Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 24


Electric supply system

Electricity is generated in power generating stations which are often situated far
away from the consumers of electric power. This is because the power generating stations
should preferably be situated near the natural sources of energy.
1) large hydro power generators are installed at places where a large quantity of
water at high head is available for driving for driving turbines which in turn drive
2) Coal fired generating stations are preferred near coal mines and also at places
where constant supply of coal can be maintained economically.
Such power stations are preferably built away from big cities to keep the atmosphere free
from pollution.
It thus becomes necessary to transmit electricity from the generating station to the
consumers which is done in two stages.

First stage (Transmission) electricity is transmitted from the generating station to

substations through transmission.
Second stage (distribution) involves distributing electricity from sub stations to the
consumers through transmission lines.
Nowadays power generation is three phase, 50Hz usually at 11kv.
The generated voltage is stepped up to to 132, 220 or 400 kv by means of step up
Then by means of three wire transmission line electric power is carried to
different place where it is received in substations situated near the cities.
Here the voltage is stepped down to 66 or 33 kv and further carried through three
wire transmission lines to various substations in the cities where the voltage is
stepped down to 11,6.6 or 3.3 kv.
These voltages are further stepped down to 415kv to make available power to
small consumers through 415/240V, three phase and four wire distributors.

Classification of system voltages

Classification Range of voltages
low voltage 250V or less
Medium voltage 251V to 650V
High voltage 651V to 33V
Extra high voltage Above 33kV

Three phase four wire distribution systems

Electricity power in India is supplied to the consumers by the State electricity Boards The
following are the different systems by which power is distributed to the consumer
Single phase ac supply using a 2 wire system
Three phase ac supply using a 3 wire system.
Supply of three phase and neutral using a 4 wire system.

DC supply may also available in certain areas, on either o two system at 220V
between the outer conductors and the center wire. However, dc supply is no
longer commonly use in India.

Supply voltages
The standard voltages at which the supply authorities deliver power to the
consumer are generally follows:
Single phase 240v, 50hz, 2 wire
Three phase 415v, 50hz, 4 wire
In India and in many countries the frequency of supply is 50hz. In USA
the power supply frequency is 60hz.
Standardization of supply voltage and frequency is extremely important to
both electricity supply authorities as well as manufacturers of electrical
equipment. In the 3 phase, 4 wire power distribution system, power is supplied
from the sub station through 4 wires.
Three of these wires are called as live or phase or line wires.
The 4th wire is usually at zero voltage and is called neutral wire. This wire
is earthed at the sub station.
Electric loads of the consumers are connected in such a way that all the
three phases are equally loaded.
In case of three phase motors, ovens etc the three phases are equally
loaded by their design and in such cases neutral may be omitted but in
cases where a number of single phase loads have to be supplied, loads on
the three phases are balanced by connecting various single phase
consumers or groups of consumers to different phase of the 3 phase

Voltage tolerances
Current carried by the electrical power distribution network varies at different
times of the day. This leads to varying voltage drops in supply cables. It is thus
impracticable to give each consumer exact nominal supply voltage i.e. 415 or 240v at his
terminals. Supply authorities are, therefore, permitted certain tolerances.
Under the Indian Electricity rules, the voltage fluctuation may not vary by more
than 5% above or below the declared nominal voltage and the frequency must be within
1% above or below the declared frequency of 50Hz. Thus the terminal voltage must be
within the range
228 V to 252 V for a nominal voltage of 240 V
394.25 V to 435.75 V for a nominal voltage of 415 V

Conductor and cables

All the conductors must be surrounded by insulation in order to confine the
current to the path the current is intended to follow.
In overhead transmission lines bare conductors are used where air acts as
insulation between the conductors. The only place where insulation is required is
at the supports through which the lines are held suspended from the ground.

For underground distribution cables and for wiring installation in buildings it is
convenient to provide the conductors with insulation of some solid flexible
The conductor with insulation is called a CABLE.
Amongst the earliest materials used for cable insulation were long strips of paper
wrapped around the conductors. Paper works as good insulation as long as it is
kept dry.
Rubber as cable insulation was used in small cables from about 1910 to 1950.
The most commonly used plastic material for cable insulation is poly vinyl
chloride (PVC).
For cables which have to withstand very high temperature, rubber like compounds
such as silicon rubber is also used.

The insulation mentioned above is generally applied to stranded conductors. Stranded

conductors consist of a number of copper or aluminium wires placed together like a rope.
Stranding is employed to make the cable flexible. Single strand copper conductors are
used only in small sizes. Single strand aluminium conductors are often used in house
wiring because of prohibitive cost of copper wire.Stranded conductor cables are
expressed as 3/0.029, 3/0.036 etc.
The first number 3, 7 represents the number of strands or wires in the cables,
The second number i.e. 0.029, 0.036 represent the diameter of each strand in
inch or mm.

Rating of cables
Cables are always assigned a rating.
For plastic or rubber insulated cables this is based on the temperature which the
insulation can withstand.
When several plastic insulated cables run together in the same conduit or duct
their normal rating will be reduced since each will tend to heat the other.

Voltage drop
The minimum requirements for selecting cable size are
it should be able to carry the maximum expected current without the insulation
getting damaged due to heat.
Voltage drop in a cable depends not only upon the current and the cross sectional
area of the cable but also upon the length.
Voltage drop between the supply point in any building and any outlet should not
be more than 2.5% of the nominal voltage.
For short cables it is generally sufficient to choose the nearest size as per
calculation of current as they are expected to carry but for long cables it is
necessary to select one or two size larger than the minimum voltage.
In larger buildings there may be several lengths and sizes. Decision has to be
taken as to how much voltage drop out of the total of 2.5% is to be allowed at
each point in the system. No general rule can be given. The decision will depend
on the circumstances.

Any metalwork directly associated with electrical wiring could become live if
insulation frayed or if wires became displaced. Anyone touching such a piece of
apparatus would run the risk of serious electric shock. This is avoided by earthing the
metalwork so that a heavy current flow to earth and the fuse is blown immediately the
fault occurs. Although the neutral wire is earthed it will not serve for this purpose & a
separate set of conductors for earthing are provided in almost all electrical installations.

The term Earthing means connecting the neutral point of a supply system or the
non current carrying metal parts used in electrical distribution system to the general mass
of earth by wire of negligible resistance in such a manner that all times an immediate
discharge of electrical energy takes place without danger. This brings the body of the
equipment to zero potential and thus will avoid the shock of the operartor.
According to Indian Electricity Rules the earthing is defined as the earthed or
connected with earth means connection with the general mass of the earth in such
manner as to ensure at all times an immediate discharge of energy without danger.

Purpose of earthing
To avoid electric shock to human body.
To avoid risk of fire due to earth leakage current through unwanted path.
To ensure that no current carrying conductor rises to a potential with respect to
earth than its designed insulation.

Indian Standard specifications regarding earthing of electrical installation

1) Distance of earth from building: An earthing electrode shall not be situated within a
distance of 1.5m from the building whose installation system is being earthed.
2) Size of earth continuity conductor: The conductor, by means of which the metal
body of an equipment or appliance is connected to the earth is known as earth continuity
conductor (ecc) . The cross section of this earth continuity should not be either less than
2.9 sq.mm or half of the installation conductor size.
3) Resistance of earth: The main principle regarding earth resistance is that the earth
resistance should be low enough to cause flow of current sufficient to operate the
protective relay or blow fuses in the event of an earth fault.
The value earth resistance has to change with the weather as it depends on the
moisture content of the soil and are maximum during dry season.
As a general rule, the lower the value of earth resistance better it is but then the
following values of earth resistance will give satisfactory results
1) Large power station 0.5 ohms
2) Major power station 1.0 ohms
3) Small substations 2.0 ohms
4) In all other cases 8.0 ohms
The earth wire and earth electrode will be of same material.
The earth wire shall be taken through GI pipe of 12.7mm of diameter for atleast
30.5cm length above and below ground surface to the electrode to protect it
against mechanical damage.

The earthing electrode shall always be placed in vertical position inside the earth
or pit so that it may be in contact with all different earth layers.
All the earth wires run along the various sub circuits shall be terminated and
looped firmly at the main board and from this the main earth shall be taken to the
earth electrode.

Factors considered for the choice of the earthing conductor

It may have to carry current at the time of short circuit.
The conductor should have high conductivity preferably copper.
It should have sufficient diameter in order to carry the fault current safely.
Instead of copper if iron wire is used it should be galvanized so that it does not get
rusty in adverse conditions as it had to be buried in to the earth.

1) Earth electrode: Any wire, pipe, rod or metal plate embedded in earth for the purpose
of making an electrical connection with general mass of earth is known as earth
2) Main earthing conductor: The wire which connects overhead earth wire or any other
apparatus to be earthed to the earth electrode is known so.
3) Sub main earthing conductor: The earth wire which runs between the main switch
board to the distribution board or along sub mains is kown as sub main earthing
4) Earth continuity conductor is the conductor running between the distribution board
and various plugs.

Factors affecting earth resistance value

Condition of soil
Moisture control of soil
Temperature of soil
Depth of electrode at which embedded
Size and spacing of earth plates and size of conductor
Metal of earth plate and earth wire
Quality of coal dust and charcoal in the earth electrode pit

Location of the earth pit

The minimum distance from wall to pit should not be less than 1.5m
The building foundation should not be affected by excavation of pit.
Should not be located near pavements, roads, railway tracks etc.
Should not be placed closely to metal fence, if it is unavoidable the fence should
be earthed.

Different methods of earthing

Earthing Wire or Rod earthing Pipe Plate

through strip earthing earthing
water earthing

1) Earthing through water mains

Normally this method is not advisable
It is ensured that the water pipe is of iron and electrically continuous
When making an earth connection, care must be taken to limit the contact
resistance to the minimum
Well designed pipe clamps should be used.

2) Wire or strip earthing

A copper wire of 5SWG or copper strip of cross section not less than 25mm wide
and 1.6mm thick is used as earth wire.
In case of round conductors the cross sectional area for copper not less than 6
sq.mm and of galvanized iron or steel is 6 sq.mm
It shall not be less than 8 to 15m depending upon moisture content in the soil.
Enough length wire or strip to be buried so as to reduce earth resistance value to a
large extent.
If conditions require use of more than one strip, they shall be either in parallel
trenches or in radial trenches.
Strips are used in ares where it is difficult to dig pits of desired depth due to rocky

3) Rod earthing
A solid copper rod of dia 12.5mm / 19mm dia of galvanized iron / hollow GI pipe
of 25mm dia is used
Rods driven vertically in to up to a depth of 5 to 6m depending upon depth of
moisture in the earth.
Suitable for sandy earth
Earth wire carried in the pipe to the ground and in case of solid rod, the wire is to
be tied to it with small sturdy clamps.
To increase the embedded length of electrodes under the ground which is
sometimes required to reduce the earth resistance to desired value, more than 1
rod sections are hammered one above the other with proper joints.

4) Pipe earthing
Common and best system of earthing
The size of the pipe which serves as an earth electrode depends on
- the current to be carried
- the type of soil
According to ISI, the galvanized iron pipe shall not be less than 38mm diameter
and 2m long for ordinary soil but if the soil is dry and rocky, the length of the
pipe to be embedded should be increased to 2.75m.
The pipe must be placed in a permanent wet ground.
According to ISI pipe should be placed at a depth of 4.75m again depending upon
The pipe having a tapered casing at the bottom is placed upright in that pit.
The charcoal and salt are filled in that pit alternately in layers up to 2m from
bottom and for a distance of about 15cm around the pipe to increase dampness
and moisture around the earth pipe.
The pipe placed has 12mm dia holes drilled in to so that water poured from top is
made to spread in charcoal layers through the holes to decrease earth resistance
The pit of about 40 sq.cm is dug in the soil.
At the top a cement concrete work is made for the protection of earth pipe from
mechanical damage and also to facilitate water pouring arrangements for
provision of dampness.
A funnel with mesh is provided in the concrete work so that water is put through
the funnel in order to have an effective earth, whenever needed 3 to 4 buckets of
water should be poured .
The pipe to which funnel is connected is further connected to main earthing pipe.
Another GI pipe is taken from the funnel towards outerside for its connection to
earth wire.
The earth wire from GI pipe of dia 12.7mm at a depth of about 60 cm below the

5) Plate earthing
A common system of earthing.
It is done by embedding GI or copper plate in the earth sufficiently deep.
The size of the plate should not be less than 60cm X 60 cm X 6.36mm in case of
GI plate and 60 cm X 60 cm X 3.18 mm in case of copper plate.
A pit is dug about 4m deep (depending upon soil conditions in regard to
The earth electrode is placed in such a way that its face is vertical.
The space around that plate is filled with layers of charcoal and saltfor a minimum
thickness of 15cm.
The electrode or plate is connected to GI pipe of 12.7 mm dia for carrying earth
plate with a help of bolt, nut, washer and thimble.
Nuts, bolts, thimble and washers must be of same material as the plate.

The pit filled with charcoal and salt is also connected with a pipe for carrying
water from concrete work to that area for the purpose of increasing dampness and
moisture which ultimately reduces earth resistance.
The cement work is covered with iron pipe for periodic opening.

Factors affecting the selection of wiring

Durability should be of proper specifications & also in accordance with
accessed life
Safety depending upon the type of use a building is put in to, the right type to
be chosen, ex. wiring in factory to be different than that of a residence.
Appearance main aspect is that it should not spoil the beauty of the building.
Cost Another important factor which is to be ignored when it comes to
buildings which attracts public.

Types of house wiring

Cleat wiring Types of wiring Batton wiring

Capping wiring/ Concealed Metal / lead Surface conduit

wooden casing conduit wiring sheathed wiring

1) Cleat wiring
Cables are supported and gripped between porcelain cleat 10mm above the wall
or ceiling.
Porcelain cleats are made of two halves, the main part is base, which is grooved to
accommodate the cable and the cap is put over it.
The lower & upper cover, after placing cables between them are then grooved on
wooden plugs (gutties)
The gutties to be 30 to 60cm apart.
The screws used in this case are of size 38 mm lengths.
For the normal 250v, the cables will be placed 2.5cm apart.
The distance between cables may have to be increased for sub mains (4 cm) &
service connections.
Two wires shall not be placed in one groove of porcelain cleat in any case.

Installation & dismantling is easy & quick
Inspection work is easy as cables are within sight
Installation is very cheap & the material after dismantlement is recoverable for re
Inspection, alteration & addition can be made easily
An unskilled electrician can do the job.

It is not good looking.
Temporary system of wiring & its life is less.
The wires are exposed, subjected to mechanical injury.
Cannot be applied near damp situations.
2) Wooden casing / capping wiring
One of the earliest system of wiring
Suitable for low voltage installation.
Casing consists of U shaped grooves usually 2 in number, in to which the wires
are placed so that wires of opposite polarity are not placed together.
The casing covered by means of a rectangular strip of the same width as that of
casing called capping.
The capping is fitted to the casing with screws 12.7mm in length.
Casing & capping should be of seasoned teakwood or any other wood sufficiently
free of knots & other defects.
All the sides of casing to be polished & varnished.

Joints in casing & capping

Straight joint to increase the length of the casing & capping along the same
Tee joint when wiring to be carried out at right angles along with the normal
run of the casing
Right angled joint when wiring to be carried out at right angles to ht e normal
run of the casing

Cheap in cost when compared to conduit system of wiring
Phase & neutral conductors are placed in separate grooves, short circuiting
chances are minimized.
Easy to install & rewiring is economical
Free from condensation in tropical areas.

Risk of fire is high
Cannot be used in damp places
Casing is placed on walls & so it is not pleasing.
Highly skilled carpenters are required as it requires better workmanship.

Field of application
Suitable for low voltage domestic installation in dry places where possibility of
fire does not exist.

Risk of fire is high & so cannot be used in areas where fire hazards exist.
Not appealing to eyes.

Cannot be concealed in plaster.
High skilled carpenters are required.
Cannot be used in damp areas.

3) Batton wiring or tough rubber sheathed wiring

Suitable for low voltage installations
Suitable where acids, alkalies are likely to be present.
Commonly used for residential & non residential installations
Cables carried on seasoned teak perfectly straight & well varnished.
Wires fixed on battons by means of aluminium clips
Battons fixed to the walls by gutties.
Screws fixed not exceeding a distance of 75cm
Minimum width of batton for 2 wires to be 13 mm.
In domestic wiring, batton normally used are 13, 19, 25, 31, 44 & 50 mm wide.

Easy to install & labour charges will be cheap.
Cheaper when compared to other wiring system except cleat wiring.
Life is fairly long.
Pleasing appearance as long as it is done by well trained men.

Cannot be used in situations where wiring is exposed to sun or rain unless
preventive measures are taken.
Risk of fire.
Good workmanship is required.

Field of application
Extensively used in domestic, commercial or industrial wiring except workshops
where it is liable to mechanical injury.
Good for low voltage applications.

4) Lead / metal sheathed wiring

Conductors have an outer sheath of lead or lead alloy.
Maximum thickness of lead covering thus formed may not exceed 1 or 1.5 mm
Provides toughness & gives protection to cable against mechanical injury,
dampness & atmospheric corrosion.
Can be exposed to sun, rain & other damp situations provided no joint is exposed.
Sheathed cables to be run on well seasoned & straight teakwood batton of 10 mm
finished thickness.
Cables fixed by means of link clips which should not be more than 10 cm a part
on vertical run and 15 mm on horizontal run.
Cables to be taken through a conduit pipe while passing through walls or ceiling.

Exposed to sun or rain provided no joint is exposed.
Longer life.
Gives a fairly good look.
Earth continuity is maintained properly as cables are sheathed.
Can be used in damp places provided protection against moisture effect on the
ends or joints is given by additional means.

Costly as compared to tough rubber sheathed wiring
If proper earthing is not done & insulation is damaged, the metal sheath is
damaged; the metal sheath becomes alive & gives shock.
Skilled labour is required for execution.
Not suitable in areas where chemical action may occur.
Field of application
May be used in places exposed to sun & rain provided no joint is exposed.
May be used in damp areas with a suitable protective covering.
Not suitable for places subjected to dampness.

5) Conduit wiring system

All wires are enclosed in steel pipe known as conduit
Conduit is like ordinary water pipe with the difference, that its metal is annealed
to easy bending.
Inner surface of the conduit to be prepared carefully so that wires can be pulled
out easily with minimum effort & without damaging the insulation.
Steel tube coated with enamel is termed as black conduit.
When surface is galvanized, it is galvanized conduit.
Black conduit has very limited application where the system is exposed to
moisture or corrosion.

Types of conduit wiring

Concealed conduit Surface conduit Flexible conduit

wiring wiring wiring

Concealed conduit wiring

Embedded along walls or ceiling in plaster at the time of construction
To facilitate drawing of wires, a number of inspection boxes & other fittings are
Conduit should be electrically & mechanically continuous & connected to earth at
some suitable place through earth wire.

Surface conduit wiring
In damp situations, conduits can be spaced from the walls by means of wooden
spacers below the conduits along its length at regular intervals.
Commonly used in industries for various reasons.
Available sizes of conduits 12.7mm, 15mm, 20mm & 25mm
Conduits of diameter 30mm are used for carrying wires to electric motors for
power wiring.

Flexible conduit wiring

Purpose is to provide mechanical protection to cables between rigid conduit &
machine or other object.
Not used for general wiring system
Used for connecting rigid conduit with machine terminal box in case of motor
wiring, energy meter & main switch in case of industrial & domestic wiring

Comparison between various systems of wiring

Wood casing/ Concealed
Particulars Cleat wiring TRS wiring
capping wiring conduit wiring
Cost Very low Medium low Very costly
Low (up to 250v) Low (up to Low (up to Low or medium
250v) 250v) up to 660v
Life Very short Fairly long long Very long
poor no Fair Very good
against fire
no Fairly good Good Very good
Appearance Not good fair good Very good
none poor Good fairly good
poor good Good Very good
Type of
labour Semi skilled Highly skilled skilled Highly skilled
Additions /
alteration to
Very easy difficult Easy Most difficult
For temporary For residential, For godowns,
installation commercial, workshops &
Field of (eg for office public, private
office building
application functions, buildings, not buildings where
& for general
buildings under preferred cost is not a
construction etc) nowadays matter

General rules for house wiring
Suitable link between consumer premises & min supply
Conductor used should be capable of carrying full load current
Even distribution of load
In case of 3 phase 4 wiring system all phases to carry equal current
Height of switch 1.3m above floor level (IS specification above 1.5m)
Height of lamp 2.5m above floor level
Height of fan 2.75 above floor level
3 pin socket a control switch to be near it.
In case of light & power load 2 separate wiring is advisable

Steps involved in house wiring

Give the general layout of buildings
Locate the electric points
Draw the wiring diagram
Calculate total power
Calculate total current
Measure the length of wire required
Material cost
Labour cost

Delta connector
Line voltage = Phase voltage
Phase current = Line current / 3
Power = 3 line voltage * phase voltage* cos phi

Star connector
Phase voltage = line voltage / 3
Line current = phase current
Power = 3 line voltage * phase voltage* cos phi

Action of points
Consider a circuit which has o larger radius at 1 pt, smaller radius at another point
& a sharp edge at another point.
At the sharp point where radius is minimum, concentration of the charge is
It is found experimentally that a charged conductor with sharp points on its
surface rapidly loses its charge.
The reason is that the air molecules which come in the neighbourhood of this
sharp points become ionized i.e. each molecule is split up in to a positive ion &
negative ion, the positive ions are repelled away & the negative ions are attracted
by the sharp points & charge in them is reduced.
This is called action of points & this principle is used in lightening arrestors.

Lightning arrestors
Strokes of lightning coming from thunderclouds to the ground to the ground are
particularly likely to strike high or isolated buildings, but may strike anywhere.
The peak current averages 20,000 amps to 20,00,000 amps. Substantial structural
damage can be caused & fires started if lightning strikes buildings. Above the top
of the building to intercept the lightning, a down conductor & an earth terminal to
convey the very heavy currents to the earth.
Protection against lightning may be achieved by conductors, or as the whole
installation is properly called, a lightning protective system.
This kind of arrangement consists of an air terminal, or air terminals above the top
of the building to intercept the lightning, a down conductor & an earth terminal to
convey the very heavy currents to earth.
Consists of a number of spikes mounted at the top of the building & connected to
the earth & the apex has a cone with the side at angle 45 degrees to the horizontal.
When a positively charged cloud approaches the arresters, a negative charge is
induced at the points of the spikes.
The negative charge on the spike is neutralized & completely lost due to action of
The negative ions of air molecules which are repelled by the negative charge in
the spikes are attracted to positively charged cloud & charge is neutralized.
Thus lighting flash is averted.
All the metallic projections above roofs should be bonded to the air terminals.
Down conductors are run down the building externally by the most direct route &
usually consists of aluminium or copper strip or rod 20mm X 3mm & 10mm
One down conductor is recommended for a plan area of 100 sq.m with an
additional down conductor for every 300 sq.m of plan area over 100 sq.m
Special joints are necessary at any junction in a down conductor.
At the foot of the down conductor an earth electrode discharges the flows of
current to earth.
In some metal and reinforced concrete buildings the structural metal work can be
used as a down conductor.

Types of lighting arrestors

Rod gap arrestors consists of two 1.5c rods which are bent at right angles
Sphere gap lighting arrestors
Horn gap lightening arrestors
Electrolytic type
Lead oxide type
Valve type
Thyrite lightening arrestor

Emergency supplies
In a number of building types, particularly where public assembly is involved, emergency
lighting in public spaces and escape routes is required in case of normal lighting is put
out of action by failure of the public electricity supply.
Emergency lighting is usually provided by low voltage lamps, sometimes
separately fixed & sometimes incorporated in the lighting fitting.
Electricity is provided from a battery installation, kept charged from the mains
supply while this is in operation and supplying current for the lamps, either
continuously or automatically switched on when the main supply fails.
The size of the battery installation varies according to the amount of current
which has to be supplied.
Small installations can be completely placed in a metal cabinet, while in larger
buildings a complete room containing a large number of batteries on racks may be
Most installations use lead/ acid batteries & the battery room should be provided
with acid resisting floors & finishes & good ventilation to dissipate the gases
given off during the charging process.
Nickel/ alkali batteries are lighter, have a longer life and do not give rise to such
acutely corrosive conditions as lead or acid.
In very large buildings, or where heavy electrical loads such as operating theaters
or fire fighting pumps have to be served, stand by generators are to be provided.
These are often diesel powered & automatically brought in to operation on power

Principle of a generator: A generator is a machine which converts mechanical energy in
to electrical energy on the principle that when magnetic flux is cut by a conductor electro
motive force is induced by the conductor or conductors.
DC generator:
Magnetic field is stationary & the conductors move.
Unidirectional or direct current is produced.
DC generator:
Conductors are stationary & the field moves.
Sinusoidal curve ( positive & negative direction

System of connection of appliances & accessories

One lamp connected by a switch
Connection of two lamps controlled by two switches using two different circuits
(Wastage of wire)
Connection of two lamps controlled by two switches all in series (both the lamps
function simultaneously; used for decorative lamps)
Connection of two lamps in series each having a switch in parallel (short
circuiting occurs)
Joint box system: This is made possible by connecting the lamp & its controlling
switch in series, the ends of which are connected through T joints to the two lines

coming from the main distribution board. The joints are to be specially designed
in joint boxes & this is the place where fault can develop due to over heating or
due to loose contact. When there are a number of joints it is difficult to even
locate it. A better practice is to avoid this wherever possible.
Looping in system: The main advantage is of this system is that no tappings are
taken directly from the main wires & there are no joint boxes used. The length of
the wire used here is more than the joint box system of wiring.

Design of panel boards

All electrical installations have different types of controls at various stages. For
instance, there are the main switch & the distribution board at the place where the
suppliers line enters the premises. In a particular room the lights, fans & plug points are
controlled by switches, regulators etc. To house these various control accessories which
are part of an electrical installation appropriate panel boards are required. These panel
boards are to be designed & then got made for a given application.
The panel for a distribution board may be a board made of an iron sheet on which
are mounted energy meter, iron clad switch, fuses etc. Such panel in the
laboratories will have voltmeters & ammeters.
Smaller panel boards for mounting switches, regulators, Sockets etc are usually
of seasoned teak wood where surface wiring is used & of bakelite sheet board
fixed over a wooden box concealed in the wall where concealed wiring is used.
The panel board in the case of concealed wiring is preferred to be flush with wall
for better appearance.

Design conditions for panel boards

Type of wiring surface wiring or concealed conduit wiring will determine
whether the panel board is to be mounted on the surface of the wall or whether it
is to be flush with the wall which depends on the users preference.
The outer dimensions of the equipment to be mounted on the panel board will
determine the overall dimensions of the panel board.
Once the actual size of the panel board is obtained the nearest size available in the
market is decided.
A drawing of the panel board is made placing the instruments symmetrically
taking the following in to account-
- no equipment should project outside the edges of the board
- no hole, other than that by means of which the panel board board is to be
fixed should preferably be drilled closer than 1.5cm from the edge of the
- The live parts are to be insulated properly before mounting.
- The arrangement of all accessories should be such that their connections
are easily accessible and traceable.

Standard sizes of boards

The wooden switch boards for surface mounting & the boxes for flush mounting
switch boards are usually available in standard sizes (100mmX100mm,
180mmX100mm, 380mmX255mm,205mmX155mm,230mmX100mm,

255mmX205mm, 305mmX205mm, 305mmX380mm, 305mmX455mm)
Minimum thickness of wooden boards for surface mounting is 6.5mm
Minimum thickness of bakelite sheet for flush mounting is 2mm

Service connections
The electric supply authority supplies power to the consumers through low
voltage three phase four wire distribution systems called the secondary distribution
system. Large consumers are, however, supplied at higher voltages viz. 6.6.11 or 33Kv
through high voltage distribution system called primary distribution system. This
section deals with small consumers who receive power from three phase four wire low
voltage distribution system.
The suppliers distribution system brings power to the consumer through
overhead lines or by means of underground cables to a place just outside the
consumers premises.
The line bringing electric power from the suppliers low voltage distributor up to
the energy meter installed at the consumers premises is called service
Service connection may be by means of underground cables or by means of
overhead conductors or cables.

Underground service connection

When the suppliers distribution system is underground, as is usually in case of
modern cities, underground connections are used.
Avoids the sight of wires passing over the consumers premises or when the
consumers load exceeds 25Kw.
Paper insulated or PVC cables can be used.
Service cable is connected to the distribution line by means of a tee joint enclosed
in the joint box.
The service cable runs underground, under a layer of sand covered with bricks up
to consumers main distribution board & terminates in a cable box, where it rises
from the ground it runs through a GI pipe to protect it against mechanical damage.
When the suppliers distribution line is through overhead lines the cable box is
mounted at a height of 2.4m from the ground.

Overhead service connections

Bare overhead connectors are used for the service line when the consumers
premises are more than 45m away from the suppliers distribution pole.
Overhead service line may be either PVC or weather proof cable or even bare
PVC or weather proof cable service line: 8SWG wire is stretched between pole &
a clamp fitted to a GI pipe raised above the roof of the building. Service line is
clipped along the GI wire & then it enters the GI pipe.
Bare conductor service line: Got from the nearest distribution pole to a shackle
insulator clamped to a GI pipe at a suitable height. The upper end of the GI pipe
where the service cables enter, is bent downwards to prevent the entry of rain

Service mains
Having brought the suppliers service line in to the consumers premises it is now
to be connected with the consumers internal wiring. The supply authority have to charge
the consumer for the electrical energy consumed. For this purpose the suppliers service
line will be connected to the input terminal of the energy meter to be provided by the
supply authority. After the enery meter the service line is connected to a cut out (contains
a fuse wire so that if the consumer draws heavier current than the rating of the meter the
fuse will blow off thus saving the meter from damage) The cut out & the meter are the
property of Electricity board & it will be sealed. The leads from the cutout & meter are
then connected to the main switch which is under the control of the consumer.

Energy Block diagram of the meter distribution board


Consumers Distribution To sub

Cut out main box box circuit

Location of main board & distribution board

The main board, where the supply enters the energy meter & then the main switch
should be near the entrance of the building.
The distribution board from where the supply is taken to different subcircuits
should be located closer to the main switch board.
In case of large buildings supply is taken from main distribution board to different
sub distribution boards & from here it is taken to different sub circuits.
Main switch board should never be installed in kitchens, toilets or within 2.5m of
wash basin. In situations exposed wire, the main switch board should be protected
against rain & enclosed in a water proof enclosure.
Advantages of providing sub distribution boards: saving of conductor material,
fault finding becomes easy.

Main distribution board

Sub distribution Sub distribution Sub distribution

board board board

To sub circuits To sub circuits To sub circuits

Scheme of power distribution in large buildings using sub distribution boards

Planning electrical wiring for buildings
General norms for electrical points for residences are as follows:
Bedroom: 2 nos. electrical points, 2 nos. 5A sockets, 1 no fan point,1 no 15 amps
socket for window A/C
Dining cum drawing:4 nos. light points, 4 nos. 5 amps sockets, 2 nos. fan points, 1
bell point, 1 no. telephone point, 1 no TV cable socket.
Kitchen: 2 nos. light points, 1 no. 5amps socket, 1 no. 15 amps socket, 1 no. exhaust
fan point.
Bathroom: 1 no. light point on mirror, 1 no. 15 amps socket for geyser with control
switches outside. It is not advisable to provide switches or sockets in bathrooms.
Additional points in verandah and other places as required by the occupant.
(The above norms are only a thumb rule which can be altered according to the needs of
the consumer.)

Step 1:Locate the EB meter, consumers main switch, and Distribution box on the plan
with reference to the incoming supply in the site premises. The location should be
convenient for both electricity board meter reader & the consumer.

Step 2: Locate the earth electrode pit points, one earth electrode pit point for single phase
& two for three phase supply.

Step 3: Identify all the electrical appliances required as required by the occupant.

Step 4: Mark all the electrical points on the plan. This depends on
Furniture layout
5 amps socket at the place where TV is to be placed.
Sockets should not be located not less than 450mm away the finished floor level.
Such socket type should be shutter type to prevent children poking their fingers.
Locate the fan in the centre, if the room is small & not right above the middle of
the bed.
Provide 15 amps or 20 amps sockets for A/C, fridge, grinder, and geyser.
Place all the control switches at convenient locations (not behind doors)
Mark the telephone point & TV cable point.
Switches, socket outlets & light points should be mounted on varnished teak
wood boards of appropriate sizes in case of surface wiring.
A minimum space of 15cm of wire should be left in each board for jointing.
Ceiling fans are to be installed at a height not less than 2.75m from the floor level.
Suspension hooks for ceiling fan should be fixed in roof during construction
Fan rod should preferably of one piece.
Fuses & switches are to be inserted in the live wires & not in neutrals & this is
dangerous as the appliance will still be receiving power even when the fuse has
All the appliances are to be earthed which is done by running a continuous earth
wire along the wiring.

In case of three phase supply, all the three lines are to be equally loaded. ( Red,
Blue, yellow line wires; black neutral wire & green earth )
In bathrooms where water is present to ensure good electrical contact & metal
fittings or wet concrete floors provide a good passage to earth, special safety
precautions are called for. Socket outlets are to be provided outside the risk area
(wet area) and to be operated by non conducting pulls. Where any electrical
apparatus but also pipe work, bath etc must be boded together electrically &

Step 5: Draw the conduit lines on building plans connecting all the points.
Each circuit should not have more than 10 circuits or 800 watts per circuit
Run separate conduits for power, telephone & TV cable.

Step 6: Count the number of lights, fans 5 amps circuit, bell points etc and the power
circuits (15 amps circuit) separately.

Step 7: Calculate the total wattage of all points.

All light points, 5 amps circuit, fan points could be taken as 60watts or 100
watts& for exhaust fan 150 watts.
Power points could be taken as 1000 watts per 15 amps socket.
If the total load is less than 4000 watts single phase supply could be availed & if
greater than 4000 watts, three phase supply system is preferred.

Electrical distribution design in multistoried multi occupier buildings

(Residential flats & commercial buildings)
Supply mains for all the consumers on all floors should be brought to ground floor
to enable them to install meters in a group.
Each meter panel is designed for a maximum load of 112 KW ( Electricity
Boards standard for maximum load on a single feeder)
When the load is exceeding 112KW, another panel with another panel with a
separate feeder from pillar box can be installed or the consumer is required to
avail high tension supply having own step down transformer.
Panels & loads are sectionalized which are an added advantage on supply &
safety from supply of fire.
In case of multi occupiers, a rising cable which is tapped off at every floor level
where supplier meters for consumers of that floor are installed which avoids
bunching of cables in one place & another advantage is floors can be grouped for
two or more feeders which enhances reliability of supply & safety.
Approximate load for a fully air conditioned building could be calculated as 140w
per square meter of carpet area.
Buildings greater than 15m height could be provided with a change over
arrangement at every floor to have an alternative supply.
On every floor there should be a room of adequate size to install energy meters
with suitable size vertical ducts connecting these rooms. Preferably located in the
in the central portion of the building for easy running of consumers lateral mains
or if too large two or more rooms / ducts ay be provided.

Electrical installation design - check list
Building use residential/ commercial/ office/ entertainment
Type of conduits concealed or run on the surface
Areas of false ceiling
Location of light, fan, call bell & 5A 3 pin sockets.
Location of special lights chandeliers
Location of TV sets, garden, yard, road, flood lighting.
Location of 15 amps 3 pin socket.
Location of water pump motor
Location & details of power consuming appliances geysers, grinders, fridges
Requirement of central emergency lighting system.
Location of telephone & intercom points
Air conditioning- packaged or centralized system
Location of substation, main & sub distribution board.
Location of generator
Location of fire alarm & smoke detector system.
Location of computer room & computer terminals away from the terminal, load
particulars of uninterrupted power supplies required for computer.
Location of the earth pit.

240v 240 v

415v 415v


Voltage relationship between wires in a three

phase four wire 415/240 volt electricity supply

Electrical terms:
Voltage (V): measure of electrical pressure
Ampere (A): measure of quantity of electricity (current)
Watt (W): measure of electrical power
Unit: short for the commercial measure of electrical power, the Board of trade unit
which is equivalent to 1,000 watts (for one hour or 1 kilowatt hour kwH)
kVA: measure of apparent electrical power in alternating current systems (line
voltage X line amp)
Power factor: ratio of actual power (kw) to apparent power in alternating current
system. It is desirable that power factors should be as near as unity as possible since
otherwise the efficiency of the distribution system is reduced & electricity charges are

fuse switch


neutral Neutral link


Schematic diagram showing the main features

and safety precautions in a basic electric circuit

Fuses & circuit breakers:

Each section of wiring must be protected by having in the circuit a fuse wire which
will melt if a current passes higher than that which is safe for the wiring.
This prevents overheating of wiring with the possible risk of fire.
Fuses may be of the traditional type where a fuse wire is stretched between terminals
in a ceramic holder or of the cartridge type where the wire is held in a small ceramic
tube with metal ends. Circuit breakers can also be used instead of the fuses which
operate by thermal or magnetic means & switch off the circuit immediately an
overload occurs. They can be reset by a switch.

Circuit breakers are expensive than fuses but have the advantage that they can also be
used as switches to control the circuits they serve (widely used in industries where
circuits become overloaded in normal conditions).
Modern practice is to provide a fuse or a circuit breaker at the phase end of the circuit
& a simple link at the neutral end.
A circuit breaker is a switching device designed to automatically open a circuit under
the specified abnormal conditions without damage to itself.
Circuit breakers may be classified based on their operation: local or remote operated
& motor or compressed air operated.
Types of circuit breakers: air blast circuit breaker, oil operated circuit breaker,
moulded case or miniature circuit breaker & earth leakage circuit breaker.
Circuit breakers may be indoor or outdoor duty type.

Comparison between fuses & circuit breakers

Fuses have higher rupturing capacity compared to circuit breakers of medium voltage
Fuses are cheaper when compared to circuit breakers.
Fuses occupy less space when compared to circuit breakers.
Fuses are easy to install compared to circuit breakers.
Fuses do not deteriorate with time whereas circuit breakers prone to become sluggish
in operation with lapse of time.
Fuses blow out by nature of duty, frequently replaced but cost is more whereas there
is no need for circuit breakers to be replaced.
Fuses need time to be replaced whereas circuit breakers can be quickly reset.

Switch polarity:
The position of the switch has the same effect upon safety as that of the fuse. If
the switch is fitted on the neutral side of the apparatus this will always be live even when
the switch is turned off. Switches are therefore always fitted on the phase side of the
apparatus they control.

Wiring systems for larges installations

Cable trunking:
Cables are simply placed in to the duct & cover fixed on.
Round conduit is manufactured in sizes up to mm dia, but the
expense of bending & threading the tube & providing junction
boxes is such that above 25mm dia a rectangular metal duct with
continuous cover will give an economical installation.
Outlets from the trunking are made very easily since a hole may
be drilled at any point t to take a branch conduit.
Metal trunking available in the sizes 35 X 35mm to 100 X

Cable tap system:

Used where frequent and perhaps additional future connections to
a large main cable are needed
A standard metal trunking where three phase four wire supply is
supported on clips separately.
Where connections are required the insulation is stripped from the
cable and a connecdtion is made by means of special clamps &
lead to a special fuse box fixed to trunking from which
appropriate sub circuits may be run.

Bus bars:
Used where heavy loads & flexibility of connection is required.
Similar to cable trunking but instead of using cables, current is
conveyed by bare copper rods or bars supported at intervals on
insulated spacing panels.
These systems are available for loads of from 100 to 600 amps.
Bus bar and cable tap systems are appropriate in industrial,
commercial & multistoried buildings.