You are on page 1of 4

Earthing system audit

EA Technologys Earthing System Audit service is the most effective way to ensure that protection systems on
high voltage installations will operate appropriately during a fault. This is essential to comply with current safety
regulations, including BS 7430, and to prevent damage to plant and personnel.

business
benefits





Identify installations where remedial action is required


Comply with safety regulations, including BS 7430
Prevent damage to network assets and personnel
Reduce risk of liability and claims
Fast and excellent value
Bespoke design service for earthing system upgrades

typical
applications
Although effective earthing systems are part of the design of modern high voltage installation, earthing system
audits are recommended in a range of situations including:
Checking the integrity of older and upgraded substations
New operating conditions
Damage or theft of earthing system components

Innovators in Power Engineering

protection system
audit & design
Earthing system audits are ideally conducted in conjunction with an audit of a sites protection systems.
Protection system audits are carried out by EA Technology Consultings Network Asset Management
specialists to ensure that:
Existing protection systems are working correctly
All relevant assets are adequately protected
Each protection system audit includes recommendations to address any protection issues. The Network
Asset Management Team also has the facilities to:
Review and enhance the design of current protection systems
Produce cost effective designs for new protection systems

EA Technology ISI Limited


Capenhurst Technology Park
Capenhurst
Chester
CH1 6ES
t. +44 (0) 151 347 2430
f. +44 (0) 151 347 2139
services@eatechnology.com
www.eatechnology.com
A member of the EA Technology Group

2 computer modelling & design


We use the latest CDEGS computer modelling software to simulate
the earthing system under review. This includes creating a register
of hot zones where there are earthing issues, examining the effects
of changes to the system and producing the most cost-effective options
for upgrades and replacements:
Using information gained during the site survey, our software
creates an electrical equivalent soil model of the earthing
system, so we can review its performance under fault
conditions.
Earthing designs are inserted in the model via an X, Y and Z
co-ordinate system, including information on the soil structure
and the electrode radius. Values of fault current can be stipulated,
so the calculation of the actual potentials that will be experienced
during an earth fault can be undertaken.
Once a simulation has taken place, graphical plots of touch and
step potential are produced and evaluated. These simulations
allow direct comparison of the actual potentials with those
stated in current standards.
We make changes to the earthing system design, so that
potentials occurring in fault situations are reduced to within the
stipulated limits.
The end results are bespoke designs, which are based on
EA Technologys extensive experience of earthing systems.

3 installation & performance measurement


Our service includes providing detailed specifications for new and enhanced
earthing systems.
When the installation of a system is complete, we revisit the site to carry out
further measurements. This ensures that the new systems performance meets
values predicted during the modelling and design stage.

Innovators in Power Engineering

3 steps

to cost-effective earthing protection


Electricity Supply Regulations specify that electricity
network assets should be bonded to earth, to ensure
that any fault can return to its source in a controlled
manner. This allows protective equipment to operate
efficiently, avoiding damage to plant and equipment,
and the risk of electric shock to personnel
1 Site survey & measurement
Earthing System Audits begin with a visual inspection of all electrical bonds to equipment, followed by an array
of measurements:

a. soil resistivity
One of the most important influences on the performance of an
earthing system is the impedance of the soil surrounding the
electrodes. This is called soil resistivity and is expressed in
Ohm metres (/m). Surveys may be carried out across large
areas covering multiple assets or on specific sites, for example
individual substations.
The most widespread technique for measuring soil resistivity
employs the Wenner method of interpretation. This test uses
a four terminal instrument and involves four short probes being
driven into the ground, spaced an equal distance apart. To gain
a typical soil structure for the area, measurements are normally
taken to represent a vertical depth of 54m.

b. resistance
To verify the resistance of an earthing system, measurements
are taken using a four terminal instrument, which employs the
fall of potential method of interpretation. Test routes and
distances are chosen to account for the size of the installation
and any interference by buried cables or third party services.

c. continuity
It is important that all equipment is bonded together and to earth.
We therefore undertake continuity measurements, to ensure that
adequate bonding is present. This also includes the use of
specialist tracing equipment, to confirm the location of electrodes.

Innovators in Power Engineering

Earthing System Audits ensure that protection


systems will operate safely in the event of a fault.