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ELECTRICAL EARTHING (or GROUNDING)

BASIC CONCEPT

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 1
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT
Fault current path through earth
For a fault current to penetrate
into the ground
ground, it must have a
return circuit to the network.

During a fault the return may take


place either by neutrals of the
network or through the distributed
capacitance of the unaffected
phases of the network.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 2
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING
BASIC CONCEPT
Fault current path through earth
When the current discharged into the
ground is from lightning stroke, the
return of the current to the
thundercloud will take place through
the distributed capacitance between
the
h thunder
h d cloudl d andd the
h area off the
h
ground surface covered by it.

For low frequency currents (power


frequency) entering the earth the
return is
i through
h h the
h source neutrall
of the network.
6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 3
EARTHING (or GROUNDING
BASIC CONCEPT
CONCEPTFault current path through earth

Some off th
S the earth
th ffault
lt currentt ffrom ttransmission
i i
line fault to a sub station grid tends to follow the
transmission line.

Depth of mean current path is directly proportional


to the square root of the earth resistivity and
inversely proportional to the square root of
frequency.
frequency

Thus resistance tends to increase the cross


sectional area of the current path, whereas,
inductance tends to decrease it and tend to tie
more closely to the transmission line.

This tendency will also affect the path of current


away from the electrode.
6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 4
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT-
CONCEPT-Electrical behaviour of earth
The electrical behavior of earth is heterogeneous
and it behaves as differently as;

A conductor having resistance.

An electrolyte.
electrolyte

A dielectric.

The behavior of a ground electrode buried


in soil can be analyzed by the soil model
shown here.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 5
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT
CONCEPT--Electrical behaviour of earth

S il b
Soil behaves
h b
both
th as conductor
d t hhaving
i
resistance and dielectric.

F power frequency
For f currents theh
charging current is negligible in
comparison to the leakage current, and
the earth can be represented by a pure
resistance.

F r high
For hi h fr
frequency
q n current
rr nt (lightning
(li htnin
discharge/communication frequencies)
the dielectric behaviour becomes
predominant.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 6
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT
CONCEPT--Electrical behaviour of earth

The voltage gradient experienced by the


soil immediately surrounding the
electrode does not cause any variation
in the soil resistivity.

Only when the gradient exceeds some


critical value depending
p g on the
minerals present in the soil, arcs
would develop at the surface of the
electrode and p progress
g into the earth
so as to increase the effective size of
the electrode.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 7
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT
Electrical behaviour of earth
This phenomenon will continue
till the gradients are reduced to
values that the soil material can
withstand.
withstand

This condition is illustrated by the


presence of gaps in the soil
model.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 8
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT
CONCEPT--Electrical behaviour of earth

The magnitude
g of the current flowingg
from the electrodes into the
surrounding soil can increase the
effective soil resistivityy in the vicinityy
of the electrodes.

This can happen when the current


density exceeds 200 A/m2 for 1s.

At such current densities significant


drying of the soil takes place and soil
resistivityy increases.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 9
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT-
CONCEPT-Electrical behaviour of earth--
earth--Soil
Soil resistivity
El i l R
Electrical Resistivity
i i i off earth h iis an iimportant parameter
for the determination of ;
Earth
E h resistance
i off earth
h electrode
l d
Earth electrode potential rise
Earth surface potentials
The three phenomena as above will affect the
magnitude of dangerous voltages and are directly
proportional to the electrical resistivity of the earth
surrounding the electrode system.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 10
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT-
CONCEPT-Electrical behaviour of earth--
earth--Soil
Soil resistivityy
Dissipation of current from the electrode to the
surrounding mass of earth is radial and the current
flows from the electrode
d to the current collecting
electrode (the source neutral electrode).

For the purpose of establishing an earth electrode,


variation in resistivityy of earth both in the lateral
direction and along the depth below earth surface are to
be considered.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 11
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT-
CONCEPT-Electrical behaviour of earth--
earth--Soil
Soil resistivity

E h consists
Earth i off chiefly
hi fl sand
d or silicon
ili di
dioxide
id bbesides
id other
h metallic
lli oxides
id
and calcium carbonate. The surface layer consists of clay mixed sand and
often mixed with decayed vegetable matter also.

When dry, this admixture may not conduct much electricity.

In the presence of moisture,


moisture ionic conduction takes place according to the
type of salts present in the water contained in the soil. As a result soil
resistivity is dependent on physical and chemical composition of soil,
moisture content and even temperature.

Hence, earth conduction is electrolytic in nature.

Resistivity of soil varies very widely and depends on the nature of soil.
6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 12
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING))
BASIC CONCEPT-
CONCEPT-Electrical behaviour of earth--
earth--Soil
Soil resistivity

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 13
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT
Electrical behaviour of earth--
earth--Soil
Soil resistivity

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 14
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT--
CONCEPT--CONNECTION
CONNECTION TO GENERAL MASS OF EARTH

To establish an electrical contact with the earth mass, metal (electrodes) are embedded in
the earth. The electrode may be of different geometric shape.

The current is dissipated into the earth by


spreading out around the electrode.

In principle, the range of spread of such a


current extends to the whole planet. In practice,
the current densities and potential gradients are
only perceptible with in a restricted area.
area

The hemispherical mass of earth surrounding the


electrode which predominantly affect current return
to the
h source neutrall ddepend
d on the
h soilil resistivity
i i i
at electrode location and the geometry of electrode.
6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 15
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING))
BASIC CONCEPT
CONNECTION TO GENERAL MASS OF EARTH--
EARTH--IMPEDANCE
IMPEDANCE

Connection to earth in ggeneral are complex p


impedances, having resistive, capacitive,
and inductive components, all of which
affect
a ect their
t e current
cu e t carrying
ca y g capabilities.
capab t es.
The resistance of the connection is of
particular interest to those concerned with
power frequencies because it is affected by
the resistivity of the earth in the area of the
connection.
Th capacitance
The i andd inductance
i d values
l are
of interest to those concerned with higher
frequencies,, such as are associated with
frequencies
telecommunications
l i i and
d lilightning.
h i
6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 16
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING))
BASIC CONCEPT
CONNECTION TO GENERAL MASS OF EARTH--
EARTH--IMPEDANCE
IMPEDANCE

y The ohmic resistance of an earth


connection vary with the composition and
physical state of the soil as well as with the
extent and configuration of the buried
electrode..
electrode

y The ohmic resistance of the earth


connection vary with the seasons,
seasons, which
affect temperature, moisture content, and
compactness of the soil.
soil.

Calculation
C l l ti and d experience
i show
h th that,
t in
i a
given soil, the effectiveness of a earth grid
is dependent largely upon the overall size of
the earth ggrid.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 17
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING))
BASIC CONCEPT
CONNECTION TO GENERAL MASS OF EARTH--
EARTH--IMPEDANCE
IMPEDANCE

After installation of an earthing system , the settling


of the earth with annual cyclical weather changes
tends to reduce the earth impedance substantially
during the first year or two
two.

The impedance of an earth electrode is usually


measured in terms of resistance because the
reactance is generally negligible with respect to the
resistive component. (this is not applicable for large
earthing systems with impedance values below 0.5
ohm, and for earths subject to surge or impulse
currents.

This resistance will not vary very greatly from year to


year after the first year or two following the burial of
the earth ggrid.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 18
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
BASIC CONCEPT
CONCEPTREMOTE EARTH

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 19
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING))
EARTH RESISTANCE OF ELECTRODE DEFINED

EARTH RESISTANCE OF AN EARTH ELECTRODE IS THE RESISTANCE


OFFERED BY THE HEMISPHERICAL MASS OF THE EARTH
SURROUNDING THE ELECTRODE WITH RADIUS EQUAL TO THE
DISTANCE FROM ELECTRODE TO REMOTE EARTH

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 20
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING))
Effect of high earth resistance of an earth connection

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 21
EARTHING ((or GROUNDING))
Variation of earth resistance

Although the earth grid may be buried only half a meter below the
surface the variation for the resistance for larger stations seems to
surface,
bear little relationship to the variation of the resistivity at the burial
level..
level

However, this will not be true for earth grids buried over a high
resistivity stratum
stratum,, or simply for small electrode system (having
an area of less than 50 m2)

The resistance of an earthing system with a small number of earth


electrodes may vary more closely with that indicated by resistivity
measurements..
measurements

The resistance of large area earth grids is proportional to the


resistivity measurements made for greater depths where less
variation is encountered
encountered..

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 22
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
Earth resistance values
F low
For l andd medium
di voltage
l systems NEC
N C recommendd the h
following;
Th effectiveness
The ff i off shunting
h i hi high
h voltage
l surges ffrom
lightning or other sources depends on earth resistance.
The generally
generall accepted practice is to have
ha e the earth resistance
not to exceed 25 ohm. However, to protect communication
systems and sensitive electronic equipment the earth
resistance of 3 ohm may be required and some cases even less
than 1 ohm.

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 23
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
Earth resistance values
IS 3043
3043--1987-
1987-CODE OF PARACTICE FOR EARTHING does not specify any
specific value of earth resistance of electrodes other than stating that the
earth resistance value shall be such that the requirements
q as per
p the code
shall be met.
The AP Government Electrical Engineers Association Technical Reference
Book suggest the following:
The resistance of earth system shall not exceed the limits specified below:
Generating stations 0.5 ohm
Major sub stations -- 1 ohm
Other sub stations 2 ohm
Distribution transformer sub stations 5 ohm
Transmission towers 25 ohm

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 24
EARTHING (or GROUNDING)
Next, practical electrode systems shall be
Next
deliberated upon

THANK YOU

6/17/2013 M L SHESHADRI 25