamental objective of this EPRI research is to select the best mathematical model that
describes how this resistance changes with current and time.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
25
kA
Ohms
kA Ohms
Time Miliseconds
Figure 24
Reduction of rod resistance with time.
Soil moisture plays an important role in values of electrode resistivity with time. Moisture
content near the surface can vary very significantly with weather conditions, while moisture
content at depths of several meters will change only slowly with time since it tends to reach an
equilibrium condition with longterm environmental conditions. Although twolayer or multi
layer resistance calculations in various grounding strategies can improve mathematical precision
in line flashover estimates, in reality for ground rods over 10 feet in length, the uncertainties in
general knowledge of soil moisture with time can make the additional precision illusionary.
Also, there is an implicit assumption in practically all lightning calculations that soil resistivity
caused by moisture content is constant for all frequencies, whether 60 Hz or lightning transient
current frequencies. One of the concerns in this investigation has been to determine the best
adjustment to make in TFlash for soil dielectric response to transients of different waveshapes
and moisture content.
Concrete Foundations
Soil moisture also has an interaction with the resistance of concrete foundations. In Figure 25,
concrete surrounds the rebars and steelwork electrically connected to a tower leg.
H O
2
H O
2
Figure 25
Concrete foundation in moist soil.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
26
When the concrete is poured, its water content will initially be much higher than the surrounding
soil. However, present theory (supported by a substantial amount of research ( Refs. JM) is that
after an initial resistance increase, the moisture in the concrete gradually reaches a rough
equilibrium with moisture in the soil, so that the reinforcing steel in the concrete eventually acts
as if it is more or less embedded electrically in the soil without the concrete present, albeit a
"soil" with a different resistivity. To the extent that this is true it still ignores the fact that the
reinforcing steel in soil alone would emit electrical streamers, whereas any streamers in the
concrete tend to be inhibited, and  if they occur  can conceivably cause damage by creating
puncture paths. The National Electrical Code adopted a recommendation that a copper electrode
not less than #4 in diameter and not less that 20 feet in length be embedded in a concrete
foundation along one or two of the external walls. This would reduce electrical stresses inside
the concrete. It is important to reexamine how concrete foundations compare with driven rods as
grounding electrodes, and more research work is indicated.
Experience in the former Soviet Union (Reference 13) during nine years of impulse and 50 Hz
testing of concrete footings found the following:
A ratio of maximum to minimum annual range of 50 Hz resistance = 1.4 caused by variation
of soil moisture. The maximum resistance occurs in the winter due to freezing.
After stabilization of the concrete over several months, the ratio of impulse impedance to ac
impedance ranged from 0.92 to 1.0 up to 1.8 kA impulse current and this ratio drops to about
0.7 at 10 kA. However, for multiple foundations  because of inductance effects  the ratio
can reach unity or even higher.
Even in very dry surface conditions, the concrete foundations retained most of their moisture
through capillary attraction from subsurface soil.
As an example of foundation resistance magnitudes, in a soil of approximately 1000 ohm
meters, four concrete foundations spaced 7.5 meters apart and having a length of 2.8 meters
and resting on a buried concrete plate had a combined parallel ac resistance of 11.5 to 14.5
ohms.
As far as the authors are aware, the only EPRI design curves for concreteencased electrode
resistances is that reported in Reference 7, and these are inadequate for foundations with plates
or pyramidal foundations and take no account of the dynamics of the impulse resistance. A set
of design curves in Reference 9 can be used for ac resistance only. Development work is
indicated to incorporate concrete foundation dynamics in TFlash.
CIGR Dynamic Resistance Models
Electrical experiments of ground electrode performance have always been limited by the ability
of impulse generators to force high surge current magnitudes into the earth. Since the early
researches of Bewley, Bellaschi and others, a substantial literature has evolved to attach
mathematical models to the observed voltagecurrent relationships for different soils and
electrode configurations. However, the process is electrically complex and simplifications can
be perilous. An example is the present CIGR mathematical model for a single rod (Reference
19). As Figure 26 shows, a ground rod is represented in ionized soil  not as a rod  but as a
hemisphere embedded at the earth's surface.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
27
I
E
o
Figure 26
Replacing a ground rod with a conducting hemisphere.
The justification for this concept lies in the argument that streamers from the rod project out into
the soil and soil ionization occurs in a kind of radial cloud whose boundary can be assumed to
approximate a hemispherical surface for high currents. Neglecting for the moment its validity, a
hemispherical ionized cloud with negligible internal resistivity is easy to represent analytically
and makes an algebraic representation possible (rather than a digital one). The problem then
becomes one of finding suitable parameters for the various soil types and electrode geometries
that make an acceptable fit of this model to experimental results.
If one accepts a spherical representation as a rough working model, Appendix A shows that the
lowfrequency lowcurrent resistance R
o
of a hemispherical electrode (Figure 26) is:
r
Ro
2
= Equation 23
where Ro = resistance, ohms
= soil resistivity, ohmmeters
r = sphere radius, meters
Note that this model assumes that the soil inside this hemisphere is completely ionized so that the
soil resistivity in that region can be assumed zero. Making this assumption, Appendix A of this
report then derives the CIGR Weck equation (Eq. 24) for the critical current I
0
required to
create a soil critical ionization gradient Eo at the surface of the equivalent hemispherical
electrode, this electrode having low frequency resistance R
o
of the ground rod it replaces:
2
0
2 R
Eo
o
I
= Equation 24
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
28
As derived in Appendix A, using I
o
the equation for dynamic resistance of a foundation that can
be represented by a spherical electrode is:
o
o
I
I
R
R = Equation 25
where R = instantaneous dynamic resistance, ohms with the proviso that it can never
be greater than Ro.
R
o
= low frequency low current resistance, ohms
I = instantaneous foundation current, kA
I
o
= a critical current when ionization starts, kA
As an example, Figure 27 shows a conceptual foundation dynamic resistance vs. time. Having
more bulk and a larger diameter that a rod electrode, its dynamic resistance reduction is less. It
should be understood that the critical gradient E
o
in Eq. 24 is not necessarily the actual
breakdown strength of the soil. More realistically, it can be considered a soil critical ionization
gradient at which the voids in high dielectric strength soils start to ionize, but it might also
represent breakdown strength in poor dielectric soils. More generally, it should be considered a
working constant that best fits any model that uses it .
Critical Ionization
Current = 22.5 kA
0
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
10
0
5
15
20
25
D
y
n
a
m
i
c
O
h
m
s
*
Ro = 20 Ohms o = 300 kV
= 300 Ohmmeters S = 1.5 meters
* Dynamic Ohms Calculated Using the Korsuntcev Curve.
Instantaneous kA
Figure 27
Dynamic resistance of a concrete foundation vs. time.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
29
Mousa (Reference 2), in a quite extensive analysis of the electrical dynamics of soils suggests a
conservative value of 300 kV/m for E
o
. IEEE (Reference 17) has suggested a value of 400 kV/m,
but Oettle in her researches in South Africa has proposed values as high as 1000 kV/m. Liew
and Darveniza (Reference 1) found a value of Eo = 300 kV/m to fit several of their tests. If E
o
is
taken as the dielectric (puncture) strength of soil, Oettle (Reference 5) has shown that there is
only a very weak correlation between the resistivity and E
0
. Her proposed equation for this
relationship is:
215 . 0
241 =
o
E Equation 26
Also, the effect of water content in the soil can have an erratic effect on the resistivity, since the
chemical composition of the soil (such as salt) will interact with the moisture present. In the
EPRI model to be described later, E
o
will be the constant that best fits experimental results,
recognizing that it should not be higher than the puncture strength of the soil in a uniform or
quasiuniform field.
For a rod, Weck (Reference 18) recognized that ionization starts off the tip of the rod at very low
surge currents, so that nonlinear resistance is almost continuously present. For this rod case
(Appendix A) he proposed a modification of Eq. 25 above to:
o
o
I
I
R
R
+
=
1
Equation 27
where I
o
is a critical ionization current of Eq. 24.
Note that neither of these CIGR models have time as a dynamic. The greatest resistance
reduction always occurs at the instant of maximum current, whereas many tests have shown that
 at least for rods  the resistance can continue to fall for several microseconds after crest current,
and these few microseconds can be important in establishing the flashover performance of
transmission lines.
LiewDarveniza Dynamic Resistance Model
The CIGR assumption that one can replace a 20foot ground rod with an equivalent embedded
hemisphere and have the same dynamic resistance performance is a long stretch of the
imagination, and Liew and Darveniza (Reference 1) used concentric shells of earth around the
rod as a better representation (Figure 28). Assuming relatively uniform flow of current out of
the rod in Figure 28 (not very likely) the current density flowing through each shell can easily
be calculated. If this current density is sufficient to create a critical ionizing gradient Eo across
the wall of any shell,
Liew and Darveniza assume that the shell wall starts ionizing and its resistivity starts dropping
exponentially with time. Note that Eo is assumed everywhere constant. As the resistance of a
shell near the rod starts dropping, that impresses more voltage across shells farther away and
they start ionizing also. When the surge current decays sufficiently, the current density in some
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
210
shells falls below the critical ionizing value, and those shells start deionizing (again
exponentially with time) and the resistance starts increasing towards its original low frequency
value. Appendix B describes the LiewDarveniza model in more detail. While a digital
simulation of the process is relatively straightforward and can be incorporated in TFlash, it is
difficult to represent analytically the reduction in resistance versus time and instantaneous
current with a couple of equations as is possible for the CIGR model.
r
I
L
d r
Eo
Figure 28
LiewDarveniza ground rod surrounded by concentric cylindrical shells of earth
While in many ways the LiewDarveniza algorithm seems more realistic than the CIGR
approach and at low currents provides R
o
values that match theoretical formulas quite well, this
model also has some dubious characteristics, among them:
The assumption of uniform current density in each shell wall at high currents and ignoring
individual streamer penetrations of any shell walls.
The assumption of uniform exponential ionization and deionization.
Uncertainty of values of the ionization and deionization constants and E
o
to use for each
electrode and soil type.
The assumption of an idealized hemispherical bottom end for each shell.
For any ground electrodes other than rods, describing the shell geometries becomes difficult
unless they are assumed to be hemispheres.
However, dynamic resistance in the LiewDarveniza model usually continues to drop after the
surge current has passed crest and is decaying. This is in conformance with many test
observations, including tests by EPRIsolutions described in this report. Conversely the CIGR
model reaches its lowest dynamic resistance when the current reaches its maximum value, a
phenomenon unlikely for high currents into ground rods.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
211
If multiple ground rods are located within a few meters of one another, the shells in the Liew
Darveniza model will collide and no current will flow across the collision interface. Again this
is complicated analytically, but relatively easy to evaluate digitally, and a special program
GND_ROD1 was written to calculate the total low frequency resistance of any set of
asymmetrically located ground rods using the LiewDarveniza algorithm (Appendix C) and
allowing for shell collision.
The ChisholmJanischewskyj Model
A dynamic ground resistance model (Reference 3) developed by Chisholm and Janischewskyj
(hereafter referred as the CJ model and described in detail in Appendix D) has the advantage of
being applicable to a wide range of ground electrode geometries and makes use of a similarity
method originated by Korsuncev (Reference 4). In 1958, A.V. Korsuncev published an analysis
of research results on dynamic resistances of several different ground electrode configurations,
and in 1987, Oettle (Reference 5) extended the Korsuncev analysis to include recent
experimental results. Korsuncev plotted experimental ground electrode test results in terms of
two dimensionless ratios
1
and
2
, where:
sR
=
1
Equation 28
2
2
s E
I
o
= Equation 29
where:
s = a characteristic distance from the center of the electrode configuration to its outermost
point(meters).
R = the electrode dynamic resistance, ohms
= earth resistivity, ohmmeters
I = instantaneous current, kA
E
o
= critical soil gradient, kV/m
Figure 29 is a modernized version of the Korsuncev curve from Reference 5.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
212
0.01 0.02 0.05 0.1 0.2 0.5 1 2 5 10 20 50 100
0.01
0.02
0.05
.1
.2
.5
1
I P
S
2
o
R
S
P
2 22 2
1 11 1
Figure 29
Modernized version of the Korsuncev Curve (from Oettle).
It should be clear that the values of , E
o
, R and s used to make this curve were probably subject
to large errors, and yet it is remarkable that the scatter of the plotted test points is not larger than
it is. Eq. 210 fits the straight line in Figure 29:
(log
1
) = 0.342 (log
2
) 1.515 Equation 210
As described in Appendix D, the CJ algorithm assumes a constant electrode resistance as long
as
1
is below an initial value. Above that value,
2
is calculated using the current I in Eq. 29,
then using the
2
and the Korsuncev curve or Eq. 210,
1
can be calculated, and from
1
the
corresponding instantaneous resistance R can be found. The algorithm then works its way up
and down the Korsuncev curve as the electrode current rises and falls, calculating new values of
instantaneous R at each time step until the algorithm terminates.
The parameter s in Eqs. (28) and (29) deserves further explanation. Since s is the distance from
the center of the electrode configuration to the farthest point on the electrode, for a single rod s is
simply the length of the rod in meters. Figure 210 shows the application of this parameter for
some more complicated electrode shapes. If two electrodes are far apart, then s is the greatest
distance at each electrode only. However, if they are sufficiently close, their ionization areas
will overlap, and s becomes the distance using the combined set. This complication is explained
in more detail in Appendix D. The existence of this parameter s permits the algorithm to be
applied to a wide variety of foundations, ground rod configurations and even buttwrapped poles.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
213
S
S
S
Figure 210
Relationship of Parameter S to Ionization Zones.
A very important contribution of Chisholm and Janischewskyj in Reference 3 is their
clarification of intrinsic ground electrode inductance. Based on their experimental results with
nanosecond geometrical model measurements and time domain reflectometry, they show that
even if the ground were made of solid copper, lightning surge currents entering the ground plane
will see an inductance in series with whatever ground electrode resistance exists. This is because
the finite velocity of light makes the currents "pile up" at the tower base and direct
electromagnetic coupling exists between tower currents and those out in the ground plane.
Therefore this inductance is influenced by tower height. Their experimental results combined
with an analytical analysis indicate that this footing inductance is:
T
crest
T footing
T
L
T
= tower travel time, microseconds .
T
crest
= tower surge current time to crest, microsecs
While this equation was derived for a straightrising front, it should be roughly applicable for
other waveshapes. It holds provided the time to crest of the tower surge current is several times
the tower travel time. A 120foot tower would have a travel time
T
at the velocity of light of
approximately 0.12 microseconds, and for a tower surge current cresting at 2 microseconds,
L
footing
would be 20 microhenrys. If the front had a rate of rise of 25 kA/microsecond ( not an
unexpected value) the footing voltage would be 500 kV, even though the footing resistance were
zero. Prior to the researches of Chisholm and Janischewskyj, this inductive component was
usually ignored.
Theory of Ground Electrode Response
214
The Robbins/TFlash Model
The present (2001) dynamic resistance model for rods in TFlash was developed by David
Robbins of EPRIsolutions and is described in detail in Appendix E. It is basically an expanding
rod electrode model of the LiewDarveniza type. It utilizes tables of default soil characteristics
for sand, loam, clay, gravel and stone, including default resistivities, critical ionization gradients,
ionization and deionization constants, and a special IonConstant variable to adjust dynamic
resistances to fit test data.
Other Models
Several other dynamic resistance models have been proposed. Examples are the Oettle model
(Reference 5) and the Geri model (Reference 15, 16). It was not possible in the allotted time in
2001 to adapt these models to existing data, but it is recommended that these models also be
carefully examined in any future experimental work, particularly the Geri model.
31
3
SMALLSCALE PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTS ON
ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES OF SOIL
Introduction
The dynamic resistance of any tower ground electrode depends not only on surge current and
time, but also on several fundamental soil properties such as dielectric strength, resistivity,
moisture content and morphology. Particular concerns include the effects of moisture and
whether a breakdown path  once initiated  dominates subsequent breakdowns. All
mathematical models make assumptions about these effects, and it was important to verify the
electrical characteristics of our test soils on a small scale before proceeding to fullscale
electrode tests. The basic soils available were sand, clay, loam and crushed rock. Electrical
characteristics to be determined included uniform field dielectric strength under lightning
impulse voltages, effects of moisture and the permanence of breakdown paths.
It should be recognized at the outset that soils occur in infinite varieties and mixtures of
particulates, and neither smallscale or fullscale tests can possibly cover all the electrical
peculiarities that exist on rightsofway; only a general idea is possible.
Uniform Field Dielectric Strength of Soils
One of the fundamental electrical characteristics to determine for the soils under scrutiny was the
intrinsic dielectric strength versus type of soil and moisture content. This measurement requires
the soil to be placed in a uniform field gap, and lightning surge voltages applied in increasing
magnitudes until the soil fails dielectrically.
SmallScale Preliminary Experiments on Electrical Properties of Soil
32
Figure 31
Rogowski Electrode Test Cell.
A Rogowski gap (Figure 31), centered in a wooden soilcontainment box, was built for this
purpose. The electrodes were constructed of solid aluminum, and gap spacings could be set by
turning the threaded shaft at the highvoltage end. To fill the cell, the containment box was laid
on its side with the filldoor uppermost. Soil was slowly poured into the box and between the
electrodes, carefully compacting the soil as it was poured. The cell was then turned upright and
connected to the test circuit shown in Figure 32.
4 cm Gap
Voltage
Divider
Test Cell
Impulse
Generator
U
Rch
Rf
Rt
Cg
Sg
HVDC
+
_
_
+
Load
Capacitor
Figure 32
Test Circuit for Soil Uniform Field Dielectric Tests.
SmallScale Preliminary Experiments on Electrical Properties of Soil
33
The grounded electrode was covered with a thin sheet of paper before filling took place. By
counting punctures in this paper, the number of separatepath breakdowns occurring during a test
could be determined and compared with the total number of breakdowns oscillographically. No
two breakdowns ever took the same path. Each breakdown path healed with at least the
dielectric strength it had before breakdown.
This result is indicative that soils heal after a transient lightning event. Once it was established
that dielectric breakdowns in soils follow separate paths, it was not necessary to use the paper.
Soil Resistivity
A separate cell was used to measure soil resistivity (Figure 33). It consisted of two metal plates
separated by a ring of PVC plastic with an inner diameter of 7.875 inches and a height of 2.0
inches.
1/4" X 8" X 8" Steel Plate
1/4" X 8" X 8" Steel Plate
2" X 8" PVC Tube
Figure 33
Resistivity Test Cell.
The ring was placed on the bottom plate and overfilled with soil. The top plate was then applied
and pressed and turned until it just contacted both the top of the ring and the soil inside the ring.
Then by measuring the resistance between the two plates, the soil resistivity is given by:
R 618 . 0 = Equation 31
where:
= soil resistivity, ohmmeters
R = measured resistance, ohms
Table 31 provides results of soil tests using the Rogowski uniform field test cell and lightning
transient waveshapes.
SmallScale Preliminary Experiments on Electrical Properties of Soil
34
Table 31
Uniform Field Dielectric Tests
Soil
Type
Resistivity
(ohmmeters)
Dielectric Strength
(kV/meter)
Dry
Sand
17E+6 1346
Damp
Sand
2900 7871102
Clay 124 759955
Loam 1050 1312
Dry
Stone
22E+6 892
Wet
Stone
48E+3 761
Note that in these tests the dielectric strength of wet or dry stone is not much different from
damp sand. The stone itself is a reasonably good dielectric, but the high dielectric constant of
the stone enhances the electric gradients in the air voids between the stone particles. It is the air
in these voids that is breaking down.
Details of the tested soil materials are as follows:
Dry Sand: Kiln dried sand to have a material with very high resistivity and dielectric
strength.
Damp Sand: 24 parts kiln dried sand thoroughly mixed with one part well water by volume.
Sand would clump together when squeezed.
Clay: Compacted clay dug from the EPRI Lenox Center test site. Natural state, not sifted.
Loam: Purchased and compacted topsoil, sifted to remove vegetable matter.
Dry Stone: Onehalf inch mesh glacial till.
Wet Stone: Dry stone sprayed with water and allowed to drip to remove any excess.
When normal dielectric breakdown occurs, the voltage wave at the instant of breakdown chops
cleanly to or through zero. Notable in these tests was the absence of such a clean chop at the
moment of breakdown except for the stone.
As Mousa (Ref. 2) points out, these small sample dielectric strengths can be misleading in that
on a long rod electrode, the minimum dielectric strength on the rod is likely to be substantially
less than an average small sample measurement, and it is at the minimum dielectric strength
location where streamers will initiate. It appears that the soil minimum dielectric strength is
roughly half the average small sample measured value for a typical soil.
SmallScale Preliminary Experiments on Electrical Properties of Soil
35
NonUniform Field Dielectric Strengths of Soils
While the uniform field tests above can provide fundamental dielectric information on the tested
soils, additional information is needed to characterize the process of breakdown in the non
uniform radial fields around rods or counterpoise wire. A concentric cylindrical electrode test
cell is ideal for this purpose since it can simulate rod/wire radial fields and its electric field
gradients are easily computed. Figure 34 shows the concentric cylindrical test cell devised for
these tests, and Figure 35 displays the equivalent circuit. The outer electrode was a metal barrel
22.5 inches inside diameter with metal guard rings on each end to keep divergence of the electric
fields at the ends as small as practical. The center electrode was a 0.625 inch copper rod with
corona spheres on each end to inhibit streamer discharges off the ends of the rod. The guard
rings in Figure 35 were separated from the active center of the test cell by solid 1inch plastic
separating panels, and soil was packed tightly on both sides of the panels. Impulse voltages were
applied to the center rod, and the center cylinder electrode was grounded through a high
frequency current transformer.
Figure 34
Photo of the Concentric Cylindrical Test Cell.
SmallScale Preliminary Experiments on Electrical Properties of Soil
36
1 1.06
Impulse
Generator
Concentric Test
Cell
Voltage
Divider
Load
Capacitor
Rx
P
o
l
y
p
r
o
p
y
l
e
n
e
Rc
h
Rf
Rt
Cg
Sg
HVDC
+
_
_
+
U
Figure 35
Electrical Diagram of the Concentric Cylindrical Test Cell.
Dimensions of the cell are as follows:
D1=0.625" (0.0159 meters)
D2=22.5" (0.57 meters)
L=35" (0.89 meters)
The electric chargefree gradient E
o
on the surface of the inner rod for any applied voltage is:


.

\

=
1
2
1
log
2
D
D
D
V
E
o
Equation 32
where:
E
o
= electrode gradient, kV/meter
V = applied voltage, kV
SmallScale Preliminary Experiments on Electrical Properties of Soil
37
The low frequency resistance between the center rod and the test cell wall is:


.

\



.

\

=
1
2
log
2 D
D
L
R
x
Equation 33
where:
R
x
= cell resistance, ohms.
= soil resistivity, ohmmeters
L = length of center electrode, meters
Since the cell resistance R
x
can be easily measured, the soil resistivity can be extracted from
Eq. 33 to be:


.

\

=
1
2
log
2
D
D
LR
x
Equation 34
Tests in kilndried sand (Table 32) provided the 17E+6 ohmmeters resistivity. There was a
pronounced volttime effect in breakdown voltages (Table 32):
Table 32
Breakdown Vs Waveshape: KilnDried Sand.
Waveshape
Breakdown
Crest kV
Square Wave 90
20 x 70 259
By Eq. 32, the freefield gradient on the inner rod at 259 kV applied voltage would be 9091
kV/meter or 231 volts/mil. This is in the range of transformer oil impulse strength for small
sphereplane gaps and far exceeds the Rogowski dielectric strength of dry sand in Table 31,
indicating that streamers started across the gap long before crest voltage was reached. Neither
the CIGR dynamic resistance model (Appendix A) nor the Korsuncev curve (Appendix D)
make any allowance for volttime effects, whereas the present TFlash model (Appendix E) and
the LiewDarveniza model (Appendix B) do.
Soils in the concentric cylindrical test cell showed a significant reduction in dielectric strength as
soil moisture was increased. Table 33 shows both effect of moisture and tail time on dielectric
strength of sand in the concentric test cell.
SmallScale Preliminary Experiments on Electrical Properties of Soil
38
Table 33
Effect of Moisture and Tail Time.
Material Breakdown Crest kV Tail Time  Microseconds
Dry Sand 245 70
Dry Sand 221 70
Dry Sand 112 Long tail
Damp Sand 61 Long tail
In Table 33, a longtailed wave (approximately 200 microseconds) decreased the dielectric
strength of dry sand to approximately half its 70 microsecond value and adding moisture made a
significant further decrease. These tests confirm the need to incorporate volttime ionization
effects in any digital dynamic resistance model such as TFlash, and underscore the influence of
ground moisture in lightning performance of transmission structure grounds.
As in the uniform field tests, "breakdown" was not accompanied by an abrupt chop of the
voltage wave to zero. Rather it consisted of a sudden increase in current and a pinhole puncture
of the paper lining on the inside of the outer electrode. Figure 36 shows a set of "before
breakdown" and "breakdown" voltage waves.
200.0
160.0
120.0
80.0
40.0
0.0
0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0
Time  Microseconds
kV
Breakdown
Withstand
Figure 36
Concentric Test Cell Voltage Waves Before and During Breakdown.
Apparentlyat least in sandthe soil surrounding the breakdown path helps cool the arc and
increase the gas pressure sufficiently to increase the resistance substantially above that of a
similar path in air and to encourage a gradual drop in resistance as postulated by LiewDarveniza
(Ref. 1).
41
4
LARGESCALE EXPERIMENTS ON DYNAMIC
RESISTANCES OF GROUND RODS
Introduction
Much oscillographic information on surge voltage and current response of ground rods has been
published, and Reference 1 provides a comprehensive set of oscillograms from a variety of
sources. However, several practical aspects of ground rod performance vital to EPRI members
have not been considered in published fullscale experiments, including:
The efficacy of ground rods or counterpoise wires with sharp edges vs. conventional round
rods or wires.
Dynamic resistance characteristics of buttwrapped pole grounds as an effective alternative to
driven rods.
Efficacy of chemical grounding enhancement materials in handling high frequency high
amplitude lightning surge currents.
Dynamic resistance characteristics of tower concrete foundations.
Determination of the percentage of dynamic ionization currents flowing off the ends of
ground rods vs. that flowing off the sidewalls. This is of particular importance when rod
ends penetrate into the lower layers of twolayer earths.
Finally, it was of particular importance to build into TFlash a dynamic resistance model that best
simulates largescale impulse response of ground rods and tower foundations. For this,
comparative dynamic resistance data were needed to supply soil constants and ionization
coefficients.
Test Configurations and Soils
The ground strata at EPRI Center in Lenox, MA has principally a twolayer morphology, with an
upper layer of mixed loamsand and a lower layer of clay interspersed with a water table. This
complex condition does not permit controlled testing of soil dynamic response of ground rods
driven into the EPRI center yard, particularly if a ground rod penetrates into the underlying water
table. For this reason, an above ground steel test tank was built into which various kinds of soils
and ground electrodes could be experimentally investigated. Figures 41 and 42 describe the
tank in detail. The tank was eightfeet high and sixfeet in diameter. Any ground electrode to be
tested was located at the center of the cylinder to depths ranging from three to five feet,
depending on the test desired. Currents collected by the tank walls and by the tank bottom could
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
42
be measured separately with highfrequency Pearson current transformers Voltages were
measures with a compensated resistance divider located so as to minimize voltage induction in
the measuring circuit by circulating surge currents. Soils and electrode configurations tested are
displayed in Table 41:
Impulse Generator
U
Rch
Rf
Rt
Cg
Sg
HVDC
+
_
_
+
Voltage Divider
Bottom Plate
8'
6'
1" Ground Rod
Figure 41
Large Test Tank Dimensions and Circuitry.
Figure 42
Photo of Large Test Tank Installation.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
43
Table 41
Large Scale Dynamic Resistance Tests.
Electrode Dry Sand Damp Sand Loam Number of
Impulse
Tests
Test
Currents
(kA)
Round Rod  3 ft. X 5 1 12
Round Rod  4 ft. X 7 1 12
Round Rod  5 ft. X X X 26 1 12
Round Rod  5.5 ft. X X 14 1 12
Round Rod  6 ft. X 8 1 12
Rectangular Bar  5.5 ft. X 54 1 11
Concrete Encased  5 ft. X 15 1 5.6
Rod With Streamers X 12 8 13
ButtWrapped Pole X 17 4 14
Rod Next to Pole X 13 5 14
Chemical Ground X 10 1.3 4
While these tests do not simulate long ground rods, they are sufficient to examine the dynamics
of ground electrode resistance on a large scale. The sixfoot diameter of the test tank limited
streamer distances to no more than threefeet from any center rod to the tank wall. This was
sufficient for most streamer clearances but did not simulate the infinite distance to zero
resistance experienced by a rod driven into an infinite ground plane. The net effect is that
resistances between rod and tank wall will be lower than to an infinite environment. To
determine the correction factor to adjust rodtotank resistance measurements, a program called
TANKOHMS was written, and is described in Appendix G. Computed resistances to an infinite
radial distance were found to be approximately 44% higher than resistances to the tank wall and
this correction was used to adjust all tabulations to an infinite condition.
Digital Filtering
During high voltage measurements in outdoor environments, good electromagnetic shielding is
not possible, and extraneous electrical noise can seriously distort measurements made with
modern transistorized lowsignal oscilloscopes. Some digital filtering is often necessary to
smooth the waveshapes. The waveshapes in this series of experiments were smoothed with a
Chebyshev Type 1 Filter:
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
44
400000
350000
300000
250000
200000
150000
100000
50000
0
50000
0.000001 0 0.000001 0.000002 0.000003 0.000004 0.000005 0.000006 0.000007
TimeMicroseconds
V
o
l
t
a
g
e
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
1000
2000
C
u
r
r
e
n
t
Voltage Current
Figure 43
Unfiltered Data.
350000
300000
250000
200000
150000
100000
50000
0
50000
0.000001 0 0.000001 0.000002 0.000003 0.000004 0.000005 0.000006 0.000007
TimeMicroseconds
V
o
l
t
a
g
e
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
1000
2000
C
u
r
r
e
n
t
Voltage Current
Figure 44
Chebyshev Filtered Data.
Voltage and Current Waveshapes
In the largescale tests it was desirable to apply a current wave to any electrode in the tank that
would at least roughly approximate in shape a lightning transient in the field. Because of the
nonlinearities between voltage and current, an approximate double exponential rod current wave
required a very distorted voltage wave. Fig 45 displays an example.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
45
Figure 45
Typical VoltageCurrent Waves During Rod Tests.
There was usually some ringing on the current wave caused by the long lead inductance,
generator inductance and rod inductance, but this ringing was not severe, and did not appear
significantly in the measured dynamic resistance.
Initial Dynamic Resistances
When the first large scale impulse test was carried out on a driven rod in dry sand in the test
tank, it was immediately apparent that the dynamic impedance at low surge currents was much
lower than the meggered rod lowfrequency resistance. Part of this difference is caused by
capacitance charging currents on the front of the applied voltage wave, but it also became
apparent that the low frequency meggered resistance was made excessively high by poor soil
contact to the rod surface and possibly by electrolytic effects. When a rod is driven  particularly
into compacted sand  it vibrates, and this vibration slightly enlarges the hole around the rod,
making for poor contact between rod and soil at various segments along its length. However, on
application of impulse currents even low magnitudes of surge currents created the few hundred
volts necessary to bridge the very small gap between rod wall and the adjacent sand, making a
good connection. (It might be noted that when electrolytic tanks were used to calculate electric
fields before the advent of digital field plotting, it was found that copper and aluminum did not
"wet" as well as iron, making for substantial resistance measurement errors if the former were
used as electrodes in water at low voltage levels).
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
46
To adjust for this poor soil contact, the early beginnings of the surge voltage and current waves
were used to derive a meaningful initial dynamic resistance. Figure 46 illustrates the initial
relation between surge current and dynamic ohms:
Figure 46
Initial Dynamic Resistance Computation.
Effectively, the highest dynamic resistance encountered (invariably during the surge current
initial rise time) was used as a "working" initial dynamic resistance, and any resistances lower
than this value (due to noise) that occurred prior to that value were adjusted to the "working"
value. An additional constraint was utilized rejecting the voltages and currents at the first two
time steps in making this calculation. This was necessary because of noise levels at these two
steps were sometimes strong enough to override the true voltagecurrent signals, even with
filtering, and dividing observed voltages by observed currents to obtain impedances at low signal
levels creates major errors.
This working initial dynamic resistance evaluation did not include effects of capacitance
charging currents on the front of the applied voltage wave. Rod to tank wall capacitance was of
the order of 200 picofarads for a soil relative dielectric constant of 10. For a voltage rise time of
500 kV/microsecond, this corresponded to a charging current of 100 amperes. Since most of the
surge currents into the rods were in the order of kiloamperes, the charging currents were
neglected in the initial impedance evaluations.
An effort was also made to evaluate rod inductance. The rod inductance could not be resolved
reliably from the voltage and current oscillograms because the dynamic resistance effects
obscured the inductive contribution. This inductance is determined by rod to tank geometry and
is roughly independent of soil dielectric characteristics. However, in our test configuration any
indicated inductance is distorted by the tank iron, by the voltage divider measuring loop and by
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
47
inductance of the grounding cables leaving the tank. A separate set of outdoor tests in 2002 with
driven rods in a uniform earth is recommended.
Equation (41) from Grover (Reference 14) for inductance of a rod whose length is much greater
than its radius is:
(

.

\

= 1
2
log
2 r
S S
L
Equation 41
where:
L = rod inductance, henrys
= soil permeability 4 x 10
7
henrys/meter
S = rod length, meters
r = rod radius, meters
However this equation assumes that the current in the rod is constant throughout its length,
whereas the actual rod current varies along the rod as it is drained out into the soil. Eq. 41
yields a value of 5.7 microhenrys for a five meter long oneinch diameter rod. This is roughly 38
percent of the classical inductance of a 100 foot tubular steel pole, and this inductance plays a
major role in determining insulator voltages. Even if the inductance is reduced by half by
current leakage into the soil it is still very significant. Further research is indicated to evaluate
inductances of ground rods. Historically this inductance has usually been neglected.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
48
Dynamic Ohms vs. Applied Current
Even at a few kA, the dynamic ohms dropped rapidly with current for all soils tested. Figure 47
illustrates a typical relationship between the dynamic ohms of a threefoot rod in sand and the
instantaneous current fed into the rod.
Figure 47
Dynamic Ohms vs. Applied Current.
A substantial drop in impedance starting at about one kA is displayed. The small loop at the
bottom of the trace is from electrical noise. The trace was cut off at six microseconds. If it had
been permitted to continue, it would have eventually returned to the initial value as the current
died to zero.
Effect of Rod Length and Separation
The lowfrequency lowcurrent resistance of a single rod in uniform soil can be determined from
the Dwight Equation (21). In the test tank however, it was not possible to directly compare
separations of rods. But as will be shown later, the LiewDarveniza algorithm matches the tank
test values quite well when corrected for the finite distance from rod to tank wall, and this
algorithm does permit analysis of separation of pairs of rods.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
49
0
10 20 30 40 50 60
5
0
10
D
y
n
a
m
i
c
O
h
m
s
Total Surge Current  Crest kA
15
20
70 80
(2) 15 Foot Rods 10 feet Apart
(1) 30 Foot Rod
Figure 48
Dynamic Resistance at Two Microseconds As a Function of Current Into One 30Foot Rod
or Two 15Foot Parallel Rods Spaced 10 Feet Apart.
Figure 48 uses the LiewDarveniza algorithm (Appendix B) to compare the dynamic resistance
of a single 30foot ground rod with two 15foot rods separated by 10 feet. Soil resistivity was
assumed 300 ohmmeters, the ionization constant Ti was 1.0 microsecond, and the soil critical
ionization gradient was 300 kV/meter. The crest surge current was that into either one rod or
into the pair of rods, and the surge current waveshape was 250 microseconds. The low
frequency resistance of the single rod was 35.1 ohms versus 35.7 ohms for the pair (essentially
the same). As shown in Figure 48, the single rod is always better by having the lower resistance,
regardless of the separation distance between the two rods. Part of he reason for this involves the
ionization dynamics. For the same voltage applied, each of the two rods receives only half the
current fed into the single rod, making the ionization envelopes around two rods less than that for
the single rod. There is also mutual coupling between the two rods, and streamers traveling from
one rod in the direction of the other are inhibited because the two rods are at the same potential
(Figure 23).
While it was not possible to evaluate rod length effects greater than 5.5 feet in the test tank, the
test tank observation that dynamic resistance of the rods and tested soils followed the Liew
Darveniza algorithm (Appendix B) reasonably well made it possible to use this algorithm to
examine rod length effects up to 30 feet.
Comparison of Tank Test Values with Dynamic Algorithms
Dynamic resistance values versus time were measured in the test tank for sand, damp sand and
loam for ground rods ranging from 3.0 feet to 5.5 feet, the range of lengths permitted by the
dimensions of the test tank. The results were then compared with that predicted by various
dynamic resistance algorithms. (Nevertheless this limited range of rod lengths was sufficient to
bring into play all the ionization effects that occur in practice, and to permit comparisons to be
made with predicted values). In the following examples, all observed dynamic resistances were
corrected for the proximity effect of the tank wall, and the initial (low current) resistance was
that extracted from the front of the voltage and current waves, since  as pointed out above 
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
410
meggered low frequency values were in error because of slight gaps created between rod walls
and the surrounding sand when the rods were driven.
LiewDarveniza Algorithm
Figure 49 shows an example of a rod surge current, observed dynamic resistance and predicted
dynamic resistance using the LiewDarveniza algorithm (Appendix B).
Figure 49
Liew Darveniza Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Test Values.
Using a critical ionization gradient of 300 kV/meter as recommended by Mousa, the actual
versus predicted dynamic resistances are quite close.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
411
CIGR/Weck Algorithm
Figure 410 shows an example of the same comparison as in Figure 49, but using the
CIGR/Weck algorithm (Eq. 27 ). The critical ionization current was 0.8 kA as is apparent
from the observed current and resistance waveshapes.
Figure 410
CIGR/Weck Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Test Values.
The theoretical and observed values do not compare very well. However, if instead of the
critical ionization current of 0.8 kA indicated by the oscillograms, the value proposed by Eq. 24
had been used (0.21 kA), the observed and calculated values would have been quite good. Note
however that the calculated dynamic resistance is dropping prematurely.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
412
Chisholm  Janischewskyj Algorithm
Figure 411 compares the same rod dynamic resistance with that predicted by the Chisholm
Janischewskyj (CJ) algorithm (Appendix D).
Figure 411
C_J Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Test Values.
The match is quite good for the final dynamic resistance at 5 microseconds, but  as is the case
for the CIGR algorithm  the dynamic resistance decays prematurely
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
413
TFlash Algorithm
Figure 412 compares the same rod dynamic resistance with that predicted by the algorithm that
is presently in TFlash (Appendix E). This algorithm was devised by David Robbins of
EPRIsolutions, and is based on the LiewDarveniza algorithm, with the addition of a table of
scaling constants.
Figure 412
TFlash Algorithm Comparison With Dynamic Resistance Values.
The match is again quite good with some premature drop in calculated dynamic resistance
compared with measurements.
In general the above trends were common throughout the range of rod lengths and soils tested.
Any one of these algorithms can be made to match measured values reasonably well if the
constants are chosen properly, but the constants will be different for different algorithms.
Effect of Rod Shape and Artificial Streamers
If dynamic resistance is reduced as the number of streamers from a rod are increased, then it can
be reasonably assumed that the addition of artificial metallic streamers to a ground rod should
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
414
further reduce the dynamic resistance. Figure 413 shows a set of artificial streamers made from
copper wire and attached to every six inches along the bottom three feet of a four foot rod. The
rod was inserted at the center of the test tank, and loam carefully packed around it until the tank
was completely filled.
Figure 413
Artificial Streamers Attached to a Ground Rod.
Figure 414 displays an oscillogram of dynamic resistance for a 10.5 kA peak current with the
streamers in place, and Figure 415 shows the same test result with the streamers removed.
There is essentially no difference
Figure 414
Dynamic Resistance With Artificial Streamers in Place.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
415
Figure 415
Dynamic Resistance With Artificial Streamers Removed.
The apparent reason for a lack of improvement using artificial streamers on a ground rod is that
there are so many natural breakdown streamers and ionization pockets along the rod in any case,
and they extend so far beyond the length of the artificial streamers, so as to mask out any
artificial additions.
This lack of improvement was also apparent in changes in rod crosssectional shape. Tests were
made comparing the dynamic resistance provided by a rectangular bar with sharp edges as
compared to a round rod with no edges. Figure 416 shows the crosssectional area of a tested
rectangular copper bar with a total surface area of five inches.
2 "
1/2 "
Figure 416
Tested Bar CrossSection.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
416
Figure 417 shows a dynamic resistance oscillogram of this electrode as compared with Figure
418 for a round rod. The dynamic resistances of the rectangular rod with sharp edges and the
round rod with substantially less surface area and no edges are essentially the same.
Figure 417
Rectangular Bar Ground Rod Dynamic Resistance in sand.
Figure 418
One Inch Diameter Round Rod in Sand.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
417
As far as dynamic resistance is concerned, the cloud of streamers and ionization off either the
round or rectangular rod masks the rod crosssectional geometry, and the shape of the rod cross
section makes little difference in dynamic resistance. This suggests the following rule:
Select ground rod crosssection geometry for mechanical reasons. Variations in shape or
size will have little influence on the rod dynamic resistance.
Response of Concrete Ground Electrodes
In the sixfoot diameter test tank, it was not possible to bury concrete tower foundations and still
maintain sufficient clearance to the tank walls. However, an attempt was made to examine the
transient response of a concrete incased ground rod. Figure 419 shows one result of a set of
tests on a 5/8 inch rebar five feet long incased at the center of an eightinch cylinder of concrete
and buried in damp sand.
Figure 419
VoltageCurrent Waves on a ConcreteEncased Rebar.
Until 2.4 microseconds the dynamic resistance process was progressing normally, but at that
time a breakdown started from a section of the rod outside the concrete which dived under the
sand near the surface to the tank wall. The current increase after 2.4 microseconds is the result
of this failure. Note that again the voltage does not chop suddenly to zero as it would do in air.
The sand appears to increase resistance of the arc by cooling and compressing the failure
channel. There was no evidence of concrete fracture from the severe dielectric stresses in the
concrete around the rod. A useful calculated dynamic resistance could not be obtained from this
test because of the complete breakdown from the concrete to the tank wall.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
418
Chemical Enhancement
The limited size of the test tank prohibited complete tests of effects of chemical enhancement
materials on the dynamic resistances of ground rods. The chemicals appeared to migrate out into
the damp sand and initiate failure paths, obscuring dynamic resistance measurements. Figure
420 shows one example.
Figure 420
4.5Foot Ground Rod Surrounded With Eight Inch Diameter GEM Material.
Dynamic resistance reduction does occur with time, but because of the limited size of the test
tank a comparison with damp sand alone was postponed to a future date when an outdoor test
could be made.
ButtWrapped Poles
One set of tests was completed embedding a buttwrapped grounding electrode in sand. Figure
421 shows the buttwrapped pole electrode. The buttwrap was 14 turns of #6 stranded wire on
the butt of an eightinchdiameter pole embedded in loam.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
419
Figure 421
Photo of Bottom End of ButtWrapped Pole.
A dynamic resistance oscillogram of this grounding arrangement is shown in Figure 422. In
general, the dynamic resistance was roughly the same as for a fivefoot ground rod.
Figure 422
Dynamic Resistance of a ButtWrapped Pole in Loam.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
420
Computer Modeling of Dynamic Resistance
It is clear from the above tests that relying on meggered lowfrequency resistances of towers to
access transmission line lightning performance can be very misleading. It is the dynamic
resistance of grounding electrodes that governs the flashover process, not the meggered
resistance. It is clear from both the Korsuncev and LiewDarveniza algorithms that major efforts
to improve meggered resistances can  in some cases  have little effect on dynamic resistance,
and conversely that in some cases, the dynamic resistance will be sufficient although the
meggered resistance appears inadequate. Dynamic resistance changes with time, but by six
microseconds the dynamic resistance has usually stabilized for most lightning currents and
flashover has taken place if it is going to. Dynamic resistances depend on soil resistivity, but so
do meggered resistances. Dynamic resistance depends on a critical ionization gradient of the
earth around the electrode, but the analysis in this report on various soils was fairly successful if
a gradient of 300 kV/meter was used (as recommended by Mousa, Reference 2), rather than the
IEEE 400 kV/meter value. If soil resistivity is known, the LiewDarveniza algorithm can
provide the dynamic resistance of rods (Appendix B) and the Korsuncev CJ algorithm
(Appendix D) can provide values for either rods or tower concrete foundations. The CJ
algorithm is very easy to use. A comparison of the LiewDarveniza and Korsuncev CJ
algorithms is shown in Fig.423 as a function of rod length.
0
2 4 6 8 10 12
10
0
20
L
o
w
e
s
t
D
y
n
a
m
i
c
O
h
m
s
Rod Length  Meters
30
= 500 / meter
= 100 / meter
40
Lieu Darveniza
Korcuncev Lieu Darveniza
Korcuncev
Figure 423
Comparison of Lowest Dynamic Ohms Calculated by Korsuncev and LiewDarveniza
Algorithms.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
421
At a soil resistivity of 100 ohmmeters the sixmicrosecond dynamic resistance provided by the
LiewDarveniza algorithm matches the Korsuncev CJ algorithm quite well. At a higher
resistivity of 500 ohmmeters, the CJ algorithm is more optimistic at long rod lengths. In the
tests made in this report, both algorithms yielded similar results at six microseconds.
Based on the above, it was decided to examine how target dynamic resistances could be utilized
during line construction. Because of our lack of concrete foundation data at this time the
procedure was restricted to ground rods. Figure 424 displays dynamic resistance (at 6
microseconds) of single rods in uniform soil as a function of soil resistivity and rod length up to
30 feet, using the CJ algorithm. One can interpolate between the curves to arrive at a target
value. If a single rod is not sufficient, or if two rods are required anyway (Hframe
construction), Figure 425 provides improvement in percent if two rods are used instead of one.
Note that for short rods, increased separation distance can make a substantial improvement, but
for 30foot rods there is little improvement by driving two rods instead of one even if the
separation distance is 30 feet. In no case does two rods yield half the resistance of one rod.
0
5 10 15 20 25 30
10
0
20
D
y
n
a
m
i
c
R
e
s
i
s
t
a
n
c
e
O
h
m
s
Rod Length  Feet
30
40
50
= 100 / meter
= 50 / meter
= 300 / meter
= 500 / meter
= 700 / meter
= 1000 / meter
32 kA 2 X 50 Wave,
c
= = = = 300 kV/m,
Figure 424
Single Rod Korsuncev Dynamic Resistance vs Rod Length and Soil Resistivity.
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
422
0
5 10 15 20 25 30
60%
50%
70%
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
o
f
R
e
s
i
s
t
a
n
c
e
o
f
O
n
e
R
o
d
Rod Length  Feet
80%
90%
100%
3
6
10
15
20
30 Foot Spacing
Figure 425
Dynamic Resistance of Two ground Rods in Parallel vs. Rod Length and Separation
Distance (Korsuncev).
LargeScale Experiments on Dynamic Resistances of Ground Rods
423
If the CJ algorithm is correct (and it seems to have the blessing of CIGR) , then the dynamic
resistance reduction for two rods is a lot less than the lowfrequency reduction for two rods
compared to one. Figure 426 shows a meggered resistance calculation for one and two three
foot rods as a function of spacing. Even with a separation of fivefeet, a LiewDarveniza
calculation shows a great improvement in meggered resistance for two rods in place of one, and
the reduction is asymptotic to half the single rod resistance as spacing increases. In the EPRI
"Red Book" (Reference 20), a tworod formula by Rudenberg was included in Chapter 12. As
can be seen in Figure 426, the Rudenberg formula is in error for large rod spacings.
0
5 10 15 20 25 30
20
0
10
30
40
50
L
o
w
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
R
e
s
i
s
t
a
n
c
e
O
h
m
s
Spacing Between Rods  Feet
70
60
80
90
Single rod resistance  Rudenburg
Single rod resistance  Dwight
Single rod resistance  Lieu Darveniza
Lieu Darveniza
Rudenberg
Single rod resistance / 2
Figure 426
Variation of Double Rod Low Frequency Resistance With Spacing. (1in.Diam. Rod, 3 Feet
Long, =100 ohmmeters).
51
5
SUMMARY
I. The ground rod and tower foundation dynamic resistance models examined in this
research project will only be as good as the soil constants that govern the model response,
particularly soil resistivity. These soil constants are given default values in TFlash, but
are subject to wide variations in the field, and these variations represent a fundamental
limitation to the precision of any evaluation of line performance. Better field
measurement technologies are needed to determine in the vicinity of any tower, as
follows:
A. Earth resistivity as a function of depth and its anticipated seasonal range.
B. The critical earth ionization gradient Eo around the grounding electrodes and
concrete foundations.
C. The low frequency resistance of concrete tower foundations after the moisture
inside the concrete has reached equilibrium with changing moisture conditions of
the surrounding earth.
Item A requires either efficient transfer of aerial survey data or onsite test data into
TFlash data files. Item B can be found by onsite tests, as an alternative to present
published generic values of ionization gradients for different soils. Item C also will
require onsite tests.
II. Measurement of low frequency ground rod resistance can be in considerable error
because vibration as the rod is driven can enlarge the hole around the rod slightly,
reducing wall contact with the soil. Dynamic resistance will not be greatly effected by
lack of wall contact since electrical breakdowns will take place across any small gap.
III. Both the Korsuncev and LiewDarveniza algorithms yielded a fairly good agreement with
test values for the range of rod sizes and soils tested.
IV. The crosssectional shape or presence of artificial streamers on a ground rod made little
difference in dynamic resistance of the rod. The rod crosssection should be selected for
mechanical requirements only.
V. A buttwrapped pole in loam had approximately the dynamic resistance characteristic of a
fivefoot ground rod.
Summary
52
VI. Tests of chemical enhancement of dynamic resistance of ground rods were not successful
because of test tank size limitations, and should be replicated in future in an outdoor test.
Some dynamic resistance improvement was evident.
VII. Dynamic resistances of ground rods have been shown in this report to have very different
relationships with soil resistivities, rod lengths, diameters and separation distances than
do lowfrequency meggered values. Based on preliminary results, EPRI should complete
development of dynamic resistance specifications of transmission towers to be applied
during construction. These would be more relevant to transmission line reliability that
meggered resistance targets.
61
6
GOOD GROUNDING PRACTICES
From results of the grounding research documented in this report, the following grounding
practices are summarized:
I. Driving a ground rod (particularly one with a coupling on it) may vibrate the rod in some
soils. This vibration may slightly enlarge the hole around the ground rod. making for poor
electrical contact along some of the rod surfaces, thereby increasing the initial measured
resistance. Repeating the measurement a few months later when the earth has had a
chance to settle will supply a more realistic resistance value.
II. Concrete tower foundations with reinforcing steel inside can serve as good ground
electrodes. It will require a few months for the moisture environment inside the concrete
to reach equilibrium, and this depends on the moisture content of the soil surrounding the
foundation. At least three months after pouring may be required for a realistic
measurement of the foundation resistance to be taken. It is recommended that at least one
ground rod be driven parallel to the foundation to help equalize electrical stresses inside
the concrete when severe lightning surge voltages appear.
III. In uniform soil, one 30foot ground rod will provide a lower dynamic resistance to
lightning currents that two 15foot rods. In general, keep the number of rods as small as
practical to attain a required lowfrequency (meggered) resistance. However, if ground
rods are used on Hframe structures, it is important to drive at least one ground rod at the
base of each pole.
IV. If multiple ground rods are used, separate them as far as practical so that mutual effects
that increase the total resistance will be minimized.
71
7
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE WORK
Based on test results in 2001, the following recommendations are made for possible future work:
1. Devise efficient methods to survey soil morphology at transmission towers during
construction, including presence of multiple layers of soil of different resistivities, so that
lightning flashover simulations will have improved accuracy.
2. Complete chemical enhancement tests of rod dynamic resistance.
3. Complete concrete tower foundation tests of dynamic resistance in an outdoor environment.
4. Develop an effective procedure for EPRI members to set targets for tower dynamic resistance
values during line construction.
5. Continue the present tank tests of rod dynamic resistance with soils not yet tested, such as
clay, gravel and crushed rock.
6. Apply the LiewDarveniza dynamic resistance algorithm to twolayer soils and compare with
test results.
7. Supply to EPRI members, a comprehensive computer program to guide them through all
phases of grounding strategies.
81
8
REFERENCES
1. A.C. Liew, M. Darveniza "Dynamic Model of Impulse Characteristics of Concentrated
Earths", Proceedings of the IEE, vol 121, no. 2, pp. 123135, Feb. 1974.
2. A.M. Mousa "The Soil Ionization Gradient Associated With Discharge of High Currents
Into Concentrated Electrodes", IEEE Trans. on Power Delivery, vol. 9, no. 3, July 1994,
pp. 16691677.
3. W.A. Chisholm, W. Janischewskyj "Lightning Surge Response of Ground Electrodes".
IEEE Trans on Power Delivery, vol PWRD4, no, 2, 1989, pp. 13291337.
4. A.V. Korsuncev "Application of the Theory of Similarity to Calculation of Impulse
Characteristics of Concentrated Electrodes", Elektrichestvo, no. 5, 1958, pp. 3135.
5. E.E. Oettle "A New General Estimation Curve for Predicting the Impulse Impedance of
Concentrated Earth Electrodes", IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 3, no. 4,
1988, pp. 20202029.
6. J.G.Anderson "Transmission Line Reference Book: 345 kV and Above," Second Edition,
Chapter 12, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California.
7. F. Dawalibi "Transmission Line Grounding", EPRI Research Report 14941, Final
Report EL2699, October 1982.
8. J. Nahman, D. Salamon "A Practical Method for the Interpretation of Earth Resistivity
Data Obtained From Driven Rod Tests", IEEE Trans. on Power Delivery, vol 3, no. 4,
Oct 1988, pp 13751379;
9. B. Thapar, O. Ferrer, D.A. Blank "Ground Resistance of Concrete Foundations in
Substation Yards", IEEE Trans on Power Delivery, vol 5, no. 1, January 1990, pp 130
136.
10. B. Thapar, V. Gerez, A. Balakrishnan "Ground Resistance of Concrete Encased
Electrodes  Field Tests", Proceedings of the American Power Conference, vol. 52, 1990,
pp 421425.
11. Julius Preminger "Evaluation of ConcreteEncased Electrodes", IEEE Trans on Industry
Applications, vol IA11, no. 6, NovemberDecember 1973, pp 664668.
References
82
12. Paul Weiner "A Comparison of Concrete Encased Grounding Electrodes to Driven
Ground Rods", IEEE Trans. on Industry and General Applications, vol IGA6, no. 3,
MayJune 1969, pp. 282287.
13. A.L. Vainer "Current OffFlow From Reinforced Concrete Footings in Poor Conducting
Ground", Elektrichestvo, no. 11, 1970, pp 7477.
14. F.W. Grover "Inductance Calculations" (book) D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., New
York, 1947.
15. A. Geri "Behavior of Grounding Systems Excited by High Impulse Currents: the Model
and Its Validation", IEEE Trans. on Power Delivery, vol.14, no. 3, July 1999, pp.1008
1017.
16. E.Garbagnati, A. Geri, G.Satorio, G.M.Veca "Nonlinear Behavior of Ground Electrodes
Under Lightning Surge Currents: Computer Modelling and Comparison With
Experimental Results", IEEE Trans. on Magnetics, vol.28, no.2,March 1992, pp.1442
1445.
17. IEEE Standard 12431997 "IEEE Guide for Improving the Lightning Performance of
Transmission Lines", 1997.
18. K.H. Weck "The Current Dependence of Tower Footing Resistance", CIGR 3388 (WG
01), 14IWD, 1988 and 3389 (WG 01), 7IWD, 1989.
19. CIGR Working Group 33.01 (Lightning), "Guide to Procedures for Estimating the
Lightning Performance of Transmission Lines", CIGR Technical Brochure 63, Oct.
1991.
20. EPRI, "Transmission Line Reference Book: 345 kV and Above," Second Edition,
Revised, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California, 1987.
A1
A
THE CIGR CRITICAL CURRENT EQUATIONS
r
o r
d r
Figure A1
A thin soil resistance shell surrounding an embedded conducting hemisphere.
Assume that a perfectly conducting hemispherical electrode of radius r
o
in Figure A1 can be
used as a mathematical equivalent of a rod or tower foundation. The total resistance dR of a thin
shell of soil of radius r and thickness dr surrounding this electrode is simply:
dr
r
dR
2
2
= Equation A1
Integrating (A1) from the electrode radius r
o
out to infinity to find the total soil resistance
surrounding the electrode:
o
r
o
r
dr
R
2
2
Equation A2
or
o
o
r
R
2
=
Equation A2
Eq. A2 is idealized for the resistance of a hemisphere of radius r
o
in meters for a soil with
uniform resistivity ohmmeters.
The CIGR Critical Current Equations
A2
I
E
J
r
Figure A2
Gradient at the surface of a conducting hemisphere
In Figure A2, the current density J in amperes per sq. meter entering the earth from the surface
of any conducting hemisphere is:
2
2 r
I
J
= . Equation A3
where:
J = current density, amperes per sq. meter
I = current injected into the hemisphere, amperes
r = hemisphere radius, meters
The electrical gradient at the surface of the hemisphere is governed by the voltage drop in the
soil at the surface, or:
2
2 r
J
J E
= = Equation A4
But rearranging Eq. A2:
2 2
2
2
0
4
o
R
r
= Equation A5
Plugging A5 into A4, with r = r
o
and I = Io and solving for I
o
The CIGR Critical Current Equations
A3
2
2
o
o
o
R
E
I
= Equation A6
Eq. A6 is the CIGR equation for the critical ionization current I
o
in kA at the surface of a
hemispherical electrode having a low frequency resistance R
0
for a soil having a resistivity in
ohmmeters and a dielectric strength E
o
in kV per meter.
As the current injected into the hemispherical electrode exceeds the critical current I
0
, the
boundary of the hemisphere expands and the equivalent radius r becomes some new value. Note
however that from Eq. A6 that the product of the current and the square of the resistance will
always be constant, so
2
0 0
2
R I IR = . Equation A7
where:
I = any injected current exceeding the critical current I
0
R = the new resistance for the current I
R
0
= the low frequency resistance for any current equal or less that I
0
I
0
= the critical ionization current defined by Eq. A6.
Then from Eq. A7:
0
I
I
R
R
o
= Equation A8
Eq. A8 is the CIGR equation for dynamic resistance as a function of surge current for an
equivalent hemispherical breakdown around a tower foundation or large ground electrode.
However, Weck (Ref S) presumably recognized that, for a rod, ionization starts almost
immediately, making the initial ionization current much lower than specified by Eq. A6 for a
hemispherical electrode. In any case, he concluded that  for a rod  when the current reaches the
value specified by Eq. A6 the rod resistance has already been reduced by approximately the
square root of two, or:
o
o
I
I
R
R
+
=
1
Equation A9
The CIGR Critical Current Equations
A4
where:
R = rod dynamic resistance for any surge current I exceeding I
0
R
0
= rod low frequency resistance at currents less than or equal I
o
Complexity increases rapidly for two or more ground rods or foundations having a conducting
hemisphere around each one. Foundations are usually far enough from each other for the CIGR
hemispheres not to collide, making the dynamic resistances independent for each foundation. But
ground rods can sometimes be close together, and some of their hemispheres can collide at high
currents and Equations (A8) and (A9) depart even more from reality.
B1
B
THE LIEWDARVENIZA ALGORITHM
In 1974, Liew and Darveniza (Ref. 1) reported results of an early series of tests on ground rod
dynamic response, and they developed a soil ionization model to simulate the impulse test
results, both from their own work and from tests by Bellaschi and others. In this model, a ground
rod is surrounded by a set of concentric shells of earth extending from the ground rod to infinity
(Figure B1).
5'
8'
6'
Figure B1
LiewDarveniza ground rod model surrounded by concentric shells of earth.
In Figure B1, the resistance dR of any shell of thickness dr is:
( ) rL r
dr
dR
+
=
2
2
Equation B1
The LiewDarveniza Algorithm
B2
where:
dR = total shell resistance
= soil resistivity, ohmmeters
r = shell radius, meters
dr = shell thickness, meters
Assuming no ionization and a rod radius r
o
, one can integrate Eq. B1 from r
o
to infinity to find
the low frequency low current rod resistance:


.

\
 +
=
o
o
r
L r
R log
2
. Equation B2
LiewDarveniza found that Eq. B2 matches the Dwight conventional rod resistance equation
reasonably well over the range of rods tested for no ionization, giving confidence that their shell
model was suitable.
The current density J flowing through any shell wall at any time t is simply the rod current at that
time divided by the shell area, or
( ) rL r
I
J
+
=
2
2
Equation B3
and the voltage gradient E across the shell wall is:
( ) rL r
I
E
+
=
2
2
Equation B4
where:
E = shell wall voltage gradient, kV/meter
I = rod input current, kA
r = shell radius, meters
L= rod length, meters
= soil resistivity in the shell, ohmmeters
When this voltage gradient E reaches the critical value E
o
at a time t
o
, the soil in the shell wall
starts ionizing, and the resistivity in the shell wall is assumed to drop exponentially:
The LiewDarveniza Algorithm
B3


.

\

=
1
) (
exp
o
o
t t
Equation B5
where:
= shell resistivity at time t, ohmmeters
o
= resistivity before ionization occurs
t
o
= time at which ionization begins, microsecs
t = time, microsecs
Eventually the current density will drop below the critical value and the soil will start deionizing,
causing the resistivity to increase. When this occurs, LiewDarveniza concluded that the
resistivity would start increasing as follows:
2
2
1
1
) (
exp 1 ) (


.

\



.

\

+ =
c
i o i
J
J t t
Equation B6
where:
= resistivity at time t
o
= resistivity before the onset of ionization
i
= resistivity at time t
1
when the resistivity starts increasing
2
= a deionization constant
J = the current density at time t
J
c
= the critical current density for this shell
Since each shell can have a different resistivity at any time t depending on its state of ionization,
the total resistance seen by the rod is the sum of all the shell resistances at time t. Note that the
algorithm assumes that when the current density reaches some critical value J
c
, ionization begins
and when current density drops below this J
c
value, deionization begins. Gases do not act this
way, nor do liquids  once ionization has occurred, the current density can drop substantially
while ionization continues  and it is also likely that aggregate combinations of minerals and air
would also not have the same critical ionization and deionization current densities.
C1
C
THE GND_ROD1 ALGORITHM
The GND_ROD1 program was developed to calculate the low frequency resistance of any
symmetric or asymmetric combination of ground rods in a constant resistivity soil. It is based on
the LiewDarveniza algorithm (Ref. 1). For the special case no soil ionization. LiewDarveniza
found that their algorithm gave calculated values close to those computed by Dwight for single
rods, and EPRIsolutions calculations also yielded values close to those provided by classical
formulas (Ref. 6) for multiple ground rods arranged symmetrically.
Referring to Figure A1 of Appendix A, this algorithm represents the earth around a ground rod
as a set of concentric shells extending out to infinity. Each shell has a hemispherical bottom, and
a constant wall thickness dr. For a single rod, an analytical integration is easy, and Eq.A2 shows
the result. Over the range of dimensions, this equation yields results close to the Dwight equation
(Eq.21). However, for multiple rods, some of the shells will collide (Figure C1) or intermix.
GND_ROD1 makes the assumption that no current can flow through any collision boundary as
long as each rod is at the same potential, a condition almost invariably the case. The total area of
all the collision boundaries can then be calculated, and the current that would normally flow
through this region is diverted to flow through that part of the shells where no collision exists.
Figure C1
Collision of Soil Resistance Shells for Two Rod Case
D1
D
THE CHISHOLMJANISCHEWSKYJ (CJ) MODEL
As summarized in Section 2 of this report, the ChisholmJanischewskyj (CJ) algorithm for
dynamic footing resistance utilizes the Korsuncev curve (Figure D1) which displays over
several orders of magnitude the relationship between two dimensionless variables:
sR
=
1
Equation D1
2
2
s E
I
o
= Equation D2
where:
s = a characteristic dimension of the electrode, meters
R = electrode dynamic resistance, ohms
= soil resistivity, ohmmeters
I = surge current, kA
E
o
= critical soil ionization strength, kV/meter
The ChisholmJanischewskyj (CJ) Model
D2
0.01 0.02 0.05 0.1 0.2 0.5 1 2 5 10 20 50 100
0.01
0.02
0.05
.1
.2
.5
1
I P
S
2
o
R
S
P
2 22 2
1 11 1
Figure D1
The Korsuncev Curve for Ground Electrodes
Figure D1 was compiled from reports for a variety of tower ground electrode tests, and updated
by Oettle (Ref. 5) in 1988. The electrode characteristic dimension s is the distance from the
center of the electrode at the surface of the earth to its farthest active point. For a rod, s is simply
the rod length. For sets of rods, s can vary as shown in Figure D2, depending on the degree of
ionization. The algorithm starts by first determining a value of
1
at the low frequency low
current resistance of the ground electrode. This value is defined as
0
1
. It can be determined in
one of two ways: if the low frequency resistance and earth resistivity are known, then Eq.(D1)
can calculate it directly, However, if only the earth resistivity and the geometry of the electrode
are
S
S
S
Figure D2
Application of the Characteristic Dimension S.
The ChisholmJanischewskyj (CJ) Model
D3
known
0
1
and the low frequency resistance of the ground electrode has not been measured, it
can be estimated from Eq. (D3):


.

\

+ =
A
s
2
0
1
log
2
1
4517 . 0
Equation D3
where:
A = the electrode area in sq. meters (as if it were wrapped in paper and A is the area of
the paper).
Using this computed value of
0
1
one can then estimate the low frequency resistance of the
electrode by:
s
Ro
0
1
Equation D4
At this stage, working values of Ro and
0
1
have been established. Next, the critical ionization
gradient E
o
must be selected. If possible, this value should be supplied from test data. In the
absence of test data, two options are available. The first option is to use the experimental
equation found by Oettle (Ref 5):
215 . 0
241 =
o
E Equation D5
recognizing that this is very likely a pessimistic value, yielding values that tend to limit the
spread of ionization around the electrode and yield high values of dynamic resistance.
The second option is to adopt 300 kV/meter as the working value of E
o
, as recommended by
Mousa (Ref. 2). Better still would be a field method developed by EPRIsolutions to measure E
o
,
and R
o
.
E1
E
THE ROBBINS/TFLASH DYNAMIC RESISTANCE
MODEL
When TFlash was first developed, some kind of conceptual ground dynamic resistance model
was necessary in the program until experiments could verify which algorithm most closely
matched field data. After a review of published research, David Robbins  the programmer
responsible for all TFlash encoding  combined several dynamic resistance models into what was
called the "Robbins/TFlash Model" and this model was encoded into TFlash. The following is a
brief description.
I
E
o
Da
L
Figure E1
Expanding ionization zone around a rod
The Robbins/TFlash Dynamic Resistance Model
E2
The current density out at the wall of the FigureE1 ionization shell is:
o
E
J = . Equation E1
where:
J = current density, kA/meter
2
E
o
= ionization gradient at the wall, kV/meter
= earth resistivity, ohmmeters
The total current flowing through the wall (which must be equal to the applied current) is then:
L D E
I
a o
=
or
L E
IK
D
a o
a
Equation E2
where:
D
a
= an average intrinsic diameter of the ionized shell, meters
L = rod length, meters
K = a scaling constant to fit experimental results
Note that in Figure E1, no hemispherical bottom end of the ionizing shell was included. Instead,
this will be included in the scaling constant K which can be different for different soils.
Initially, the new diameter of the ionized shell will be:
NewDiameter=RodDiameter Equation E3
At each time step t, the new current I is found and D
a
then calculated. However, the new
diameter does not encompass completely ionized soil because time is required for the ionization
to take place. The actual equivalent new diameter assuming completely ionized soil will be less
that the new value of D
a
and the new diameter (provided it is increasing) will be:
NewDiameter=LastDiameter +C1(D
a
LastDiameter) Equation E4
or if the diameter is receding because the current is lessening:
NewDiameter=LastDiameterC2(LastDiameterD
a
) Equation E5
The Robbins/TFlash Dynamic Resistance Model
E3
where:
C1 = Ionization constant for a particular soil
C2 = Deionization constant for a particular soil
All the soil within NewDiameter is assumed to be perfectly conducting.
The new dynamic resistance R
t
is then found by the Dwight equation:
(

.

\

= 1
8
log
2 r NewDiamete
L
L
R
t
. Equation E6
after which:
LastDiameter=NewDiameter Equation E7
The main difficulty with this dynamic resistance model  as with all the models  is determining
default constants for each type of soil.
F1
F
DRIVEN ROD RESISTANCES IN TWOLAYER EARTHS
Driving ground rods into twolayer earths is a common occurrence, particularly in the
EPRIsolutions environment where a sandy loam soil overlays a layer of clay with a water table
under the latter. There are several published algorithms for calculation of rod resistance in a two
layer earth , most of considerable complexity. One simple and reasonably accurate set of
equations for calculation of rod resistance in a twolayer earth is that published by Nahman and
Salamon (Ref. 8). The variables used in these equations are defined as follows:
R = rod low frequency resistance, ohms
L = rod length, meters
L
e
= equivalent length of the rod, meters
D = rod diameter, meters
h = depth of the upper layer of soil, meters
1
= upper layer soil resistivity, ohmmeters
2
= lower layer soil resistivity, ohmmeters
There are three possible rod positions:
A. Rod lies entirely in the upper soil layer and
1
>
2
.
D
L
L
R
4
log
2
1
= Equation F1
B. Rod lies entirely in the upper layer soil and
1
<
2:
1
2 1 1
log
2
4
log
2
h D
L
L
R + = Equation F2
C. Rod lies in both soil layers
D
L
L
R
e
e
4
log
2
2
= Equation F3
Driven Rod Resistances in TwoLayer Earths
F2
where:
1
2
1 2
L L L
e
+ = Equation F4
Accuracies of these formulas where reported to be usually less than 10%, which  considering the
uncertainties of soil resistivity measurement and rod contact  is about all to expect.
G1
G
ADJUSTMENT OF RODTANK RESISTANCES TO ROD
RESISTANCES IN AN INFINITE PLANE
For a ground rod in the center of the test tank, the tank wall is only threefeet away, whereas the
resistance of the earth from a driven rod in an open ground plane stretches to infinity. Although
most of the earth resistance around a rod is created in the first meter of radial distance (caused by
current concentration in this area), additional earth resistance extends beyond that region, and if
the tank resistance data is to be equated to any of the applicable rod resistance equations a
correction must be made. To determine this correction, a program called TANKOHMS.EXE was
written. The program sums up the resistances of 50 cylindrical shells of soil between a center rod
and the tank wall, An example of these shells is shown in Figure B1.
The bottom of each shell was adjusted in thickness so that as the final shell reached the tank wall
the bottom shell just reached the bottom of the tank. Thus the bottom of each cylindrical shell
had a different thickness depending on the height of the rod tip above the tank bottom. The radial
resistance of each shell was the product of the specified soil resistivity and the shell thickness
divided by the shell area. Similarly the resistance of the bottom of each shell was the product of
the soil resistivity and the bottom thickness divided by the bottom area. These two resistances are
essentially in parallel, and were combined to find the total shell resistance. Each shell resistance
between the center rod and the tank wall was then summed to obtain the total rodtotank
resistance for a specified soil resistivity.
The algorithm makes the tacit assumption that the shell walls are equipotential surfaces. This is
not strictly true, but by making this assumption LiewDarveniza (Ref. 1) achieved results that
matched the Dwight equation (Eq. 21) quite well, so the same assumption was used in
TANKOHMS as a reasonably accurate approach.
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