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Earthing Handbook

Earthing Handbook

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NERGV UTHORITV FN.S.W.

New South Wales Government AUGUST 1986

EA 86/45

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r-- FOREWORD

This handbook is a compendium of information on electricty supply system earthing compiled by the Electricity Authority of New South Wales.

Much of the contents has been the subject of earlier documents issued by the Authority, but new information has also been added.

Most of the information contained herein has been derived from existing texts and practices. Some of the contents are however of recent origin and although based 'only on experimental work should offer significant contribution to the art of earthing. This applies in particular to current operated earth leakage devices operated in the dual sensitivity mode, earthing of swimming pools and tolerable touch potentials due to high voltage earth faults.

In pu blishing the Handbook the Au thority hopes to promote a be tter understanding of the problems and principles involved in earthing. It has purposely been compiled in a form that should be understood by any person involved or about to be involved in distribution system earthing. In particular the mathematics have been kept to school certificate level and tradesmen should not have difficulty understanding the contents.

The Handbook is intended to be read in conjunction with the Authority's publication "Code ofPractice=Protective Earthing", dealing with distribution system earthing. It contains explanatory information on the Code but is not intended to amend or supplement the actual Code requirernen ts. Earthing impedance and other values included in the text of the Handbook are consistent with those specified in the Code at the time of publication but amendments may be made to the Code and hence reference should always 'be made to the Code for confirmation of the values. I t also touches on the earthing of consumers' installations (when discussing current operated earth leakage devices and earthing around swimming pools) and reference should be made to current provisions of the S.A.A. Wiring Rules as compliance with relevant provisions of the Rules is mandatory.

In compiling the Handbook extensive reference has been made to two text books. These are~

(I) Earthing Principles and Practice bY"R.W. Ryder; and (2) Earth Resistance by G. F. Tagg.

Reference has also been made to the-paper presented to the Institution of Engineers (Aust.) by W. O'Keefe, N. G. Ross and E. R. Trethewie titled "Determining Tolerable Short Duration Electric Shock Potentials from Heart Ventricular Fibrillation Threshold Data". All three of these documents are recommended for further reading. Other references are given at the back of this Handbook.

The Authority would welcome constructive comments and suggestions on the material included, and its attention being drawn to any errors in order that improvements may be made in further editions of the Handbook.

DATE

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CONTENTS

Page

INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. i

Safety .

System Good Working .

The Effectiveness of Earthing .

CHAPTER 1 THE PRINCIPLES OF EARTHING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. I The Flow of Current in the EARTH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. I Electrode Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I Soil Resistivity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. I Measurements of Soil Resistivity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 2 Calcula ting the Resistance of an Electrode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3 Effectiveness of Electrode Dimensions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 5 Electrodes Connected in Parallel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 5 Explanatory Example - Nomogram in Fig. 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 8 Explanatory Exarnple- Nomogram in Fig. 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 8

CHAPTER 2 EARTH ELECTRODES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 9 Multiple Rod Installations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 9 Artificial Treatment of Electrodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 9 Use of Explosives andBentonite. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 9 Electrode Connections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 10 Current Rating of Earthing Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 11

CHAPTER 3 INST ALLA TION OF ELECTRODES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14 Selection of Site. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14

Hand Hammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14

Tubular Hand Hammers : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14

Mechanical Hammers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14

Earth Auger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14 Machine Drilling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 14

CHAPTER 4 MEASUREMENT OF EARTH ELECTRODE RESISTANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 16 Voltmeter - Ammeter Method. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 16 Three Point Method. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 16

Fall of Potential Method 17

Earth Testing Instruments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 17

Ohmmeter Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 17 Instrument Burden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 18

Null Reading Bridge Instruments 19

CHAPTER 5 PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF MEASURING ELECTRODE RESISTANCE 20

Temporary Test Spikes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 20 Spacing of Temporary Test Spikes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 20

Proving Correct Placing , 20

Test Instrument beads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 20 Large Su bstation Mats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 20

Example. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 24

CHAPTER 6 APPARENT INCREASED RESISTANCE OF GALVANISED STEEL ELECTRODES 25

CHAPTER 7 SEASONAL RESISTANCE VARIATION OF ELECTRODES 26

Test Sites at Merrylands and Moorebank (Figures 27 and 28). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 26 Test Sites at Tahmoor and Camden (Figures 29 and 30) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 26

Test Sites at Unanderra and Woonona (Figures 31 and32) 26

Test Sites at Dubbo and Narromine (Figures 33 and 34) 26

Test Site at Katoomba (Figure 35) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 27 Test Site at Bankstown (Figure 36). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 27

CHAPTER 8 COMPATABILITY OF HV AND LV SYSTEMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 33

Four Wire HV Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 33 Contact Between HV and LV Actives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 33

CHAPTER 9 DISTRIBUTION SUBSTATION EARTHING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 34

Earthing Systems Impedances : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 34

NOTES 34

Insulation of Earthwires Attached to Substation Poles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 35 Earthing of Lightning Arresters on Distribution Substations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 35

CHAPTER 10 DISTRIBUTION LINE COMPONENT EARTHING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 38

Leakage Currents in Wood Poles , . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 38

Equivalent Circuit of Pole Leakage Currents , . . . . . . . . .. 38

Safety of Operators of Pole Mounted Switches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 39 Insulation of Air-Break Switch Handles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 40 Circuit Breakers, Reclosers, Sectionalisers and Switches Not Operated Directly by Persons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 40

Contents-Continued

CHAPTER 11

EARTHING AND INSULATION OF METALWORK IN PUBLIC PLACES .

CHAPTER 12 SWER EARTHING .

Current Loading Capacity of the Earthing Systems . . . . . . . . .

Separation of High and Low Voltage Earthing Systems .

CHAPTER 13

DISTRIBUTION EARTHING SYSTEMS .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Development of Different Systems of Earthing. . . . . . . . . . .

Selection of Systems of Earthing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(a) The Direct Earthing System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b) The Earth leakage (Voltage Operated) Circuit-Breaker System. . . . . . . . . .

(c) The l\lEN System. . . . . . . . . . , , .

Consumer's Fuses. . . . .

Nuisance Shocks and the MEN System .

Duplicate Service Line Neutrals .

CHAPTER 14 THE CURRENT OPERATION (CORE BALANCE) EARTH lEAKAGE SYSTEM .

Disadvantages of the Three Authorised Systems .

The Core Balance System .

Function of Core Balance Relays .

Dual Sensitivity .

Problems Relating to Dual Sensitivity Mode .

Insulated Earth wire .

Discrimination Between Relays in Series .

Broken Neutrals and Nuisance Shocks .

Hybrid ElCB System .

Protection with Portable Core Balance Relays .

CHAPTER 15 EARTHING OF SWIMMING POOLS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 60 APPENDIX 'A' CORRECTION NOMOGRAMS FOR EARTH TESTING INSTRUMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 62

Method 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 62 Method 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 63

Al ternative Method of Determining Nomogram Constants of a Two Range Instrument _ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 63

Method 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 63

Alternative Method of Calculating Earth Testing Meter Potential Coil Characteristics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 65

General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 65 Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 65

APPENDIX 'B'

REPORT ON TESTS CARRIED OUT IN RESPECT OF STEP AND TOUCH POTENTIALS AROUND EARTH STAKES AND THE EFFECT OF GRADING RINGS

Examination of Results .

Predicting Voltage Gradients .

Conclusions .

Recommendation '.: _ .

APPENDIX 'C' REFERENCES _ .

Page

43

45 45 46

50 50 50 50 50 51 51 51 53

54 54 54 55 55 57 58 58 58 58 59

69 70 73 73 73

76

THE ELECTRICITY AUTHORITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES INTRODUCTION

Earthing of electrical installations has two main purposes:

(a) To safeguard against the possibility of danger to life;

(b) To maintain the good working of the electrical system.

(a) Safety

A person (or an animal) experiences electric shock when current is caused to enter his body. The magnitude of this current determines the extend of discomfort or danger that will result. a healthy person can withstand 5Cl Hertz currents of short duration (say I minute) up to the order of 30 mA without causing death. The resistance of a human being is of the order of J ,000 ohms, hence a voltage of 32 volts (an old standard) has been recognised as the safe maximum voltage that can be handled without the need for protection against electric shock. The amount of current that a healthy person can withstand without causing fibrillation of·the heart, is a function of time and varies from about 1.5 amperes for periods not exceeding 0.15 seconds to 30 milliamperes for about I minute. The period of .15 seconds should provide complete protection for persons experiencing touch potentials up to 1,500 volts (based on 1.5 amps at 1 ,ClOO ohms). However, it is often not possible to isolate high voltage equipment without 0.15 seconds and some compromise is required. Substantial safety in respect of touch potentials of the order 1,500 volts should be acquired if the circuit is disconnected within 0.35 seconds.

Long duration currents between 5 and 2Cl rnA whilst not causing the heart to fibrillate can affect the muscles of the chest and interfere with breathing, resulting in asphyxiation of the victim. A graph illustrating the extent of human endurance to electric shock is depicted in Figure I. It is based on threshold currents which may cause fibrillation of the heart to occur.

The most effective methods of preventing excessive current from through the body is to either provide an insulat-

ing barrier between the body and current source or prevent a difference in potential occurring across parts of the body. Insulation is relied on in electrical installations to contain the flow current to intended paths.

However. insulation mav break down or be circumvented bv misulacernent of a conductor and some metalwork not intended to carry current may become alive. If all metalwork not <intended to carry electric current is electrically connected together then a potential difference cannot occur and hazard from this source is therefore eliminated. Because intentional or inadvertent contact may occur between the electrical system and the earth must also be bonded to such metalwork in order to minimise all possible sources of po ten rial difference.

Earthing corning into this category is referred to as Protective

(b) System Good Working

In small electrical reticulations (e.g. 20 miles of line) the practice of connecting the system to earth is sometimes avoided.

This practice allows the system to continue operating if inadvertent connection of one conductor to earth occurs. Such systems, however, need to be continuously monitored to detect these inadvertent connections, so that they may be quickly removed. In larger systems the likelihood of inadvertent connections and the difficulty in locating them becomes so great that it is preferable to deliberately earth one conductor or some part of the system. In the event of any other conductor of the same circuit carrying a different voltage coming in contact with the earth, current will flow and if of sufficient magnitude can be used to operate a protective device to disconnect the conductor making the accidental connection.

Earthing coming into this category is normally referred to as Protection Earthing.

Where the requirements of protective and protection earthing are inconsistent, it is usual practice to give preference to prote ctive earth ing. I t is also common practice to give preference to safety requirernen ts of consumers within their premises over those outside the premises should confliction occur. This philosophy is adopted in the Authority'S "Code of Practice-Protective Earthing". I t should not be overlooked, however, that in giving preference to protective earthing, a situation does not arise where, due to this preference, the equipment may, if it were to break down, create conditions more onerous than those which it was originally intended to avoid. Such conditions can occur when lightning protection is compromised to gain electrical separation bet ween BY and L Y earths at su bstation transfo rmers.

The Effectiveness of Earthing

The effectiveness of protective earthing depends. upon the ability of the bonds to maintain a low potential difference between separate exposed metal parts or exposed metal path and earth. If an electrode system is used as a part of a bonel circuit it may introduce considerable resistance between the general earth mass and the exposed metal. If the current is high enough the I.R. drop in the earth bond (i.e. the earthing electrode to earth) can reach magnitudes well in excess of the safe 32 volt limit. In order to prevent this occurrence, or at least to limit its duration to an acceptable time, circuit disconnection is usually necessary. This is usually achieved by fuse protection which requires fault currents of the order of three times the fuse rating. Where an earthing electrode system is the sole return path for the fault current, the system must have a total resistance not greater than _~ ohms; where E is the voltage between line and earth and I is the rated current of the fuse. This usually means that the elec- 31

trode resistance must not exceed j::_ ohms. Resistances of this oreler are impracticable to obtain on low voltage systems and 51

therefore other means which provide metallic paths for fault currents or automatic disconnection circuit breakers (e.l.c.b.) are resorted to.

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PROSPECTIVE TOUCH VOLTAGE/CLEARING TIME FOR METAL ENCLOSED APPARATUS

Vt = 1000 Ip Volts

BASIS OF GRAPH

THE GRAPH IS BASED UPON THE MAXIMUM TOUCH POTENTIAL THAT A PERSON IS ESTIMATED TO BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND FOR HIE PERIODS INVOLVED. (BODY RESISTANCE ASSUMED IOOOn.)

REFERENCE: DETERII-lINING TOLERABLE SHORT DURA TlON ELECTRIC SI-IOCK POTENTIALS FOR HEART VEN· TRICULAR FIBRILLATION THRESHOLD DATA BY W. O'KEEFE B.E., N. G. ROSS BEE., E. R. TRETHEWIE M.D. (UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE) ElEe. ENGG. TRANS.I.E. AUST. VOL. EE8, No. I APRIL, 1972.

APPLICATION

(1) Allowable Prospective Touch Voltage .

The allowable prospective touch voltage must not be exceeded by any actual voltage that a person may experience under any

earth fault condition. r

Where voltage rises on the earthing installation are transferred by metalwork such as neutral conductors of an M.E.N. system, water pipes and the like to locations outside the voltage gradient area around the installation, then the prospective touch voltage should be regarded as being equal to the earthing installation voltage rise. Where, however, there is no such transfer of voltage, advantage may be taken of local voltage gradients.

(2) Calculation of Voltage Rise

In the simple case (e.g. a distribution centre fed from a radial overhead line and having a local earthing installation that does not include metal work such as interconnected neutrals or electrically continuous water piping or cable sheaths which connect it to the HV source earthing point) the voltage rise at the earthing installation is the product of the earth fault current and the local earthing impedance. The voltage rise should fall within the limits specified in the graph.

Where the installation (e.g. distribution centre) is supplied from multiple HV sources or earthed via multiple metallic networks such as interconnected neutrals, overhead earthwires, cable sheaths, water piping and the like, the accurate calculation of the voltage rise at the installation earth can become a very complex problem. However, approximations which err on the high side in respect of the impedance of an earthing installation involving multiple paths are satisfactory if the result so calculated complies with the limits specified in the graph. It is sufficient therefore to assume a pessimistic value of earthing impedance and to calculate the consequent voltage rise. If the voltage rise so calculated satisfies the limits specified in the graph, no further calculations are necessary. However, if the limits specified in the graph are not satisfied, then a closer assessment of the true earth impedance is necessary. In those cases where there is doubt that the earthing installation may comply, it will be necessary to carry out a complete mathematical analysis or to measure the voltage rise by methods such as current injection from a remote point or the like.

FIG. 1

(ii)

CHAPTER 1

THE PRINCIPLES OF EARTHING

The Flow of Current in the Earth

When current is caused to flow from an electrode into the earth it commences its flow from a metal of low resistance and passes into the soil immediately surrounding it. The soil adjacent to the electrode can be likened to a sheath of high resistance material and its effect on the current is to prevent it from flowing. However, when the current passes through this sheath it passes into another sheath of slightly larger dimensions and because of the larger dimensions a greater area is provided for the current to flow so that it spreads out and experiences less resistance. The current continues to flow into sheaths of ever increasing area which in turn offer less resistance to the current until the sheaths are so large and the current density so low that virtually no resistance is offered at all. In average soil such as is experienced in the western areas of New South Wales these sheaths extend to a depth of over 3,000 metres so that the current flows through the earth at an average depth of about 1,500 metres. That is, the earth can be likened to a huge conductor, say, 3,000 metres in diameter, and even though its resistivity is high, the resistance of the path through the earth is extremely low, once it has attained these huge dimensions. As an analogy, it can be likened to air flowing through a trumpet so that the air experiences great resistance at the mouthpiece end but as the trumpet area increases the resis ranee becomes less.

As far as power supply bodies are concerned, it is the area of high resistance where the current enters the ground from the electrode that is important.

Electrode Resistance

The electrode resistance is that resistance offered to the flow of electric current into the ground down to the expanse where the resistance of the ground becomes so low that it becomes negligible (about 0.05 ohms per kilometre).

Consider an electrode such as in Figure 2 in which a cut away section is shown to demonstrate the sheath theory of expanding area of soil conductivity. It can be seen that these sheaths rapidly take the shape of hemispherical shells, the surfaces of which are loci of equal voltage which occurs when the electrode is carrying current. These thin shells extend from the surface of the electrode to infini ty Conside r anyone of these shells. The resistance through its radial thickness is given by-

PI R = A

where

p =::
J =::
A = soil resistivity

length of path (or thickness of shell) surface area of hemisphere

,1-"", .... 1 .. IV ,\ ~ l.

\\V

V\I

I...,

FIG. 2

Sectional View of Gro und through Electrode showing Hemispherical Equal Voltage Fields

As the distance is increased further away from the electrode the surface area of the shells (or sheaths) becomes very large.

At 10 metres radius the area of the surface of a shell is 628 sq. metres; at 20 metres the area is 2,512 sq. metres; at 30 metres the area is 5,652 sq. metres. This means that even in soils with very high resistivities, at say, 10 metres, the actual increase in resistance caused by the shell at this distance would be so very small that its addition to the total resistance already apparent up to this shell would not make any appreciable difference of the resistance of the electrode to remote earth.

Thus it is only necessary to confine resistance tests to a relatively short distance around the electrode as it is within this area that the vast proportion of its total resistance to earth is located. It is therefore only necessary to refer the resistance of a 2 metre length electrode to the mass of ground at a distance of some 10 to 12 metres away.

Soil Resistivity

Soil Resistivity is another name for the specific resistance of the soil. It is usually measured in ohm metres. An ohm me tre is that resistivi ty the soil has when it has a resistance of one ohm between the opposite faces of a cube of the soil with one metre sides. Another unit commonly used is the ohm centimetre and is equal to 0.0 L ohm metres. To convert ohm metres to ohm centimetres multiply by 100.

The resistivity of soil varies considerably. Soil located as silt on the banks of the Darling River has a resistivity of the order of 1.5 ohm metres whereas dry sand such as is found in mountainous country has values as high as 10,000 ohm metres.

The type of soil largely determines its resistivity. Earth conductivity is, however, essentially electrolytic in nature and is affected therefore by the moisture content of the soil, the chemical composition and concentration of salts dissolved in the contained water. Grain size and distribution and closeness of packing are also contributory factors since they control the manner in which the moisture is held in the soil and also considerably influence contact area.

Many of these factors vary locally and some seasonally, so that the resistivity quoted from time to time for various soils should be taken as a general guide only.

The earth, however, is not a homogeneous structure and usually comprises many layers of different soils. With a few exceptions, rock is encountered below 30 metres or so and this has a great bearing on soil resistivities to depths, say 1,500 metres, where earth return currents travel. Average soil resistivity in New South Wales between 2 and 7 metres is about 60 ohm metres, whilst that to, say, 1,500 metres, is in the order of 250 ohm metres.

Measurements of Soil Resistivity

As previously described, the voltage gradients around an electrode take the form of hemispherical shells (see Figure 2).

Suppose then that four electrodes are driven into the soil at equal distances ("a " metres) apart and in a straight line and that current is caused to flow between the two outer electrodes and through the ground.

Then hemispherical shells of equipotential will be set up around each of these electrodes (sec Figure 3) and these will reach to a depth in the soil equal to their radial measu rernent from the electrode and when the radial measurement is "a" metres the shell will extend "a" metres into the ground. The two centre electrodes are "a" metres from the outer electrodes and they will therefore be located in a field of equipotential that goes down "a" metres deep into the soil. The soil between these electrodes will have a voltage drop across it and this can be measured with a voltmeter as shown. Then the resistance of the soil between the surfa ces of the two equipotential shells at "a" can be calculated from Ell as read on the voltmeter and ammeter. I f this resistance is too high for economical earthing, tests to greater depths can be taken by simply moving the test electrodes to a greater horizontal spacing. The soil resistivity is frequently found to be lower at greater depths thus favouring the use of extendable electrodes.

'01 '0' 'e '

metres metres metres

SECTIONAL VIEW THROUGH ELECTRODES SHOWING HEMISPHERICAL EQUAL VOLTAGE FIELDS AND THE BASIC AMMETER AND VOLTMETER METHOD OF MEASURING SOIL RESISTIVITY

FIG.3

This resistance can also be calculated from PI

R == - where fI

A I

A

soil resistivity (or specific resistance) ohm metres

length of the average path of current flow between the two hemispherical shells at "a" metres area of the current path (sq. metres)

area of the hemispherical shell at "a" metres from the current electrode 27Ta2 (surface area of hemisphere of radius "a")

R _£j_
21Ta2
P 27T32 R
or I 2

It now only remains to know 1 to find the soil resistivity and this can be shown to equal--

a +

vaz+4CP' va2 + dZ'

2

or

jJ

where d == depth of the electrode 4rraR

I +

2a

a

However, if the depth of the electrodes is made small compared with "a" then the current path intercepted by the electrodes connected to t he voltmeter may be considered as being "a" metres long.

I) - 21)'a2 R - 2 R

or - -- - 1)'a

a

Therefore if the depth of the test electrodes is say, less than I 120th of "a"

p = 2rraR ohm metres

where a = electrode separation in metres

R = Ell == Resistance as read on instruments in ohms

In practice an indicating ohmmeter or null reading bridge is used to measure the resistance (R) from which the soil resistivity

is calculated. "

The foregoing method of measuring soil resistivity is called the Wenner 4 point method.

Calculating the Resistance of an Electrode

It follows that if the soil resistivity and dimensions of an electrode are known it should be possible to calculate the resistance of the electrode. The basic formula for calculating resistance is R = 2.l where P = specific resistance (or soil resistivity), 1 = length

A

of the current path and A = the cross sectional area of the current path. Refer to Figure 2 and consider one hemispherical shell. Let the length of the current path, through the shell, be 1, and the radius of the shell be "L". The surface area of a hemisphere is given by area = 2m2 (r == radius), therefore A = 21TL2. Thus the resistance through one hemispherical shell is given by R =--.£L

2rrL2.

The actual resistance of all the soil around the electrode will be the sum of the resistances of an infinite number of these shells. As the areas of the shells vary from a small to a very large value the mathematics are beyond the scope of this article, but it has been calculated for a driven rod as being--

p. lOOOD

R == ') D (2.31oglo -d- + 1.1)

~1T

where R

p

D d

resistance in ohms

soil resistivity in ohm metres length of rod in met res diameter of rod in rnillirnetres

For a horizontal strip electrode where the length is great compared with depth-

p L 2 "2S"

R = 2nL (2.3 loglo Sd + 6.3 + ---c-)

where R

p

L S d

resistance in ohms

soil resistivity in ohm metres Length of strip in metres depth of st rip in met res

diameter of strip in millimetres (where a flat strip is used make d equal to half the width)

Graphs depicting the resistance of vertical rod and horizontal strip electrodes calculated from the above formula are illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.

3

,-

:"""~==-~~:,~ -; 10mrn DiA_ ELECTRODE

~2_

20rnm DIA. U.ECTROOE

~~" 30 rnrn OiA, ELtCTRODE ~""

T-T
t-
-t
--+-- ' - t=_-------+-
'2
r-- t--r---
.15"'-:
,I
10 IS 20 25 30 35 40 50 60 70 &0 100 ISO 200 soo 400 500 600
RESI ST ANCE OF ELECTRODE (OHMS) CALCULATED RESISTANCE OF VERTICALLY DRIVEN ELECTRODES IN 100 OHM-METRE RESISTIVITY SOIL

FIG. 4

0
o~
0
~
0 "~
5 "~0
" I I
~ I
9 "- "- I
B
7 " DEPTH 05 METRE
6 ~ V
DEPTH 10 ME TRE / I"~
5 ""
_:s:
I '\:-
3 i r:: r-- I-
I 1~f0
I
- ~ ---
'\
5
! !~ 1\
I L
I [S:-,

r-- f- f-' -~j--
4

2

u, o

ur U Z

'" ,-

U1

iij w

'"

0,9 O· 8 o 7 0,6

0,5

'5 6 B 10 15 20 30 40 50 6080 100 150 200 300

LENGTH OF STRIP (METRES)

CALCULATED RESISTANCE OF STRIP ELECTRODES IN 100 OHM-METRE RESISTIVITY SOIL

FIG.5

4

Ilk' resistance of an electrode may be calculated directly from the readings obtained from the Wenner four electrode mct h,«l of soil resistivity test if the test electrodes are spaced by a distance equal to the length of the electrode to be used,

The resistance is then given by the formula-- 2920L

R ::: 2.3 r loglo -d--

where r is the reading obtained from the bridge reading (ohms)

L is the length of the intended electrode or the spacing between the test electrodes (m) d is the diameter of the intended electrode in m111

R is the resistance of the intended electrode

The nomogram in Figure 8 provides an easy means of using this formula.

Effectiveness of Electrode Dimensions

The resistance of an electrode is dependent upon two main factors: (I) the soil resistivity and (2) area of contact with the main body of earth. It is important to note that it is not just the area of soil around the electrode that counts as this area of contact is a very small portion of the total resistance area (the resistance area is that area surrounding the electrode to a radius where the decrease in resistance due to the growth of the hemispherical shells is negligible). If the surface area of the electrode is increased by increasing its diameter then very little will be gained by way of reduced electrode resistance, A far greater decrease is obtained by increasingthe length. This point is best demonstrated by referring to Figure 6. The resistance of the electrode in (A) is required to be reduced; (B) shows the increase in cross sectional area of a shell of soil 25 em out from the electrode when its diameter is doubled and (C) shows the increase when its length is doubled. It is clearly seen that is far better to increase the length rather than the diameter.

E E o o II")

(A)

AREA OF SHELL 1'21 m2

E E o o

II")

E E o o o

(B)

AREA OF SHELL 1.24m2

(2.5'10 INCREASE)

FIG. 6

(c)

AREA OF SHELL 2'Olm2 (66~. INCREASE)

DIAGRAM SHOWING HOW LONGER ELECTRODES EXHIBIT A GREATER RATE OF INCREASE OF THE SURFACE AREA OF THE INCREMENTAL HEMISPHERICAL SHELLS AND THEREBY A GREATER CONDUCTIVITY TO THE GENERAL MASS OF EARTH AS COMPARED WITH A SHORTER ELECTRODE OF THE SAME SURFACE AREA.

Electrodes Connected in Parallel

At first sight it appears logical that if two or more electrodes of equal resistance are connected in parallel that the total resistance would be equal to the resistance of one electrode divided by the number of electrodes. This would be so if the current paths of each electrode were completely independent of each other. The degree of independence depends upon the extent to which the electrodes are separated from each other.

1,+ 12

FIG.7A

s

The current to an electrode (S) may be considered to flow through an infinite number of paths each with a resistance equal to E/ln where E is the voltage difference between the electrode (S) and the general mass of earth and In is the current flowing in each path. Figure 7A shows a simplified circuit of current flowing into two electrodes, SI and S2, each separated by a large distance.

If the current flowing in SI is 11 and that flowing in S2 is 12. then each current path carries L and I, for electrodes 51 and 3 j

S2 respectively. The resistance of each of these paths is 3E and 3E for electrodes S, and S2 respectively. The total paralleled

II 12

resistance of the three current paths for each electrode is E and E nd if 11 = 12 the total resistance for both electrodes con-

11

ne cte d together is

21

Consider now the case shown in Figure 78 where one resistance path shares the current of the two electrodes. For sim-

plicity let I, 12.

s,

S2

FIG.7B

Because the resistance of each path =f' and E is fixed then the amount of current flowing in the shared resistance [3 (which is equal to the other in ohmic value) must be-

The resistance of electrode SI to earth now becomes the paralleled value of rl, r2 and 1'3 or ]_t, 31::: and 6E respectively.

11 I] 11

Similarly the resistance of electrode S2 to earth is the same. The paralleled value of both the electrodes then becomes 1 (5th of that of a single path or 3E. This is 20% higher resistance than the arrangement in Figure 7A where the resistance areas do not

511

overlap. The grea ter the overlap of resistance areas the greater will be the paralleled resistance of the earth electrodes. When two electrodes are placed the length of one electrode apart, 85% utilization of their parallel combination is achieved. When t hey are two electrode lengths apart, 92CX utilization is realised.

The concept of using a larger diameter rod to reduce earthing resistance can be extended to also consider the case of using multiple electrodes connected in parallel. Consider the case of a 10 metre long vertical electrode 1 metre in diameter and located in 100 ohm metre soil. The resistance of this electrode calculates as being 5.42 ohms. The resistance of an electrode system having the same parameters except that the diameter is 10 mm calculates as being 12.7 ohms. Hence there is little point ill driving more than two 10 111m electrodes into the area covered by the 1 metre diameter electrode as the resistance of two 10 nun electrodes in parallel approximates 6.35 ohms. If three 10 mm electrodes were used in the 1 metre diameter area, a resistance of 4.2 ohms would need to be achieved to use the rods effectively. The ultimate value of 5.42 ohms indicates an effectiveness of only 77(jo. In the limit where very large diameter electrodes are concerned, the contact resistance with the soil itself determines the resistance to earth. This limit would be reached in 100 ohm metre soil where the contact area is abou t 1,500 metres in diameter The resistance to earth would then be insignificant compared with the circuit resistance of the earth which is about 0.056 ohms per kilometre for 50 Hertz systems. (Note the resistance and inductance of the earth circuit arc functions of frequency.)

The tendency for an electrode to assume "contact resistance '. characteristics occurs at much smaller diameters than I,sOO metres and becomes significant for diameters as small as 20 metres. Hence for a given substation site say 400 square metres or larger there is a limit to which the earthing can be reduced.

The graph in Figure 9 illustrates the minimum resistance to earth that can be obtained in a given area. The graph assumes a homogeneous soil resistivity of 100 ohm metres and that the electrodes have been spaced their length apart. For other soil resistivities, multiply the resistance reading by 0.0 I PI where PI is the actual soil resistivity. The minimum resistance of the whole electrode system which may be obtained in a given area of homogeneous soil is theoretically independent of the length of the individual electrodes. However in heterogeneous soils longer electrodes may extend to soil of lower resistivity and their "contact" area extends outside the substation area further than shorter electrodes. This effect is more noticeable for small substation areas and longer electrodes in these circumstances will yield improved earthing. In the case of large substation mats in areas of homogeneous soil however the encroachment of long electrodes in to the area outside the defined substation area is less noticeable ancllittle advantage would be gained by using the deeper driven rods. Where the soil is heterogeneous and the substrata has a lower soil resistivity deeper driven rods arc advantageous.

j 0

FOQMULA OF NOMOGRAM

----------

W Iq:

Z o a: o

<.9 z

z a: :J I-

o

1'0
,-,
E
2 0 E
r-- V
,.....,(/) 3·0 -i.
(/) W 4 0 /
W l<: 5'0 0 /
a: ~ w
G:i If) 0 /
::E I- 0
'-'[2 0:
/ / l-
I- / / U
I .» / 20 W
I- Z
l') W __j
Z W 30 W
W ~ 40 1:J
_j I- / 50
W /
W 10/
/"0 W
0
a:: u 100
I- Z
U ~ ®
W
_j ~
We
'-' EXAMPLE: FIND RESISTANCE OF 10mm DIA STAKES 6·7m LONG METHOD. SET UP WENNER BRIDGE WITH STAKES O·7m APART. LET READING = I· 0 OHM.

PLACE S~AIGHT EDGE FROM 0'7 ON SCALE CD TO CUT SCALE ~ AT 10, AND THEN MARK TURNING ORDINATE FROM WHENCE STRAIGHT EDGE THROUGH lOON SCALE @ TO CUT SCALE ® AT 7·6 OHMS.

SCALES 0 & ® MAY BE MULTI PLIED BY A COMMON FACTOR

w U

4 Z

~

(J)

(J) w

a:

W o o a:

IU W __j W

Q:

-9

2Am ON T m APART
I ARRANGED IN A HOLLoW S~UARE PATTER.N.
o 0 a 0
I I I 0 0
I I I 0 0
1 I
o 0 0 0
I I 8 2.4 m LONG ElEC TRaDE 2.4m APART
1\ !
ARRANGED IN A SOLID SQUARE PATTERN
I o 0 0 0
1\ Q Q o 0
f\ I I 0 o 0 0
o 0 o 0
r- I * MINIMUM R.ESISTANCE 9BTAINABLE FOR A GIVEN AREA IN 100.n.m SOIL.
"", I i , FOR OTHER VALUES OF SOIL RES'S TIVITY MULTIPLY BY Is: WHERE
I PI IS THE ACTUAL RESISTIVITY. 100
1"- 1'-.-
~~ t:::: F: t-: AI 11
r- I- - !
l- I-- l- I- i ........ I- f-L I- f- i- f- 1- ++-[-
r-- f- I-I
I 1 ~ l- t- I-- l- t- f- r- -r- .-
, 1 1
I I i I I I f I I I II I
I I I
!
I I I I I
I I
i I (/)

::E I o 6

I

W

U 5 Z

~

I/) 4 (J)

W

a:

*

®

ELECTRODE RESISTANCE PREDICTION USING THE WENNER BRIDGE METHOD FIG.8

10

A

L G st.ac RODE 2 4

9

7

2

o

oAREA m2 50

200

250

300

400

350

450

100

150

4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36

NUMBER OF 2·4m LONG ELECTRODES SPACED 2·4 m APART TO FORM A HOLLOW SQUARE PATTERN

4 9 16 25 36 49 64 8 I 100

NUMBER OF 2·4m LONG ELECTRODES SPACED 2-4 m APART TO FORM A SOLID SQUARE PATTERN

RESISTANCE - AREA RELATIONSHIP OF 2.4 m ELECTRODES IN 100 Om SOIL F1G.9

7

500

The 111ll1UllUl11 resistance that can be attained in any given area is substantially realised by driving electrodes around the perimeter where the total length of the electrodes is equal to the length of the perimeter and the electrodes arc spaced the length of an electrode apart. Placing additional electrodes inside the perimeter contribu tes very little to reducing the resistance any further. The electrodes should be long enough to contact the low resistivity strata if the soil is heterogeneous.

If a situation arises in practice where the earth resistance of a substation site is not low enough with all perimeter electrodes in position, and the electrodes are in contact with the lowest resistivity strata it will be necessary to place additional electrodes outside the perimeter in order to effect any significant decrease. This feature is demonstrated on the nomogram in Figure 10. Notwithstanding the foregoing, occasions may arise where current carrying capacity is the criterion, and in this event filling in the enclosure is justifiable.

A study of the graph and nomogram in Figures 4, 8 and 10 will also demonstrate that for a given length of electrode or combination of extendable electrodes a single stake will produce a lower resistance value. That is: I - 12 metre stake provides a lower resistance earth than 4 3 metre stakes located 3 metres apart and connected in parallel.

Explanatory Example-Nomogram in Fig. No.9

This nomogram is intended to indicate the lowest resistance that can be obtained using a multi electrode earthing system when the substation area has either its perimeter encompassed by electrodes or its area filled in with electrodes; the electrodes being 2.4 metres in length 30 rnrn diameter and spaced 2.4 metres apart. The nomogram may however be used for electrodes of other lengths provided that they are spaced an electrode length apart, in which event the area scale would remain unchanged, but the scale presenting the number of electrodes would need to be varied in accordance with the lengths chosen.

Example: Consider a square substation site 280 m 2 in area. The number of 2.4 metre electrodes required to encom-

pass the perimeter would be 28 and to fill it 64. Note that although 2.28 times as many electrodes are used, the resistance only reduces by a factor of 1.12 from 2.8 to 2.5 ohms. Hence it is not economically sound to use more electrodes than is necessary to encompass the perimeter.

Although the nomogram relates to square sites, it may be satisfactorily used for rectangular sites having the same number of electrodes and where the narrower dimension is more than 3 electrode lengths.

Explanatory Example-Nomogram in Fig. No. 10

This nomogram is a means of calculating the resistance of an electrode system in respect of a number of electrodes driven in line, around the perimeter of a square site or a filled in site when the electrodes are spaced their length apart. if a straight edge is placed between the known value of a single electrode on scale (I) and the electrode arrangement on scale (3) then the resistance of the parallel connected electrodes to earth is given at the intersection of scale (2). Although the nomogram is in respect of square sites, it may be used for rectangular sites having the same number of electrodes if the narrower site dimension is greater than 3 electrode lengths.

u, o

ur U Z

<{

._

'"

Vi

w cr

o w cr: ::>

'" <{

w ~

cr o

o

w

._ 3

«

.J

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U

.J

« 2 u

4

III :::t w IIII r III

w o o 0: lV W .J W

CD

IOO~ 90~ 80~ 70-§

60-§

~ _g ~ 50 ~

o 40 c: ._

u

W 30

..J W

IJJ Z o 20

No.OF ELECTRODES DRIVEN IN LINE

PATTERN

000 0

®

30

20

Ci) No. OF EQUALLY SPACED ELECTRODES DRIVEN TO FORM A HOLLOW SQUARE PATTERN «.9. 0 0 0 e

7

~ W ._

V'l >-

'" IJJ

o o cr:

IU W _J W

U. o w

u

L.~ ~::i ~O'2 ~

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10 9 8

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o 0 0 0

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5

No. OF EQUALLY SPACED ELECTRODES

DRIVEN TO FORM A SOLID SQUARE I

PATTERN g.g. 0 0 ° c

00 0016/:_j

~;;;;;;::;:;;:;:;;==-:~12~/~4__ 0 0 0 0

10/4 '-- ..L__o _o_o_o_

15

2

6

16/5 ~_-~.--------25/5

~--;-;~-20/6

f--:========:)i77- 36/6

t- 24/7

ELECTRODE SPACING SHOULD BE NOT LESS THAN ELECTRODE LENGTH

5

!=====.2B/B __ 49/7

1---------- 32/9 ~====::--;6-;;;/ICIO)- 64/8 ~---------+-'I'~- 81/9

ON ONE 51DE

TOTAL NUMBER OF ELECTRODES

FOR APPLICATION AND EXPLANATION

REFER TO NEXT PAGE

GROUND RESISTANCE OF MULTIPLE ELECTRODE SYSTEMS FIG. 10

8

CHAPTER 2 EARTH ELECTRODES

An earth electrode may take the form of a rod, strip, tube or plate which is buried in the ground and which serves to conduct current from the earthing system to the general mass of the earth. The essential requiremen ts of a good earth electrode are that it should be durable, have a low resistance, have an adequate current carrying capacity, should not be too costly to instal, and have a connection to the earth wire which does not incorporate dissimilar metals which are liable to cause electrolytic corrosion in the presence of moisture. There are three main types of electrodes: conductor or strip metal buried horizontally in trenches; tubes or rods which are driven vertically; and plates. Of these the first type mentioned is usually used where rock strata prohibits the use of vertical rods due to high dri1ling costs. Tubes and rods are the commonest types of electrodes and are widely used wherever earthing is required. Their chief merits are cheapness of installation and the fact that, if of the extendable type, they can often be driven until stable low resistivity soil is reached. Tests throughout New South Wales have indicated a minimum depth of 2.5 metres to ensure that the resistance does not rise to a dangerous level during drought conditions.

Strip electrodes are usually buried in trenches about 60 em deep and are thus more prone to seasonal variation in resistance. However, they do serve as an alternative where it is impracticable to drive rods. The strip electrode usually consists of 22 mm x 2 mm copper strip or 25 sq. mrn to 40 sq. mm bare copper cable buried at a depth of not less than 0.5 metres. The size of the conductor has very little effect on the resistance of the electrode so that the strip or cable size is not important provided it affords reasonable protection against mechanical damage and corrosion and can withstand the fault current.

Unless there is danger of drying out at a depth of 0.5 metres, there is little advantage to be gained from burying the conductor at a greater depth. Increasing the depth to 1 metre only reduces the resistance of a strip electrode by about 5% in average soils. See Figure 5.

To obtain low resistances, it usually is necessary for strip electrodes to be of considerable length. For best results, the electrode should be distributed as widely as possible by burying in a straight single trench or in several trenches radiating from a point. Iflaid in parallel lines the trenches should be several metres apart.

Buried plate electrodes were once common but are not now used to any extent, as they have several disadvantages and little advantage over driven or strip electrodes. Their relative cost is high with the other types and they are, therefore, not recommended.

Multiple Rod Installations

It is usual to instal at least two electrodes for each earthing system even if the resistance of one is very low. The reason for this is to provide a factor of safety against mechanical failure. The ideal system would comprise two electrodes each of sufficient current carrying capacity, driven to whatever depth is required for the resistance desired. Site conditions and other considerations, however, often preclude deep driving, (e.g. the presence of rock sub-strata which offers too high a resistivity at a depth to make drilling worthwhile). In these cases, a multiple rod system is preferable. The number of electrodes required may be determined by calculation following a measurement of soil resistivity (refer to Chapter 1) or by driving an initial test rod on the site, and after measuring its resistance to earth, determine the number of electrodes required. Reference to the nomograms in Figures 9 and 10 will assist in determining the number of electrodes required.

Artificial Treatment of Electrodes

Chemical treatment of the soil surrounding a driven rod is useful for reducing the resistance of an earthing system where deep earthing is not feasible due to underlying rock. The treatment decreases the resistivity of the soil adjacent to the rod, providing a fairly good conducting path out to the point where the area of the cylinder of soil surrounding the rod is relatively large. Up to 50% decrease in resistance can be obtained by this treatment. However, extensive treatment would be required to gain improvements of this order and a 20% reduction is generally more appropriate.

Figure 11 illustrates a typical method for installing treating material. Such materials should preferably be placed in a trench surrounding the rod and should not actually contact the rod. This gives the best distribution of the treating material with the least corrosive effect.

Magnesium sulphate, copper sulphate and ordinary rock salt are all suitable treatment materials. Magnesium sulphate is particularly desirable as it is the lease corrosive. However, rock salt is most economical and is quite satisfactory if applied by the trench method. Availability and price are usually determining factors in selecting treating materials.

Soil treatment is not permanent because the chemicals are leached out of the soil by rainfall and natural drainage. The treating material may have to be replaced after a period of several years depending on the porosity of the soil and the rainfall. Accordingly, this method of resistance improvement is used only when deep driving or multiple e1ectrodes are not practicable.

Use of Explosives and Bentonite

A method of improving the contact area of a rod type electrode in rock with the use of explosives has, in recent years, been developed overseas. A hole is drilled to the required depth and a plug of gelignite placed in the bottom. The hole is left open while the explosive is fired. The force of the explosion is said to cause crevices in the walls of the hole which will allow entry of a greater quantity of the treatment material and thus lower the resistivity of the rock surrounding the electrode. The treatment material commonly used is known as Bentonite clay. There are several types of Bentonite clay on the market, all having the characteristic of expanding when mixed with water. Clay imported from Wyoming, U.S.A., will expand to something like 13 times its dry volume when mixed with water. Local clays expand to approximately half this figure. The best method of inserting the clay is to use a granulated type mixed with gypsum in the proportion 60% bentonite, 40% gypsum. The mixture should preferably be inserted dry and then wetted. In dry holes no difficulty will be found in pouring the mixture in dry. Where water is present the clay tends to swell before reaching the bottom of the hole with the result that voids are formed, Under these circumstances it would be best to introduce the mixture with a pressure pump and hose after mixing to a slurry. This should be done within a few minutes of mixing. The gypsum is used because of its ability to absorb water. Bentonite can be used also in drilled holes which have not been exploded.

9

Soil treatinl) material

plo ced in circular trench and covered with earth.

O·Sm

min.

EIClctrode

TRENCH METHOD OF SOIL TREATMENT FIG 11

Quite a number of supply authorities in New South Wales have adopted the use of bentonite as an aid in difficult earthing situations and at least one of these has experimented with the explosive method. Reports from this undertaking have indicated that the method is worthwhile.

Electrode Connections

Some commonly used electrodes and connections are shown in Figures 12A and 12B. Connectors made of ordinary brass should not be used underground as they can dezincify and eventually fail under stress or with changes of temperature.

EXTENDABLE COPPER CLAD STEEL ELECTRODE UNLIMITED LENGTH

GALVANISED STEEL ELECTRODE (STAR-STAKE), MAX LENGTH 2.4 m

FIG,12A

10

SINGLE PINCH SCREW CLAMP

NON-FERROUS CLAMP FOR COPPER CLAD ELECTRODE

EXOTHERMIC WELD CONNECTIONS

FIG 12B

DRIVE ON TEE CONNECTOR

Current Rating of Earthing Systems

An earthing system must be designed to withstand energy dissipation in both the electrodes (including the interconnecting earth wires, etc.) and the soil immediately surrounding the electrodes. Failure of electrodes due to internal heat generation is rare, however, and this type of failure is usually confined to the associated earth wires. Current ratings for earth wires are given in the nomogram in Figure 13. Most electrode failures arise from the e R energy dissipated in the high resistance area of the soil immediately surrounding the electrodes. This can occur due to excessive current over a short period or due to currents of normal load magnitude over long periods. This latter aspect is responsible for the failure of some S.w.E.R. earthing systems which are designed to carry load current continuously.

In general, soils have a negative temperature coefficient of resistance so that sustained current loading results in an initial decrease in electrode to earth-resistance, and a consequent rise in the earth fault current for a given applied voltage. As soil moisture is driven away from the soil-electrode interface, however, the resistance increases and will ultimately become infinite if the temperature rise is sufficient. This occurs in the region of 100cC and results in complete failure of the electrode.

1 I

NE 200
E
~
0
l-
t.)
=>
~100
o 90
u
80
~ 70
:r: 60
I-
~ 50
<{
lJJ
LL 40
0
<{ 30
lJJ
~
<{
_J
<{ 20
z
g
I-
U
W
(/)
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3 1000 - 900

800 700

600 500

[,00

3711-75 ;::--..._

713·75 -----...__

713·50 -----...__

1912'00 ...________ 4

10

IZ W ~ ~ => u

5x105 4 xl05 3.105

5 2x 10

5.101. 4 x 1 04 3 x 101.

4 2x10

3 10

100

0·01
0'02
0'03
- 0·04
0-05
I.f)
0
z
0·1 0
u
w
I.f)
z
02 0
i=
«
0·3 IY
::::>
0·1. 0
0'5 I-
....J
::::>
ii 2 3

EXAMPLE: THE CALCULATED FAULT CURRENT IS 10000 AMPERES AND THE FAULT CLEARING TIME IS 1 SECOND. WHAT IS THE MINIMUM STANDARD SIZE ALUMINIUM CONDUCTOR REQUIRED?

METHOD: DRAW A STRAIGHT LINE THROUGH 1 SECOND ON RIGHT HAND ORDINATE AND 104 ON LEFT HAND SIDE OF CENTRE ORDINATE TO CUT LEFT HAND ORDINATE. THE NEAREST CONDUCTOR SIZE ABOVE POINT OF

INTERSECTION IS 7/4.50. r

NOTE: THE ABOVE FAULT DURATIONS ARE FOR A ONE SHOT OPERATION WITH A COOLING PERIOD OF ONE MINUTE. WHERE AUTO RECLOSERS ARE USED THE TOTAL 'ON' TIME BEFORE LOCKOUT SHOULD BE USED.

300

7f 3'00 1---- 1911·75 712·75

7f2·50 7/2-25

7/2'00

711·75

7/1,25

711·00

STRAND DIA. mm

5 x 1 03 I. xl 03 3 x 1 03

2 xl 03

500 L. 00 2: 3 00 =>

~ 200 2:

=>

--'

-c

FAULT DURATION LEVELS FOR STRANDED ALUMINIUM AND COPPER NON TENSIONED EARTHING CONDUCTORS

FIG. 13

12

Three conditions of operation require consideration, viz. long-duration loading, as with normal system operation, shorttime overloading, as under fault conditions in directly earthed systems, and long-time overloading, as under fault conditions in systems protected by arc-suppression coils.

The little experimental work which has been done on this subject has been confined to model tests with spherical electrodes in clay or loam of low resistivity and has led to the following tena tive conclusions:

I. Long-duration loading due to normal unbalance of the system will not cause failure of earth-electrodes provided that the current density at the electrode surface does not exceed 0.004 ampere/emf . Limitation to values below this would generally be imposed by the necessity to secure a low-resistance earth.

2. Time to failure on short-time overload is Inversely proportional to the specific loading, which is given by i2 p where i is the current density at the electrode surface and p the resistivity of the soil. For the soils investigated the maximum permissible current density is given by:

= ,IQ.6 ampere/ern?

y{;t

where

is the duration of the earth fault in seconds is the current density in amperes/em" , and p is the resistivity of the soil in ohm metres.

,

Experience indicates that this value may also be adopted for plate electrodes.

13

CHAPTER 3 INSTALLATION OF ELECTRODES

Selection of Site

In many cases the position of the electrodes will be determined by that of the substation or other apparatus to be earthed.

This will be mainly in built-up areas where the installations are usually located 011 footpaths. It will be found, however, (hat there will be many occasions where good use can be made of the resistivity tests described in an earlier chaper to determine the best location for the electrodes. These will indicate the area of lowest resistance and serve as a guide to the presence of rock strata close to the surface. Soil resistivity has been known to vary as much as 500% within 6 metres radius of a substation pole.

Having determined the position, the electrodes can be installed by one or another of the following methods:

Hand Hammer

In normal soils hand hammers varying in mass from 2 to 30 kgm according (0 the rigidity of the electrode to be driven are satisfactory for d riving to depths of 20 metres. The force of blows should be limited to cause the electrode to penetrate the soil without undue whipping. If the rod ceases to penetrate and an increase in the force of the blow causes whipping, the rod should be fitted with a guide to produce rigidity, thus allowing the driving force to be increased. In other words, there is no limit to the force, providing this is only axial to the rod.

Tubular Hand Hammers

A simple form of hammer which is useful for the prevention of whipping consists of a tube with a weighted driving section at the upper end (see Figure 14). This is placed over the electrode and operated by one or two men. Another form consists ofa tube with a weighted bottom section with which blows can be applied to a clamp or chuck fitted to the electrode at a suitable distance above ground level to prevent undue whipping.

J

HAND DRIVING WITH WEIGHTED PIPE FIG. 14

Mechanical Hammers

Where the soil is too firm for normal hand driving or where it is required to drive extendable electrodes to great depths, it may be necessary to use mechanically operated hammers. These can be either electric, pneumatic or petrol engine driven. For best results, the hammer should be mounted on a rig about 4 metres high to which is fitted a small winch for raising the hammer along the slides (See Plate I, Figure 15). It is necessary to arrange some variation of the force and frequency of the blows (0 suit the particular conditions of driving. Here again it is essential to keep the force of the blow axial to the rud in order (0 prevent whipping. This can be arranged by the provision of an adequate number of guides fitted to the rig. The effectiveness of the hammer can be increased by the use of weights placed on top or by a small winch for increasing the d9wnward thrust

Earth Auger

Where the ground is too hard for the normal driving methods a simple ground auger can be made by welding extension rods onto a scotch auger or an ordinary hardwood auger with the worm removed. A quick release tee shaped handle should be fitted to the extension rod which can be as long as 5 metres without undue inconvenience in transporting. Water should be used to assist with drilling but not to excess. Practice will indicate the amount necessary to moisten the boring tip of (he auger and (0 mix the swarfto a consistency which will facilitate its withdrawal from the hole. This should be fairly frequent to avoid jamming. In drilled holes the electrode can be of either tube. stranded conductor, or solid rod. (N.B. The S.A.A. Wiring Rules should be referred to for consumer installations.) If a rod is used it would be of advantage to backfill the hole and after tamping, to drive the rod, thus restoring to some extent the natural soil pressure around the electrode.

Machine Drilling

Hole drilling can be accomplished by the use of a variety of drills ranging from electric, pneumatic and petrol engine driven drills and augers for the shallow hole, to hydraulically operated diamond bits which can penetrate hundreds of metres. It is usual to power the drill shaft with a hydraulic drive although a mechanical or pneumatic drive can be readily used.

The equipment is fairly simple where a supply of water is available; however, where not so, a water tank has to be carried, together with pressure pumps filters. etc .. in order to recirculate the water through the drill shaft. There are several New South Wales manufacturers of suitable drilling equipment such as that shown in Plates 2 and 3 of Figure 15. Several supply undertakings in New South Wales resort to diamond drilling with depths to 25 metres being common.

14

MECHANICAL DRIVING RIG

PLATE 2

PLATE 1

CLOSE-UP OF ELECTRODE GUIDES

DRILLING RIG-DIAMOND OR TUNGSTEN CARBIDE

PLATE 3

IS

CHAPTER 4

REMENT OF EARTH ELECTRODE RESISTANCE

An earth resistance is not a simple resistance in the same sense as a coil of wire. The soil is electrolvtic in character and

produces local D.C. currents. currents from various power networks may also be present. Unless -a special method of

measurement is employed these factors are likely to introduce errors.

Voltmeter-Ammeter Method

If a reference earth connection of negligibly low resistance such as a water main is available, and this connection is at some distance from the earth connection under test, a simple way of carrying out the measurement would be to apply a known potential difference between the earth connection under test and the water main, and to measure the resulting current.

Then if E

g from earth connection to the temporary connection

the resistance is given by

R

E J

The resistance as measured is the sum of the earth connection, the connecting lead and that of the reference connection. If the last two mentioned can be assumed to be negligibly small, the calculated value may be regarded as the resistance of the earth connection under test. It is very seldom, however, that a convenient reference earth is available, and measurements made by this method are likely to be upset by the presence of stray currents in the earth. Alternating current and instruments insensitive to D.C. should also be used, in order to overcome the trouble due to D.C. currents produced by electrolysis.

Three Point Method

A development of this method to enable it to be used when a reference earth is not available is known as the three point method. This is illustrated in Figure 16. Two temporary earth electrodes are driven in the ground at such distances from the earthing system under test and each other to ensure that none of the resistance areas of the three earth electrodes under test overlap. A measurement of the resistance of each pair of earth electrodes in series is made in turn in the manner described above for two earth connections.

A

~~

?Rr_~~B

THREE POINT METHOD

If now R

FIG. 16

the resistance of the earthing system under test and A and B represent the temporary earth electrode

the resistance of R + A in series

R2 the resistance of R -I- B in series

R3 the resistance of A -I- B in series

then the resistance of the earthing system under test is given by

R

This method is open to the same objection as regards stray currents (including D.C.) as the previous one, and there is 3 st ill more serious disadvantage arising from the fact that the resistances of the temporary earth connections will in all probability be very much greater than that of the earth connection under test. Suppose, for example, that the resistance of the earth connections under test is two ohms and that the resistance of each of the temporary earth connections A and B is 200 ohms. Then if the resistance of the two earths in series could be measured quite accurately, the values obtained would be-

R, - 202

R2 = 202 R3 = 400

and a substitution of these values ill the above formula would give a correct value of two ohms for the earth connection under test. Suppose. however, that the measurement cannot be made ,~'ith a Jesser degree of error than 1%, which would be quite good for the class of instrument usually used; then possibly the mea sured values would be-

Rj 200
R2 200
!<.3 402 This would a value for the resistance of the earth connection R of 1 ohm. which is impossible. This forms a very serious

ob to this method of test.

16

SWQEB - LIBRARY

Fall of Potential Method

The most satisfactory method from the point of view of the resistance of the temporary earth connections is illustrated in Figure 17. This is known as the fall of potential method. The question of the exact spacing of these temporary connections is dealt with later. A known current is passed via the electrode under test through the earth and returned through the current ternporary connection C. The potential difference between the electrode and the second temporary connection P is then measured. The quotient of this potential difference and the total current flowing gives the resistance of the electrode under test. In this method the resistances of the temporary earth connections P and C only affect the results indirectly.

f-----{ V

c

p

FALL OF POTENTIAL METHOD

FIG 17

The resistance of the current temporary connection C in Figure 17 only has the effect of altering the value of the main current. but this will be accompanied by a proportional alteration in the drop in potential across the connection under test and thus has no final effect on the calculated resistance. The resistance of the potential earth connection P alters the total resistance of the voltmeter circuit, but provided this circuit is of high resistance, any variation in the resistance ofP will have a negligible effect on the final result. If, however. an instrument with a relatively low internal resistance is used, very appreciable errors can occur with variation of the temporary connection P resistance. Methods of overcoming this problem are described in following passages dealing with the two types of instruments commonly used to take direct readings of earth connection resistances. The fall of potential method is a very great improvement over those previously described in that it is possible to measure an earth resistance of low value with high resistance temporary earth connections. As at present described, however. when using a voltmeter and ammeter. it is still subject to interference from stray currents flowing in the earth.

Earth Testing Instruments

The most commonly used instruments are the indicating ohmmeters and the null reading bridge, which are used in the manner described below:

Ohmmeter Method

An ohmmeter functions as a voltmeter and an inverse ammeter combined so that it reads Ell or resistance. It has a potential coil which acts in the same manner as a moving coil voltmeter and causes the pointer to rotate in a clockwise direction. It also has a current coil which is fixed to the potential coil but with the turns of the winding at right angles to it. When the ohmmeter is in the zero position the magnetic field caused by t he potential coil is at right angles to the permanent fixed magnet field and the magnetic field caused by the current coil is in line but opposite in direction to the fixed magnetic field. The current coil magnetic field tends to oppose any movement of the coil former which might be caused by the potential coil. If the resistance is high. then there is little current now and the current coil offers very little restraint to the potential coil. but because the resistance is high then a large voltage will appear across t he potential coil and a large pointer deflection will result.

~--+-~3::> ----- -----,

I I

I __ -t-r----!-'RECTIFIER I

f"- ------.

I I I I I I ,

I

CURRENT REVERSER

I I

I

I

,~~

D.C. GENERATOR

I I

~

D.C A. C.

"'

CURRENT COIL

FIG. 18

17

I g shows the connections of a

under test. It will noted in re j 8 that

swi tell (curren t reverser) is to reverse the urrcn t

to reverse the current to its forme:

meter. In this the soil is

currents ill the arc converted to AC

d to the electrodes The function cd

switch (recti I'

direction so that it is rectified before the not cn r ial cui I of the

current whilst DC IS to operate the ohmmeter. A str~ly DC

rectilie r and do nut ;dlce! the meter coil which is sen live to DC.

Instrument Burden

When an ohnune tc r clue rei has to he to the r~lct that (he potential coil or the instrument takes power tu

operate it. It therefore draws current electrodes F and P shown III 17 ,Inti because of rhis a voltage will occui

between electrode P and the due to the rcsist.ance of electrode I) is v()!tauc will cause the meter to indicate a

resistance which is lower than the true value and compensation must therefore be allowc.l for the resistance ufclcctrucle P. As it is inconvenient and often very difficult to measure the resistance of electrode f) it is usual tu take on two different of the instrument: as each range will ,I different burden on cle c tr odc 1', din rcn t errors will be ol.raincd. By comboth or these readings in C! simultaneous equation or a correction nUlllUgr;i111 I lie' true siSl:J1l of electrode E can

It should be noted that a nornocram can only be used for the earth (es(j inslIU!l1CI1( for which it is intended.

Attempts to usc a nomogram for other than its own instrul-nent will cause crlurs, Refer III i\ ix ";\" lor methods or CO)]-

structing correction nomograms.

STANDARD 20m ELECTRODE

UNDER TEST

FIG.19

CURRENT ELECTRODE

CONNECTIONS FOR EARTH RESISTANCE TESTS USING THE INDICATING OHivlMETER TYPE EARTH TESTER .

FIG. 19

..-----...,111-';---,

R

IP ::c

)(S7)X","">z:l *'0Y/Zk'<X:Z{ ~

v V

FIG. 20

BASIC CIRCUITS OF NULL READING BRIDGES FOR MEASURING.·ELECTRODE RESISTANCE

FIG.2]

CIRCUIT en

C·OMfvlLRC.·JAI.

RTli TESTIE OF THE i.r. RLADIr\C; LH<'IDG 1'{I'[- USINC; A. VII3R/\TOR UI'PLY

D f{ECTIIIF.R.

AC.HAND OPERATED

FIG. 23

CIRCUIT OF A COMMERCIAL EARTH TESTER OF THE NULL READING BRIDGE TYPE USING A HAND OPERA TED GENERATOR AND DYNAMOMETER TYPE GALVANOMETER.

Null Reading Bridge Instruments

The principle of the whea tstone bridge (Figures 20 and 21) may be adopted to measure the resistance of an electrode. This principle has the advantage that it does not impose a burden on the circuit under test and is therefore unaffected by the temporary earth connection resistance usually encountered.

The wheatstone bridge unfortunately is very susceptible to stray DC currents in the soil and provision must be made to overcome this problem. The problem is overcome by some commercial types (Figure 22) of instruments by using an AC supply obtained from a battery, synchronous vibrator and transformer. The galvanometer has a centre tapped winding which is used in conjunction with the second pair of contacts on the synchronous vibrator to obtain rectification and overcome stray DC potentials. The vibrator frequency is such that it is not influenced by any stray 50 Hertz power currents. These instruments are usually fitted with two push buttons, one connects the battery into circuit and the second button when pressed with the other connects the galvanometer so as to use it to test the battery.

The principle of operation of this circuit is best explained by referring it to the analogical DC circuit shown in Figure 21.

In this circuit, current is caused to flow through the earth via electrodes C and E by battery B 1. A second circuit is included with its own battery supply (B2) in which a current equal to that flowing in the ground circuit is obtained by adjusting resistance X until both of the ammeters read the same. The resistance R is then varied until the galvanometer reads zero. At this stage the voltage drop across R equals that across electrode E to earth and as the same current is flowing in both, then the resistances must be equal. ResistanceR is calibrated directly in ohms. In the AC version (Figure 22) the current transformer provides the second source of current which flows through resistance R. If the current transformer has a 1: 1 ratio, then the current in the second circuit will be the same as the ground circuit; the action is therefore automatic and the ammeters, variable (X) and second generator are not required. Multipliers for the resistance scale R may be obtained by using different CT ratios. The series circuit discriminates better against stray and rectified currents than the Wheatstone bridge as both sides of the bridge are equally affected, whereas the reference arem (R) of the Wheatstone bridge sees only the generator voltage.

Another make of bridge type of instrument is featured in Figure 23. This type uses an AC hand operated generator instead of a vibrator. The galvanometer is of the dynamometer type, which has a current coil instead of a permanent magnet and is therefore insensitive to stray DC fields, which may occur in the ground.

19

CHAPTER 5

PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF MEASURING ELECTRODE RESISTANCE

Temporary Test Spikes

The usual type of spike or probe use d with the fall of potentialmcthod of earth testing is fashioned from mild steel and is of round section. When using the ohmmeter method it is as well to remember the instrument burden and therefore drive the temporary spikes III a depth 7)1' two feet or more in order to reduce the resistance to ,I value within the scope 01" the instrument scales and correction nomogram (refer to Appendix AJ. This depth is not so critical when using null reading bridge instruments which usually perform satisfactorily with a spike penetration of six to nine inches in average soils. In very high resistivity areas it will be found necessary to increase this depth in order to obtain sensitive movement of the galvanometer pointer.

Spacing of Temporary Test Spikes

The spacing of the temporary earth connections made with these spikes used for carrying out earth resistance tests by any method whatever, is of great importance. Incorrect spacing will introduce considerable errors; greater than those 'caused by other effects such as electrolytic e.rn.f. and the like. It has already been explained in Chapter 1 that the resistance of any earth connection consists almost entirely of that body of earth inune dia tc ly surrounding it, and in order to obtain correct values for the resistance, the whole of this body of earth must be included in the measurement. This means that the temporary current earth connection must be placed sufficient far from the earth connection under test for the resistance areas of the two not to overlap. The size of the resistance area of any earth connection depends on the size of that earth connection and thus, the spacing of the temporary earth connections, which is quite adequate for a single rod earth connection would be quite useless for a large distributed earth connections consisting of a number of rods, steel structures and perhaps water pipes all bonded together. As a guide, the following figures will be of assistance, For an earth connection consisting of a single driven rod, the current earth spike should be about !O to 12 metres from the earth connection under tcst with the potential spike about midway between them. For a larger installation consisting of multiple rods this distance should be increased to approximately 50 metres while for a large distributed earth connection consisting of rods, structures and water mains all bonded together, it may be necessary to increase it to some 180 or 200 metres.

Proving Correct Placing

A method of determining whether the temporary driven spikes have been correctly placed is to select a position in accordance with the distances given above for the current spike and to plot a resistance curve as shown in Figure 24. It will be noted that the first curve plotted by taking successive readings with the potential spike at short movements from the connection under test is rather steep. The second curve with the current spike further away has a flat section which indicates that the resistance areas no longer overlap as in the plotting of the first curve. This test is rather time consuming and it is therefore considered that for all practical purposes it suffices to take three readings with the potential stake driven in at three points in turn, one midway between the earth connection under test, a second 7 metres nearer to the earth connection under test and a third 7 metres nearer the current spike. If the three readings so obtained agree with one another this may be taken as the resistance of the earth connection which, of course, would be in accordance with the horizontal part of the curve between the resistance areas of the connection under test and the temporary current spike. If the readings do not agree, the current spike should be moved further away. As a general rule, when testing large installations, the current spike should be positioned at a point four times the diameter of the circumscribed circle of the earthing system under test, e.g., an earthing system consisting of a 30 metre square would have a diagonal dimension of 42 metres. The current spike should therefore be placed 168 metres distant. The potential spike should be about 62% of this distance.

Test Instrument Leads

When using either the ohmmeters or null reading bridge instrumcn ts it is important to note that, unlike the leads to the temporary potential and current spikes, the resistance of the common lead between tile instrument and earth connection under test is added. In practice it is usual to either subtract the known value of the lead resistance, or to use a four terminal instrument which allows the usc of a separate potential and current leads to the connection uhdcr test, thus avoiding inclusion of the voltage drop across the current lead in the potential circuit. There arc several kits of test gear available commercially. These usually consist of reels of wire, test spikes, connections and a hammer for driving the spikes. The type selected should, for preference, contain 50 metres of wire on each reel, and for compactness arid case of handling all tile gear should be carried in the one container. This will save considerable time when carrying out routine tests of earthing installations. It will be found that kits with 50 metre leads will be sufficient for all installations other than large zone substations, There would be no point ill a 200 metre tcst kit just to cater for the relatively few occasions when leads of this length arc necessary Such a test can be conveniently carried out by placing the test gear approximately 50 metres from a zone substation, where it will be-found that the current lead would reach to the order of 100 metres away. A spare 100 metre lead can then be used to extend to 200 metres. Some typical test instruments and accessory kits are shown in Figures 25A and 258.

Large Substation Mats

The foregoing method will be found satisfactory Ior all but the very large bulk supply substations. III these cases an oulgoing line is dc-energised and use d to inject a controlled fault current from a remote source.

A typical method is illustrated in Figure 26A. A current of as high a magnitude as possible is fed into the station earthing electrode system under test via the de-energised line. Although a regulator (e.g. Variac) is desirable, it is not essential. The current flowing in the line is measured with an ammeter and the voltage rise between the electrode system and remote earth is measured by connecting a low burden voltmeter between the mat and an electrode driven into the earth about 400 metres away. The resistance may then be calculated simply by dividing the voltage by the current. However, it is wise to take note of the voltmetre reading when no current is injected. If there is a reading having a value of greater than 1 CY/S of the readings taken with current flowing, a correctiun procedure should be adopted. Currections may be achieved by taking three readings, one with no current flowing and two with current flowing but the source voltage doubled or reversed. Refer ttl Figure 268. The corrected resistance is then calculated from one of the formulae:

20

I I I I

M"

PLAN SHOWI NG RESISTANCE AREA

M1 M2 M3 Me

PLOTTING THE FAil OF POTENTIAL CURVE AND DETERMINING THE RESISTANCE St!RROUNDING AN ELECTRODE 'E'

W,

(j) :2: :r:

0'-- ----' T1

DISTANCE

SHOWING HOW THE FALL OF POTENTIAL CURVE HAS NO HORIZONTAL PORTION IF THE ROD 'C' IS TOO NEAR 'E' AND THE TWO RESISTANCE AREAS OVERLAP

1----~~_RO_[lf"_"A_'(__EiE _____J

i ANYWHERE WITHIN THESE U'<!'S I

i I

, !

RESISTANCE TO EARTH / OF ROD -C

<

w u

z u

;:! ~

~ v> w cc

(j) RESISTANCE TO EARTH

L OF PiPE r UNDER TEST

<5 ~ ~ __ L T'_'_ __ __'__

DISTANCE

EFFECT OF THE RESISTANCE AREA OF THE DISTANT ROD 'C' ON THE FALL OF THE POTENTIAL CURVE

FIG. 24

21

SWOEB - U8Q L\RY

YEW TEST KIT

'EVERSHED VIGNOLES' TEST KIT

'GEOHM' TEST KIT

QUICKTEST TEST KIT

FIG.25B

23

~f-'*

CURRENT SOURC( _ POINT EARTH

/_

SUBSTATIOH MAT - UNDER TEST

-

REMOTE

EARTH

*' HOT LESS THAN LEH(;TH Of DIAGONAL OF SUaSHTIOH

ARE.A

FIG.26A

See page 20 of text

VARIAC

/-_

CURRENT SOURCE -

-=-

SUBSTATION MAT R£.MOTf

L= * _:j

* »OT LESS THAN LENGTH OF 0 IAGONAL Of SU&STATION

AREA

FIG.26B

See page 20 of text

( 1) when the vol tage is reverse d

R =£![J_ '412 -_-~~-

I

where V I V2 Vs

Voltage obtained with current flowing in one direction (volts) Voltage obtained with current flowing in the reverse direction Voltage obtained with no current flowing (volts)

current flowing during V, and V2 measurements (amps)

is)

when the

is doubled

where V,

V

V measured with one unit applied source voltage

Voltage measured with two units applied source voltage Voltage measured with no source voltage

current flowing with unit applied source voltage

Example:

With 100 volts applied at the source the voltage to earth was measured as 3.5 vults. With .200 volts applied at the source

the was measured at 5.0 vol ts. The curren tat 100 volts was 10 amps an d the vol rage wi tit no source vol tage applied was

1.5 volts.

Hence

R

0.11

ob

24

CHAPTER 6

APPARENT INCREASED RESISTANCE OF GAL V ANISED STEEL

During a survey of earthing systems made by the Electricity Authority of New South Wales between 1959/62, it was found that in some locations, measured electrode resistance did not agree with that calculated from the soil resistivity. A comparison of the measured resistance and that previously recorded also showed a considerable dispari ty in the case of galvanised steel electrodes installed in certain low resistivity soils, sometimes within 12 months of installation.

This phenomenon was first noticed in the Wagga distric t in ligh t reddish clay soil with resistivity below 20 ohm me tres, and later in soils of comparable resistivity at Junee, Hay, Grenfell, Temora and other localities.

Many theories were advanced concerning the cause of this increased resistance; corrosion being the most favoured. One other, not entirely disputed theory, was that "Y" shaped electrodes could develop an annular space around them due to a torsional movement whilst being driven, then "unwinding" when the soil became plastic after heavy rain.

The theories advanced were, by courtesy of the Central West County Council, subjected to experiment at a site in the Grenfell district where the greatest difference between the calculated resistance and the actual figure revealed by test was discovered.

These figures were-,

Soil resistivity .'. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .

Calculated resistance of 5'6" (1.65 rn] Gal. steel star stake .

Measured resistance of 5'6" (1.65 rn) Gal. steel star stake .

13.4 ohm me tres 6.7 ohms

174 ohms

As a means of testing all the theories advanced, electrodes of both round and "Y" shapes consisting of copper, galvanised and black steel were installed. Some of these were arranged so that any accelerated action caused by interconnection between steel and copper would be apparent. The actual test layout and electrode details, together with the test figures which were recorded at approximately six monthly intervals, are given in the following table No.1 and its associated figures. The electrodes which showed the greatest increase of resistance were those of galvanised steel, with insignificant differences caused by the respective shapes. It will be noted, however, that the galvanised electrode No.9 (table No. 1), which increased in resistance by the greatest arnoun t, was not in terconnected with the copper electrode NO.5. It is significant, however, that the resistance of all galvanised electrodes increased considerably more than that of the black steel.

This occurred shortly after installation, due in some part to the increased soil resistivity, but mainly to some other factor, as the general resistance rise was ou t of all proportion to the increased soil resistivity. Subsequen t tests showed a decrease in both electrode resistance and soil resistivity, but again by disproportionate amounts.

After several resistance tests, carried out by the fall of potential method using low magnitude voltage and current, actual fault current tests using a 240 V supply were applied on two separate occasions.

Reference to Table 1 shows that the curren t passed by the electrodes during the 240 V tests was, for practical purposes, proportional to the measured resistance of the copper and black steel, but showed a considerable difference in respect to the galvanised rods and stakes. Further resistance tests made after application of the 240 V fault showed that the resistance of the galvanised electrodes had fallen to a value commensurate with that calculated from the soil resistivity.

Arising out of these tests it appears that whatever action takes place, whether this results in the formation of a minute annular space around, or a highly resistive film on, the electrode, an increased resistance to ground at low voltages is created. This phenomenon apparently occurs in soils having a high pH value (i.e. Alkaline) and whilst offering a high resistance to the normal test method, the condition breaks down under the voltage associated with an actual fault.

A solution to the problem is the use of copper clad steel electrodes in suspect soil, i.e. soil having a resistivity below 30 ohm metres.

CHAPTER 7

SEASONAL RESISTANCE VARIATION OF ELECTRODES

During the survey mentioned in the previous chapter, many supply engineers sought information on the variation of electrode resistances under seasonal wet and dry conditions.

Accordingly, the Au th ori ty decided to carry out a limited number of tests designed to show the seasonal variation of the resistances of electrodes of various lengths, installed in locations subject to average climatic conditions experienced in the State.

The Prospect, Macquarie, Nepean River and Illawarra County Councils, and the Blue Mountains City Council, were pleased to co-operate in this investigation, and as a result test sites were established at Merrylands, Moore bank, Dubbo, Narromine , Camden, Tal1l1100r, Unanderra, Woonona and Katoomba. In addition, tests were made at Bankstown.

Each month readings of the electrode resistances and soil resistivity were taken, and the daily rainfall figures secured from the Weather Bureau. In the case of the Bankstown test it will be noted that the resistance readings are weekly. A null reading bridge type of instrument was used and was checked before and after each test using a calibrated resistor.

The tests were made over a full weather cycle of twelve months, but unfortunately for testing purposes, a prolonged dry spell was not experienced. However, in April, 1964, a test of the copper clad steel electrodes, under drought conditions, at the Dubbo and Narromine test sites, showed considerable increases in resistances (refer Figures 33 and 34).

The test electrodes were installed in a variety of soils of Widely varying resistivity. The installations were carried out by hand, using a 2 kg hammer on the copper clad steel electrodes and a somewhat heavier hammer to sink the galvanised star stakes.

Graphical recordings of the monthly electrode resistance and soil resistivity, together with rainfall measurements, are shown in Figures 27 to 36, and a description of the test sites with relevant comments on the results is as under:

Test Sites at Merrvlands and Moorebank (Figures 27 and 28)

The Merrylands site was selected because of the low resistivity clay' and proximity to a substation where a corroded electrode

was discovered by test during a previous earthing survey. The results are illustrated graphically in Figures 27. It will be noticed, however, that there was no occurrence of corrosion during the test period. The installed electrode resistances followed closely the variation in resistivity due to rainfall. For practical purposes the resistances obtained with the various electrodes were commensurate with calculations based on the soil resistivity. The 5'6" electrode to which was connected a copper conductor showed a somewhat lower resistance than those without; however, due regard must be paid to the moisture content of the top soil which remained reasonably high throughout the period. Given a prolonged dry spell the resistance of this particular electrode would no doubt rise to the level of No. 2 and 3.

Figure 28 indicates clearly the advantage of deep driving in sandy soil. The 32 foot (10.5 m) electrode, curve No.3. was driven to this depth by hand', using a 2 kg hammer. It will be noted that the resistance is considerably ou t of proportion to the soil resistivity, a condition which sometimes occurs with the Wenner method of testing. This does not occur in homogeneous soils, however, where the measured resistance is almost invariably close to the calculated resistance. The effect of the rainfall will be noted as much less on the No.3 electrode, again indicating a more conductive layer at the greater depth.

Test Sites at Tahmoor and Camden (Figures 29 and 30)

Figure 29 shows the advantage of using a slightly longer electrode to limit seasonal variation of resistance. Although a prolonged dry spell was not experienced, the difference between the minimum and maximum resistance is an indication of what might occur under worst conditions.

Figure 30 illustrates another example of the advantage to be gained by theuse of deeply driven electrodes. Curve No.2 shows slight variation only, due apparently to the electrode being in contact with permanently damp subsoil. During the installation of this 16 ft (5.25111) electrode, progressive measurements showed a rapid decrease in resistance within the last 2 fee t (0.65 m) of penetration.

Test Sites at Unanderra and Woonona (Figures 31 and 32)

The test electrodes at Unanderra (Figure 31) were so located because of the particularly low resistivity soil. It will be noted that the resistance of the galvanised star stake to which was connected a 12 ft (4 rn) length- of bare copper conductor commenced to rise after four months, and continued to show this increase throughout the test period. The actual resistance of the stake with the bare copper conductor disconnected was found to be 5.7 ohms, as compared with 2.75 ohms for the No.2 cu rve of a similar stake. This phenomenon is apparently of the same nature as that affecting the electrodes discussed in Chapter 6 in respect of apparent high resistance. The No.3 and 4 curves which represent copper clad steel electrodes, show a more stable performance and again indicate the electrical and economic advantage of the deeper penetration.

Figure 31 shows normal performance of electrode resistance against soil resistivity. Some indication of the worst condition variation can be gathered from the minimum and maximum values which oceured whilst no prolonged dry spell was experienced. Here again the advantages of the deeper electrode can be seen. Whilst its value, however, does not appear better than the shallow electrode shown by curve 1, clue regard must be paid to the fact that uncler dry top soil conditions, the resistance of this electrode would increase considerably clue to the ineffectiveness of the bare conductor, the value of which as a strip electrode adds to the electrode only when in damp top soil.

Test Sites at Dubbo and Narrornine (Figures 33 and 34)

An examination of the curves shown in Figures 33 and 34 shows that in these locations, where the rainfall was similar in regularity to the other areas but Jess in volume, the variation in resistance was much greater. Figure 34, curves 1 and 2, is an indication of the wide differences which could occur between normal and extreme drought conditions. The number of electrodes required to maintain a resistance less than 30 ohms under worst conditions in this location would be of the order of four, 5'6" (l.8111) in length; or two, 8'0" rn) and possibly more. Here again an electrical and economic advantage can be seen in the use of longer electrodes.

26

Test Site at Katoomba (Figure 35)

The Blue Mountains area, by reason of the geological strata, is perhaps the most difficult from the earthing aspect of any in New South Wales where a public electricity supply exists. (The area around Mount Kosciusko is probably the most difficult.) Considerable research and experimental work has been carried out over the years by Council's engineers, who as a result, have adopted a combination strip and vertical electrode.

Three electrode installations, one of which was artificially treated with "Excelearth ", another with a mixture of Bentonite clay and Glauber salts, and a third being untreated, were selected for test. Reference to the resistance curves on Figure 35 will show a lower average resistance of the untreated installation. The rainfall during the test period was such that the moisture content of the surface soil remained reasonably high. The assistance from the strip elec trodes during this period should be discounted under dry conditions when the upper soil would drain to a depth of several feet (1 ft = 0.328 m).

The sligh t advantage gained from the use of artificial treatment, which tends to retain moisture and thus limit the resistance variation, does not appear to be justified in this instance. Of the three installations, the untreated appears generally to be the most favourable, and, whilst the labour content, by reason of the longer trench, would be higher, would be offset by the saving in cost of artificial treatment.

Test Site at Bankstown (Figure 36)

This site was selected for no other reason than the opportunity to make weekly tests. Here again an advantage is seen in the use of a longer electrode, which, whilst varying in step with the shorter electrode and rainfall factor, exhibits a lower resistance than might be expected from any calculations, This is another instance of the Wenner test not proving quite accurate due to the varying compositi'5)Jl of the soil, consisting in this case of about 2 ft (0.65 m) of built-up soil over a yellow clay base.

TABLE 1

THE ELECTRICITY AUTHORITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRODE TESTS AT TYAGONG, NEW SOUTH WALES

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cr:: cr:: 0::: 0::: cr:: 0::: 0::: 0::: <N cr:: O:::.c 0::: 0::: <0'4 cr:: 0:::.0
No. 4 5'6" x 'li<" gaL steel rod 12.4 2140 64.0 4020 39.0 2251 12.2 1340 16.0 8.5 7.5/6.5 11.0 1200 16.5 9.5 8.7/7.8
5 8'0" x 9/16" cu./c1ad rod 5.4 " 15.1 " 10.3 " 5.0 " 22.5 4.9 " 4.9 " 22.5 4.9 "
6 5'6" t 5/8" black steel rod 14.4 " 23.0 " 23.2 " 9.2 " 16.25 9.1 " 7.4 " 18.9 7.1 "
7 5'6" gal. steel "Y" section stake 12.0 " 36.5 " 32.8 " 14.1 " 16.5 8.9 " 11.2 " 19.2 7.3 "
8 5'6" x 34" gaL steel rod 9.0 " 28.9 " 30.2 " 13.6 " 16.5 8.9 " 13.8 " 17.25 9.3 "
9 5'6" gal. steel "Y" section stake 8.0 " 55.0 " 37.7 " 11.9 " 17.8 7.7 " 15.4 " 17.2 9.2 "
10 5'6" x 5/8" black steel rod 16.4 " 20.1 " 15.6 " 12.3 " 13.75 11.5 " 10.4 " 15.5 10.2 " 5'6" = 1.65 m

'li<"=19mm

9/16" = 14mm

5/8"= 16mm

27

SEASONAL ELECTRODE RESISTANCE TESTS 1961/62

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No.2 ELECTRODE-5'-6" GALV. STEEL STAR STAKE CONNECTED TO 12' OF 7/.064 PVC. INSULATED COPPER CONDUCTOR.

No.3 ELECTRODE-5'-6" x 5/8" DlA. COPPER COVERED

STEEL ROD.

No.4 ELECTRODE-8'·0" x 5/8" DIA. COPPER COVERED STEEL ROD

No.5 ELECTRODE-16'·O" x 5/8" DIA. COPPER COVERED STEEL ROD.

A - RESISTIVITY AT 5'··6" DEPTH B - RESISTIVITY AT 8'-0" DEPTH C··· RESISTIVITY at 16'-0" DEPTH

27

TEST SITE - MOORE BANK N.S.W.

LIGHT RED SANDY LOAM - LEVEL GROUND

No.1 ELECTRODE-5'-6" GALV. STEEL STAR STAKE No.2 ELECTRODE-AS No.1.

No.3 ELECTRODE 32' x 5/8" OlA. COPPER COVERED

STEEL ROD.

A - RESISTIVITY AT 5'-6" DEPTH B - RESISTIVITY AT 32' DEPTH

28

28

SEASONAL ELECTRODE RESISTANCE 1961/62

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No.1 ELECTRODE-5'6" GALV. STEEL STAR STAKE

No.2 ELECTRODE-AS No.1 BUT CONNECTED TO 12' OF 7/.064 BARE COPPER CONDUCTOR BURIED IN TRENCH No.3 ELECTRODE-AS No.1 BUT CONNECTED TO 12' of 7 (.064 P.V.C. INSULATED COPPER CONDUCTOR

No.4 ELECTRODE-5'·6" X 5/8" DIA. COPPER COVERED STEEL ROD

No.5 ELECTRODE-8'·0" X 5(8" DIA. COPPER COVERED

STEEL ROD

A - RESISTIVITY AT 5'·6" DEPTH B RESISTIVITY AT 8'·0" DEPTH

FIGURE 33

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No.4 ELECTRODE-S'.{i" X 5(8" DIA. COPPER COVERED STEEL ROD

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A - RESISTIVITY AT 5'·6" DEPTH B - RESISTIVITY AT 8'-0" DEPTH

31

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FIGURE 34

SEASONAL ELECTRODE RESISTANCE TESTS 1961/62

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SHALLOW SANDY SOIL OVER SANDSTONE

No.1 ELECTRODE--70' OF 7/.104 BARE COPPER LAID IN TRENCH 2' DEEP x I.' WIDE AND 28' x W' O.DIA. COPPER PIPE IN DRILLED VERTICAL HOLE. TRENCH AND VERTI· CAL HOLE TREATED WITH 'EXCELEARTH'.

No.2 ELECTRODE-66' OF 7/.104 BARE COPPER LAID IN TRENCH 1'·6" DEEP AND 30' x W' O.DIA. COPPER PIPE IN DRILLED VERTICAL HOLE AT MIDDLE OF TRENCH AND LIKEWISE 19'·6" DEEP AT END OF TRENCH. TREATED WITH BENTONITE eLA Y AND GLAUBER SALTS.

No.3 ELECTRODE--140' OF 7/.104 BARE COPPER LAID IN TRENCH 1'-6" DEEP WITH 30' x '12" O.DIA. COPPER PIPE IN DRILLEr' VERTICAL HOLE AT EACH END OF TRENCH.

A- RESISTIVITY AT 30' DEPTH

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No_l ELECTRODE-5'-6" x 5/8" DlA. COPPER COVERED STEEL ROD

No.2 ELECTRODE-S'·O" x 5/8" DIA. COPPER COVERED

STEEL ROD

A- RESISTIVITY AT 8'·0" DEPTH

FIGURE 36

32

CHAPTER 8 COMPATABIUTY OF BY AND LY SYSTEMS

Low voltage systems which emanate from high voltage systems must be earthed to prevent the LV system becoming alive at HV in the event of the failure of insulation in the substation or an overhead line BV conductor breaking and coming into contact with the LV circuit. Earthing as applied to the internal operation of the LV system is seldom effective as it is normally not practical to obtain sufficiently low resistance to operate an overload protective device. Earthing of LV systems does not necessarily provide for safety of persons where the fault arises within the LV system. In fact one of the most effective means of protecting persons is to disassociate the earthing by introducing an isolating transformer or to use double insulated appliances.

Because of the need to safeguard against HV to LV faul ts however, earthing of LV systems is a necessi ty. He re again, it is not normally economically feasible to attain LVearthing systems with resistances to ground low enough to reduce the magnitude of the transferred high voltage to a safe level. If an LV system has a typical resistance of 10 ohms to ground and an BV Iaul t current of 100 amps flows through it then a potential difference of 1,000 vol ts between the LV earth and absolute earth exists.

Although this apparent hazardous situation occurs quite frequently, statistics do not record it as a significant cause of electrical fatalities. This is probably due to a very large extent to the practice generally adopted of bonding consumer water services to the electrical earth. This has the effect of placing the consumer in his premises in a Faraday cage; that is he is placed in a situation where although he may be in contact with metal having a potential difference with respect to the general earth, all metalwork in his surrounding environment is also at the same poten tial. This principle can of course apply only to persons within the dwelling and riot to those in contact with garden taps or standing on concrete laundry 1100rs. It must be concluded therefore that although consumers may be theoretically placed in a dangerous situation when an BV to LV fault occurs, the probability that they may form part of the circuit to earth in such instances is remote. This probability is reduced when the HV circuit is protected by high speed disconnection devices. It is justifiable therefore to relate earth potential rise with fault clearance times when assessing hazard to life.

The greatest occurrence of HV to LV contact arises due to follow through current subsequent to the operation of lightning arresters or spark gaps connected across the HV bushings to protect the winding from over vol tage surges. This occurrence is substantially reduced however if separate HV and LV earths are used. When this arrangement is used the LV winding must be insulated so as to withstand the HV to earth potential. However, Australian transformer manufacturers do not normally guarantee that LV windings can withstand this voltage. Hence it is good practice to connect a spark gap between the two earthwires. Ideally, the spark gap should be set to spark over at greater than 1.2 times the HV to ground voltage, but due to manufacturer inadequacy in this respect, it may be necessary to reduce this spark over value. It is better for the gap to spark over and allow a HV transient to pass to the LV system than to have an insulation failure that could cause a permanent hazard. The ma tter really behoves purchasers of transformers to specify minimum test voltages for the LV winding to earth of not less than 1.4 times the HV to earth for a period of not less than one minute. This will probably lead manufacturers to raise the price, but if safety is to be honestly sough t, the withstand test is considered necessary.

It is possible of course to reduce the magnitude of the transferred voltage by reducing the value of the LV earth to ground.

If this value is reduced to 1.0 ohm or less then the time current characteristics of the protective device on the HV system will most probably be adequate to protect any consumer in con tact wah the LV earthing system if the LV and HV earths are bonded together. It can be argued that even in the circumstances of such low earth resistance that the IR potential rise is sufficient to cause electrocution of persons in contact with the electrical earth, but practice has demonstrated that this value is safe. Consequently it may also be argued that in low fault current areas, higher values than 1.0 ohm earthing resistance should be able to be tolerated. Satisfactory protection should be achieved if the voltage rise of the earthing system at the substation does not exceed the value calculated on the graph in Fig. No. 46.

F our Wire HV Systems

Much of the problem associated with HV to LV faults can be satisfactorily overcome by using a combined HV to LV multiple earthed neutral. [I' the HV neutral is provided along with the active conductors then it may be used to earth both the HV and LV systems. I n such circumstances a HV fault to the LV system should cause the HV pro tection to operate wi thout the need of low resistance electrode earthing systems. The provision of a fourth wire will increase the cost of the line, but this can often be offset by the reduction in earthing costs. Rural lines utilizing the 4 wire system produce less telephone interference than their 3 wire and 2 wire counterparts and allow the use of phase to neu tral transformers which arc cheaper than fully insula ted units.

Contact Between HV and LV Actives

Because the LV actives are not connected directly to earth, they will not offer instantaneous low impedances to HV fault currents to earth if accidental contact occurs between conductors of BV and LV circuits. The iron core of the transformer must magnetically saturate before any significant fault current can flow. This can cause voltages of the order of 500 V to appear between the LV active and neu tral. LV appliance elemen ts are therefore not subjected to the full high voltage to ground po ten tial. The same applies to the element to frame insulation of LV appliances where the earthwire has a direct metallic contact with the distribution neutral or neutral point. This is the case with the rn.e.n. system and in this respect it is superior to the direct and e.l.c. b. systems.

CHAPTER 9 DISTRIBUTION SUBSTA nON EARTHING

The earthing requirements in respect of distribution substations are specified in the Code of Practice-Protective Earthing which is issued by the Electricity Authority of New South Wales.

Earthing System Impedances

Broadly, the Code requires that the impedance of the earthing system for the substation must be I ohm or less. The value of I ohm may be achieved by utilizing the connections to earth of an MEN neutral provided that the neutral and any associated earth connections can carry any earth fault current that is likely to arise due to a BV failure in the substation. Any other earthed metal may also be connected to the substation earthing system and such may contribute towards achieving the I ohm value. In addition to the necessity to obtain I ohm earthing impedance, the earthing system must not increase to a value above 30 ohms if anyone connection to the substation earth is removed. Hence the neutral conductor may be used as the main contributor in achieving the I ohm earth, only if its disconnection does not cause the earthing system to rise above 30 ohms. The neutral conductor must not therefore be the sole contributor and it may be necessary to provide at least a 30 ohm system at the substation location notwithstanding the fact that the neutral resistance is below I ohm. This is necessary to ensure that a reasonable earth can be maintained when testing the earthing system.

A terminal bar should be provided to allow the separate disconnection of--

(1) the transformer tank and any high voltage surge diverters,

(2) the low voltage neutrals and any low voltage surve diverters,

(3) any additional metalwork contributing to the earthing system,

(4) any separate earth that may be required to ensure that the system does not exceed 30 ohms impedance to earth in the event of anyone of (1), (2) or (3) being disconnected. This connection (4) is only necessary if(3) does not provide the necessary 30 ohms impedance.

If it is difficult to achieve the l.0 ohm earthing system, the value may be increased provided that the touch potential of the neu tral conductor for the appropriate disconnection time as given on the graph in Fig. No. 1 is not exceeded. Hence for example if the fault current is 150 amps an impedance of 10 ohms can be tolerated if the fuse protecting the substation will clear the 150 amp fault within 350 milliseconds.

Further if it is not practical to meet any of the above impedance values then the HV and LV earthing systems must be separated and in these circumstances the neutral may not be used to earth HV metalwork such as the transformer tank or HV surge diverters. Generally, where separated earths are used, the BV earthing system impedance must not exceed 30 ohms and the LV system should not exceed 10 ohms. However generous relaxations in respect of these values are provided in certain circumstances. These include an increase in both the HV and LV values if the substation rating is 50 kV A or less, to a value of 30 ohms or to 100 ohms if all of the four following conditions are adhered to-

(1) There are not less than 3 x 1.6 m or 2 x 3.2 m or I x 4.8 m electrodes installed.

(2) Both the LV and HV earth wires attached to the pole are insulated with not less than 0.6/1 kV grade insulation.

(3) The Hv fuses have clearing times (including arcing times) not greater than 200 milliseconds at 60 amperes. In this regard bare element expulsion type fuses are not acceptable bu t endorsed sparkless expulsion type drop-on t or hermetically sealed powder filled fuses arc acceptable.

(4) If bare BV conductors are erected above the LV conductors emanating from the centre, the latter shall be insulated with not less than 0.6/1 kV grade insulation.

The increasing of earthing impedances above 30 ohms is based on the premise that a person will not be fatally injured if the duration of current through his body due to contact with the LV neutral and associated MEN earthed appliances is less than 200 milliseconds. I t is of utmost importance therefore when utilizing these higher earth impedance values that the correct fuse is always used and that precautions are taken to ensure that bare elements are not substituted during maintenance call outs. Only sparkless fuses endorsed by the Authority or fast acting power filled fuses should be used. Note that some fuse suppliers are offering fuses classified as "sparkless" which have not been endorsed by the Authority and which may be too inconsistent in their clearing times to be used for this purpose. The Authority's Circular No. 1053 dated 12th August, 1971 endorses the type B fuse elernen t (supplied by Stanger Dickson) as a suitable sparkless fuse.

In circumstances where the transformer is larger than 50 kVA but not greater than 500 kVA the LV earthing system impedance to earth rnay be increased to 15 ohms and if there are no bare aerial BV conductors located above the LV system then this impedance may be increased to 30 ohms. Utilizing the neutral to achieve these impedances is only permissible where it has been established that this conductor and its associated earth connections are capable of withstanding without damage any HV fault currents to which they may be subjected due to a failure within the distribution centre.

NOTES:

1. The above irn installations by the

vol systems occur.

electrode with the

have been selected as the maximum which can be allowed for reasonable protection of consumers' of the high voltage protective equipment should a breakdown between high voltage and low

has shown with reasonable care, the values can be obtained and maintained even

,1 rule the maximum have been with transformer

of the earth fault current.

2. Phese values of earth impedances are not intended to cope with an LV earth fault such as may result from a fallen active conductor, as proteection from such an even t would require not only extremely low earth resistance, bu t also a low fault impedance, which is seldom obtained with this type of fault.

3. Electricity supply engineering requirements other than protective earthing may call for values of earth impedances at distribution centres considerably lower than those given above. This is a matter which must be considered most carefully when earthing systems at distribution centres are designed.

4. Attention is directed to the need to provide substantially lower impedances where an earthing system using the earth as

the conductive medium is adopted. This type of system is, however, only practical for small rated centres.

5. Unless suitable insulation is provided, adequate clearances must be maintained between any conductors or metal parts which are connected to the high voltage earthing system and any conductor or metal parts which are connected to the low voltage earthing system. Such clearances must in no case be less than 35 rnrn provided that this clearance does not apply to approved spark gap devices fitted for the purpose of protecting the transformer against lightning damage. A spark gap device of the type depicted in the Authority's Drawing No.EAS/1 /117 is suitable for this purpose. Spark Gap devices shall have 50Hz flashover ratings not less than 1_2 times and preferably not grea tCI than 1.5 times the phase to ground vol tage of the high vol tage line.

f

I

sl

I

I

9ORCEl,l.1N

aun"'-.tI If./$:IJLATOR

~ 'c' Hau

tL£:;;JI~~~"UHIUU
~IQ THAUO
~
9 IJ HOL£
/
I
&USHING, E.S.~.A. DIMENSION
DRAWING NUMBER 'B' 'c '0'
2/3/28 25 " 12
2/'/38-200A 25 .3 20
2/3'38 - 400A 40 21 20
2/3/48 -850A 40 25 27
2/3/4B -1200A 40 27 27 NEUT~AL SP~A'" GAP ASSEMBL.Y

HOT[

_, .. cts· ...... ".£0 TM,I$ .! TO liE ~ COolTEtl ~ "'0 .. ~ .. l.l stHlfACU IN COIt(UCT WfTH CEUUn 1tI 8l: CO<lTED -.rnt A afTlAf~~

ALL DIMENSIONS ARE IN f.!J!..L!METRES

NE UTRAL SPARK GAP ASSEMBLY

Drawing No. EAS/1/117

Insulation of Earthwires Attached to Substation Poles

It is very important to ensure that at least one and preferably both earthwires are insulated where they are so located that an operator working on the transformer structure could make simultaneous contact with the wires or exposed metalwork connected to them. There have been several accidents caused by low voltage winding or bushing breakdown to the transformer's tank. This causes the tank and HV earthwire to become alive with respect to the LV earthwire. With resistances to earth of the order of 30 ohms it would not be possible to provide overload protection against this type of fault and it cannot be cleared unless expensive earth leakage circuit breakers or the like were employed. Reasonable safety is considered to exist with the insulation of both earthing conductors. At the very least, one carthwire , preferably the LV, should be insulated with 250V grade PVC insulation. Both earthwires should be insulated (at least by wooden battens) within 2.4m of the ground to protect the public.

Earthing of Lightning Arresters on Distribution Substations

The HV arresters should be earthed to the transformer tank by the shortest practical route. Where the LV and HV earths are bonded together, the LV arresters should also be earthed to the transformer tank.

Where separate HV and LV earthing sys terns are used, the LV arresters earth end should be connected to the LV neu tral bu t never to the transformer tank,

When an unprotected LV winding is struck by lightning,two things may happen; the LV insulation between core and tank and winding may fail or the surge current passing through the LV winding may cause very high voltages to be induced into the HV winding. This latter aspect is responsible for many interturn insulation failures in the HV winding when only HV arresters are fitted.

If LV arresters are fitted between the actives and neutral (not bonded to the tank) failure of the HV interturn insulation will be avoided. However, because the LV winding is not connected to the tank either by bonding or via a properly co-ordinated spark gap, failure of the LV winding insulation to core may occur. However, the winding is most likely to fail at the active end and this can create a real hazard to person as highlighted later in Figure 37,

Australian standard specifications do not provide for an impulse rating for LV transformer windings. However, overseas practice usually requires an impulse rating of 30 kV.

35

Assuming an LV impulse level of ]0 kV winding breakdown to earth can occur with a strike to the !IV side as well as the LV side if the 1-1V earth resistance is high enough to permit the tank to rise higher than 30 kV peak above the neutral earth. This would only require currents in excess of 1,000 amps peak if BV earth were 30 ohms. As 1,000 amp peak lightning surge current is generally exceeded in practice there is a very good chance of an LV winding breakdown unless a spark gap is provided.

Some su pply au thori ties utilizing separate BV and LV earthing systems connect their LV arresters between actives and tank. This practice can create a hazard to the public and cause the HV winding interturn insulation to fail due to a strike on the HV. This latter aspect can occur when a strike to the Hv causes the tank potential to rise above earth. The LV arrester then flashes over and discharges surge current through the LV winding to the LV earth. This causes very high voltages to be induced in the BV winding causing its insulation to fail between turns. Public safety is threatened because the arrester may fail and liven the tank at 240V in the same manner illustrated in Figure 37. In the case cited in Figure 37 both earthwires would acquire

of 120 V with to genera! earth.

Lightning currents which may pass alung the LV neutral are only transitory and are usually quickly attenuated along the multiple earthed neutral. On the other hand an LV winding breakdown to earth, particularly at the active end of the winding can cause the transformer tank to be permanently energised at up LU :40V above earth. An !-IV earth resistance of 30 ohms would only cause 8 amps LV current to flow to earth and this would not operate a fuse. If the !-IV earth resistance were of the same order as the LV earth then half of the 240V could appear between the LV neu tral and general mass of earth thereby livening the frames of domestic appliances with respect to the general earth. Refer to Figure 37.

10.1"1. = 120 V

FAULT CURRENT

~

FAULT BETWEEN ACTIVE / AND TANK

X ACTIVE

TRANSFORMER TANK

NEUTRAL

En 240 x 10

20

FIG. 37

In view of the foregoing it is considered that a surge diverter connected between the LV neu tral and transformer tank is necessary. Such a diverter must not flashover at normal HV line to ground potential but must operate before the voltage rises sufficiently to breakdown the LV insulation.

The neutral to tank surge diverter may be either a spark gap or a lightning arrester. If a spark gap is used for this purpose, means must be provided to quickly extinguish the power follow through arc across the gap. This would normally occur if lightning arresters are used at the transformer terminals. However, if spark gaps are also used at the transformer terminals, disconnection or the HV supply must be rapidly achieved either by means of a recloser or a suitably rated fuse.

The recommended method of connecting surge protectors to transformers, where scpara te HV and LV earthing is employed, is illustrated in the following diagram.

TRANS FORM(R TANK

/

LV. MAINS

AI.TERHAilVE POSITION OF SPARK GAP

L. V.

SURGE DIVf.RTER5

SliRGE DlvtRTERS

r---'" -.-~------1---j ~~-I~---------

1..._, __ --1

H. V· [ARTH

L.V. EARTH

document is

resistance of distribution centre electrodes is set out in the Code of Practice-Protective Earthing. As this to amendment. reference should be made to the Code t.o determine the electrode resistance applicable.

36

I. H. V. EARTHING SYSTEM

(~) THE R(SjSTA~C( TO EARTH Of IHE till. EMHHI1H; SYSTEM SHALL, a r ALL TIMES, !H: NOT KOf\( THMi 30 OHMS

(b)

M!(l, SIZE' AlH) TYPE or

H '-to EAP.T!~G COHOUCTOH

~_~~_~_!~_~_~~_~~~tr~i~~ii£I~!:~'_~~~~~~

ilESS Til.i'.tH_S,o?OA:,_?[~:OO_C\i:RURAl AREAS! iUPTO'O~O-OOA-~17/3--5CuTtiRBA!4 AUO:

i A_~_~.~~_!g~_9_0_?_~ ~~_~-+ TOifN ~~_~sj

~~~_.~~"r.~~_jroNNECTIONS! 17i~~~~J

..

<: :,/-."

2. l.V EARTHING SYSTEM

(e) iH€ RESISTANC£: ro EAIHH OF TH£ L.V URTHlliG SYSTEM SHALL, AT All TIMES{ SE NOT MORE THAN 30 OHMS FOR TRAHSfOjlMERS UP TO SOkVA,

15 OHMS fOR TRANSfORMERS UP TO SOOHA. THESE RESISTAnCES SHALL SE ACHIEVEO WITHOUT THE CONN=ECTIOH Of mE SYSTEM NEUTRA.l ANO M£ TAlUe 'WATEAP1P1HG

(b) THE LV EARTHING SYSTEM SHALL &E CONNECTED \lIA .A TEST UNK TO THE l.V . .lfEUTRAl eUSHING, MHAlUC 'JfATfRPIPE If AVAILA8lE, LV SURGE OIVeRTERS AND NEUTRAl SPARK GAP

MIN. SIZ E AND TYpe Of

l. V. EARTHtHG CONDUCTQRS

l. 'I. SURG£

U(UTRAl SPARK GAP

KV. Lm£

AlTEJUMT1\1€ FDSiT101ll Of ~V.~ OtVERTERS

401lt1l MllI_ Cl£.ARANtE e£T\'I'E(~ It '/ .lJIO LY EAli.TH COtIOUCTORS

IHfRCOIOfECT!ON 8f. TVEfN !of. V. IJIO l.V , EARTH SYSTEMS, WHEJjI THE.

COH!JN!O RESISTUC! TO U,RTH

DOE S NOT EXCEED t - 0 OHMS

H.Y. (J.IHH'..--- ________ nST LJHX

'riOOOfH URTH BATTENS TO PROVIDE »>:

MECHAIIHCAl PMT£CTION AHO INSULATION fOR BAlE URT"IN' COHOUCT01\S

(MIN lOIHH Z700sa)

U1H EARTH '/' CONOUCTORS

SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM OF CONNECTIONS

WATER PIPE

A MINIMUM S(PARATJt»i Of Z0009. e-ET\iEEH WE PORTIONS Of THE H''i_ AN-O L'i EARTHING SlSTEHS SHALL !E MAUlT AIMED

37

CHAPTER 10

DISTRIBUTION LINE COMPONENT EARTHING

Leakage Currents in Wood Poles

Australian hardwood poles are not good insulators particularly when green. Poles normally contain a good deal of moisture in the heartwood, which very often may not dry out even after periods of twenty years. The surface of a pole being exposed to wind and sunlight may dry out to provide very good insulation but this does not usually extend beyond about 5mm depth. Metalwork which penetrates deeper than 5 rnrn into the pole is therefore in contact with conductive timber.

The resistivity of hardwood varies considerably. Tests taken on poles of the same species, grown in the same forest and erected in the same area, display spreads of up to 400 per cent. It is difficult therefore to predict actual pole resistances. However, a guide as to pole resistivity may be taken from the graph in Figure 38. This graph has been derived from the average results of resistances measured on three sample poles for each type of treatment, with the poles standing in a normal weather environment. All poles were new (i.e. freshly cut) at the commencement of measurements. The curves have been derived 011 a computer using a least square programme. In practice the curves have substantial peaks and troughs, dependent on the weather. The curves therefore show the trend rather than actual values up to 80 weeks of pole life.

Equivalent Circuit of Pole Leakage Currents

A pole may be considered as a homogeneous cylinder about 25 ern in diameter made of material having resistivity of the same order as normal soil.

If a metal stake of about l Omrn diameter is driven into this material a situation similar to that of a stake driven into the earth exists. The resistance of a tightly driven stake to the general mass of timber is a function of its depth and size and approximates~

360Pjl ohms when the stake is l Ornrn diameter

where P I

tim ber resistivity expressed in ohm metres depth of stake expressed in mrn

The resistance of a pole approximates-

I.3PL h -r0 ms

where P L d

= timber resistivity expressed in ohm metres = length of pole in metres

mean diameter of pole in metres

From these formulae the equivalent circuit of a pole (confirmed by field tests) is illustrated in Figure 39. From this diagram it can be seen that a person in contact with 2 pole steps 1.8 metres apart would experience 1,240 vol ts during a fault on an 11 kV line.

The provision of an earthed stake driven into the pole does not, as is often mistakenly believed, safeguard persons below the stake being exposed to electric shock. The diagram in Figure 40 illustrates the effect of earthing the top pole step. In this circumstance the voltage between the pole steps has been reduced from 1,240 volts to 903 volts but is still a hazardous value.

1000
900
800
OJ) 700
w
a:
I-
w
~
::> 600
r
0
)0- 500
,...
>
;::
~ 400
OJ)
w
C!
'u 300
_J
0
0.
200
100
0
/
e V
r j
1/
~
~'I-
'"
V ./
/' / 07/
--1-- V A ....--
->
,/ »>: i"'l<"'~c;...--
»-: V ~ v- ,.-- ---
----- ~--:: :...--
~-,--- --- --
.--: ~--::: - ,.._..
--
''--~ I-'~~ ,---- -r r-,-,,-- -v-rr-r- 1""-'-'- o

10

20

40 SO

AGE OF POLES (WEEKS)

60

70

80

FKk38

38

SWOE8 - I 18QARY

~. The resistivity of dry timber is very high. When significant current flows through the small area of timber surrounding a pole step or bolt the 12 R loss dries the timber to high resistivity levels in about five minutes. A pole experiencing a HV fault would not therefore norm ally presen t a hazard to the pu blic. I t does, howeve r, present a real hazard to persons opera ting swi tches (including drop out fuses) while aloft if the fault occurs during the operation.

Safety of Operators of Pole Mounted Switches

The following safe working practices are recommended in respect of such persons:

(A) Linesmen or operators should not remain aloft on a pole while live high voltage equipment such as air-break switches, fuses, links and the like are being operated unless one of the following precautions are taken:

1. The linesman (or operator) stands on an insulated platform or a metal platform (which may be pole steps) provided that in the latter case the metal platform is electrically bonded to all other metalwork that the linesman may come in contact with, and that the linesman decends from the pole by means of a wooden ladder.

2. The equipment is not earthed and in addition is insulated from the pole by at least one piece of timber such as a wooden crossarm. However, where such equipment is a fuse or switch used for the protection or isloation of other equipment (e.g. a transformer) which is attached directly to the same pole, an earth fault on this other equipment can cause a hazard to exist at ground level. This hazard is of no consequence if the fuse or air-break switch is operated from an upward position on the pole or from a ladder, provided that the fuse protecting the equipment operates completely before the operator can descend the pole. It is considered that this provision would be attained if the resistance above the general mass of earth of the earthing system connected to the equipment being protected is less

than S~ where E is the line to ground voltage in volts, and A is the rating of the fuse in amperes and, in addition, the impedance of the line is low enough to ensure operation of the protection. In no case, however, should a HV earth exceed 30 ohms.

(B) It is also recommended that air-break switch handles fitted with insulated down-rods should be earthed with stakes located directly below the handle. The resistance of such earth stakes should not exceed 30 ohms above the general mass of earth. However, where difficulty is experienced in obtaining an earth resistance of 30 ohms or less, an earth resistance not exceeding 100 ohms is acceptable providing that, in addition, a loop of conductor is arranged to encircle the area in which the operator stands, such loop being connected to the earthing conductor attached to the handle but not forming part of the earthing conductor. Alternatively the earthing resistance can be disregarded if the handle is connected directly to a metallic mat upon which the operator stands during operation. The mat or conductor loop should only be buried at a minimum depth consistent with providing reasonable mechanical protection.

II kV LINE

....

I

POLE TOP

CONTACT BETWEEN UNE I POLE TOP 1000 n

,1 o

+

1.2601'1.

f-__,JVYVWVVl- _ __;_P,,;::O,,:LE S TE PIN 0 RILL ED HOLE

!

. ' .,"

':f

1300 n.

4-

.' .' ",'

GROUND

AtSISTANC[ TO G.AOUNO 500.n.

u, o

TOTAL POLE P.[SISTANC( • 5.200.n TOTAL CIRCUIT RESISTANCE. 6700.a.

6350

CURRENT TO EARTH;:; 6700 = ·9$ AMPS

VOLTAGE B[TWU'N POlt: STEPS 14 .9$ 11 J 300 111 1~40VOLT5 POLE RESISTIVITY HAS SEEN l'AKEN AS 3'.t III FOP. A HEW TANALITH TREATED POLE

TYPICAL EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT (FOR NEW POLE) FIG. 39

.19

(FOR NEW POLE)

CONTACT BETWEEN LINE AND POt.E TOP fOOO.n.

IdSA 1

2170 n

1I·"4V TO E,4,RTH

!r:'I'A

POLE A(SISTANC[ TO GROUND 500.n

••

JJJ).

v'/,'/.._""/

.. <41031)_

VOL:T.I)G£ &£TW'££N POLE STEPS .. QOlVOLTS

EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT WHEN TOP POLE STEP IS EARTHED (FOR NEW POLE) FIG. 40

Where there is no insulation in the down-rod, a metal mat should be provided, such mat being large enough for the operator to comfortably stand upon and electrically bonded directly to the air-break switch handle but not through any linkages which might introduce voltage drop. If due to local conditions it is 110t practicable to follow the above recommendations in respect of air-break switch handles then operators should be provided with portable mats made of bronze wire mesh or the like which can be connected to the handle prior to its operation or alternatively provided with rubber gloves that will provide protection against voltages at least up to half the line-to-ground voltage at which the equipment operates.

Insulation of Air-Break Switch Handles

Insulation of air-break switch handles may be used instead of earthing. Insulation is achieved by using at least one 2.4m section of wooden down-rod and mounting the air-break switch on insulators. Where the section of down- rod attached to the handle is made of electrically conductive material, the hinges should also be insulated from the pole. Suitable insulators may be made from glazed porcelain and should have a wet flashover rating of not less than the line to ground vol tage at which the airbreak switch operates.

Recommended earthing and insulation procedures are illustrated in Figures 4 J to 45 inclusive.',

The diagrams are self-explanatory; however, it is as well to remember the following points when carrying out the construction work.

Where HV and LV mains are supported on the same pole, and a combined wood and steel down-rod is used, the wooden section should always be located through the low voltage mains. This afford protection for staff working on the overhead LV conductors by reducing the earth hazard and the possibility of BV faults livening the down-rod.

Make sure that there are no loosely coupled joints or friction bearings in the switch mechanism serving as an earthing medium, as dangerous potentials could exist across these parts.

When connecting equipotential mats to switches of all metal construction make sure that the mat is not in contact with the main earth grid of the substation or switch earth. If current is allowed to flow through this lead it would result in an IR voltage drop between the operating handle and the mat, which might prove lethal.

Circuit Breakers, Reclosers, Sectionalisers and Switches Not Operated Directly by Persons

Where any of these devices are operated by persons standing on the ground and by means of an operating stick or a remote con trol circuit, the HY earth should be placed remote from the place where the operator stands. A minimum distance of 3 metres is suggested. If remote switching is used and the operating switch or push button is earthed, it should not be connected to the BY earth but to a separate 'system located as closely as possible to where the operator stands. Alternatively, earthing of the type recommended in Figures 41 to 45 for situations where persons operate switches directly lTlay be adopted.

40

CHAPTER II EARTHING AND INSULATION OF METALWORK IN

PLACES

The Code of Practice-Protective Earthing sets out requirements in respect of earthing of metalwork in public places, Generally the Co de requires that all external metal which may become alive through failure of the insulation associated with the electrical equipment and which is located within 2.4 m of the surface of the ground must be insulated against touch and/or earthed in such a manner as not to jeopardise the safety of any person by way of touch or step voltages, The foregoing does not apply in respect of faults on the supply side of any BY protection contained in the metalwork at locations where it is considered violent vehicular collision is unlikely to occur or appropriate guards have been erected, The design, construction and maintenance of the equipment to achieve these features are the responsibility of the electrical engineer concerned, For example if the engineer is satisfied that suitable paint will provide effective insulation of metalwork, then such paint will suffice, However the onus of failure of such paint to protect the public lies with the engineer. If on the other hand, the engineer elects to follow the guide lines enumerated in section 8.4 of the Code, he will have the technical backing of the Code and will subsequently be relieved of most of the burden, [I' circumstances should OCCLlr where it is obvious that the requirements laid down in the Code arc not sufficient to meet special cases, the engineer should take any additional steps that he considers necessary,

External metalwork is regarded by the Code as being adequately earthed if it complies with the requirements of (a) or (b) hereunder:--

(a) (i) It is connected to an earthing system of not greater than 1.0 ohm. The earthing system resistance of 1,0 ohm may be attained by using any metal at earth potential, including LY neu trals and cable sheaths if such metal is capable of carrying the prospective fault current likely to be associated with the metal.

(ii) I t is connected to an earthing system specified in (a)(i) above except that the resistance may be increased above 1,0 ohm if the prospective touch voltage and associated clearing times calculated on the graph in Fig. 1 (page in are favourable,

(iii) It is connected to an earthing system not exceeding 30 ohms and the apparatus is surrounded by an equipotential mat extending 1 metre outwards fromthe electrically bonded to the metalwork. The mat need not extend beyond the footpath side of the kerb. Care must be taken to ensure that the period of the touch voltage of any exposed metalwork which extends outside the mat (including the LV neutral, water pipes, fences and the like) does not exceed that specified in Fig. 1. Distribution Centres utilizing this method must employ separate LV and HV earthing systems.

In areas where it not practical to use equipotential mats, non-conductive durable material having a resistivity of not less than that calculated on the nomogram in Fig, 46 and not less than 25 mrn thick may be placed on the surface of the ground in lieu of part or all of the mat. The value of resistivity of the non-conductive material should be attained under the worst expected weather conditions, should resist cracking and be maintained. The non-conductive material need not extend beyond the footpath side of the kerb .

. 'b) Where the requirements of clauses (a) above cannot be satisfied such as in areas where earthing is difficult the external case of the apparatus must be made of fibreglass, free from any external conductive material that may become alive due to contact with any metalwork within the enclosure. The HV earthing system must be separated from the LV system and must comprise one non-corroding type electrode centrally placed beneath the apparatus not less than 4.8 m in length and not greater than 30 ohms impedance with respect to earth provided that a higher impedance is acceptable if the electrode is not less than 10 ill deep. The protection must operate within two seconds under full earth fault conditions and-this could necessitate the use of earth leakage protection. Equipotential mats need not be provided but care should be taken to avoid transferring any touch voltages exceeding those specified in Fig. 1 to LV neutrals, water pipes, metal fences and the like.

Metal poles, metal structures, pillar boxes or other metalwork which might not reasonably be expected to become energised through failure of insulation of conductors operating at a voltage exceeding 650 volts or through contact with a conductor operating at a vol tage exceeding 650 vol ts may be "earthed" by bonding to the multiple earthed neu trals of the associa ted LV circuits. The earth wires or neutral conductors used as earth wires connected to exposed metalwork shall be of such length that in the even t of the apparatus being dislodged, the earth connection is most likely to break last.

LV neutral conductors may only be used to earth equipment associated with HV wherer--

(i) the resistance to-earth of the neutrals at that point is not greater than 1.0 ohm. or

(ii) the impedance of the neu trals to earth at that point will prevent the prospective touch voltage from exceeding the values complying with the clearing times specified in the graph in Fig, 1_

Where only one vol tage is involved and the equipment is more than 2.4 m above the ground, the equipment need not be earthed.

"Philosophy of Single Electrode Earthing for Fibreglass Enclosed Su bstations. Reference to the report in Appendix B of this handbook explains the reasons for restricting the HV earthing system to one electrode,

43

p
(kD.m)
60
50 _J
~
40 n::
w
30 ~
L
Cl
z
20 ;:::
«
_J
15 ::>
l/l
~
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
_J
0
<Il
0·5 0·1 a

t (SECONDS)

·35

w
L
;:::
Er o
~
(VOLTS) u
20000 n::
<{
<.!)
/' Z
/' Ci
10 000 / ::>
/ _J
/ U
/' ·70 ~
/'
5000 w w
4 OO~ /'~ L
;:::
),0'00 w z
/' Cl ·eo 0
<{
2000 t::i I-
U
/' 0 w
/' > Z
/' ·90 z
/' Z 0
/' 1000 u
0 l/l
;::: 1· 0 0
<{
I-
l/l L
500 co ::>
:;) L
400 III
><
300 «
L 1·5

200 150

100

2·0

Er

FORMULA Ip = 1000 + 1500 p

WHERE Ip = CURRENT THROUGH PERSON (AMPS) Er = SUBSTATION VOLTAGE RISE (VOLTS)

P = RESISTIVITY OF GROUND OR INSULATING MATERIAL l ko.ml t = f (Ip)(SECONDSl REFER TO GRAPH FIG. No 1.

EXAMPLE;- LET p=1knm AND CALCULATED VOLTAGE RISE =2000 YOLTS. BREAKER MUST OPEN AND CLEAR FAULT WITHIN 0·55 SECONDS.

FAULT CLEARING TIME FOR SUBSTATION SURROUNDED WITH INSU~ATING MATS FIG. 46

44

CHAPTER 12

S W E R EARTHING

Normally, earthing of high voltage systems is merely a protective or protection measure and current flows in the earth circuit only for the duration of a fault. However, in the case of a SWER system, the earthing installation carries the load current of the circuit as well as any fault current. This aspect brings the earthing system of the SWER line into greater prominence than that of the conven tionalline.

The safe operation of any electricity distribution system necessitates the main tenance of low resistance eartbs in order to ensure that protective devices will operate under fault conditions. Hence, within certain limits the SWER system presents no greater problem than is encountered for the conventional system assuming that no increase in resistance occurs owing to the passage of load current.

Except under very adverse circumstances the maximum permissible value of earth resistance at distribution substations should not be hard to obtain whilst that at isolating substations should be obtained with reasonable expenditure.

Regulation 19(4) of the Overhead Line Construction and Maintenance Regulations, 1962, provides that-"The earthing conductor, electrodes and clamps which form part of an earthing system specifically intended for the continuous passage of electric current such as in the Single Wire Earth Return System of distribution shall be adequately designed and installed so that they will be substantially at earth potential under all weather and seasonal conditions", and

J

Regulation 36(2) requires that-"The earthing conductors, electrodes and clamps which form part of an earthing system specifically intended for the continuous passage of electric current such as in the distribution system referred to in Regulation 19( 4) shall be mechanically and electrically maintained so that they will be substantially at earth potential under all weather and seasonal conditions".

The first consideration as far as earthing of SWER lines is concerned is to safeguard the life of both man and beast.

The voltage gradients at which stock reaches discomfort are as follows-

Cow Bullock Lambs

0.45 volts per cm of distance - O. I 3 vol ts per ern of distance

- 0.25 volts per em of distance

This and other evidence point to the possibility of risk with earthing system voltage drops in excess of 40 volts.

Hence, it is suggested that a SWER earthing system should be designed so that the maximum permissible voltage on the earth lead under normal opera ting conditions should be limited to 20 volts (i.e. a "factor of safety" of 2 on the 40 volts mentioned above) for all substations. With such a limitation the risk to life is negligible. This limitation is equivalent to the following maximum earthing resistances under worst conditions-

Distribution Substation

5 kVA 30 ohms (The ElectricityAuthority 's Earthing Code Limit)

10 kV A 25 ohms

Isolating Substation 20 kVA 5 ohms 50 kVA 5 ohms 100 kVA 3 ohms

Current Loading capacity of the Earthing Systems

An earthing system when carrying load current is subject to resistance loss and this results in heating of the soil adjacent to the earth electrodes with consequent vaporisation of moisture.

Assuming load loss factors of 0.25 and 0.1 for isolating and distribu tion transformers respectively, the daily energy loss in an earthing system having the maximum earth resistances specified above are as follows-

Distribution Substations (12.7 kV)

5 kV A 11.2 watthours

10kVA 37.2watthours

Isolating Substations (12.7 kV)

25 k V A 116 watthours

50 kV A 465 watthours

100 kV AI, 120 watthours

H. G. Taylor (see reference-Appendix C) found that electrodes buried in loamy soil could dissipate 3 to 5 kW per square metre continuously but with slight increase in resistance. An electrode system comprising 3 star stake electrodes (refer to Figure 12A), 1.8 m long, has an earth contact area of about 0.7 square metres and hence should be capable of dissipating 2.1 to 3.5 kW continuously or 50 to 84 kWh per day without appreciation increase in earth resistance. This illustrates that with the actual energy dissipation encountered in practice, there is little likelihood of the earth resistance increasing due to the drying out effect of the load current. All experimental evidence confirms this and hence the current loading capacity of the earthing system should present no problem in the case of earth return distribution substations. Where isolating substations supply long networks of line particularly those operating at 19.1 kV, the charging current (which is continuous) can cause drying out in areas subject to drought. However, the use of 5 m electrodes which penetrate to soil not influenced by the surface conditions has effectively overcome this problem.

45

The basic requirements are tha t the system shall be safe from mechanical damage due to excavations such as ploughing near the pole and severing of the earthing conductors attached to the pole. This is achieved to a satisfactory degree by providing two separate earthing conductors on the pole, both mechanically protected by hardwood or fibreglass battens or galvanised pipes, and a delta arrangement of three earthing electrodes. For this arrangement, one of the electrodes is placed approximately 30cl11 from the pole (but not in the backfill), another at least 3.3 metres away from the pole, but 011 the opposite side of the pole and a third electrode is placed so that when the earthing conductors are connected a complete equilateral triangle is formed. This arrangement, which is shown over page, forms an earthing system utilizing a series loop which ensures a current path in the event of one, two or even three interelectrode conductors being severed. Additional electrodes may be necessary in high resistivity soil in order to obtain the required values of earth resistance.

Buried sections of earthing conductors should be at least 0.5 metres beneath the surface and joints to electrodes should be liberally coated with a bituminous compound before backfilling.

Separation of High and Low Voltage Earthing Systems

The Authority's "Code of Practice-Protective Earthing" specifies that low and high voltage earthing systems may be interconnected provided the earth resistance of the combined system is less than 1.0 ohms.

It is suggested, however, that for SWER systems, under no circumstances should the low voltage earthing system and high voltage current carrying system be interconnected, but rather, should be separated so as to prevent any portion of the high voltage system gradient being superimposed on the low voltage system and so transferred to the consumer's installation (assuming MEN system is used).

This separation may be achieved by-

(a) earthing the low voltage neutral one span from the substation; or

(b) locating both earthing systems on the substation pole but insulating both earthwires below ground level in order to preserve 3.3 metres minimum separation between the two systems.

46

GAlY. WATERPIPE 20mm l.D.x 3200 mm long FOR MECHANICAL PROTECTION OF H.Y. EARTH WIRES

BARE COPPER CONDUCTOR 7/2,00 MIN (LV, EARTH)

NOTES

ILV, EARTHING SYSTEM: SYSTEM TO BE CONNECTED TO LV. NEUTRAL (14 E, N. SYSTEM)

2,H.v.EARTHING SYSTEM:SYSTEM TO BE CONNECTED TO H,Y. EARTH BUSHING HV SURGE DIVERTERS & TANI( EARTH

3AS AN ALTERNATIVE THE L.V. EARTHING SYSTEM MAY

BE LOCATED ON AN ADJACENT POLE. PROYIDED THE CONNECTING NEUTRAL CONDUCTOR IS NOT LESS THAN

7/2'00 EQU IVALENT I

I

I rye. INSULATED

'+J\>,./lCOPPER CONDUCTOR rel-/;'. 7/l00 MIN. (HVEARTH) ~1.J

I

I

I

WOODEN EARTH BATTEN

2700mm rnln.lenqth x 75mm d8 mm TO PROVIDE MECHANICAL PROTECTION & INSULATION FOR BARE EARTHING CONDUCTORS

GALY.EARTH ELECTRODE & CLAMP

H.V. EARTHING SYSTEM

12.7kVOR 19·1kV ISOLATING SUBSTATION DOUBLE POLE

MAX EARTH RESISTANCE UNDER WORST CONDITIONS

H V EARTHING SYSTEM 25kVA SIS -511. 50kVA SIS -511. IOOkYA SIS-31l..

LV EARTHING SYSTEM 30.n. AND WHOLE OF SYSTEM TO BE 10.n.

.d.7

NOTES

I. L.V. EARTHING SYSTEM: SYSTEM TO BE CONNECTED TO L.V. NEUTRAL (M.E.N. SYSTEM)

2. HV. EARTHING SYSTEM: SYSTEM TO BE CONNECTED TO H.v. EARTH BUSHING. H.V. SURGE DIVERTERS & TANK EARTH

3. AS AN ALTERNATIVE THE L.v. EARTHING SYSTEM MAY BE LOCATED ON AN ADJACENT POLE, PROVIDED THE CONNECTING NEUTRAL CONDUCTOR IS NOT LESS THAN 7/2·00 EQUIVALENT

II-i-+'a-- WOODEN EARTH BATTEN 2700mmmin.length x 75mm x 38 mm

TO PROVIDE MECHANICAL PROTECTION & INSULATION FOR BARE EARTHING CONDUCTORS

L.V. EARTHING SYSTEM

INTERCONNECTED OR NOT

12·7kV OR i9·lkV ISOLATING SUBSTATION SINGLE POLE

MAX. EARTH RESISTANCE UNDER WORST CONDITIONS

HV EARTHING SYSTfJj 25kVA sis - 51l. SOkVA sIS -- 5Il. IOOkVA st: - 3D,

L.Y.EARTHING SYSTEM 301l. AND WHOLE OF SVSTE",l TO BE 10.1'1.

48

I

PYC INSULATED COPPER _C.-]:- 0,;,., CONDUCTOR 7/200 t4INj~l'-_ I

(H.V.EARTfij ,I

I I, I

BARE COPPER CONDUCTOR 7/Z'00'- I i I'

MIN. (L.V.EARTH) :i: ' II

III II III ' II III 11\

I I

GALV. ~ATERPIPE 20mm I.~ I ,I

3200 mm long FOR MECHANICAl I' PROTECTION OF H.V. EARTH

WIRES III

,I ,

,II " II,

:11

300mm _- III

mox,.from ---:;

pole i"i II

!

NOTES

I LV. EARTHING SYSTEt1: SYSTEM TO BE CONNECTED TO L.V. NEUTRAL (M.E.N. SYSTEM)

2HV EARTHING SYSTEM:SYSTEMTO BE CONNECTED TO H.II. EARTH BUSHING, HV SURGE DIVERTERS & TANK EARTH

3.AS AN ALTERNATIVE THE LV. EARTHING SYSTEM MAY BE LOCATED ON AN ADJACENT POlE,PROVIDED THE CONNECTING NEUTRAL CONDUCTOR IS NOT LESS THAN 7/2'00 EQUIVALENT

L.V. EARTHING I

SYSTEM i

12.7kV OR 19·1kV DISTRIBUTION SUBSTATION

MAX EARTH RESISTANCE UNDER WORST CONDITIONS

HY EARTHING SYSTEM 5kVA 515 - 301l. IOkVA S/S-25Il

LV. EARTHING SYSTEM 30ILANDWHOLE OF SYSTEM TO BE 10Il

CHAPTER 13 DISTRIBUTION EARTHING SYSTEMS

The Development of Different Systems of Earthing

In the early days of the electricity supply in dustry, earthing connections were made at installations by simple plate or driven electrodes which were first thought of as enabling the earth to "absorb the charge" and which were later assumed to provide an earth fault return path through the earth to the earthed neutral point at the distribution centre.

The earth resistance of such an arrangement can be high and may be increased by the drying out of the moisture in the ground around the electrode by sustained fault currents.

The shortcomings of this simple direct earthing system led to the use of any available continuous metallic structure, such as a system of water piping, for the earth return path.

Even this did not remove all the difficulties, and electricity supply engineers continued to look for other ways of improving the reliability of protective earthing.

One improvement was to use the neutral of the distribution system as a fault return path. This involved connecting the neutral conductor to the earthing system at installations and perhaps also connecting it to earth at other points in the distribution system.

While the use of the neutral supplied a low impedance path for fault currents there was much apprehension amongst engineers that if the neutral conductor should break, the frame of the appliance could become alive at near active potential. In order to overcome this probabiity a minimum limit was placed on the physical size of the neutral conductor to lessen the chances of breakage and the neutral was multiple earthed along its route in an endeavour to keep it at earth potential. Some supply authorities were still unhappy about the consequences of a broken neutral and resort was made to using the earth leakage (voltage operated) circuit breaker system. However, experience has shown that their concern was groundless because no fatalities have occurred fr0111 this source. Today the multiple earthed neutral (MEN) system is universal and most supply authorities have either adopted it or are in the process of converting to it. Isolated problems in respect of nuisance shocks do however occur and in some localities effective earthing is economically unattainable. The system like all those that depend upon an overload device to operate is potentially dangerous if the household or appliance wiring is not correctly installed. These aspects are dealt with later in Chapter 14.

Figure 47,48 and 49 illustrate the three authorised systems of earthing, viz.>

(1) The direct earthing system (utilizing a metallic earth path).

(2) The multiple earthed neutral system (MEN system).

(3) The voltage operated earth leakage circuit-breaker system (ELCB system).

Selection of Systems of Earthing

The three aforementioned systems of earthing are the only systems legally recognised in New South Wales. This is brought about by the Consumers Regulations and SAA Wiring Rules. Although each supply authority is free to specify which of the three recognised earthing systems shall be used in installations connected to the different portions of its electricity supply system, the supply authority concerned shall see that the conditions attached to the use of each system of earthing are complied with at all times.

(a) The Direct Earthing System

The direct earthing system is manifestly the simplest, from the point of view both of the supply authority and the consumer, but is dependent upon a permanent low resistance earth return path for fault currents. This is normally provided by using the water mains, cable sheaths or separate conductor but resort can be made to earth and electrode systems. The cablesheathing method is limited to underground distribution systems using metal-sheathed cable while the provision of a special earthing conductor is normally limited to special applications such as when supply to a consumer is given from a distribution centre on or adjacent to his premises. By far the most common application of the direct earthing system is, therefore, in areas where the

water supply piping provides the return path. '

The development of water supply practice cannot. however, be dictated by considerations of electricity supply and various circl1Instances-J trend towards the usc of non-metallic piping and jointing material-have tended in many areas to reduce the effectiveness of the water supply piping as 3 return path. This imposes on the supply authority the need to consider alternative sy sterns.

(b) The Earth Leakage (Voltage Operated) Circuit-Breaker System

This system is really a direct earthing system provided with a back up breaker which disconnects the supply when a predetermined voltage drop occurs between the direct earthwire and the general mass of earth. The ELCB system therefore is in certain respects more attractive than other systems. Furthermore, it lllay at first sight appear advantageous from the supply authority's viewpoint, because the distribution system requires earthing at one point only and the earthing electrode will not be required to cope with heavy fault currents. The supply authority should, however, weigh against these advantages the fact that the ELCB system is much more costly to the consumer and that earth leakage circuit-breakers require periodic checking and maintenance to ensure continued effectiveness. ELCB systems are also prone to inter-consumer interference when a common direct earth connection is used and arc often avoided for this reason.

The ELCB system is sometimes useful to meet difficult earthing conditions -in an isolated installation or a group of installa-

tions, on an isolated stony where earth connections have very high resistance. Moreover, for various reasons, consumers

may to use the ELCB in their installations. Before making a decision to use the voltage operated ELCB system

however, the current operated system dealt with in Chapter 14 should be considered.

50

SWQEB - LlB!:l~RY

(c) The MEN System

The essential features of the MEN system are that the neutral conductor of the distribution

resistance return path, and that the potential above earth of this neutral conductor is low a

connections throughout its length,

furnishes low

number of earth

The system involves earth connections to the neutral both at consumers' premises and at points In this regard it should be noted that the earth connection at consumers' premises is covered by the

supply authority has no power to or limit the resistance 'of anyone consumer's earth connection

that it complies with the SAA Rules,

From the of view of protection of the consumer's installation, there are no basic differences between

earthing system and the MEN system, Both systems depend upon the blowing of a fuse or the operation of over-current of

circuit-breakers to cut off the supply should conductors of different potential or active conductors and earthed

metallic framework come both cases the framework of the consumer's apparatus is connected to earth at the con-

sumer's installation and the system neutral conductor is connected to earth at the distribution centre, Both

re qui re a low resistance path between the faulty installation and the earth connection (neutral In MEN system

th~ neutral conductor forms the metallic return path and in the direct earthing system the metallic return is provided by

the piping of a water supply system or cable sheathings or by special earthing conductors, The feature of the

MEN svstem is that the distribution neutral conductor is connected to earth at the consumer's and at various

other places along its routes, The is, therefore, a combination of distribution system and installation

earthing,

As the neutral conductor is connected to conduits and exposed metal frames of appliances etc" it is essential that the neutral conductor be kept at or close to earth potential. This requires a low resistance between the neutral conductor and earth at all points and at any time. The determining factor in meeting this requirement is the number, distribution, and resistance of the connections from neutral to earth throughout the supply authority's system, The success and safety of the MEN system depends on careful attention by the supply authority towards meeting this condition and ensuring that it is maintained in service.

I t is manifestly irnpor tan t also tha t ev~ ry possible precaution be taken against any incorrect connection of an active instead of the neu tral to earth,

Balancing of the load over the phases of a multi-phase distribution system is also an important factor in ensuring that the potential of the neu tral with respect to the general earth mass is kept suitably low.

The most important aspect of the MEN system is that the neutral conductor remain intact. For this reason the Code of Practice-Protective Earthing specifies in Table 2. minimum sizes for neutral conductors.

Consumer's Fuses

So far as the consumer's fuses are concerned, there is the possiblity that the consumer may replace a blown fuse with one of much higher current rating and this fuse may not then operate under faulty conditions, The effectiveness of the earthing system would then depend on the operation of the supply authority'S service fuse, Such service fuses are often of comparatively large rating and thus require a high earth fault current for their operation. The use of the MEN earthing system however overcomes this problem.

Another difficulty is that earthing conductors may be broken or disconnected and, if of small current carrying capacity, may be damaged by the passage of comparatively large currents due to faults or to lightning.

Nuisance Shocks and the MEN System

When the neutral conductor carries current, an IZ drop is produced along its length. It is not unusual for this IZ drop to reach 15 volts. This votlage will appear between the earthed metal of appliances and remote earth and persons in contact with such earthed metal and remote earth (which may be a gas pipe, concrete floor, kitchen sink etc.) will experience a current flow. Normally voltage of this order will not produce sensation and persons are completely unaware of its presence. However, in certain instances where persons are in damp situations or in contact with salt or like conductive solutions or where a person is hypersensitive to electrici shock sensations can occur. Although, except in the case of swimming pools, no danger is present in these circumstances. the person concerned usually complains and requests that the situation be corrected. In the case of a swimming pool. a victim need only experience a small voltage drop, say 3,0 volts, to cause cramping of the muscles which can lead to death by drowning,

Nuisance voltages cannot be effectively removed by installing lower resistance earthing electrodes along the neutral unless the summated parallel resistance of the electrodes is substantially less than that of the neutral, This is because when a voltage appears between two points in the neutral it cannot be meaningfully reduced unless the resistance of the earth neutral circuit is also effectively reduced. If a neutral has a resistance of 0.5 ohms and the earth path has a resistance of, 5,0 ohms. then the influence of the earth path has only a marginal effect 011 the neu tral voltage drop, If an earth stake of say .0 ohm, is located at the point where nuisance shocks are reported, then the voltage at this point may be reduced to 1(5tll of the total and an acceptable level, but because the total voltage drop along the neutral remains the same, a higher voltage must appear at the other end of the neutral. The effect of installing the low resistance electrode is simply to transfer the problem elsewhere along the neutral route, It is possible of course that other consumers may not be affected by the neutral voltage and a satisfactory result may be obtained,

An effective method of removing this nuisance is to cause the person to be at the same potential as the offending earthed appliance, This may be achieved by electrically bonding the appliance to the remote earth connection or where the remote earth is a concrete floor or the like, by laying down a metal screen between the floor and the person and connecting the screen to the appliance earth,

In those instances where it is impractical to create an equipotential situation it will be necessary to remove the offending voltage from the appliance earthing system,

,\1

DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM

NE UTRAL

\;lATER PIP£, CABLE SHEATH OR SPECIAL EARTHING CONOUCTOR

HVEARTH

CONSUMERS INSTALLATION

S A A i

\!I_0_1_!'~~UL~~_J

DIRECT EARTHING SYSTEM

FlG.47

D!5TRf8UT!ON SYSTEK

CON5UM ERS INSTALLATION

S. A A ,

L WIRING RULES :

______ . ___J

r--:

I I

FE

i

Ji

IF AVAIU\8LE

\<lATER PIPE IF AVAILABLE

H V. EARTH

VO~TAGE OPERATED CIRCUIT- BREAKER

LEAKAGE SYSTEM

FIG. 49

I

L_________ \

AUXILIARY EARTH

This involves disconnection cf the local earthing system from the neutral and community water mains as these are the souree and conveyance of the nuisance voltage. The water service will therefore need to be fitted with an insulated joint or section (preferably close to the water meter) and the household end connected to a local "main" earth of 200 ohms or less. The consumer earth should be disconnected from the neutral link and if it is not already so connected to the household plumbing. Because the low impedance path for fault currents has been lost due to the isoloation from the community water main and neutral it will be necessary to instal an earth leakage circuit breaker, its auxiliary earth electrode being less than 200 ohms with respect to earth and outside the influence of the main earth and household plumbing etc. The consumers' mains will also need to

be double insulated. A arrangement is illustrated in Figure 49A.

52

WAH A Sf?'! iCE

EAAli1 REMOVED nWH

NEU1RAL lHO: -_ "--_ NIL

CLf'>:' lHJl.N won)

HOtJS£HOLO tAR1H 10

t t c s CONTACl __

FIG.49A

Technically, a current operated earth leakage circuit breaker would be a better proposition for removal of nuisance shocks but unfortunately its use is not legal in New . .South Wales (per medium of the S.A.A. Wiring Rules) unless the direct earth connection meets the requirement that its resistance to earth is less than--

Voltaze to earth

5 x current rating of largest fuse

(ohms)

Refer to SAA Wiring Rule 5.9.1.1. The resistance so required is often quite impracticable to obtain.

The Wiring Rules would, however, be satisfied if the current operated earth leakage breaker were also made to function as a voltage operated breaker. This may be done by using an additional relay having the prescribed characteristics, the relay being used to trip the breaker when the earthwire voltage exceeds 20 vol ts. The relay operating characteristics are specified in Clause 23 urSAA Approval and Test Specification for Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers No. CllO-1956AP.

Two suggested circuit arrangements are given in Figures 498 and 49C. Whilst the cost of providing the additional relay may be argued tu be unreasonable, it does nevertheless provide a back up to the core balance unit in the circuit configuration shown in Figure 49B if the unit should fail due to transistor or other component damage.

The current operated earth leakage system is explained in detail in Chapter 14.

Duplicate Service Line Neutrals

Where it is established that the IZ drop in the consumers' service neutral is a prime contributing factor in producing nuisance shocks. this component of the nuisance voltage can be eliminated by running a duplicate neutral: one to carry load current and one to connect to the earthing system. The load carrying neutral would be disconnected from the earthing system by removing the earthwirc from the neutral link and connecting it to the other neutral. This method has been found to reduce nuisance voltages by as much as 3.0 volts. Where the neutrals connect to the street distributor separate connectors should be used to eliminate any possibility of a loose connection producing a voltage drop.

lOAD

A.UX!L!A/!.Y

(L E(TROOE 2001l HAX

MAIN ElECTRODE 200 Jl MAX

AL T(RIU,TIV( ARRANGEMENT

'rO,T(R SERVICE TO H INSULATED FROM STfIHT

PREFERR[[) ARRAIH;£HENT

WHERE A S[PARATECO~4~LE(TAOGUAI\D) AJ.lO

BREA1.£R IS 'JSEO THIS ARRANGEMENT PROVIDES 2 DiSTINCT

TRIPPING SOURCES

WAHR SERVI([

TO BE IN SULA TEO FROM STR[(T MAIN

'f(H[RE THE eR(AK[R AHO CORE milT ,\R[ COHfI!Nt:O THIS RELIES ON THE IIHEGRITY OF THE CORE UNIT

AND MAGNETIC RHfASE TRIP FOR 80TH MOO[S Of OP£RAT!ON_ THE PROVISION Of AN £XTtlHlAL RESisTOR I S ALSO AN UHP(SIRAeL( FEATUR(

200 JL MAX

FIG. 498

FIG.49C

CHAPTER 14

THE CURRENT OPERATED (CORE BALANCE) EARTH LEAKAGE SYSTEM

Although the MEN system of earthing is regarded as the most effective economic method of earthing, it has, however, failings; it can produce shocks between the electrical earthwire and general earth mass and although these are normally only of nuisance value, they can prove fatal where swimming pools are concerned. I t also causes current normally carried by the neu tral to pass through the ground or structures buried in the ground, thereby creating an electrolysis problem, and it does not provide a disconnection in the event of a person coming in contact with live appliances. A further disadvantage, though not serious in practice, is that in the event of a neutral breaking in the distribution network, earthed metal in the consumer's residence could become alive with respect to the general mass of earth, This last mentioned problem is mainly overcome in urban areas due to the presence of an extensive water supply system that acts as a back-up to the neutral. This facility is not, however, afforded to rural consumers.

The vol tage operated earth leakage circuit breaker system overcomes these problems in part; it removes the hazard of a broken neutral and does not cause neutral current to pass through the earth, and is unlikely to produce nuisance shocks. It does not, however, disconnect supply if a person comes in contact with live metal and earth. It has disadvantages in that is is susceptible to tripping due to voltage rise in the common water supply main causing it to operate following faults in neighbouring installations not under its control. This "nuisance" tripping, coupled with the need to regularly test breakers (and their associated earth connections), has brought the voltage operated earth leakage circuit breaker system into disfavour. It should be noted here also that the test button on a voltage operated ELCB only tests the e arthwire between the breaker and earthing point. It does not check out the consumer's earthwire or appliance leads. There is also a problem that the push button test switch breaks the normal circuit during test and there is no guarantee that it will be properly restored after test-

Disadvantages of the Three Authorised Systems

The direct and MEN systems authorised in the SAA Wiring Rules both have a common serious disadvantage in that they are not true protective earthing systems but rather alternative fault path systems forming part of an overload protection system. The system functions satisfactorily if the earthwire is wholly intact between the earthed point at the distribution substation and the appliance frame. As there are many points where discontinuity can occur in this earthwire and that part which is between the general purpose outlet and the appliance is open to a great deal of abuse and sometimes maintained by uninformed persons, this part of the circuit cannot be confidentaly regarded as reliable. Further, the overload device protecting the appliance may not operate, Such devices often consist of thermal overload breakers or fuses. The breakers may freeze and fail to trip or the fuses may be over-rated by the consumer. None of these possible defects are readily tested by the consumer and because of the high cost involved in having them checked regularly by a qualified person, they are for the most part never tested after installation. More than half the deaths that occur in the home are due to a fault occurring somewhere in the earthwire circuit.

The Core Balance System

The core balance system used in conjunction with the MEN or direct earth system offers many advantages not provided by other systems. Its main disadvantage is cost, but this could be reduced if the demand were sufficient to justify mass production in Australia. The system offers many advantages over the present three authorised systems. These include the very important aspect of consumer testing availability and disconnection in the event of a person coming in to con tact with live metal and earth, when tripping can occur at less than 20 mA body current within a few cycles.

The core balance system comprises a current transformer, usually of the toroidal type, through which the active and neutral currents flow, In normal circumstances these currents summate to zero, but if some current is caused to pass externally to the CT then a resultant current will be present at the CT secondary. This current can be made to trip a circuit breaker to disconnect the circuit. Earth fault current including current passing through a person's body to earth will not pass through the CT and hence, if of sufficient magnitude can cause the breaker to trip. The basic circuit of a core balance system is illustrated in Figure 50. Alternative arrangements which permit the system to be used as a hybrid voltage operated ELCB system are illustrated in Figures 49B, 49C and 55,

A

C T

EAR.TH CURRENT aY~PAS5ES c T

FIG. 50

Current operated breakers are available in two basic forms, the passive or permanent magnet release and the active or amplifier types.

The passive types have the ad van tage of lower cost and independence of the mains supply. They, however, impose a higher burden on the earth circuit, are slower to operate and are more delicate than the amplifier types. In order to reduce the burden on the earthwire (with subsequent reduced costs due to a smaller core CT) it is customary to use an energy gathering circuit. This functions by charging a capacitor to a predetermined voltage whereupon an SCR or other similar functioning device triggers and discharges the capacitor into a trip relay. The trip relay comprises a permanent magnet with a winding around it. An armature is held by the magnet and a spring is compressed to oppose the magnet. When sufficient current flows in the winding the magnet is temporarily dernagne tised causing the armature to be released. The spring then forces a trigger to trip the breaker. Although the time delay brough t abou t by the charging action of the capaci tor can be regarded as a disadvan tage, it is claimed by purveyors of the devices to assist towards overcoming nuisance tripping. In this respect it is marginally effective bu t makes the device unsuitable for dual sensitivity mode.

54

pru ted I

this m tliem suitable

the ill ty o l t hc ncu ual conductor. sliuuld Im:ak

to the temporary loss ui' protection. However. this situation al

actuallY become alive if it neutral conductor breaks. but J]() Iaruh t The fa~·ts are that when :1 neutral breaks, is lost .aud action

loss oj:1 neutral in all MEN system d not a

til the curthwirc. An earth system ul

are lUJ111CC[cd. Also in order tu with AS JllJO·1974 Ap

usually operate below this vul

Function of Core Balance Relays

The function of a type A core b alan.:c relay is t o cause disconnection orthe clcciricity before a thrn is disturbed and be caused to fibrill.ne. Fibrillation is not likely t o occur if the electric current is

is disconnected in less than 150 rnilli Standards Illatiun AS 3IlJO·llJ74 ap res current

to open within 100 milliseconds ar 'lS(Y.; ol rated tripping current which must not exceed 111;\ fur type

person normal hca It than 30 m A or if it ted ELel) devices

Cure balance relays with these low sensitivities d o not prevent a person Irom currents exceeding these values. A

person will pass a current commensurate with the possible max imum current thai can having regard to the circuit impedance

which is normally assumed to be about 1000 ohms where me tul to !Iletal contacts arc involved. Hence a person could expect to pass about 240111A cu rrerit if he makes contact between a ~40 vult active and metallic earth. In SLJch circumstances a breaker with a core sensitivity of less than 240 III A would provide complete protection as the breaker would be caused to trip. However, if a person were standing on a concrete floor and the resistance of the circuit was (say) 10,000 ohms, then only 24mA would Ilow and such a breaker would nut trip. In order to disconnect supply in such circumstances a core sensitivity of less than 24 rnA would be necessary. Hence the reason why most core balance relays arc designed to operate in the 20 to 30 mA region.

The problem with relays that operate at these relative low earth currents lies in the possibility that normal earth leakage currents associated with the electrical installation can exceed these values and cause tripping. GeneL.1I1y most domestic installations utilizing thermo-plastic sheath wiring will have leakage currents well below 20mA even after 25 years ofservice. However, the situat ion with old VIR wiring in metallic conduit is different and earth current leakages might exceed this value, Appliances also are prone to insulation degeneration. to the extent that after a period of usc, the earth leakage currents may exceed 20 mA. particularly if heating is involved. Insulation which would normally have leakage currents less than I mA at 25°C can deteriorate tu pass currcn t s exceeding 20 mA when heated to abou t 100°C. Hence as an example an electric st ove when fi rst swi tched on may have an earth leakage current of only ImA but after being switched on for say 20 minutes the leakage current could increase to exceed 20 or 30 nrA. Electric toasters normally have low leakage currents, but if contaminated with burnt crumbs or if the bread curls and touches the clement. the earth current can exceed the value to cause tripping. These are but a few examples of how tripping may occur. There arc many other possibilities. Because the leakage currents associated with these appliances are not detrimental to their use or life, any trip associated with such usc must be regarded as a nuisance, particularly if a whole installation is disconnected. Such nuisance trips have a bad habit of occurring at the most inopportune time. Consumers who have been sold on the principle of core balance and had it installed have on many occasions subsequently had it disconnected after a period ofnuisance tripping.

Desensitisation of the relay is common practice in Europe, but this has the disadvantage of placing the consumer's life in jeopardy. However, such a consumer', life would only be placed in jeopardy if he received a shuck by way of a circuit having impedance high enough to limit the current to less than required to produce tripping. If a person were to make metal to metal contact he would be in a circuit situation which has a potential 240 mA leakage current.

Dual Sensitivity

Core balance relays may be made insensitive to electrical ea rrhwirc faults (thereby eliminating nuisance tripping due to appliance leakage) by passing the circuit carthwire through the core. This is a simple matter with "through core" type, bu t requires an additional winding where "wound cores" arc used. Such an arrangement would, however, leave the user without protection against electrocution and would nut cause the breaker to trip if the appliance developed a serious earth fault. However,

if a portion of the carthwirc current is diverted

external to the core then the relav will t the external current exceeds the relay tripping currcnt . A suggested raliu of

til to external current is 2.75 1 J ::!O mA to trip at 75 mA in respect of carthwire leakage currents. but

still provides 20 mA protection ill respect of other earths including the main earth and water pipe. The basic principle or dual sensitivity is illustrated in Figure 51.

A --.

r----l

<;J I TRIP REQUIRES

IJ:: : 75 mA LEAKAGE

ir I

r---"-"

I I I

I I t I t I I I

I I

75 m:-r-"

-----r-----------~~A/v-_4~--------------

,---,

TRIP REQUIRES ~I __j__

20 rnA LEAKAGE"" =: s

I v.."

20 mA CORE UN IT

N

R

55 rnA -

BASIC PRINCIPLE OF DUAL SENSITIVITY CORE- BALANCE EARTH LEAKAGE CIRCUIT BREAf(ER SYSTEt~

FIG. 51

E

2·75 R

20 rnA

-----

55

SERva: FUSE

A

TO WATER HEATER (NOT OFF PEAK) Af{) LIGHTS

MAIN SWITCH

kWh METER

CONSlJ.1ERS MAINS

r-----l

I

I

I I I

I I

L J

N ._ __ +- ~

75mA

L=5S METRES OF 7/067 OOFfffi WIRE PVC (GREENi INSULATED WOUND TO FORM A B TLRN TOROID. (200 mm INSIDE DIAMETERi R = 3·9 METRES OF 1'>/0 20mm INSULATED COPPER WIRE WOUND TO FORM A 5 TURN TOROID.

NOTE

CIRCUIT EARTH WIRES MUST NOT CARRY NEUTRAL CURRENT THIS MAY BE ACHIEVED

BY CONNECTIN3 TO THE MAJN EARTH WIRE

AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE TO THE WATER PIPE EARTH WIRES CONNECTED TO E~~ 2 MUST NOT BE CDJNECTED TO ANY OTHER EARTH

70
<.(
E
w
0:::
3: 60
I
I-
0:::
<.(
W
0
W 50
tf)
I-
(j)
Z
W
tf)
ill 40
0
LL
0
>-
I-
>
I- 30
(j)
Z
ill
(j) WATER PIPE GAS PIPE SPRINKLER PIPE

,...1AJN EARTH

""7 SEE RULES 5 311 AN) 5 381

DUAL SENSITIVITY CORE BALANCE PROTECTION USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MEN EARTHING SYSTEM

FIG. 52

EFFECT OF INADVERTANT CONTACT BETWEEN DESENSITISED AND MAIN EARTHWIRES ON A 20/75 mA DUAL SENSITIVITY DEPICTED IN FIG. 52

76

~ I-- !'""
../ i-'"
V
LlV'
1/
I V
V
/ ','

/
/
/
/
/ r
/

',j
V

V
V
V
.:
L
/'
20

·01 '05 '1 (Ohms) ,5 1,0 5,0 10

CONTACT RESISTANCE BETWEEN DESENSITISED AND MAIN EARTHWIRE FIG. 53

56

One method of obt airung the benefits of core balance protection without the encumbrance of the MEN or direct systems is to use a hybrid system utilizing the voltage operated earth leakage circuit breaker system. The scheme illustrated in Fig, 4913 is :ecomrllencled as it provides a back up to the core sensing unit should it fail. In order to comply with the Rules (and AS C I 10 Ap) the relay would need to have the following characteristics:

( I)

With 200 ohms in series with the coil, the breaker will not trip with less than 20 volts applied but will trip with between 20 and 26 volts applied

(2) (3)

With 500 ohms in series with the coil the breaker will trip at less than 42 volts,

with 800 ohms in series with the coil the breaker will trip at less than 65 volts.

(4)

The coil must be wound with copper wire not less than 36 SWG (i.e. ,029 Tl1m2),

The above requirements dictate that the coil must have an inductance of 0,84 henry and the relay operate at 76 rnA, Alternatively, the conditions could be satisfied by the arrangement illustrated in Fig, 55.

"V 'V
2L.OV AC
1AMP
RECTIFIER
18 V 500 .n,
,HOQQQQQOOQQQQOQ

" --
TO BREAKER
TRIP cal L
-~ FIG. 55 - ~ Protection with Portable Core Balance Relays

In some circumstances it is advantageous to use portable core balance relays, particularly on building construction sites. A problem arises in these circumstances that the 3 core flexible lead on the supply side of the relay might have been incorrectly wired so that an active! earth cross occurs. Also at building sites many appliances arc double insulated and are not earthed, Al though double insulated appliances should not leak electricity circumstances can occur where they may, On the other hand certain earthed appliances may have excessive leakage which could cause nuisance tripping, The circuit illustrated in Fig. 56 has been devised to cater for these problems. The relay R in the circuit is normally energised when supply is connected, This causes the normally closed contacts to open, If active potential is impressed 011 the earthwire, the relay will not energise and the contacts will remain closed to prevent the breaker from being closed, Note that the breaker has 3 poles, the third being necessary to open the earthwirc in the event of it becoming alive at active potential.

Three earth leakage scnsitivies arc provided being 75 mA. 20 mA an d 4 mA for use with leaky, normal and double insula ted appliances respectively. In practice the lowest sensitivity that docs not produce tripping would be used.

FLEX iBL!:: CORD

r------.,

I I

I I

I

I

I I I I I I I I

BUFFER RESISTOR

PLUG OUTLETS

R

200 IL 20 W

~: ~ :

~------------_'----:--a ~--+----+------------~-+-S-O-0-2-1/-S~--'_---------------'-'~

I '04 () CORE UNIT

I

N!C

2 CORE FLEX

z Q_

;#'

3'3m OF 7j05mm

COPPER WIRE

·19.n.

'"

5·2 m OF

15/0'20mm COPPER WIRE

;(

3'Bm OF 16/0'20mm

COPPER WIRE

R = PROTECTS AGAINST REVERSED ACTIVE AND EARTHWIRE IN SUPPLY CORDS.

PROPOSED PORTABLE EARTH LEAKAGE UNITS FOR BUILDING SITES FIG. 56

en

CHAPTER 15 EARTHING OF SWIMMING POOLS

The findings of various authors such as C. F. Dalziel, W. B. Kouwenhoven, L. P. Ferris, E. R. Trethewie and others regarding heart fibrillation associated with electric shock, indicate that body currents in excess of about 50 mA can cause death. However body currents of a much lower magnitude can affect the muscles to produce paralysis resulting in among other things inability to use the limbs and loss of breathing. If the duration of the current flow is sufficiently sustained, say for more than two minutes, the inability to breathe can cause death by asphyxiation. If a person happens to be in an unnatural environment such as a swimming pool, paralysis of the limbs can result in drowning.

The subject of persons drowning through electrically induced paralysis was investigated by two Americans, A. W. Smoot (senior member IEEE) and C. A. Beutel (member lEE) and the results of their findings were published in September. J 964 on page 945 in Vol. 83, No.9 of lEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems. Broadly speaking, the Authors found that an adult healthy male human immersed in water is likely to lose the use of his legs if he experiences voltage gradients higher than 6 volts/metre. On the other hand voltage gradients as low as 0.6 volts/metre across the chest can cause loss of breathing. I twas further established that difference of 2 volts in the potential of the water and any metalwork such as a pool exit ladder, surrounding fence, lamp fittings, etc., was sufficient to paralyse a person and prevent his leaving the water resulting in subsequent drowning.

Smoot and Bentel carried out a number of experiments to determine the voltage gradients that could occur around a live lamp fitting immersed in a swimming pool. The results showed that the gradients are substantially similar to those associated with an earthing electrode driven into homogenous soil. The graph depicted in Fig. 57 illustrates one of the results obtained by Smoot and Bentel. It indicates that the gradient within the first foot (30 C111) is most severe, being about 7.0 volts. In the second one foot increment, the gradient is about 1.0 vol t. This suggests that a person coming within 30 ern of a lamp fitting metal escutcheon with 15 volts in respect of absolute earth impressed on it would be in danger of being rendered unconscious. However, in practice a swimmer approaching such a fitting experiences a gradual build-up in voltage gradient and the associated pain alerts him to keep away from the area. Further examination of the graph indicates that the voltage between the water mass and remote earth remains in excess of 2 volts for a distance of possibly up to 24 ft. (8 metres). There is a real danger in these circumstances if a swimmer attempts to leave the pool by means of a metal ladder at remote earth potential.

15-0 .. I E:IS VOL Tsl
13'5
12'0
Vi
t-
_,
~
:z:
7-5
_,
-< 6'0
.-=
:z:
w
t-
o
0... 12 DISTANCE FROM FIXTURE ALONG CENTRELINE OF POOL IN FEET

FIG. 57

TEST CONDITIONS FOR FIG. 57

FIXTURE ENCLOSURE
GROUNDED LIVE FLOATING
WATER RESISTIVITY WATER RESISTIVITY WATER RESISTIVITY
FAULT HIGH LOW HIGH LOW HIGH LOW
NO GASKET TEST I
NO LAMP
NO LENS AND TEST 2 TEST 3 TEST 4 TEST 5
NO LAMP 3a, 3b, 3c
TEST NOTES:
TESTS 1,2,3,4,5 WERE RUN WITH THE SIX GROUNDING ELECTRODES IN THE POOL AS SHOWN
IN FIG. 6.
TEST 3a WAS RUN WITH THE ENTIRE POOL WALL OPPOSITE FROM THE FIXTURE COVERED BY A
COPPER GROUND PLATE.
TEST 3b SAME AS 3a EXCEPT GROUND PLATE WAS POSITIONED ACROSS POOL APPROXIMATELY 17
FEET FROM FIXTURE.
TEST 3c SAME AS 3b EXCEPT ALL WALLS OF POOL WERE COVERED BY COPPER GROUND PLATES TO
WITHIN 1 FOOT OF THE FIXTURE. 60

Tests carried out by the Authority in of voltage gradients in swimming pools produced results similar to those

obtained by Smoot and Ben tel. The main difference was in respect of the absolute voltages that occurred between the energised fitting and water mass and the water mass and general earth. It was demonstrated that the water mass in the pool remained aenerally at a fixed potential difference with (0 the live fitting and also with general earth. Refer to the equivalent ~ircuit in Fig. 58.

-r--'TIS:_:V__ LIVE FITTING POTENTIAL

£ fT S (~i J

"j ,; I

! i

POOL

FENCE & EX IT LADDER

L GENERAL EART H

-'-_,l...__---L_-'-- POTENT IAL

FIG. 58

This circuit demonstrates the manner in which potential differences between the pool water mass and surrounding metalwork occurs. The relative resistances and vol tages are typical only and can vary substantially. The pool water mass is seldom at absolute earth potential, but instances where it only is at about 100/0 above have been recorded. Investigations into shock complaints within a particular pool revealed that the underwater lamp fitting was 8.25 volts above the pool water mass. It is interesting to note here that the electrical installation was in good order and that the pool potentials were not influenced by switching the underwater light on or off. The offending potential came from the normal MEN earth wire voltage associated with the neu tral IZ drop. The situation in this particular case was corrected by bonding the pool steel reinforcing to the MEN earth thereby creating an equipotential condition. Enquiries subsequent to this incident revealed that other such instances have occurred.

The pool water may also be caused to become alive with respect to general earth if an underwater ligh t fitting develops a leak thereby allowing contact between the water and live filament.

The most 'effective way to prevent a potential difference occurring between the water and surrounding metalwork is to bond all metalwork together. To be effective however this must include the steel reinforcement of the pool bowl. Where there is no such reinforcement or if it is not accessible, then metalwork associated with the electrical earth (including the water pipe in an MEN area) must be kept at least 2 metres clear of the pool, which means that underwater ligh t fittings should not have metal escutcheons and the water pipe within 2 metres of the pool must be non metallic. To safeguard against lamp failures, the use of a core balance relay controlling the whole dwelling is recommended. Core balance relays would also protect against electrocutions if a faulty electrical appliance were brought close to the pool edge and would generally improve the safety of the dwelling not only from possible electrocutions, but also from electrical fire hazards.

The reinforcing mesh in a pool should be ideally electrically continuous and with apertures no greater than 30 ern. However experience has indicated that if the rods forming the mesh are bonded together with steel wire so that they are held close together, sufficient electrical contact is achieved to provide safety. The mesh effectiveness can be tested using a null type earth tester (e.g. Geohm). This is done by connecting one current terminal to a driven stake situated 3 metres or more from the pool, the other current terminal and its associate potential terminal to the pool mesh and the remaining potential terminal to an electrode about 100 square ern in area dipped into the pool water. The reading so obtained should ideally be zero if the mesh is 100 per cent effective. However readings up to 0.5 ohms should be satisfactory. Readings of the order of 5 ohms or greater would indicate that the electrical connection to the mesh is not effective and that there is a possible open circuit or that it is fraudulent. The circuit arrangement for the testing procedure is illustrated in Fig. 59.

POOL

FIG. 59

(.1

APPENDIX "A"

CORRECTION NOMOGRAMS FOR EARTH TESTING INSTRUMENTS

METHOD 1

The true value of the earthing electrode resistance can be calculated from a nomogram based on the following formula:

Where x ==
y ;;;
m
n
RL
RH R

x-m m + n

RL • RH

~

m+ n

RL-RH

the resistance (ohms) of the high range potential circuit of the instrument.

the assumed value of potential electrode resistance (ohms) when used on the high range of the instrument.

the resistance of the low range potential circuit of the instrument.

the assumed value of potential electrode resistance when used on the low range of the instrument. reading on the low range (apparent ohms).

reading on the high range (apparent ohms).

If the supply authority is in possession of a manufacturer's correction table, the values of x, 6, m and n can be obtained as follows:

(1) y and n are the values of resistance of potential earth electrode when the correction == ± 0 for the high and low ranges respectively.

x ~ x 100 -y
% error when y - 0
n x 100
m % error when n = 0 -n (2)

(3)

Example:

The Correction Table of a particular Series 2 Megger Earth Tester is given as follows:

Resistance of Potential Earth Electrode Correction to be applied to Reading of Instrument
o ohms Subtract 5 per cent
Range 200 ohms Subtract 2~ per cent
0-50 400 ohms None
ohms 600 ohms Add 2~ per cent
800 ohms Add 5 per cent
o ohms Subtract 5 per cent
Range 1,000 ohms Subtract 2~ per cent
0-500 2,000 ohms None
ohms 3,000 ohms Add 2~ per cent
4,000 ohms Add 5 per cent
." From the above, n ym

m

x

Therefore

R

==

400 ohms 2,000 ohms

400 ~ 100 _ 400 =: 7,600 ohms

2,000 x 100 _ 2000 == 38 000

5 ' ,

38,000 - 7,600 7,600 + 400 38,000 + 2,000 7,600 + 400

3.8 RL .. RH

5 RL -=-RH

RL e RH RL-RH

~PI P2~

EARTH TESTER
CI C2
R
v v A nomogram of this form is given in Figure 1.

CALIBRATED RESISTOR (R) FIG. A

Note: (1)

The readings obtained 'should be from 2% to 5% higher than the resistance value of R.

(2) P I and Clare joined internally in 3 terminal instruments.

62

Step (2) .

Obtain

Oil both langes with c onnccrions as illustrated in Figure B.

'--'----+--D PIP 2 0-.'-+--,---, EARTH TESTER

SERIES RESISTOR

(say 5 000 to 20000 .£:L )

C 2 0--+------'

R

---,,_/ .j\/01\1\r-

CALIBRATED RESISTOR (R)

FIG. B

Step (3)

Calculate potential circuit resistance ratio (b)

RL2 x RLl

RH.2 x RIll x -------

RH 1 Rl12

b

JRLl RL2

and Range Constant (a)

METHOD 2

If the manufacturer's table of corrections is not available. corrections to within 5% of the true value can be obtained from an approximation of the formula

x rn RL • RH
--
R 111
x RL- RH
--
m The values of x ami III (as defined in Me thod I) can be obtained with an ohmeter by measuring the resistance between the two potential terminals or the common terminal and the potential terminal,

Example:

Referring to the Serics Z Earth Test Megger as per example in Method 1-

Measured value of x

38,000 ohms

Measured value of III

7.600 ohms

R=

4 RL. • RH

SRL.--=-in=J (which is 5!~ correct)

The value of "icC is given as resistance.

the highest

error that manufacturers would cater for due to potential electrode

ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF DETERMINING NOMOGRAM CONSTANTS OF A TWO RANGE INSTRUMENT

This method involves the usc DC a calibrated resistor with a value preferably just below the full scale reading on the low range and a second resistor with a resistance value approximately equal to the resistance of the low range potential circuit. The

value of the second resistor is not t and can be any value from 5.000 to 20.000 ohms.

Step (1)

Obtain readings Oil b orh ranges with connections as illustrated in Figure A.

Step (6) Using the Nomogram

In the field, obtain a reading on both ranges for the values of earthing electrode resistance. Draw a line through the appropriate values on the high and low range scales of the noru ogrurn and read off the true value where the line intersects the true value scale.

METHOD .3

If the instrument has only one range or the values of earthing resistance are such that they cannot be read on two scales of the instrument (i.e. 100 ohms cannot be read on the 0-50 ohm range) then the method of adding additional resistance to the Instrument potential circuit to obtain a second reading, can be used. Connections arc shown in the following diagram:

The earthing resistance of the electrode under test can be calculated from:

R ""

where Rl

reading on instrument in apparent ohms without resistor A.

reading on instrument in apparent ohms when theresistance A = m + n ohms or x + y ohms as described in Method 1.

If the values m + n or x + yare not known, m and/ or x can be measured with an ohmeter. Neglecting nand y would only cause an error in the order of 2'i2%. As manufacturers usually choose a round figure for m + n and x + y, it is in order to choose a round figure between 2 and 5% higher than the measured value.

where RLI Reading on low range (Figure A)

RL2 Reading on low range (Figure B)

RH I = Reading on high range (Figure A)

RH2 Reading on high range (Figure B)

R = Resistance of Calibrated Resistor (ohms)

Note: All values must include the appropriate scale multipliers.

Step (4)

The formula of the nomogram is of the form

a. RH • RL

b. RL _ RH

RT

where a and b are the constants calculated in Step 3

RH Reading on high range when connected to earthing electrode under test.

RL

Reading on low range when connected to earthing electrode under test.

RT

=

True resistance of earthing electrode.

Step (5)

Draw the nomogram.

A basic nomogram complete with the necessary reciprocal scales is given in Figure 4 and it is only necessary to draw in the third scale and label it "True Resistance Value".

First draw in the true resistance value reference line, b ~ 1 inches to the left and parallel to the high range scale as shown in Figure C.

Next fix the scale extremities and calibrate the true value range:

(a) Draw a straight line through 1.0 on the low range and ! 1 on the high range to intersect the true resistance value

reference line at 1.0. a

(b)

Draw a straight line through 100 on the high range and b1~Oa on the low range to intersect the true resistance value reference line at 100. Continue this line to the left to intersect at 0 a line drawn through 1.0 on the true range scale and 1.0 on the high range scale.

(c)

Draw lines through 0 and values on the high range scale to intersect the true resistance reference line and obtain

the corresponding scale positions. .'

METHOD OF CONSTRUCTING NOMOGRAM

_b_

/' ~~:~

100

b - a

/' /'

.>

/' /

w
~ ~
'" .,;
'" '"
-e
a: :.0
% s
,.
s: is
z
0 ca
'" ~
..., "'"
~ :;;
~ 0
'"
0 '"
'"
'" '"
% .:;
'"
-e '"
~
-- _ _ _ ---
100 100 -:

-:

,//

OJ!:...:::_ _

--

100

\

_4_

b - I inches

4'

FIGURE C

64

The resistor "A" should be of the high stability 1% accuracy cracked carbon type (rating J watt) and can be obtained from leading Sydney Radio wholesalers for approximately fifty cents. For mechanical reasons it should be mounted and fitted with terminals.

Example:

Referring to the Series 2 Megger Earth Tester as before, the resistance A would need to be 7,600 + 400 == 8,000 ohms, or

38000 + 2,000 = 40,000 ohms for the low and high ranges respectively. The values obtained from an ohmetcr would be 7,600 ;)h~lS and 38,000 ohms for the low and high ranges respectively. The nearest round figures, between 2% and 5% above, are 8,000 and 40,000. Using the ohmete r values would cause an error of 2Y2%.

Two nomograms which can be used with any instrument and appropriate resistor are given in Figures 2 and 3.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF CALCULATING EARTH TESTING METER POTENTIAL COIL CHARACTERISTICS

This method requires the use of two calibrated resistors, one with a value just below full scale reading and the other in the order of between 2,000 and 10,000 ohms.

Step (I)

Obtain reading R 1 with connection as shown in Figure D.

PI P2 ~

Cf C2

R
v R = KNOWN VALUE JUST BELOW FULL SCALE FIG. D

Step (2)

Obtain reading R2 with connection as shown in Figure E .

..... Pl P2r.
').
>
CI C2
R
v v R = KNOWN VALUE 2000 TO 10000.n_

R = KNOWN VALUE JUST BELOW FULL SCALE

FIG. E

Step (3). R!

Resistance (111) of meter coil == Rl ~ k2

Series resistor (m + n) required for use with nomograms in Figures 2 and3.

RI x R2 r R(RI - R2)

Where R1 R2 R

reading obtained without resistor r (Figure D) reading obtained with resistor r (Figure E) .resistance of known resistor (Figures D and E) resistance of known series resistor (Figure E)

GENERAL

It is permissible to apply multiplying factors to the scales of the nomograms provided that the factor is used on all scales.

This will allow the use of the nomograms in Figures 2 and 3 for any scale of instruments.

REFERENCE

"ABACS or Nomograms" by A. Gie t,

65

R

EARTH TESTI NG

REPRESENT I NG

CORRECTION NOMOGRAM

R =

3·8 RHx RL 5 RL- RH

RH

1·0

R R2 R1
0 F'O F5 ~'O
~
+ -I-
'"
(9 Z L
Z 0/ - t
is ,4:
<l: _- W
W .::" 0::
0:: -- 06
-- -- W
lLJ _- ...J
__J -- -- 4: 1-5
<l: -- U
U / / <f)
(/)
-_-
--- RL

1·0

1·5
ur 1· 5
u
Z
<! --
f- --
i/)
V'\ /'
W _-
0:: /' /'
I /'
f- 2·0
0:: 2·0
<!
W
W
;:)
0::
f- ~::

ls.o

6·0

8·0 10·0

w
w '"
z
(9 <
z 0::
<l:
0::
0::
a: w
w ~
:r: 0
Q ...J
:r:
Z
<! 0
z 0
0 w
0 z
w <!
z f-
<{ co
lD 0
0 w
W :0
::J -'
_j <!
~ > THE ABOVE NOMOGRAM IS SUITABLE FOR USE WITH A

SERIES 2 'MEGGAR' EAFlTH TESTER, HAVING THE CHARACTERISTICS TABULATED IN THE EXAr~PLE OF r~ETHOD 1.

FIG. 1

EARTH TESTING

CORRECTION NOMOGRAM

REPRESENTING R =

1·0

2·0

w u z

~

<f)

2j

0:

20

3·0

25

1,·0

50 50

15

3 ·0

8·0 10·0

2·0

1.0

~30

50 10 ·0

5

THE ABOVE NOMOGRAM IS SUfTABLE FOR USE WITH ANY EARTH

TESTING INSTRUMENT WHEN USED WITH AN APPROPRIATE

RESISTOR AS DESCRIBED IN METHOD 3.

FIG. 2

66

EARTH TESTING

CORRECTION NOMOGRAM

REPRESENTING R::

65

r: 2S

t f-

r 3[

~~ ~ 35

~ 40

I I-

:;;

55

60

70

75

80 85 90 95

THE ABOVE NOMOGRAM IS SUITABLE FOR USE WiTH ANY EARTH TESTING INSTRUMENT WHEN USED WITH AN APPROPRIATE RESISTOR AS DESCRIBED IN METHOD 3.

FIG.3

EARTH TES TING CORRECTION NOMOGRAM

1.0 1.0

1.5 UJ UJ 1·5
o
z o
-c z
0:: -c
a::
:r: 3=
o
I 0
_J
z z
0 0
0 0
UJ UJ
~ Z
~ ~
II) II)
0 0
o o
z z
a 0
« ..(
UJ o' UJ
0:: a:: 50 50

100 100

FIG.4

68

"B"

ON

To establish the order of touch and fault condi lions and to Oll ( with the

s that could OCCUI around kiosk and

vu! earth

mount substations under earth measurements. a series of

Were

In that

to (\ ft. and in addition four annular

arrangement is illustrated below. The (ral

to

The current source was a 240 vult to 50l<W reticui:ltiull system. The generator earth point was placed

was appro\ 5.0 ohms.

tor thus the c.ir th current ndenr [he main

the test site and the resistance to earth at the generator

Tile resistance tu remote earth of the test site electrode and ring system was recorded as each was added. The

were taken after J soil consolidation period of three months ell! which time several inches of rain and hand

had occurred. The resistance values arc given 11C reunder.

Electrode (8 ft.) only

Wi th 2 ft. dia. ring added (73.0 ohms)

Wi tli 4 ft. dia. ring also added (20.0 ohms) Wi til 6 ft. dia. ring also added (12.0 ohms) Wi th 8 ft. dia. ring also added (1 1 .0 ohms)

Combined Resistance 13.80hms

13.0 ohms

10.7 ohms

7.7 ohms 6.2 ohms

VOLTAGE GRADIENT TEST LA YOUT

~

8'-0"x i (2·44 M x 12 !aM) COPPER CLAD STEEL ELECTRODE

7/.080 (22,_1) H. D. 8. C. GRADING RINGS

CURRENT SOURCE FROM 2S0V SUPPLY EARTHED 800 FT (244m) AWAY

i·Z Mn RESISTANCE

8~O" DIA (244m)

J

1/ ~~ I

I

Voltage drop and resistance measurements were taken between the 8 ft. centre electrode and a spike driven three inches into the ground at 1 ft. intervals from the centre electrode. These measurements were taken in two directions, one towards the generator electrode (northwards) and the other away from the generator electrode (southwards). The current flowing into the centre electrode, and the product of this cu rrent and the electrode to spike resistance are tabulated along with this information. The spike to electrode voltage was measured across a 60,000 ohm load with a view to simulating the resistance of human skin in a healthy condition.

Examination of Results

As the rings were added to the electrode system, the resistance and current varied. In order to obtain a better appreciation of the effect of the grading rings the voltage drops per ampere based on the original resistance to earth of 13.8 ohms were calculated. These coltage drops were graphed and are illustrated in Figures 2 and 3.

The voltage drops relative to remote earth (approx. 50 ft. from the centre electrode), were also graphed as illustrated in Figures 2 and 3, the voltage being expressed as a percentage of the single electrode voltage relative to earth. A further graph is also included in Figure 5 to illustrate the voltage gradients which are expressed on a per foot basis as both a percentage of the centre electrode voltage above remote earth and an actual voltage relative to 13.8 ohm earth resistance and I amp earth current.

The shape of the curves illustrated in the graphs should not vary significantly for other values of current or earth resistance.

Hence, if the electrode system were 1.38 ohm resistance and the earth current 100 amps, then the centre electrode would assume a voltage of 138 volts relative to remote earth. The voltage drops and gradients would follow the same pattern as those obtained on the test site but would be ten times greater.

The graphs show that in respect of a single electrode the touch potentials are high but the gradients and hence step potentials reduce rapidly short distances (e.g, 2 ft.) away. The addition of the rings reduces the touch potential susbstantially but at the expense of increasing step potentials away from the cen tre of the system. The bulk of voltage drop occurs within the first 10 ft. radius of the centre electrode. The use of grading rings or mats can change the shape of the gradient curve over this 10ft. but cannot reduce the total voltage drop.

Reducing the resistance to earth of the electrode system is only effective if it is made substantially less than the source fault impedance. Hence, if the source fault impedance is, say 10 ohms, and the substation earth is, say 90 ohms, 90% of the system to earth voltage will appear at the substation. If the substation earth is reduced to 30 ohms, 75% of the system to earth voltage will appear. In these circumstances by increasing the earthing electrodes by a factor of 300% only yields a reduction of 15% in voltage. If the earthing system were reduced to 10 ohms then a 50% reduction in voltage would be realised for an outlay of 800% additional expenditure. A secondary effect of reducing the electrode resistance is to cause the voltage of the source earthing system to rise and this could prove undesirable.

In order to overcome these difficulties, it is suggested that only single electrode earthing should be used at kiosk or pad mount distribution substations. This would allow the majority of the voltage gradient to occur close to the electrode. If the substation is the fibreglass encased type, then touch potentials would not be a problem and if the electrode were cen trally placed underneath the substation so that a person could not come closer than 2 ft. 6 ins. of the electrode, then the maximum gradient (step potential) which would be experienced would be 6~%/ft. of the electrode IR drop. On the other hand a metallic enclosed pad mounted substation fitted with a 3 ft. radial mat would allow touch potentials of the order of 16% and step potentials of the order of 8~%/ft. of the earthing IR drop depending upon the actual electrode layout.

A third alternative would be to use a single electrode and electrically isolate the metallic case from the substation earth and remotely earth it. Reference to Figure No.3 shows that the touch potential under this circumstance would be 3% (2 ft. 6 ins. from centre) of the electrode IR drop and the step potential gradient (Figure No.4) would be 6~%/ft. A further seemingly worthwhile' alternative but which has a poor performance is to use a remotely earthed substation case with radial mats. Because the mats are at remote earth potential, the full IR drop would occur between the' earth electrode and the mats, thereby causing it to be dissipated over abou t 3 ft. instead of ] 0 ft. with subsequently high voltage gradients.

The above five alternatives are tabulated in Table 3.

TABLE 3

Touch Potentials <
Percen t of Elec trode Step Potential Gradient
Earthing Arrangement IR Drop Percent per ft. of Electrode
18 in. from 30 in. from lR Drop
centre centre
Single Electrode with no mat. 48 55 6\-4
Single Electrode with a 3 ft. mat. 16 24 8\-4
Single Electrode with substation metal
case insulated and remotely earthed.
No mat. 44 36 6\-4
Single Electrode with substation meta]
case insulated, bonded to 3 ft. mat
and remotely earthed 9 13 73
"-" "--"
Fibrcglass Case and Single Electrode
Nu mat. Nil Nil 6~
--"~-.-.------ * Taken 2 ft. 6 ins. from centre electrode

70

VOLTAGE READINGS- SOUTH AWAY FROM CURRENT SOURCE

11 ,~------------~------------

10
w
z
~
r
~
~
w
a:
;c
r
a:
d
'"
~
0
:: 1
:;;
a:
w
a.
l:
d
cc I
w
0- I
~ I
0 I
,.
L ----
10

12

14

16

16

20

DIS1ANC( rRO>! ELECTRODE ern

FIG. BI

VOLTAGE READINGS -- NORTH TOWARD CURRENT SOURCE

OL_~ ~ ~ ~L ~_i ~ L_ L_

o

10 II

DIS1A~([ rAOM ELECTRODE (n)

14

16

18

FIG. B2

VOLTAGES ABOUT ELECTRODE SYSTEM RELATIVE TO REMOTE EARTH

DISTANt( r~OM lltCT~OO( (r t)

FIG. B3

;=
« 30
!
...
...
0
:0:
...
«
...
". ZS
;:
""
...
::
...
~
0
".
... 20
""
I- 0
«
::ill! t:;
~ ...
0 ~
-c '"
'" ~
c.:> '"
... 15
L&J u
c.:> ...
"" x
I- ...
~ :;
0
;;.. s-,
cs
0 10
a:
...
~ TYPICAL VOLTAGE GRADIENT CURVES FOR INCLINED MAT

... '
(a) SINGLE ELEtTRODE
(b) E LECTROO( PLUS I RING
(e) ELEtTRODE PLUS 2 RINGS
(d) ELEtTRODE PLUS l RINGS
~ (e) ELECTRODE PLUS 4 RINGS
,
r
\ -.
\ ~ ~
\ ~
); le) ~ ~
~
) ~
------ ~
r-...
-: [.....-/ ---- -======= ~ ~ ~
~
--.;:: o

S 6

DISTANCE fROM ELECTRODE (fT.)

FIG. B4

72

... '"

10

'ding Voltage Gradients .. . . .. . .

Predl When an electrodesystcm IS installed, the open CHCUIt voltage gradients can be closely assessed by measuring the resistance

. 'arth tester (preferably the null reading type) and multiplying these values by the anticipated fault current.

with an e

Resistance readings were taken at the test site and the results tabulated in Tables over page. The readings were obtained as illust!ated in Figure B5.

TEST ELECTRODE

CI C2
~ _j PI P2
NULL EARTH TE STER

REMOTE
PP,OBE ELECTRODE ELECTRODE FIG. B5

The prube electrode is pushed about .3 inches into the ground at regular in tcrvuls (say 1 1'1.) and the resistance readings between the test electrode and the probe are recorded.

The actual voltugc of the tcst electrode relative t o remote earth will be the product of the current to earth and the resitance or the electrode to earth. However. when a load of 60,000 ohms is applied to the voltmeter readings, there is a voltage drop or about 10',;. Hence, the reason why the "graphs in Figures I, :2 and 3 converge Oil 9CYf< voltage instead of 100e}{).

Conclusions

It is possible t o assess reasonably accurately the voltage gradients about a substation site by measuring the resistances and

multiplying by the anticipated faul t current.

Grading rings or mats laid around a substation can reduce touch potentials but do so at the expense of raising step potentials. Fibrcglass insulation (able to withstand the full line to earth voltage) encasement of pad mount Of kiosk type substations offers tile best protcc tiou against touch potentials. Single electrode earthing centrally located beneath the substation offers the best means of reducing voltage gradients around pad mount or kiosk substations.

Unless very low values of earthing resistance (which can include water mains, neutral ring mains etc.) can be readily obtained, there is little point in reducing earth HV resistance at distribution substations below.30 ohms.

Recommendation

It is recommended that where pad mount o r kiosk type substations arc installed in areas where low resistance earthing is not rcadilv available fibreglass encased substations should be used in conjunction with one or two electrodes 8 ft or more in length (in- practice t;n 16 ~ft. elect rode appears to be most efficacious) centrally placed below the base of the substation. 'The electrodes should be placed not less than 18 inches from the substation ou ter walls. Refer to the plan in Figure B6.

length (in practice one 16 ft. electrode appears to be most efficacious) centrally placed below the base of the substation. The electrodes should be placed not less than 18 inches from the substation outer walls. Refer to the plan in Figure B6.

d ELECTRODES

d

'INSULATED

SUBSTATION OUTER CASE

d NOT TO BE LESS THAN IS INCHES

FIG. B6

"
Distance Electrode Only Electrode pI us one ring Electrode plus two rings
Feet Amps Ohms I.R. Meter Volts/Amp Amps Ohms I.R. Meter Volts/Amp Amps Ohms I.R. Meter Volts/Amp
Volts Volts atl3.8ohms Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms
0.5 14.5 6.6 95.7 73 5.03 15.3 4.9 74.9 45 3.12 17.7 2.1 37.1 26 1.89
I 14.5 8.1 117.4 93.5 6.45 15.3 5.3 81 63 4.37 17.8 2.7 47.6 36.5 2.64
2 14.5 8.7 126.1 104 7.17 15.3 6.9 105.5 87 604 17.8 3.7 65.8 53.5 3.88
3 14.5 9.4 136.3 lIS 7.93 15.4 8.0 1232 103 7.10 17.8 4.9 87.2 73 5.29
4 14.5 10.1 J 46.4 121.5 8.38 15.4 8.8 135.5 113 7.79 17.8 6.0 106.8 80 6.45
5 14.6 10.5 153.3 131 8.79 15.4 9.4 144.7 123.5 8.51 17.8 6.6 117.4 103 7.46
6 ]4.6 11.0 160.6 ]35 9.25 15.4 9.8 150.9 128 8.82 17.8 7.3 129.9 110.5 8.01
7 14.6 11.4 166.4 ]42.5 9.76 15.4 10.2 157 JJ6 9.37 17.8 7.7 137 120 8.69
8 14.6 11.5 167.9 145 9.93 15.4 10.3 158.6 139 9.58 17.8 7.9 140.6 123 8.91
9 14.6 11.7 170.8 147.5 10.10 15.4 10.5 161.7 1-+2 9.79 17.8 8.1 144.1 126.5 9.16
10 14.6 11.8 172.2 148 10.13 1 S.4 106 163.2 142 9.79 17.8 8.1 144.1 127 9.30
IS 14.6 12.2 178.1 151 ]0.34 1.0 170.5 145.5 9.96 17.8 8.6 153 132 9.56
20 14.6 12.5 182.5 157 10.75 1.4 176.7 152 10.40 17.8 8.9 158.4 140 10.14 VOLTAGE GRADIENT TESTS - TAKEN SOUTH AWAY FROM CURRENT SOURCE

Electrode plus three rings plus four rings
Distance
Feet JR. Meter Volts/Amp I.R. Meter
Amps Ohms Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms Amps Ohms Volts Volts at 13. ohms
0.5 20.5 1.1 22.5 16.5 1.44 173 1.0 23 12 1.16
20.5 1.3 26.6 22.5 1.97 23.1 1.2 27.7 16 1.54
2 20.5 1.9 38.9 31 2.71 23.1 1.6 36.9 22.5 2.17
3 20.5 2.6 53.3 45 3.93 23.1 2.0 46.2 31.5 3.04
4 20.5 3.7 75.8 64 5.60 33.1 2.8 64.6 47 4.53 I
5 20.5 4.5 92.2 80 6.99 23.1 3.S 80.8 61 5.88
6 20.S 5.1 104.5 90 7.87 23.1 4.0 92.4 73 7_10
7 20.6 5.5 113.3 101.5 8.83 23.1 4.5 103.9 85 8.19
8 I 20.6 5.7 i 17.4 105 9.14 I ~, 1 4.7 108.5 88.5 8.53 I
I 9 120.6 5.9 121.5 109 9.48 ~3:1 4.9 113.1 93.5 9.01 I
JUT' 6.0 123.6 liO 9.57 i k3.1 5.0 115.5 95 9.15 I
L 0.6 6.0 123.6 117 10.18 23.1 5.5 127 103 9.92
0,6 6.8 140 123 10.70 23.1 5.8 133.9 113 1O.~
-------
VOLTAGE GRADIENT TESTS TAKEN NORTH TOWARDS CURRENT SOURCE I,--~ - __ .

)istancc i Electrode Only I

F'eet I' A 01· ... I.R.~·ieter Volts/Amp A -

Amps irns Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms imps

--+I---~--------t-

~Iectrode plus one ring ~

)-. l.R. Meter Volts/ Amp 1 A

L nms Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms mps

---t

Oh I.R. Meter Volts/Amp

ms Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms

Electrode plus two 'illP'. j

I 0.5 /14.0 7.3 102.2 84 6.00 ! 15.0 4.3 64.5 49 3.47 17.5 2.1 36.7 27 1.99 I
I 1 14.0 8.0 112 96 6.86 15.0 4.6 69 5S 3.89 17.6 2.2 38.7 29 2.13
I
2 . 14.0 8.8 123.2 108 7.71 15.0 6 '7 100.5 87.5 6.19 17.6 3.4 59.8 48 3.52 I
.1
3 /14.0 9.4 131.6 116 8.29 15.0 7.8 117 103 7.29 17.6 4.6 80.9 68 4.98
4 14.0 ]0.0 140 ]26 9.00 15.1 8.8 132.8 ! 16.5 8':19 17.6 5.9 J 03.8 90 6.60 I
5 14.1 10.3 145.2 130 9.22 15.1 9.0 135.9 I'}' 8.51 17.7 6.3 111.5 98 7.14
~~
6 14.1 10.8 152.2 129 9.15 15.1 9.5 143.4 121 8.51 17.7 6.9 122.1 101 7.36
7 14.1 11.0 155.1 137 9.72 15.2 9.8 148.9 130 9.08 17.7 7.3 129.2 III 8.09
U_ 14.1 11.2 157.9 142 10.07 15.2 10.0 ]52 135 9.43 17.7 7.6 134.5 117 8.53
I 14.2 11.4 161.8 145 10.21 15.2 10.3 156.5 138 9.64 17.7 7.8 138 120 8.74
0 I 14.2 11.6 164.7 146.5 10.32 15.2 10.4 158 140 9.78 17.7 7.9 139.8 123 8.96
5 114.2 12.2 173.2 154 ]0.84 15.3 11.0 168.3 149 10.34 17.7 8.5 '150.1 134 9.76
J 14.4 12.5 180.0 152 10.56 15.3 11.2 171.3 147 10.20 8.8 r 155.7 133 9.69
17.7
...
Electrode plus three rings Electrode plus four rings
lAmp Ohms I.R. Meter Volts/ Amp Amps Ohms I.R. Meter Volts/Amp
Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms Volts Volts at 13.8 ohms
0.5 1.1 22.4 16.5 1.45 22.9 1.0 22.9 12 1.17
I 20.4 1.1 22.4 17.5 1.54 22.9 1.0 22.9 12.5 1.21
2 20.4 1.6 32.6 27 2.37 22.9 1.2 27.4 18 1. 75
3 20.5 2.2 45.1 39 3.41 22.9 1.6 36.6 28 2.53
4 20.5 3.6 73.8 64 5.60 22.9 2.5 57.2 44.5 4.32
5 20.5 4.1 84 73 6.38 22.9 3.0 68.7 52.5 5.10
6 20.5 4.8 98.4 80 6.99 23.0 3.6 88.8 62.5 6.05
7 20.5 5.1 104.5 91 8.00 23.0 4.0 92 74 7.16
8 20.5 5.4 110.7 98 8.57 23.0 4.3 98.9 81 7.84
9 20.5 5.6 114.8 102 9.14 23.0 4.5 103.5 86 8.32
10 20.5 5.8 118.9 105 9.18 23.0 4.8 110.4 89 8.61
15 20.5 6.3 129.1 117.5 10.27 23.0 5.4 124.2 104 10.06
20 20.5 6.7 137.3 119 10.40 23.0 5.7 131.1 106.5 10.31 74

EfFECT OF ELECTRODE LE:NGTH ON VOLTAGE GRADIENT

}O
;"
a:
-a
2,
0
>:
.>
:;;
~
a 20
0
I-
z u
W
0 ~
""
cc r
'" IS
W ~
<.!:>
<I: g
l-
_)
0 tt
c-
~ 10
~
z
a:
w
c,
::;
0
~
'"
n.
s-c {o l CALCULA![D OPEN cmCUIT GRADIE": fDA I' 6" ELECTRODE

(b) CALCULATED OPEN CIRCUIT GRADIENT fOR so ELECTRODE

[c ) MEASURED GRADIENT ACROSS 60,000 OHM LOAD FOR 8' ElECTRODE

THESE CURVES ILLUSTRATE THE THEORE T!CAl UNLOADED GRADIENT

LIMITS OF PRACTICAL LENGTH EL(CfROD£S MTW££ti So FT. 6 IN. AND

30 FT A COMPARISON is ALSO MADE 8ET'w'UN THESE LIMITS AND

THE LOADED GRADIENTS MEASURED ON AN a FT [LECTRODE

o

DISTANCE FROM ElECTRODE (FT.)

FIG. B7

75

10

APPENDIX 'C'

REFERENCES

Earth Resistances

G. F. Tagg. An excellent text covering practical aspects of earthing.

Earthing Principles and Practice

R. W. Ryder. A small, but useful, book published by Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd., in 1952.

An Investigation of Earthing Resistances

P. J. Higgs. Journall.E.E., Vol. 68,1930.

Earth Resistivity and Geological Structure

R. H. Card. Transactions Am.I.E.E., Vol. 54,1935.

Calculation of Resistance to Ground

H. B. Dwight. Transactions Anl.l.E.E., Vol. 55, 1936.

Grounding Principle & Practice ~ Fundamental Considerations on Ground Current R. Rudenburg. Elec. Engineering (Am.I.E.E.), Jan. 1945.

Grounding Principle & Practice Establishing Grounds.

Claude Jensen. Elec. Engineering (Am.I.E.E.) Feb. 1945.

The Resistance of Earth Electrodes

P. D. Morgan & H. G. Taylor, E.R.A. Report FIT 50,1932; also Journall.E.E. Vol. 72,1933.

The Current Loading Capacity of Earth Electrodes

H. G. Taylor. E.R.A. Report FIT 81,1934; also Journal I.E.E. Vol. 77,1935.

Impulse and 60 Cycle Characteristics of Driven Grounds (Electrodes) P. L. Bellaschi. Elec. Engineering (Am.I.E.E.), March, 1941.

A Review of Recent Development in Rural Electrification - Section 9: Earthing D. Ross. Journal I.E.E., Vol. 77, 1935.

The Earthing Question

W. R. Kemp. Journal I.E. Aust., Vol. 7, ] 935.

Practical Aspects of Earthing

E. Fawsett, H. W. Grimmitt, G. F. Shotter & H. G. Taylor, E.R.A. Report Trans./TJ49, 1941; also Journal I.E.E., Vol. 87,1940.

Grounding Electrical Circuits Effectively

J. R. Eaton. G.E. Review Nos. 6, 7 and 8, Vol. 44,1941.

The Use of Protective Multiple Earthing and E.L.C.B. in Rural Areas (First Repojt) H. G. Taylor, E.R.A. Report FIT 112, 1938; also Journal I.E.E., Vol. 81,1937.

The Use of Protective Multiple Earthing and E.L.C.B. in Rural Areas (Second Report) H. G. Taylor. E.R.A. Report FIT ]46, 1942; also Journal I.E.E., Vol. 88, 1941.

Earthing Problems

R. W. Ryder. Journal LE.E., Vol. 95, Part II, 1948.

Cost and Efficiency of Earthing on Low and Medium Voltage Overhead Line Systeins L. Gosland. Proceedings I.E.E., Vol. 97, Part II, 1950.

Earthing of Low and Medium Voltage Distribu tion Systems and Equipment F. Mather. Proceedings I.E.E., Vol. 105, Part A, 1958.

The Earthing of High Vol tage Su bstations

G. A. H. Swan and B. P. McRae, Electrical Engineering Transactions, March, 1966.

Determining Tolerable Short Duration Electric Shock Potentials from Heart Ventricular Fibrillation Threshold Data W. O'Keefe, N. G. Ross and E. R. Trethewie, Electrical Engineering Transactions, April, 1972.

Voltage Gradients Through the Ground Under Fault Conditions A.I.E.E. Report, October, 1958.

Code of Practice - Protective Earthing Electricity Authority of New South Wales.

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