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Department of High-voltage, Department of Electrical Engineering,

Shaanxi Electric Power Research Institute Tsinghua University

Xian, China Beijing, China

13072913733@163.com

Abstract—As the large grounding grid occupies large area, This paper studies the factors affecting the grounding

the potential difference on the grounding grid is obvious, and the impedance by using the simulation tool CDEGS. The

proportion of inductive components in the grounding impedance characteristics of the grounding impedance of the large

is larger. Then the design and the operation of the grounding grounding grid are discussed. The result may provide a

grid are different from the small grounding grid. The paper technical reference for design, operation and maintenance of

studies the characteristics of resistive component and inductive the large grounding grid.

component in the grounding impedance of the large grounding

grid. The factors affecting the grounding impedance and the II. CALCULATION METHOD

features of the large grounding grid are discussed. The results

can provide a technical reference for design, operation and From the view of whether the potential drop on the

maintenance of the large grounding grid. grounding grid is considered or not, the numerical method of

grounding analysis can be divided into an equipotential method

Keywords—grounding; grounding impedance; inductive and an unequal potential method. In the equipotential method,

reactance; soil resistivity; substation the grounding electrode is considered as the ideal conductor,

and potentials at all positions of the grounding grid are equal.

I. INTRODUCTION The equipotential method is suitable for the analysis of the

The grounding system is the basic guarantee of safe and small grounding grid or the situations under which the

reliable operation of the power system [1]. Along with grounding material conductivity is good, and the soil resistivity

continuous increase of voltage level, the transmission capacity is higher, and the result obtained by the equipotential method is

becomes larger and larger, the short-circuit current of the only the grounding resistance caused by the distribution of soil

substation also increases correspondingly. Thus, the resistivity, in which the grounding impedance cannot be

requirements for the ultra-high (extra-high) voltage substation contained [2, 3]. As in the unequal potential method, the

are higher. On the other hand, due to the lack of land and then resistivity and permeability in the grounding electrode are

the difficulty of selection of substation site, many substations considered, the potentials at all positions are unequal [4-6]. The

are built in areas with high soil resistivity. Therefore, a greater unequal potential method is suitable for the analysis of the

challenge is brought to the design of the large grounding grid. large grounding grid or the situations under which the

The grounding grid is paid more attention to by design, grounding material conductivity is poor and the permeability is

construction and operation departments. high. Because the grounding impedance calculated by using the

unequal potential method contains inductive components, the

As the grounding grid of the large substation occupies large calculated result is more accurate. The paper uses the

area, before the fault current flows into ground, it flows developed unequal potential method to calculate the grounding

through the grounding conductor for a long distance. At the resistance of large grounding grids [4]. The characteristics of

same time, a large number of steel with very high permeability the grounding impedance of the large grounding grid and the

and then high inductive components in the longitudinal factors affecting the grounding impedance will be analyzed. In

impedance is used as grounding materials in China, so that the the following parts, the result calculated by the equipotential

grounding resistance of the large grounding grid at power method is called the grounding resistance, and the result

frequency is inductive [1]. In the traditional analysis, as only calculated by the unequal potential method is called the

the grounding resistance is concerned, the grounding grounding impedance.

impedance is rarely studied, and the grounding impedance

characteristics of the large grounding grid and the factors III. EFFECT OF AREA OF GROUNDING GRID

affecting the grounding impedance are penuriously studied. Along with the increase of grounding grid area, the total

Along with the rapid development of China’s power industry, grounding impedance decreases, and the proportion of

many 500 kV, 750 kV and 1000 kV substations will be inductive reactance in the grounding resistance increases.

constructed. Thus, it is necessary to carry out the relevant Therefore, first of all, the effect of grounding grid area on the

study. characteristics of the grounding impedance is analyzed. The

This work was supported by the State Grid Corporation of China

(5226SX15001Q).

frequency is 50 Hz, the soil resistivity is 10 Ω·m, the burial resulted in the non-ignorable inductance existing on the

depth of the grounding grid is 0.8 m, the radius is 0.01 m, and grounding grid, the algorithm error exceeds the usual

the current is injected from the center of the grid. The construction error if the inductance is neglected.

grounding impedance results calculated by using the

equipotential method and the unequal potential method are TABLE II. COMPARISON OF RESULTS CALCULATED BY USING UNEQUAL

analyzed when the areas of the grounding grids are 50 m × 50 POTENTIAL METHOD AND EQUIPOTENTIAL METHOD UNDER GROUNDING

GRIDS WITH DIFFERENT AREAS

m, 100 m × 100 m, 200 m × 200 m, 300 m × 300 m, and 480 m

× 480 m. The conductors are arranged at equal intervals of 10 Impedance Impedance

Area calculated by calculated by (Z1-R2)/Z1

m. The unequal potential method is used for analyzing the real 2

part and the imaginary part of the grounding impedance. The (m ) unequal potential equipotential *100%

method Z1 (Ω) method R2 (Ω)

calculated results are shown in Table I. 50×50 0.9392 0.9388 0.04%

100×100 0.4633 0.4569 1.38%

TABLE I. GROUNDING IMPEDANCES CALCULATED BY USING 200×200 0.2343 0.2241 4.35%

EQUIPOTENTIAL METHOD AND UNEQUAL POTENTIAL METHOD FOR

GROUNDING GRIDS WITH DIFFERENT AREAS 300×300 0.1671 0.1509 9.69%

480×480 0.1152 0.0943 18.14%

Results calculated by unequal Results calculated

Area potential method by equipotential

(m2) Amplitude Radian Complex method (Ω) The results calculated by using the unequal potential

value (Ω) method are divided into the real part and the imaginary part,

0.9392 + wherein the real part is the resistance part of the grounding

50×50 0.9392 0.0086 0.9388

0.0080 i

0.4632 +

impedance of the grounding grid and the imaginary part is the

100×100 0.4633 0.0215

0.0100 i

0.4569 inductance part of the grounding impedance of the grounding

0.2340 + grid. Both the real part and imaginary part are shown in Fig. 1.

200×200 0.2343 0.0521 0.2241

0.0122 i

0.1661 + From Fig. 1 it can be seen that along with the increase of

300×300 0.1671 0.1080 0.1509 the grounding grid area, the resistive part of the grounding

0.0180 i

480×480 0.1152 0.2213

0.1124 +

0.0943

impedance of the grounding grid continuously decreases, and

0.0252 i the inductive part of the grounding grid continuously increases.

Under the situation that the grounding grid area is 300 m × 300

The analysis is performed according to the above calculated m, the inductive part is 10.9% of the resistive part; and under

results. In the calculation, the difference between the the situation that the grounding grid area is 480 m×480 m, the

equipotential method and the unequal potential method lies in inductive part is 22.4% of resistive part. At this moment, the

that the unequal potential method considers the inductance and inductance characteristics of the grounding grid must be

resistance effects of the grounding grid conductor while in the considered.

equipotential method, the whole grounding grid is considered

as the equipotential, and the inductance and the conductor

resistance are neglected. Therefore, the results calculated by

using the unequal potential method are more actual, and the

equipotential body can be used for the analysis of the small

grounding grid (in the small grounding grid, the effect of the

inductance is less). The amplitude values calculated by the

unequal potential method and the equipotential method can be

compared in Table II.

From the results in Table II it can be seen that under the

situation of power frequency fault, the smaller the grounding

grid area is, the smaller the error calculated when the

grounding grid is considered as the equipotential will be. When

the grounding grid area is 200 m × 200 m or below, if the error

calculated by using the equipotential method and the unequal

potential method is less than 5%, the results calculated by the

both can be considered to be the same. When the grounding

grid area is enlarged to be 300 m × 300 m, the algorithm error Fig. 1. Relation betweenside length of grounding grid and real part and

imaginary part of grounding impedance

is about 10%, and when the grounding grid area reaches 480 m

× 480 m, the algorithm error is about 20%. As the engineering The calculated results from this section show that when the

construction may bring about 5% to 10% error to the grounding soil resistivity is about 100 Ω, and the side length of the

resistance, if the algorithm error exceeds 10%, the grounding rectangular grounding grid is over 300 m, the grounding grid

grid can be considered as large grounding grid. In this situation, can be considered as the large grounding grid. In China, the

the resistance and the inductance of the grounding conductor 300 m × 300 m grounding grid is usually for 500 kV

have resulted in big enough potential difference on the substation. Thus, in the construction of the substation, the

grounding grid, and the area of the grounding grid has also grounding grid with a voltage level of 500 kV, 750 kV and

1000 kV needs to be calculated according to the model of the resistivity is, the smaller the defined large grounding grid area

large grounding grid. In fact, not only the grounding grid area, will be. In fact, if the soil resistivity is very high, usually it

but also the soil resistivity can affect the proportion of means that there is rock or the gravel. In this situation, the

inductive impedance in the grounding resistance, which will be grounding grid cannot be buried in, and the fine soil or other

discussed below. backfill materials with low resistivity should be backfilled.

Therefore, the grounding grid is usually buried in the soil layer

IV. EFFECT OF SOIL RESISTIVITY with the soil resistivity being within hundreds of ohm per meter.

In fact, not only the grounding grid area, but also the soil Through the above analysis results, it is reasonable that the

resistivity can affect the inductive component and the resistive grounding grid with a side length of more than 300 m should

component of the grounding impedance. Let the frequency be be considered as large grounding grid. As a result, the

50 Hz, the grounding grid area be 300 m × 300 m, the burial grounding grid with a voltage level of above 500 kV is

depth of the grounding body be 0.8 m, and the radius is 0.01 m. considered as the large grounding grid in China.

The current is injected from the center of the grid, the

grounding impedances calculated by using the equipotential V. EFFECT OF GROUNDING MATERIALS

method and the unequal potential method are analyzed when The characteristics of the grounding impedance of the

the soil resistivity is 10 Ω·m, 50 Ω·m, 100 Ω·m, 500 Ω·m, grounding grid made of either steel or copper may be different.

1000 Ω·m and 2000 Ω·m respectively. The unequal potential Let the frequency be 50 Hz, the grounding grid area be 300 m

method is used for analyzing the real part and the imaginary × 300 m, the burial depth of the grounding body be 0.8 m, and

part. The calculated results are shown in Table III. the radius be 0.01 m. The current is injected from the center of

the grid. The grounding impedance results calculated by using

TABLE III. GROUNDING IMPEDANCES CALCULATED BY USING the equipotential method and the unequal potential method

EQUIPOTENTIAL METHOD AND UNEQUAL POTENTIAL METHOD UNDER when the radius of the steel and the radius of the copper are

DIFFERENT SOIL RESISTIVITY

0.01 m and 0.02 m respectively are analyzed when the soil

Results calculated by unequal Results resistivity is 10 Ω·m. The unequal potential method is used for

Soil

potential method calculated by analyzing the real part and the imaginary part. Obviously, a

resistivity

Amplitude Complex equipotential

(Ω·m)

value (Ω)

Radian

number (Ω) method (Ω) minimum difference exists between the real part and the

10 0.0351 0.4905 0.0309 + 0.0151 imaginary part of the grounding impedance when the soil

0.0165i resistivity is 10 Ω·m. In this situation, the unequal potential

50 0.0927 0.1932 0.0910 + 0.0755 method is used for calculating the grounding impedance to

0.0178i obtain Table IV.

100 0.1671 0.1080 0.1661 + 0.1510

0.0180i The calculated results show that under the situation that the

500 0.7672 0.0237 0.7670 + 0.7549 whole grounding grid is considered as the equipotential body,

0.0182i the radius of the grounding grid conductor slightly affects the

1000 1.5183 0.0120 1.5182 + 1.5097

0.0182i calculated results of the grounding impedance of the grounding

2000 3.0205 0.0060 3.0205 + 3.0195 grid. Under the actual calculation situation (unequal potential

0.0182i method), along with the increase of the grounding grid radius,

the grounding impedance decreases obviously.

The calculated results in Table III show the resistive part of TABLE IV. CALCULATED RESULTS OF GROUNDING IMPEDANCE OF

the grounding impedance (the real part in the results calculated CONDUCTORS MADE OF STEEL AND COPPER UNDER DIFFERENT GROUNDING

by using the unequal potential method) is in direct proportion CONDUCTOR RADIUSES

to the soil resistivity, and the inductive part in the grounding Steel Copper

impedance (the imaginary part) increases slowly. The inductive Radius Unequal Unequal

Equipotential Equipotential

part in the grounding impedance is mainly related to the (mm) potential

method (Ω)

potential

method (Ω)

grounding grid area. It shows that the soil resistivity mainly method (Ω) method (Ω)

10 0.0351(0.030 0.01597(0.0156

affects the resistive part (the real part) of the grounding 0.0151 0.0151

9 +0.0165i) +0.0036i)

impedance and slightly affects the inductive part. When the soil 20 0.0248(0.022 0.01544(0.0151

resistivity is lower, the inductive part of the grounding 0.0150 0.0150

7 +0.0010i) 06 +0.003177i)

impedance is hard to neglect compared with the resistive part,

and the side of the smallest frame of the large grounding grid

model is shorter. For example, when the soil resistivity is 100 When the radius of the grounding conductor made of either

Ω·m, and the large grounding grid model has an area of more steel or copper increases, the resistive part and the inductive

than 300 m × 300 m, the inductive impedance is about 10% of part of the grounding impedance of the grounding grid

total impedance, and when the soil resistivity is 1000 Ω·m, the decrease. The decrease range of the inductive part is slightly

inductive impedance is about 1% of total impedance. larger than that of the resistive part.

Therefore, if 10% of algorithm error is exceeded or about 10% The calculated results show that by using the equipotential

of inductive impedance occupied in the total impedance is method, the grounding impedance of the grounding grid is not

exceeded, the grounding grid is considered as the large related to the conductor radius. Therefore, under the situation

grounding grid. Thus, the so called large grounding grid is also of larger conductor radius and smaller permeability, the

closely related to the soil resistivity. The lower the soil difference between the two calculated results will be smaller.

VI. EFFECT OF CURRENT INJECTION POSITION ON GROUNDING part is 10% of the resistive par, the grounding grid can be

GRID considered as the large grounding grid and when the grounding

grid area is larger than 300 m × 300 m. At this moment, the

Due to the existence of the longitudinal impedance of the

resistance and the impedance of the grounding grid conductor

grounding conductor, if the current injection position is

have resulted in big enough potential difference on the

different, the grounding impedance is different. Let the

grounding grid, and the grounding grid area has also resulted in

frequency be 50 Hz, the grounding grid area be 300 m × 300

the non-ignorable inductance on the grounding grid. In China,

m, the burial depth of the grounding body be 0.8 m, and the

the 300 m × 300 m grounding grid is usually for 500 kV

radius be 0.01 m, the grounding impedances calculated by

substations. Therefore, the grounding grid with a voltage level

using the unequal potential method under different current

of 500 kV or above in the engineering can be called large

injection positions when the radius of the steel conductor is

grounding grid.

0.01m are analyzed. The soil resistivity is 10 Ω·m. The unequal

potential method is used for analyzing the real part and the The ratio of the resistive part to the inductive part varies

imaginary part. The calculated results of the corresponding with the soil resistivity and the grounding materials. The lower

grounding impedance are shown in Table V. the soil resistivity and the higher permeability are, the larger

the proportion of the inductive part will be. In the large

The calculated results show that along with the calculated

grounding grid, the current injection position has an effect on

position approaching the center of the grounding grid, the

the grounding impedance. The closer the current injection

amplitude of the grounding impedance obtained by calculation

position to the center of the grounding grid is, the smaller the

decreases. Meanwhile, the real part and the imaginary part of

grounding impedance will be.

the grounding impedance can also decrease. Therefore, the

closer the current injection position to the center of the REFERENCES

grounding grid is, the lower the grounding impedance will be.

[1] IEEE Guide for Safety of AC Substation Groundings, IEEE Std. 80-

2000, Jan. 2000.

TABLE V. CALCULATED RESULTS OF GROUNDING IMPEDANCE OF

GROUNDING GRID AT DIFFERENT FAULT CURRENT INJECTION POSITIONS [2] Takehiko Takahashi, Taro Kawase, "Calculation of earth resistance for a

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Position Radian

part (Ω) part (Ω) value (Ω) [3] A. P. S. Melipoulos, "An Advanced Computer Model for Grounding

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Midpoint of one side 0.0415 0.0250 0.0484 0.5422 23, Jan. 1993.

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VII. CONCLUSIONS [5] Jiansheng Yuan, Huina Yang, Liping. Zhang, "Simulation of Substation

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[6] A. F. Otero, J. Cidras, J. L.del Alamo, "Frequency-dependent grounding

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