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IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol. PAS-102, No.

2, February 1983

389

TRANSIENT ANALYSIS OF GROUNDING SYSTEMS


M. G. Moharam
IEEE, Member

A. P. Meliopoulos
IEEE, Member

School of Electrical Engineering


Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332

Abstract

This paper addresses the problem of computing the


potential rise of grounding systems during
Finite element analysis is employed to
transients.
model the constituent parts of a grounding system.
Short lengths of earth embedded electrodes are characterized as transmission lines with distributed inductance, capacitance and leakage resistance to earth.
Leakage resistance to earth is accurately computed with
ground

the method of moments. The other parameters of the


finite element, namely inductance and capacitance, are
computed from the resistance utilizing Maxwell's equations. This modeling enables the computation of the
transient response of substation grounding systems to
fast or slow waves striking the substation. The result
is obtained in terms of a convolution of the step response of the system and the striking wave. In this way
the impedance of substation systems to 60 cycles is
accurately computed. Results demonstrate the dependence of the 60 cycle impedance on system parameters.
The methodology allows to interface this model of a
substation ground mat with the Electromagnetic Transient Analysis Program thus, allowing explicit representation of earth effects in electromagmatic transients

computations.

1.

INTRODUCTION

The transient response characteristics of grounding systems play an important role in the protection of
For example, the voltage
electrical installations.
drop along a ground rod connecting a surge arrester and
the transformer it is protecting can obtain a value
which is a substantial percentage of the basic impulse
level of the transformer insulation. Depending on the
configuration, the surge arrester experiences an overvoltage which is less than the one reaching the transformer. Thus system protection is reduced. The introduction of solid state arresters and the every shrinking safety margins demand more accurate analysis proceIn this
dures for substation design and protection.
context, analysis procedures predicting the transient
response of substation grounding systems are very important.

The transient response of grounding structures has


been studied many years ago by Rudenberg [1], Bewley
[2], Sunde [3] and others. The classical experiments
performed by Bewley [21 on counterpoises provide much
information about the transient characteristic of

A paper recommended and approved by the


82 SM 369-7
IEEE Substations Committee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society for presentation at the IEEE PES 1982
Summer Meeting, San Francisco, California, July 18-23,
1982. Manuscript submitted February 4, 1982; made available for prinfting April 19, 1982.

grounding systems. Verma and Mukhedkar [51 showed that


distributed resistance and inductance models of buried
ground wires predict transient response of such systems
in agreement with the experiments of Bewley. However,
they do not provide any models for practical substation

grounding systems. Kostaluk, Loboda and Mukhedkar [15]


provide experimental data for transient ground impedances. Similarly, Rogers [6] reports on actual system
transient response of a large tower footing. Bellashi
et al. [8], [91, [10], have given a complete treatment
of driven rods characteristics. Gupta and Thapar [7]
provide empirical formulae for the impulse impedance of
substation ground grids, defined as the ratio of the
peak value of the voltage developed at the feeding
point to the peak value of the current. This definition of impulse impedance leads to uncertainty because
the peak values of voltage and current do not necessarily occur at the same time. The so defined impulse
impedance strongly depends on the rise time of the wave
considered, the mesh size of the grid, soil resistivity
and permittivity, the feeding point, etc. This paper
presents data which further illustrate the point.
Thus, the definition of impulse impedance of reference
[71 is at best ambiguous.
The work reported in this paper addresses the
problem of transient analysis of practical grounding
systems consisting of ground mats, ground rods, etc.
The developed models are in good agreement with experimental results.

First, the
The paper is organized as follows.
simple case of an earth embedded conductor is treated.
This case is extended to the case of a substation
These two cases clearly illustrate the
ground mat.
methodology. Sample test cases are presented and compared to known experimental data. The comparison is
favorable. Finally, a methodology is outlined for the
interface of the grounding system models of this paper
with the EMTP computer program which enables the study
of the impact of grounding systems on electromagnetic
transients.
2.

2.1

TRANSIENT RESPONSE OF AN EARTH EMBEDDED CONDUCTOR

Problem Formulation

Development of models of grounding structures


suitable for the computation of their transient response can be demonstrated with the simple system of a
single buried conductor. Such a system is illustrated
A small segment of length Q of the
in Figure 1.
conductor of Figure 1, is characterized with a series
resistance Ar, a series inductance AL, conductance Ag
to remote earth and capacitance AC. This representation is illustrated in Figure 2. These parameters are
distributed along the length Q of the segment. The
thick solid line signifies the tact.
The numerical values of the quantities Ag, AL, AC
can be directly computed from two quantities, namely
the conductance Ag and the speed of electromagnetic
waves in the soil V , as follows. The speed V is

0018-9510/83/0002-0389$01.00 ( 1983 IEEE