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EARTH POTENTIAL RISE

INRODUCTION
When an earth fault occurs in a power system, some of the fault current
returns via the earth, through the earthing system (e.g., earthing of towers and
power sub-stations etc). This current raises the potential of the earthing system with
respect to a remote earth for the duration of the fault. This is known as Earth
Potential Rise.
During such a fault, due to the transfer of potential between the EPR areas
and outside points, by conductors of telecom circuits and other metallic structures
etc, serious hazard may result to telecom installations, telecom personnel and
customers.
If the insulation of the telephone cable punctures at the substation, high
voltage will be extended by the telephone conductor from the substation to the
telephone exchange. Obviously, the hazard to the telephone exchange personnel and
equipment will be quite serious. Also any workmen in contact with earth and this
telephone will be subjected to other dangerous potential difference.
LOCATIONS PRONE TO EPR
1. Areas near power sub-station earthing system.
2. Areas near pole mounted sub-station (transformer) on low voltage system.
3. Areas near power line towers having earth electrodes.
FACTORS AFFECTING EPR
* Type of power network
* Fault current level
* Power grounding system (Earth resistance)
* Soil resistivity

Local conditions

ZONE OF EPR
The zone of EPR near an earthing system varies from some tens to some
thousands of metres, depending on soil resistivity layour of the earth electrode,
power network, fault current levels and other local conditions. The zone of EPR in
urban areas is small compared to rural areas.
MEASURENENT OF EPR ZONE
Theoretical Formula for Measurement of EPR Zone
The distance X in metres at which the EPR may rise to a value Ex can be
determined from the formula.
X= _pI___ Metres
2 Ex
Where P = Soil resistivity in ohm metre.
I = Fault current in Amps.
Ex = EPR voltage.
For larger earthing systems the more practical formula would be.
Ex = Emax x D = IR X D or d + D = IR x D
(d + D)
(d + D)
Ex
Where Ex= The potential at radial distance d from the perimeter of the earth mat
in volts.
I = The maximum fault current through the earth mat in Amps.
R = The measured resistance of the earth mat in ohms.
D = Half the diagonal distance of the mat in metres.
d = Distance in metres from the perimeter of the earth mat.

ANNEXURE II
NAME OF THE POWER LINE:11O KV LILO line from existing 110KV Belgaum Hidkal Dam SC line to proposed
110KV SS at Ankalagi in Gokak Tq, Belgaum District.
Telecom Authorities may ensure protection against EPR at the cost of later entrant
to telecom assets and personnel within the EPR Zone of the proposed SS at
Ankalagi. The theoretical value of EPR Zone in meters from the edge of the earth
mat as intimated by KPTCL, BG is as follows
Ankalagi SS
For 430 Volts
: 214 Mts
For 650 Volts
: 123 Mts
For 7 KV
: Negative
For 10 KV
: Negative
The EPR contours which define hazard zone for the telecom plants are as given
below.
No
Type of telecom plant
Type of Power system
High reliability lines
01
Terminal Apparatus, joints, cabinets, pillars,
650V
manholes, pits, poles, Metal sheathed Cable.
02
Telephone Exchanges
430V
03
Plastic insulated and plastic sheathed and
7KV
PIJF
04
Solid Polythene insulated fully filled UG PCM
10 V
Cable

The following protective measures should be adopted:

GD Tube protectors and arrestors should not be used within the EPR
Zone.
Non-metallic pipes should be used to provide water supply.
In case of unavoidable condition, Plastic insulated and unscreened plastic
sheath cable laid in rigid PVC conduit only should be used. PCM cable
should not be laid and data circuit will not work cable laid in the EPR
Zone.
Cable joints should be avoided. If it becomes impossible to avoid them,
the joints should be sealed and encapsulated. Suitable warning signs
should be prominently displayed. The staff are themselves should take
adequate precautionary measures to ensure safety. The staff should
isolate themselves from the EPR Zone by standing on an insulated mat.

HOW TO OVER COME


Shifting of cable, Exchange from EPR Zone.
Lay OFC Cable.
Provide WLL/ FWT connection

PRACTICAL MEASUREMENT OF EPR ZONE


In theoretical formula, uniform Earth resistivity is assumed. But, in practice,
however, the Earth resistivity is rarely uniform. In such cases where there is
ambiguity in the factors affecting the EPR and the resulting theoretical calculations,
a practical measurement of EPR Zone can be considered.

TEST SET UP
The following are part of the set up conducting the practical measurement of
EPR Zone.
i.

Isolation transformer that should deliver a minimum of 30 Amps


Constant current.
ii.
High Capacity dimmerstat to control the current.
iii.
Digital Voltmeters of very High impedance.
iv.
Cut out system with suitable fuses.
v.
Digital Ammeters.
vi.
Electrode of 0.5 meters length. (Galvanized iron pipe of 1 inch dia).
(A remote Earth should be extended from a distance of not less than
2 Kms to the test site. The remote Earth is prepared by driving a set of three
numbers of 2.6 M standard earth electrodes. Forming an equilateral triangle of 2.4
M, into earth. The remote Earth lead should be perpendicular to the power line,
which is chosen for the EPR Test)

PROCEDURE
i.

Any power line originating terminating in the Sub-station where the


EPR test is being conducted may be selected taking into account that line
Should be perpendicular to the remote Earth lead brought from the
remote Earth..

ii.

All the three phases of the power line should be looped at the SubStation end and isolated from the Sub-station Earth mat.

iii.

One terminal of the secondary of power transformer should be connected


to looped power line and the other terminal should be connected to Earth mat
Through an Anneter.

iv.

The power line should be looped and Earthed at a distance of not less than

8 Kms. from the perimeter of the Earth mat. By three electrodes method. as
done for the remote Earth. Tower Earth should not be used for this purpose.
v.

The input AC supply to the transformer is connected through the


Dimmerstat. Switch on the supply and gradually increase the current fed in to
the Earth mat, ensuring that the dimmerstat is not getting heated.

vi.

The maximum current (not less than 16 Amps) that can be fed constantly
Should be noted and ensured that this current will become the constant current
for all the reading to be recorded.

vii.

The first reading should be taken between earth mat and remote earth lead.
The subsequent readings should be noted at every 50 meters interval from the
perimeter of the Earth mat. By driving the electrode into earth at least 12 inches.
Readings should be taken until the volt meter shows. A reading corresponding to
an EPR value of less than 430 Volts.
(This can be ascertained by multiplying the voltmeter reading and fault current of
substation and dividing it by the injected current).
viii. After taking all the necessary readings, the readings shall be extrapolated to
The maximum fault current value of the Sub-station by the method mentioned
above (ieVoltmeter reading x Fault current / Injected current). The values thus
obtained are plotted in a graph paper (distance verses voltage), and from the
graph the EPR zone for 430V. 650V. 7KV and 10KV or any other voltage can be
found out

ERTH POTENTIAL RISE TEST TESULTS


(Specimen Only)
Name of Sub Station
Maximum fault current of sub station
No
a

Distance from the


edge of Earth mat in
metres
b

Salem
5000 Amps

Injected current in
Amps

Measured
value in Volts

Date 09-06-03
EPR in Volts
(d/c) x 5000