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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 1

EARTHING ARRANGEMENTS &


LIGHTENING DISCHARGERS

• This Handbook covers Installations and Maintenance


of Earthing Arrangements & Lightening
Dischargers for Signalling and Telecommunication
installations.

• Part ‘A’ of this Handbook covers Installation and


Maintenance of earths for S&T equipments. This is
also applicable to earthing provided in Railway
Electrified areas, for earthing of cable screens and
of the equipment in VF Repeater stations and Cable
huts.

• Part ‘B’ of this Handbook covers Installation and


Maintenance of Lightening Dischargers for S&T
equipments as per RDSO Specification No.TC5-87
and IRS: S52-76.

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 2

PART ‘A’: EARTHING


ARRANGEMENTS
1.0 Introduction

It is an arrangement for electrical connection to


the general mass of the earth.

1.1 Why Earth is required.?

The objective of the earth may be one or more


of the following :

• To provide a return path. For example in block


instruments, unbalanced HF serial circuits etc.

• To afford safety to personnel against shock by


earthing the casing or other exposed path.

• To protect equipment against build up of unduly


high voltages by earthing protective devices
like surge, arrestors and lightening dischargers.

• To ensure safe and reliable operation of equipment


by eleminating / limiting induced voltages as
earthing of metallic sheathing and armouring of
cables.

• To provide path for heavy fault currents to ensure


effective and quick operation of protective
devices, as in power supply induced systems.

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 3

An simple Earthing Aarrangement system is


shown in figure No.1. It shows how earth is
connected to the equipment. Earthing
Arrangement is consists of following:

• Soil
• Earth Electrode
• Earthing Lead
• Connecting wire to extend earth to equipment.

Termination
Box

Connecting
wire

Battery Charger

Equipment
earthed Earthin Earth Earth
g Electrode Pit
Lead
Figure
Figure
1 1

2.0 TERMINOLOGY

2.1 Earth

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 4

The conductive mass of the earth, whose electric


potential at any point is conventionally taken is
zero.

2.2 Earthing

It is an arrangement for electrical connection to the


general mass of the earth.

2.3 Earth Electrode

A conductor or group of conductors in intimate


contact with and providing an electrical connection
to earth.

2.4 Earthing Lead

A protective conductor connecting the main


earthing terminal to an earth electrode or to other
means of earthing.

2.5 Earth Leakage Current

A current which flows to earth or to extraneous


conductive parts in a circuit which is electrically
sound.

2.6 Earth Resistance

The resistance of an earth electrode to earth is


called Earth resistance.
3.0 USE OF EARTH IN S&T

3.1 Earthing of Signalling Equipment

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 5

Earthing of following signalling equipments is


essential :

1. Signal Posts
2. He lever frams and other metallic parts of the cabin
in contact with the lever frame.
3. Metallic sheath and armouring of underground
Cable.
4. Block instruments working on earth return circuits
through the respective Block filters.

3.2 Earthing of Telecom Equipment

It is necessary to earth all telecom. Equipments


inclusive of transmitters, receivers and associated
equipments, Sheath of Telecom cable for the
following reason.

1. To prevent or to reduce the risk of cross talk.


2. To complete earth return signalling circuits.
3. To avoid risk of shock.
4. To provide direct connection to the earth for
lightening protection.

4.0 TYPES OF EARTH

Two types of the Earth is used in S&T department


of Indian Railways.

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 6

4.1 Protective Earth

Protective earth is required for protection of


equipments and to avoid the risk of shock. In this
the flowing current may be in the order of tens of
amperes.

The basic objectives of Protective/ equipment


earthing are:

1. To ensure freedom from dangerous electric shock


voltages exposure to persons in the area.

When there is an un-intentional contact between an


energized electric conductor and the metal frame or
structure that encloses it, the frame or structure
tends to become energized to the same voltage
level as exists on the energized conductor. It will be
dangerous to the persons who will touch this frame
or structure as this current will pass to ground
through his body.

To avoid this appearance of this dangerous,


exposed shock hazard voltage, the equipment must
be earthed. The equipment earthing conductor shall
offer a low impedance path from the stricken frame
to the ground therefore the dangerous exposed
shock hazard voltage shall disappear.

2. To provide current carrying capability, both in


magnitude and duration, adequate to accept the
ground fault current permitted by the over current
protective system without creating a fire or
explosive hazard to building or contents.

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 7

The earthing conductor must also function to


conduct the full ground fault current without
excessively raising the temperature of the earthing
conductor or causing the expulsion of arcs and
sparks that could initiate a fire or explosion.

3. To contribute to better performance of the electrical


system.

4.2 Functional Earth

Functional Earth is required for following


purposes:
a. To complete the circuits of S&T systems
employing on earth return principals.
b. To earth the power supply circuit and stabilize the
potential of the equipment with respect to earth.
c. To earth screening conductors to reduce electrical
interference to the telecommunication circuits.
In this case the flowing current is in the order of
few milli amperes. If equipment requires both a
protective earth and a functional earth connection,
it is preferred that the two earths should be
separated within the equipment so that power
system fault currents can not flow in the functional
earthing conductors.

5.0 INSTALLATION

5.1 Location of Earth

The following are the preferred locations for


efficient earth:

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 8

i) Wet marshy grounds or grounds containing


vegetation or refuge, such as cinder, ashes and
brine waste.
ii) Clay, loamy soil, arable land, clayey soil or loam
mixed with small quantities of sand.
iii) Clay and loam mixed with various proportions of
sand, gravel and stone.
iv) Damp and wet send pits.

A site should be so chosen that is not naturally


well drained. A water-logged situation is not,
however, essential, unless the soil is sand or gravel.
In general no advantage results from an increase in
moisture content above about 15 to 20 percent.
Care should be taken to avoid a site kept moist by
water flowing over it (for example, the bed of
stream) as the beneficial salts may be entirely
removed from the soil in such situations.

5.2 Soil Resistivity

Soil resistivity is depends upon the moisture


content, chemical composition of the soil and
concentration of salts dissolved in the contained
moisture. Size of grain, mode of distribution and
closeness of packing also affect the resistivity as
these factors control the manner in which the
moisture is held in soil. Many of these factors vary
locally and some seasonally, and as such soil
resistivity varies not only from location to location
but also from season to season. Besides, the areas
where the soil is stratified, the effective resistivity
also depends upon the underlying geological
formation.

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 9

Temperature also affects the resistivity of the soil.


However, it is of consequence only around and
below the freezing point, which means that earth
electrodes should be installed at depths where frost
can not penetrate.

5.3 Treatment of Soil

Multiple rods in large number may sometimes fail


to produce an adequately low resistance to earth.
This condition arises in installations involving soils
of high resistivity. To reduce the resistivity of soil,
it is necessary to dissolve in the moisture normally
contained in the soil some substance which is
highly conductive in its water solution. The most
commonly used substances are sodium chloride
(common salt), calcium chloride, sodium
carbonate, copper sulphate, salt & soft coke and
salt & charcoal in suitable proportions.

In the case of salt & soft coke and salt & charcoal
moisture the earth electrode should be surrounded
in the earth pit by alternate layers of finally divided
coke, crushed coal or charcoal and common salt for
at least 150mm all round. Though substantial
reduction in earth resistance can be achieved by
coke treated electrode, this method results in rapid
corrosion of not only of electrode but also the
associate bonding. Coke treatment shall be used
when absolutely necessary and the coke treated
electrodes shall not be situated within 6 metres of
other metal structure.

With average and high moisture content, the above


mentioned agents from a conducting electrolyte

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 10

throughout the wide region surrounding the earth


electrode. Approximately 900 of the resistance
between a driven rod and earth lies within a radius
of about two metres from the rod. This should be
kept in mind when applying the agents for artificial
treatment of the soil. The simplest application is
by excavating a shallow basin around the top of the
rod, one metre in diameter and about 30cm deep
and applying the artificial agent in this basin. The
basin should be subsequently filled several times
with water which should be allowed each time to
soak into the ground, thus carrying the artificial
treatment in electrolyte from, to considerable
depths and allowing the artificial agent to become
diffused throughout the greater part of the effective
cylinder of earth surrounding the driven rod.

5.4 Earth Electrodes

Although the earth electrodes material does not


affect the initial earth resistance, care should be
taken to select a material which is resistant to
corrosion in the type of soil in which it will be
used. Under ordinary conditions of soil, use of
galvanised iron or mild steel electrode is used. In
cases where soil corrosion is likely to be excessive,
it is preferable to use either copper or copper clad
electrode. The electrodes shall be free from paint,
enamel or grease.

Resistance of a electrode to earth depends to a


larger degree upon its buried length and to a lesser
extent upon its diameter. Therefore the electrode is

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 11

chosen of such a diameter as can easily withstand


the strain of driving.

5.5 Earthing Leads

Earthing lead shall be protected against mechanical


damage and possibility of corrosion particularly at
the point of connection of earth electrode.

The earthig lead should be of ACSR size 64


sq.mm.(19 strands of 2.11 mm dia) or copper wire
of 29 sq.mm. cross sectional area (19 strands of 1.4
mm dia). In case the earth lead is buried
underground, it should be protected from corrosion
by an application of suitable anti-corrosive paint or
bitumin or varnish.The length of the lead so treated
should extend half a metre beyond the buried
length. In general the earthing lead should be of
adequate size to offer negligible resistance.

5.6 Preparation of Earth

a. Prepare a earth pit at the place as decribed in para


5.1. The size of the pit should be shown in
figure 2.
b. Put earth electrode in the middle of the earth pit.
The size of electrode should be as shown in figure
2 and as described in para 5.4.

CAMTECH/S&T July 1999


100 100 200 SQ
Groun
d
Level
EARTHING ARRANGEMENT
G 12
A
c. Fill earth pit by alternative layers of finely divided
coke, crushed coal or charcoal and common salt for
at least 150 mm all round as described in para 5.3
and shown in figure 2.

d. Fill the remain earth pit by earth as shown in


1000 figure(2).
TO Part
2000 No.DescriptionReqd.TC566Bott
e. The earth lead of the adequate size as described in
para 5.5 shall be fastenedMasonaryAs
om TubeOneABrick to the bolt by means
EART Reqd.BGI Pipe, Dia-20 BORE
H
of nut &IS:washer and then soldered
1239 As Reqd.CBolt,MS as shown in
B figure2. HEX,HD.M
10x50 long
f. The walls One
of the pit surrounding the open pipe
shall beDWasher
plastered and then filled with sand as
(punched) MS, M 10 IS:2016
shown inTwoENut,MS,
figure 2.
HEX, M10OneFGI Reducer
F g. The surrounding
Socket of
, earth electrode should be kept
moist byDia 40 to 20
periodically pouring saline water
One
through the pipe in order to keep resistance
Alternate GSand
layers below specified value.
of Charcoal or
Coke and Salt
1500 h. Where more than one earth is to be installed, they
should be seperated by not less than 2000mm from
each other.
TC
566

Note: All dimensions in mm


300
Figure 2 : Drg. No. RDSO/TCA565

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48
EARTHING ARRANGEMENT
40 13

25
Parallel Pipe
75 Threads

75

75

150

150
0

Holes
Dia 12

450

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 14

Ground
Level

Note: All dimensions are in


mm
Alternative Layers BOOTOM TUBE
of Charcoal or 220
Coke and Salt 0
Figure 3 : Drg.No.RDSO/TCA566
1300

RDSO/ TC 21132

300
x1200

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 15

900
200 500

200

400 Drill
Holes
1400

400

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 16

Note: All dimensions are in mm.

H.F.Earthing Arrangement
( Earth Plate)
RDSO/Drg. No. TC 21131

Figure
5

Note :

1. Figure 2 shows Earth for Telecommunication,


Block and Railway signalling to RDSO
drawing No.RDSO/ TCA565.
2. Figure 3 shows an MS tube drawing
No.RDSO/TCA 566 is used as a bottom tube in
the earth for Telecom., Block and Railway
signalling.
3. Figure 4 shows Radio frequency earths for wireless
transmitting and receiving stations to RDSO
drawing No.RDSO/TC 21131.
4. Figure 5 shows a galvanized steel plate to drawing
No. RDSO/TC 21132 used in radio Frequency

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 17

earth for wireless transmitting and receiving


stations.

6.0 EARTH RESISTANCE

The total earth resistance is the sum of three


separate resistances, viz,

1. Resistance of conductor jointing the earth electrode


to the installation.
2. Contact resistance between the earth electrode and
soil.
3. Soil resistance

Since the first two resistances are negligible so the


earth resistance is determined by the nature of soil.

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6.1 Measurement of Earth resistance


A Earth to be tested

6
6
m
m
B C
6
m
Ground

Iron Bars

Figure 6
Earth can be tested by means of a Wheatstone
Bridge or a GPO Detector or a Megger Earth
Tester. To test an earth, two iron bars with
terminals fixed on them, are driven about 6 metre
from the earth to be tested and 6 meter from each
other as shown in figure 6:

The bars are used as temporary Earths and driven


in the ground for 1 metre, 0.25 metre. Now pour
salted water to ensure that the bars make a good
connection with the earth.

In the above diagram A is the earth under test,


B&C are temporary earths. Measure the resistances
between A&B, A&C and B&C with the help of

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 19

Wheatstone bridge or GPO detector or Megger


earth tester.

Let, R1 is the resistance measured between A&B


R2 is the resistance measured between A&C
R3 is the resistance measured between B&C

Therefore the resistance of A can be findout by


following formula:

Resistance of A = R1 + R2 - R3
earth. 2

6.2 Limits of Earth Resistance

Maximum values of earth resistances specified for


earthing of Signalling and Telecommunication
equipments are as under:

Sr Descriptions Earth
No. Resistance
1 Telegraph and Block Instrument Should not be
using earth return circuit more than 10 Ω
2 Earths for surge arrestors/ Should not be
lightening dischargers more than 10 Ω
3 Earthing of Signalling Should not be
equipment more than 10 Ω

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 20

4 Earthing of signalling cable Should not be


screen in AC electrified areas more than 10 Ω
5 Earthing of Telephone Exchange Should not be
more than 5 Ω
6 Earthing of alluminium sheathed Should not be
telecom cable in AC electrified more than 1 Ω
area.
7 Earthing of equipment in VF Should not be
repeater stations and cable huts. more than 5 Ω

7.0 MAINTENANCE

• Earths should be watered regularly.

• All earths and connections should be examined at


the interval of not more than one month, to
ensure that all connections are in tact and
soldered joints are in proper condition.

• Resistance of every earth should be measured at


intervals not exceeding one year. Earth
resistance and date of last test should be entered
in a register location-wise. Earth resistance and
date of last testing should also be painted
suitably on the wall of a nearby structure or
post on a conveniently place sign board.

7.1 Token & Block Earth (SEM.944)

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 21

a. Token & Block earth and their connections


must be examined at intervals of not more than
one month.

b. Token & Block earths must be tested for


resistance at intervals of not more than 12
month and where the resistance exceed 10 ohm,
action should be taken to reduce the earth
resistance.

PART B: LIGHTNING DISCHARGER

1.0 Introduction

The equipment which discharge the lightning is


called Lightning Discharger (LD). It is a
protection device.

The S&T equipments are to be protected from


higher voltages which may arises either due to
(i) Natural cause or (ii) Artificial cause.

1.1 Natural Causes

Amongst natural causes the main and the only


cause is the lightning. The theory of lightning is
somewhat complicated, but for practical
purposes it may be considered as extremely

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EARTHING ARRANGEMENT 22

high voltage discharge in an extremely short


period. Typical figures are 1000KV in 1
microsecond.

1.2 Artificial Causes

• Direct contact between power line and S&T


line.
• Parrallelism between power and telephone
lines.
• Partial earthing.

2.0 Requirements

The main requirements of lightning dischargers are


given below:

1. LDs should not operate for working currents.


2. Speech or Signalling efficiency should not reduced
on its application.
3. They should promptly operate at specified voltages
or currents.
4. They should promptly isolate the apparatus and
prevent further action by lightning etc.
5. The current rating should be always such that they
do not produce any heat in the componants of
the main apparatus.
6. They should be as far as possible be self-restoring.
7. They should not be costly.

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