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DifferencesBetweenEarthedandUnearthedCables|EEP

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DifferencesBetweenEarthedand
UnearthedCables
Differences Between Earthed and Unearthed Cables

Introduction
In HT electrical distribution, the system can be earthed or unearthed.
The selection of unearthed or earthed cable depends on distribution system. If such system is
earthed, then we have to use cable which is manufactured for earthed system. (which the specifies
the manufacturer). If the system is unearthed then we need to use cable which is manufactured for
unearthed system.
The unearthed system requires high insulation level compared to earthed system.
For earthed and unearthed XLPE cables, the IS 7098 part2 1985 does not give any difference in
specification. The insulation level for cable for unearthed system has to be more.

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EarthedSystem
Earlier the generators and transformers were of small capacities and hence the fault current was less.
The star point was solidly grounded. This is called earthed system.
In three phases earthed system, phase to earth voltage is 1.732 times less than phase to phase voltage.
Therefore voltage stress on cable to armor is 1.732 times less than voltage stress between
conductors to conductor.
Where in unearthed system, (if system neutral is not grounded) phase to ground voltage can be equal to
phase to phase voltage. In such case the insulation level of conductor to armor should be equal to
insulation level of conductor to conductor.
In an earthed cable, the three phase of cable are earthed to a ground. Each of the phases of system
is grounded to earth.
Example: 1.9/3.3 KV, 3.8/6.6 KV system

UnearthedSystem
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Today generators of 500MVA capacities are used and therefore the fault level has increased. In case of
an earth fault, heavy current flows into the fault and this lead to damage of generators and
transformers. To reduce the fault current, the star point is connected to earth through a resistance.
If an earth fault occurs on one phase, the voltage of the faulty phase with respect to earth appears
across the resistance.
Therefore, the voltage of the other two healthy phases with respect to earth rises by 1.7 times.
If the insulation of these phases is not designed for these increased voltages, they may develop earth
fault. This is called unearthed system.
In an unearth system, the phases are not grounded to earth .As a result of which there are chances
of getting shock by personnel who are operating it.
Example: 6.6/6.6 KV, 3.3/3.3 KV system.
Unearthed cable has more insulation strength as compared to earthed cable. When fault occur phase
to ground voltage is 3 time the normal phase to ground voltage. So if we used earthed cable in
unearthed System, It may be chances of insulation puncture.
So unearthed cable are used. Such type of cable is used in 6.6 KV systems where resistance type
earthing is used.

Nomenclature
In simple logic the 11 KV earthed cable is suitable for use in 6.6 KV unearthed system. The process
of manufacture of cable is same.
The size of cable will depend on current rating and voltage level.
Voltage Grade (Uo/U) where Uo is Phase to Earth Voltage & U is Phase to Phase Voltage.
Earthed system has insulation grade of KV / 1.75 x KV.
For Earthed System (Uo/U): 1.9/3.3 kV, 3.8/6.6 kV, 6.35/11 kV, 12.7/22 kV and 19/33
kV.
Unearthed system has insulation grade of KV / KV.
For Unearthed System (Uo/U): 3.3/3.3 kV and 11/11 kV.
3 phase 3 wire system has normally Unearthed grade cables and 3 phase 4 wire systems can be
used earthed grade cables, insulation used is less, and cost is less.

ThumbRule
As a thumb rule we can say that 6.6KV unearthed cable is equal to 11k earthed cable i.e 6.6/6.6kv
Unearthed cable can be used for 6.6/11kv earthed system.
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Because each core of cable have the insulation level to withstand 6.6kv so between core to core
insulation level will be 6.6kV+6.6kV = 11kV
For transmission of HT, earthed cable will be more economical due to low cost where as unearthed
cables are not economical but insulation will be good.
Generally 6.6 kV and 11kV systems are earthed through a neutral grounding resistor and the shield
and armor are also earthed, especially in industrial power distribution applications. Such a case is
similar to an unearthed application but with earthed shield (sometimes called solid bonding).
In such cases, unearthed cables may be used so that the core insulation will have enough strength
but current rating is de-rated to the value of earthed cables.
But it is always better to mention the type of system earthing in the cable specification when
ordering the cables so that the cable manufacturer will take care of insulation strength and de rating.

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AboutAuthor//
Jignesh Parmar
jiguparmar - Jignesh Parmar has completed his B.E(Electrical) from
Gujarat University. He is member of Institution of Engineers (MIE),India.
Membership No:M-1473586.He has more than 12 years experience in
Transmission -Distribution-Electrical Energy theft detection-Electrical
Maintenance-Electrical Projects (Planning-Designing-Technical Reviewcoordination -Execution). He is Presently associate with one of the leading
business group as a Assistant Manager at Ahmedabad,India. He has
published numbers of Technical Articles in "Electrical Mirror", "Electrical India", "Lighting India",
"Industrial Electrix"(Australian Power Publications) Magazines. He is Freelancer Programmer of
Advance Excel and design useful Excel base Electrical Programs as per IS, NEC, IEC,IEEE codes.
He is Technical Blogger and Familiar with English, Hindi, Gujarati, French languages. He wants to
Share his experience & Knowledge and help technical enthusiasts to find suitable solutions and
updating themselves on various Engineering Topics.
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