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IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol. PAS-98, No.6 Nov./Dec.

1979 2089


F. Dawalibi, Member IEEE D. Mukhedkar, Senior Member IEEE

Montel Inc. - Sprecher & Schuh Ecole Polytechnique
Montreal, Quebec, Canada Montreal, Quebec, Canada

ABSTRACT pite the numerous computer facilities available to

power systems Engineers, and several recent analytical
Detailed analysis of ground rods and their influ- work on complex electrodes buried in non uniform soils
ence on horizontal ground conductors, such as those [6,7,8,9,10]. The results presented in this paper were
forming grounding grids, is performed assuming a two obtained using a computer program (program MALT) based
layer soil stratification. The study starts with a on the analytical methods described in [6,7,8].
discussion about the adequacy of uniform and two-layer
soils as equivalent models for actual soil structures. The authors believe that, besides the normal de-
Following this, a.typical ground rod is analysed,while lays which exist between the publication of new impro-
it is progressively associated with other ground rods, ved methods and their wide utilisation in practical
and ultimately, with horizontal conductors. The same design, there is another justified reason for such de-
procedure is also applied to an horizontal conductor. lay which is related to the poor knowledge of soil
The results, shown using numerous charts which can be structure at the proposed ground system site. Also,ma-
used conveniently for practical design purposes, lead ny will argue that even if sophisticated equipments
to several interesting conclusions, many of which are and methods are used to determine accurately the soil
new or still unpublished. structure, it is very likely that the investigation
will show that soil has a stratified structure of se-
INTRODUCTION veral layers, not necessarily horizontal. Such a dis-
appointing discovery will upset the hopes of an accu-
Usually, a typical substation ground system will rate design even with two-layer analytical methods.
take the form of a grid of horizontally buried conduc- Therefore, they conclude that uniform soil assumption
tors [1]. This wide use of the grid is due to several is no worse than the two-layer -soil approach, when the
advantages stated clearly in[l]. The main advantage is actual soil has a more complex structure.
due to the fact that a ground system design using a
combination of simple electrodes (such as ground rods) The authors disagree with this previous opinion
may require a connecting network which is in intself because of the following reasons:
so effective that the original electrodes are super-
fluous [2,3]. However, Guide IEEE 80 [1], agrees that a- It is not possible to find an equivalent uni-
ground rods are of particular value when the upper form soil for an actual soil structure except
layer of soil in which the grid is buried is of "much when the actual soil is practically uniform.
higher resistivity" than that of the soil beneath, or
it may become so because of drying out or freezing. b- It is practically always possible to find an
Unfortunately, no analytical expressions or practical equivalent two-layer soil for an actual soil
charts are provided to help the designer to decide structure with almost any degree of complexity.
what length, how many and where the ground rods should
be installed (if they are required). The obvious con- The following section will justify the authors
sequence of this basic uncertainty is two philosophies preceeding assertions.
in grid design. The first one recommends the extensive
use of ground rods in grids (practically one at each 1.0 THE EQUIVALENT SOIL STRUCTURE
cross connection), following thus the recommendations
of [4,5]. The second trend in grid design ignores the The following is valid for power systems groun-
ground rods or, if necessary, a few number of ground ding studies and may not be applicable to other pro-
rods are installed to stabilize grid resistance and blems involving soil.
annihilate the effect of upper layer resistivity in-
crease. In power systems grounding designs the following
quantities must be determined:
The most appropriate method depends clearly upon
the soil structure and resistivities. Until just re- 1- Ground system resistance, R
cently, the published analytical methods were limited 2- Touch (or mesh) voltages, Vt
to simple forms of electrodes buried in uniform or two 3- Step voltages, Vs
layer soils or a combination of analytical and empiri-
cal formulas for more complex type of electrodes loca- Touch voltage is defined as the potential diffe-
ted in uniform soils. In fact, in the American conti- rence between the grid potential rise Eo and the poten-
nent, Guide IEEE 80 [1] was, and still is, the only tial at the soil surface point where a man is standing
practical reference book for ground grid design, des- while touching simultaneously a metallic structure
connected to the grid:
= E - V =RI - V .............. (1)

Where I is the fraction of fault current flowing

into the grid and V is the soil surface potential at
point P. P
F 79 245-2 A paper recommended and approved by the
IEEE Substations Committee of the IEEE Power Engi- Step voltage is the potential difference which
neering Society for presentation at the IEEE PES Winter may exist between two points, P and Q, on soil surface
Meeting, New York, NY, February 4-9 1979 (locations where the feet of a man are in contact with
Manuscript submitted September 1, 178;maae available soil):
for printing December 7, 1978. Vs =V -
Vq ..................... (2)

0018-9510/79/1100-2089$00.75 © 1979 IEEE


Equations (1) and (2) show that the analysis of

ground system performance can be completed when its
resistance R and the surface soil potentials VM at va- Grid current I
rious points M, are known.
Consider a ground electrode having a complex form
and buried in an heterogeneous stratified soil (figure
1.1). For practical reasons, the ground system is ins-
talled at a small depth, and if vertical conductors
are present, their length seldom exceed 3 to 5m. Con-
sequently the ground electrode will be usually located
in the upper soil layer with, occasionally, a portion
of its ground conductors in the next layer, if any.
> P31
P (Pi Pi2 * i)
Figure 1.2
Voltage Drop Between Two Equipotential Surfaces
Thus,assuming a zero potential remote surface S ,,
the grid potential rise Eo is expressed by:

E = AVEAV = pAr +E piAri - ....... (6)

0 i
And the surface potential Vm at point M is:

S. * V E=-AVM= P kFArO-L 1+E pAriSPa ... (7)

i+l 0 i
Equations (6) and (7) are valid for any type of
Figure 1.1 soil where the grid is in contact with a maximum of
Ground Electrode in a Heterogeneous Subsoil two-soil layers. This includes obviously uniform and
two-layer soils. These same equations confirm our pre-
vious statements that:

Assume now that a current I flows from grid to a- It is not possible to find an equivalent uni-
ground and that SOp S13,S2, ....Sn are the equipotential form soil (constant resistivity Pi) for an
surfaces which exist in the actual case described in actual heterogeneous soil (p1xpa4).
Figure 1.1. The distance between two consecutive sur- b- In contrast, it is possible to find an equi-
faces Si and Si+l is selected so that one can assume valent two-layer soil for the actual soil (or
Si=Si+l. Surface SO is the electrode's surface and is several two-layer soils which give the limits
at potential Eo with respect to remote ground. The of the actual case results):
line of current (or streamline) i m which runs through
point M at the soil surface causes at M a voltage drop The same grid of Figure 1.1, buried in the equi-
AVM (with respect to SO) expressed by: t valent two-layer soil-(with an upper layer resistivity
of Pi) will have its grounding performance described
AVM = i am /am
PiLmm L ipi = L
m m -P1 ....(3) by equations (6) and (7), with a ' sign where necessa-
mm t
SO ry. Therefore the conditions for the equivalence, as-
Where, suming Ar =Ar', are:
o 0
am is the cross-section of the elementary cy-
lindrical path where ground current density I /st =It/St = A ............... (8)
im (in A/m2) is practically constant - (m2)
0 0

Lm is the length of the preceding path - (m) L'4 = L = BB. .............. (9)
Am is the current density distribution function m m m m
along grid conductors (+m(x,y,z) = 1 if the
distribution is assumed uniform)
St0 is the surface of the conductors which are
Ar./S Epari/Si =
........ (lo)
in contact with the upper layer of soil A two-layer soil is characterized by its upper
It is the total current flowing out of St.
layer resistivity Pi and height h, and the bottom la-
yer resistivity P2 (or the reflexion factor K=[p2-pl]/
Between equipotential surface SO and SI (average [P2+Pl])i
distance between SO and Si = Aro) there is a voltage
drop AVO: AV0 piAr It/S
.(4) Thus, each of the equations (8),(9) and (10) will
impose a value of h and K, since Pi has been selected
Between equipotential surface Si and an equipo- equal to the actual upper layer resistivity. If the h
tential surface at infinity S,,0, the voltage drop is: are equal and the K are equal, then a unique two-layer
soil is equivalent to the actual one. If not, then the
i-l =Vi i-l paAriI/Si .................... (5) actual soil grounding performance is in between the
performances of both two-layer soils which give res-
pectively the best and worst results.
Where pai is an apparent resistivity value for the In practice however, the values of A, B or C are
heterogeneous soil located between surface Si and S i+ not known. Therefore, it is not possible to evaluate
(see Figure 1.2). the values of h or K. As a result, it will be necessa-
St1_&O~ .93
ry to study the ground system for a wide range of h for K=0.98 and -0.98 respectively, were practically
and K values. The worst case obtained should be used identical with the uniform soil density curve.
as a reference for the design. A companion paper [11] to
shows that, effectively, there is a worst case which 1007A/m
does not correspond to the extreme values of h or K or
to a uniform soil. '
\ +
s. _

Finally, it is interesting to note that when the 300. K=-0.93

ground system is in contact with the upper layer only, K=-0.98
equation (8) is automatically fulfilled.


-' 200.
Section 1.0, despite the fact that it is not a w
complete analytical treatment, has shown the useful-
ness of two-layer soils. In this section the perfor- K=0
mance of a ground rod buried in a two-layer soil will
be analysed, starting first with the rod isolated and 1004 w X
then with additional rods added progressively.
2.1 Single vertical qzound rod
Consider a lOm long ground rod buried in a two-
layer soil at a depth of 0.05 m (rod radius=O.Olm). 0 2 4 6 8 10
The current discharged into the ground by the ground (Soil surface) Rod length (meters)
rod is assumed constant and equal to lOOOA. The cur- Figure 2.2 - Single Rod current densities (h=lm)
rent densities (A/m) along the rod length are obvious-
ly influenced by the upper soil layer height h and the Figures 2,1 and 2.2 lead to the following conclu-
resistivities ratio P1/P2 or, which is equivalent but sions:
more convenient in the discussions, the reflexion fac-
tor K which was previously defined. The rod resistance a-In a uniform soil, the ground rod current density
and the step and touch voltages will also vary with is practically constant except at the tip of the rod
the values of h and K. which has higher current densities. However this tip
effect can be ignored in practice.
In this section we will analyse in detail the in- b-When the rod is in contact with one layer only,
fluence of h and K on the ground rod performance, as- its current densities are practically similar to the
suming that the upper layer resistivity equals 100 Q-m ones which exist in a uniform soil composed of the
(this assumption is maintained throughout the paper). upper layer.
The knowledge gained by performing this analysis will c-If the rod is in contact with two soil layers,the
allow us to better understand the behavior of more portion of the rod which is in the lower resistivity
complex forms of electrodes such as multiple driven layer, has the highest current densities. If one of
rods or a combination of rods and horizontal conduc- the soil layers has a much higher resistivity than
tors. the other one, then the rod section which is in the
high resistivity layer can be ignored.
2.1.1 Current Densities d-Very high current densities (soil heating hazard)
may exist at the rod surface if only a small section
Figure 2.1 shows the current density function for of the rod is in contact with a high conductive layer,
an upper layer height h of 5m and various reflexion the other rod part being in a more resistive layer.
factors K. When K is negative the subsoil is more e-Finally, the relationship PkIk = constant, where
conductive than the surface. K=+l corresponds to the Ik is the current density (in A/m) of the rod part
limiting cases of an insulating and metallic subsoil. which is in the layer K (resistivity Pk in Q-m), seems
Current - - - Resistive subsoil to hold reasonably well except at the rod extremities.
Y, = 500. 0.98
~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ subsoil
~ ~~~
o- I
- 1- O -uV. ,o \ -K
h=5m 1-. 0. 9
C 100. 4 9
_____--=_=_: ,#l-0. 5
100, 0.3 < Uniform
0.3 soil

80 0.5 -a10. -

a I i
* . .

0 2 4 6 8 10
(Soil Surface) Rod length (meters)
Figure 2.1 - Single Rod Current Densities (h=5m)
Figure 2.2 is similar to 2.1 but for an upper la-
yer height of lm for heights slightly larger than rod 0.1 1. 10. 100.
length, it was noticed that the effect of the subsoil h, surface layer height (m)
becomes negligible even with extreme values of K (±1).
For instance when h = 12m, the current density curves, Figure 2.3 - Single Rod Resistance

2.1.2 Resistance, "R" Because of the proximity effects between rods (mutual
coupling), the isolated rod current density function
Figure 2.3 gives the ground rod resistance as a (Section 2.1.1) is not always applicable for multiple
function of upper layer height h, for several values driven rods. The following will show to what extent
of the reflexion factor K. Again, it can be noticed current densities are modified by the mutual coupling.
that the soil stratification effect can be ignored if Touch voltage (%)
h is slightly larger than rod length L. This is parti-
cularly true when the subsoil is more conductive than - 80 K=
the surface. As soon as h becomes smaller than L, a
substantial drop or increase of the resistance occurs
suddenly. The resistance increases (K>0) more progres-
sively than when it decreases (K<0). For low values of
h (with respect to L), a further decrease of h has no
effect on the resistance value except when K is posi-
tive and close to 1. Thus a ground rod will be useful
only if it is effectively in contact with a low resis-
tivity subsoil.
2.1.3 Touch Voltages "Vt"
The touch voltage in this case, is defined as the
difference between the rod potential rise (RI) and the
surface soil potential at a distance of lm from the 5 10 20 30
rod. Figure 2.4 shows the touch voltage (in Volts) as Surface layer height (meters)
a function of h, for several values of K. The touch
voltage curves are very similar to the resistance ones Figure 2.5 - Single Rod Touch Voltage in %
(see Figure 2.3). Thus, similar conclusions are appli-
cable. However the volts values are perhaps misleading 2.2.1 Current Densities
because in practice it will not always be possible to
have 1000 A in the rod when its resistance is high. In Each curve of Figure 2.6 represents the current
fact, the term "prospective touch voltage" is probably density along a ground rod of various multiple rod
more adequate. Percent values are also convenient. electrodes, as shown in the figure. These curves were
obtained assuming a uniform soil. The total current of
Figure 2.5 presents the touch voltages in percent the electrode is lOOOn Amperes, where n is the total
of the corresponding grid potential rise. The curves number of rods in the electrode. Thus, the average cu-
show that, when expressed in percent, touch voltages rrent density is 100 A/m.
exhibit a minimum and maximum value (for positive and
negative values of K respectively), when upper layer The current density in one of electrode R2 rods,
height h is in the order of rod length L. The previous is practically identical to the isolated rod current
results show that, assuming a constant rod potential density. This is a logical result, because of symmetry
rise value, the worst touch voltages occur when the and the fact that current density is given in Amperes
subsoil is more conductive than the surface soil. per meter. However the surface current density in A/m2
is not the same as in the single rod case.

Figure 2.6 shows clearly that the inner rods ca-

100. rry lower currents than the outer rods. The highest
oo .
current densities occur at the corner rods which have
the largest v6lume of rod-free soil. The maximum cur-
to rent density deviation from the single rod case does
not exceed 15%. This value however will increase
co 0
with lower rod separations.
H upper
160 2 mid 'curves
, I * e *~'.N7~*. lower
R5 R9 t
1. -

120 '
' i 5, _ ;,i=, :=

-ea 80
0.1 4-i ..A --:
**..& I '*u, R5 * -- -- - R2
a) * * Rl
0. 1 1. 10. 100. $4
P 40'
h, surface layer height (m) 0
Figure 2.4 - Single Rod Touch Voltage
Uniform Soil --__0 R3

2.2 Multiple Driven Rods 0 2 4 6 8 10

Location on ground rod (meters)
Multiple driven rods connected in parallel is a
frequently used combined electrode. The behavior of Figure 2.6 - Multiple Driven Rods Current Densities
each rod of the ground bed is influenced by the other
rods. The potentials at any point of soil or rod sur- Figure 2.7 shows similar results but in the case
face, is given by the sum of all the potentials produ- of two-layer soil (upper layer height h=5m) and elec-
ced by each rod. This procedure is accurate only if trode R9. The conclusions are the same as in the pre-
the current densities along each rod length are known. vious uniform case. However the deviations from the

isolated rod case are larger in the low conductivity sistivity Pi (which is assumed lOOQ-m) but also a
layer than in the more resistive one. function of h (upper layer height) and P2 (subsoil re-
?I x * - ,-
(h=5m) K=O.9 sistivity) or, *which is equivalent since Pi is kept
constant, reflexion factor K instead of P2.
i11 3
>: K=0.9

3.1.1 Current Densities

> 240 The current densities were calculated for various
cn reflexion factors K and several heights h. Figure 3.1
corresponds to h = lm. Other cases with different va-
~0 lues of h are not shown in this paper. However the im-
portant results obtained are included in the following
sw 16 paragraph which summarizes the observations made after
careful analysis of the current density curves. These
should be compared with the previous ones made for a
ground rod (Section 2.1.1).
a-In a uniform or two-layer soil, the horizontal
0 2 6 48 10 conductor current density is practically constant ex-
Location on ground rod (meters) cept at the extremities where high current densities
exist. This extremity effect can not be ignored in
Figure 2.7 - Current Densities in Multiple Driven Rods practice without serious sacrifice in the results ac-
2.2.2 Resistance and Touch Voltages curacy.
b-When the horizontal conductor is buried in the
Table 2.1 gives the values of ground resistance first layer of a two-layer soil, the current densities
and touch voltage (at the soil surface point which is are different from the uniform soil values. If the
on the square diagonal line and at equal distance subsoil is more resistive than the surface one, then
from the corner and center rod) for: uniform soil and the extremity current increases (center decreases)
electrodes Rl to R9 and electrode R9 in various two- with the value of K. When K is negative (low resisti-
layer soils. vity subsoil), the opposite effect is observed and the
trend is towards uniform current densities when K ap-
Rl proaches -1. Note however that current densities cor-
2Om x2Om R2 R3 R5 R9 responding to conductive subsoils depart proportiona-
Electrode ''|
t _-.--X
*g lly less from the uniform soil currents, than in the
case of high resistivity subsoils.
Type r..L. ..i4 c-If the conductor is buried in the subsoil (h<.5m)
the current density curves are practically identical
Resistance 11.85 6.43 4.52 3.01 2.16 to the uniform soil curve regardless of K values. How-
ever as soon as h becomes larger than O.5m (conductor
in upper layer), the current density curves for vari-
Voltage ( 84.7 72.0 68.2 59.1 40.8 ous K start to spread on both sides of the uniform
soil curve (Figure 3.1). The amplitude of the devia-
a- Uniform Soil tions reaches very quickly a maximum (h=0.6m), remains
constant for 0.6<h<2.Om, and the reverse phenomena
Ref lexion Uniform starts again as h increases (for large values of h the
Factor K -0.9 -0.5 Soil 0.5 0.9 soil is practically uniform. Therefore all curves will
be confounded with the uniform one). For h5m the de-
Resistance 0.169 0.926 2.16 4.21 8.69 viations were small enough to be neglected (h=lOz).
d-Finally, no simple mathematical expression was
found to describe the current density as a function of
x,y,z,l ',h and Z.
Voltage ( 51.1 .47.4 40.8 31.8 19.3 K= -;
b- R9 in Two-Layer Soil (h=5m) 80 0.0 I
Table 2.1
-.- -0.98

The results of this table will be compared with 101& 0

the equivalent results of Table 3.1 and 4.1, in sec- ¢


tion 4.0. See also Reference [11]. .H

0 75
We will proceed in this section as in the prece-
=~~ ~~~~~~~~
'v :

ding one. First an isolated rectilinear horizontal 0 20

conductor (length L=30m; radius=O.Olm) buried at a c-
I I_ -L
depth Z of 0.5m in a two-layer soil, will be analysed
in detail. Following this, several horizontal conduc-
tors will be added progressively, forming thus what is 0 6 12 18 24 30
usually called a grounding grid. Location on conductor (meters)
3.1 Single Horizontal Conductor Figure 3.1 - Single Horizontal Conductor Current
Densities (h=lm)
The current discharged into the ground by the ho- 3.1.2 Resistances, "R"
rizontal conductor is constant (1OOOA). Because of the
presence of two distinct layers, the ground conductor Figure 3.2 gives the horizontal conductor resis-
behavior is not only a function of the upper layer re- tance as a function of h and for several K values. The
abrupt decrease (or increase) of the resistance value vities of this thin layer. (The original soil or sub-
corresponds to the passage of the conductor from upper soil resistivity is assumed 1000-m).
layer into the subsoil. Note the considerable influ-
ence of the subsoil, even with h values several times
conductor length, especially when K is positive and
close to 1 (poor conductive subsoil).

o 1.=0.98


> 10.
Cd .Z

1. -0.
o z=05m
0 z=0. 5m

-0.98) 0. 1-

0.1 1. 10. 100. 1000.

Surface layer height h (meters)
Surface layer height hi (meters)
Figure 3.2 - Single Horizontal Conductor Resistance
Figure 3.3 - Single Horizontal Conductor Touch Voltage
3.1.3 Touch Voltages, "Vt"
The touch voltage is defined as the difference
between the conductor potential rise and the surface
soil potential at a lm distance from conductor extre-
mity (in line with conductor). Figure 3.3 gives the
touch voltages in Volts (versus h and K). Figure 3.4
is similar but with the touch voltages expressed in
percent of conductor potential rise for the convenient'
reason given in Section 2.1.3.
100- Z-U.i' -0.98
The observations made in 2.1.3 are still applica-
ble here. However a curious phenomena, not observed in 90 0.9
the case of a ground rod, occurs when Vt is given in %. 80~ ~ -*-.. -0.3
For large values of K (K>0.7) and values of top layer
height h lower than grid depth z, Vt in % is greater 60-_
than the uniform soil constant value. When h decreases
further (h=0, uniform soil), Vt drops back to the ex- j (K=0.0) 0.3 _ _
pected uniform value. This phenomena occurs also with 40 Uniform
grounding grids but with a smaller intensity (examine 20j- soil
attentively Figure 3.11 of Reference [11]). A ground
conductor buried in one soil layer with a thin high L-A I ~~.8I A a I t I i I 2 IIAII 1

resistivity layer on top of the previous layer is 0. 1 1.10. 100

often created intentionally in power substations where Surface layer height (meters)
a thin coating of gravel is added on top of finished Figure 3.4 - Single Horizontal Rod Touch Voltage
grade (above grounding grid) in order to increase al-
lowable touch potentials [1]. Thus one may legitima-
tely think that this practice is wrong because touch
voltages in % are increased following the addition of
gravel. However, a closer analysis of the problem and
Figure 3.5, show that this is fortunately not true. 3.2 Grounding Grids
The addition of a thin gravel layer will not in- Grounding grids of the "meshed" type as used in
crease the resistance value (or potential rise value) practice are analysed in detail in [11]. In this sec-
significantly (see Figure 3.2). Therefore the actual tion we will confine the discussions to the combina-
touch voltage in Volts increases proportionally to the tions of parallel horizontal conductors buried in a
% increase of Vt, generally a moderate increase. In uniform soil at a depth z=0.5m. Starting with a single
contrast, the maximum permissible touch voltage, which conductor, several other identical conductors are ad-
is a function of the top surface layer [1], is increa- ded progressively.
sed considerably. The net result of the addition of a 3.2.1 Current densities
thin gravel layer is consequently an increase of safe-
ty. Figure 3.5 shows clearly the influence of a thin Figure 3.6 shows the current density variations
layer on touch and step voltages for various resisti- when horizontal conductors are progressively intercon-

nected. Everything being equal, the observations made ess. Examination of Figures 4.1 and 4.2 (also Fi-
in Section 2.2.1 for ground rods are also valid for 3.2 of Reference [11] shows mainly that:
this case. The effect of the two outer cross-conduc-
tors of electrode HC4-(not considered in 2.2.1) can be Ground rods are good "fault current discharge"
observed in this figure. These cross-conductors ,ctors, even in uniform soils. This is confirmed
damp significantly the high conductor edge current eir average current density values which are al-
densities. The same phenomena occurs also in "meshed" double the horizontal conductors ones, and by
type grid, but the damping effect is less effective at ,ctor No. 1 current density curve (electrode SR3)
the grid edges than at its center [1lJ. ,lacks symmetry because of the large damping ef-
of the corner rod.
16 40 -

Step The current densities at the upper end of all

voltage d rods are practically null. This behavior, when
Touch red to the multiple driven rods results shown in
> 12 a 30- voltage e 2.6, proves that the ground rod drains current
o {
-- the grid and injects it back into soil at a grea-
"I.. I.-
av a
j 0.i2I ,epth.
All outer conductors, vertical and horizontal
00 < 20- _ "", 200m higher current densities than the inner ones.
a 0
N P2=1000-M
4 ~Curve
ut4 .0U soil ] _ Z ~30m ~~ ~~
3 |- - (upper)
4W 4 - 0
10- (K=0.0)
-s_> _ _
~ _ _
~ (lower)
I- ,. )
Hl H4 HC4
** * * .- 1 _ j ~_L_ ___L__ -60
1. -.6 -.2 .2 .6 1. Uniform Soil
Figure 3.5 - Effect of a thin layer ,
3.2.2 Resistarace and Touch Voltages U 40*

Table 3.]l gives the ground resistance and touch W

voltage valuess (calculated at the center line halfway = 20-
between the tV wo outer conductors) for various electro- = Location on conductor (m)
des (H1,H2,H3,,H4,HC4 and G4) buried in a uniform soil.
15 30
30m x 30m Hi H2 H3 H4 HC4 G4
Figure 3.6 - Current Densities of Horizontal
Electrode - Conductors Arrangement
Type _- __ _____ i i
1 A\- e 5
Resistance 5.85 3.50 2.61 2.12 1.76 1.6E __ 2 een 9

Voltage ( 67.1 46.6 41.1 38.5 33.7 25.4

I-I >,20m , -

1 60-
"v,w -"
' SE2, 1
., SR25,2
Table 3.1 C
a) ' <v SR9,1
It is not possible to present in a short paper wl--
the results of the numerous possibilities of grid-rods
combinations and two-layer soil structures. Consequen-
0 20. K= 0. SR5 2
tly, this section will be restricted to a four mesh
grid buried in a uniform or two-layer soil (h=5m, with 4 8 12 16 20
-O.9<K<O.9) at a depth z=0.5m. The grid edge dimension I i
is 20m. Location on conductor (meters)
Figure 4.1 - Rods and Grid - Grid Currents
4.1 Current Densities

Power station ground grids are usually designed 4.1.2 Effect of Subsoil
for maximum potential rise of lOkV. Thus,assuming an
average power system ground fault current of 2MkA, the The effect of soil structure is shown using the
grid resistance must be less than 0.5Q. Consequently, current density curves of Figures 4.3 and 4.4. These
the power network ground fault magnitude is determined figures confirm several observations made previously
by system impedances and a moderate variation of grid in Sections 2.0, 3.0 and 4.1.2. Figure 4.4 should be
resistance will not have any significant effect on the compared with 2.7. The main conclusions of this analy-
grid current. For this reason, in this section, the sis are:
grid current is lOkA regardless of the number of rods
connected to the grid. a-The rod drainage effect observed previously for
uniform soils, exists also when soil is stratified,
4.1.1 Ground Rods-Grid Conductors Mutual Effects even when the subsoil is less conductive than the top
Figure 4.1 shows the horizontal conductor current b-When the subsoil has a very low resistivity, the
densities when lOm long ground rods are connected pro- electrode's current is almost entirely discharged by
gressively to the grid. Figure 4.2 shows the ground the rod parts which are in contact with the subsoil.
rod current density while the previous operation is in c-The outer conductors still carry higher current
densities than the inner ones. However, the differen- S3 SRI SR2 SR5 SR9
ce is negligible for low resistivity subsoils but con-
siderable (with respect to uniform soil case) when the Electrode
surface layer has the lowest resistivity value. Type_
Resistance 2.58 __ 2.28 2.00 1.81

Touch *
Voltage (%) 35.0 __ 31.0 25.0 21.0
a- Uniform Soil
Reflexion Uniform
Factor K -0.9 .-0.5 Soil (0.0) 0.5 0.9
Resistance 0.164 __ 1.81 3.50 7.78
(Q) __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _

Touch *
Voltage(% 350
_ -13.4
_ 210 1.

b- SR9 in Two-Layer Soil (h=5m)

Table 4.1
Location on ground rod (meters)
b-In uniform and two-layer soils, horizontal inter-
Figure 4.2 - Rods and Grid - Ground Rods Currents connections between ground rods improves considerably
the touch voltages. Ground resistances, however, are
not reduced significantly.
c-When subsoil has a high resistivity value, ground
rod contribution is minimum and touch voltage is prac-
tically determined by the horizontal conductors. If
1 the subsoil resistivity is low compared to the surface
one, then a considerable decrease of electrode's resis-
Z 80 - tance is experienced. However touch voltages are still
reduced significantly by the horizontal conductors.
60 -

a_ 1 2 5 .3
W 40 - 3 SR9 ". K=-0.9
only 4
20 a)
20n -
a- -- ----= K=-O. 9
2 "XU) 150
4 8 12 16 20 a)
Location on conductor (meters) JJ
Figure 4.3 - Electrode SR9 -
Two-Layer Soil (h=5m) 4) K=0.9 ,.' 'J > K
5 =0.03
p 100 /5 K=0. 0

4.2 Resistances and Touch Voltages

Table 4.1 is similar to Table 2.1, with however 50

horizontal conductors connecting the ground rods toge-
ther. Comparison of the two tables lead to useful in-
formations about ground rods effects on ground grids:
a-In uniform soils, a square ground system made of 6 8 10
vertical rods is more advantageous than the equivalent Location on ground rod (meters)
square grid made of horizontal conductors. This is ob-
vious when electrodes R9 and S3 are compared. Despite Figure 4.4 -
Electrode SR9 -
Two-Layer Soil (h=5m)
the fact that R9 total conductor length is only 90m
( 120 m for S3 ), its resistance is almost 18% lower
than S3 resistance. The touch potentials, expressed in
Volts (Vt%xRxI) are similar with a slight advantage CONCLU$IONS
to R9.
Simple forms of electrodes such as ground rods or
In large substations, it is not very practical horizontal conductors, when buried in a two-layer soil,
to drive long rods. Thus, multiple driven rod electro- exhibit a complex behavior which can not be described
des would be a practical solution for small distribu- accurately by simplified mathematical expressions. The
tion substations where the subsoil can be easily pene- combination of ground rods and horizontal conductors,
trated by ground rods. is thus, still more complex to analyse.

This paper has examined in detail the above sta- REFERENCES

ted problem and the main conclusions or achievements
obtained are as follows: 1- "Guide for safety in alternating current substa-
tions grounding, IEEE Standard #80, 1961.
a- The usefulness of two-layer soil as an equivalent
model for actual heterogeneous soils was confir- 2- P.G. Laurent, "Les bases generales de la technique
med and the inadequacy of uniform soil equivalent des mises a la terre dans les installations 6lec-
models was proved. triques", Bulletin de la Societe Francaise des
Electriciens, 7ieme serie, Tome 1, no. 7, July 1951
b- Ground rods arrd horizontal conductors were analy- pp. 368-402.
sed extensively and several charts, valid for
uniform and two-layer soils, have been included 3- S.J. Schwartz, "Analytical expression for the re-
and may be used advantageously for design purpo- sistance of grounding system", AIEE Transactions,
ses. Vol. 73, part III-B, 1954, pp. 1011-1016.

c- It was shown that ground conductors current den- 4- C. Jensen, "Grounding principles and practice, II-
sities are influenced by soil characteristics, Establishing grounds", Elec. Eng., Vol. 64, Februa-
conductor location and its interconnections with ry 1945, pp. 68-74.
other conductors, and conductor direction with
respect to the vertical. 5- W.R. Bullard, "Grounding principles and practice.
IV- System Grounding", Elec. Eng., Vol. 64, April
d- A curious phenomena was observed when the subsoil 1945. pp. 145-151.
has a high resistivity and an horizontal conduc-
tor is buried below a thin surface layer. The 6- F. Dawalibi, D. Mukhedkar, "Optimum design of sub-
touch voltage, instead of increasing continuously station grounding in two-layer earth structure",
up to the uniform soil value (when upper thick- part I, II, & III, IEEE Transactions, Vol. PAS-94,
ness is decreased to zero), exceeded the previous No. 2, March/April 1975, pp. 252-272.
value significantly before decreasing again tow-
ards the uniform soil value. 7- F. Dawalibi, D. Mukhedkar, "Multi-step analysis of
interconnected grounding electrodes" IEEE Transac-
e- The current density "damping" effects of cross- tions, Vol. PAS-95, No. 1, January/February 1976,
conductors and the current "drainage" effects of pp. 113-119.
ground rods on horizontal conductors were shown
clearly and are believed to be new concepts not 8- F. Dawalibi, D. Mukhedkar, "Transferred earth po-
previously reported or, at-least, insufficiently tentials in power systems", IEEE Transactions, Vol.
discussed and described. PAS-97, No. 1, January/February 1978, pp. 90-101.

f- Last but not the least, multiple driven electro- 9- T.N. Giao, M.P. Sarma, "Effect of two-layer earth
des are shown to be, everything being equal, more on the electric fields near HVDC electrodes", IEEE
effective than equivalent ground grids made of Transactions, Vol. PAS-O1, No.6, November 1972, pp.
horizontal conductors. This is true even when 2346-65.
soil is uniform. However,when subsoil resistivity
is high, the horizontal conductors are more ef-
fective because they reduce significantly the 10-J. Sverak, "Optimized grounding grid design using
touch voltages. variable spacing technique", IEEE Transactions,
Vol. PAS-95, January/February 1976.
The authors express their appreciation to the Na-
tional Research Council of Canada for providing the 11-F. Dawalibi, D. Mukhedkar, "Parametric analysis
necessary financial support of the work. The authors of grounding grids". Companion paper submitted for
also acknowledge the cooperation and facilities offe- presentation at the IEEE PES winter meeting, New-
red by Ecole Polytechnique and Montel Inc. York, 1978.
D. Mukhedkar, for photograph and biography please see page 728 of F. Dawalibi and D. Mukhedkar: We would like to thank Mr. Wehling
the May/June 1979 issue of this TRANSACTIONS. for his interest in our paper and for his encouraging comments. Mr.
Wehling questions are answered in the sequence they are raised in his
Farid Dawalibi, for photograph and biography please see page 1667 of discussion.
the September/October 1979 issue of this TRANSACTIONS. The theory which is the analytical basis of MALT program permits
the analysis of grounding electrodes buried in two-layer soils. The elec-
Discussion trode may be in contact with both layers, (partially buried in the first
layer). Therefore, the equations are valid for any grounding electrode
J. Wehling (United Power Association, Elk River, MN): The authors buried in two-layer soil regardless of the way it is in contact with both
have made a valuable contribution to our understanding of the overall layers.
performance of a grounding system in this paper as well as in earlier We fully agree with Mr. Wehling conclusion related to table 4.1
related papers. Because of the complexities involved, most earlier results. As pointed out by Mr. Wehling, when the bottom layer has a
studies have not attempted to analyze the combined effects of a groundlower resistivity than the top one, the addition of ground rods which are
grid which utilizes ground rods extending into a soil of differing in contact with this bottom layer, reduces significantly the grid
resistivity. While many areas of the world may contain formations resistance and as a consequence the potential rise and the touch voltages
which make it infeasible to drive ground rods very deeply, there are are also greatly reduced.
other areas where it is possible to go as deep as 34m (111 ft.) with good In several of our previous publications we already have compared
the theoretical results with experimental ones. We have also compared
results. This paper gives the engineer a better understanding of the ef-
fect of these variables on the important design parameters of a grid. our results with measurements conducted by others. In all cases we have
The authors have developed generalized equations to show the obtained satisfactory agreement. However, we have not made yet any
comparisons when the electrode is simultaneously in contact with both
behavior of a grounding grid in two layer soils. It is not completely clear
layers. The reason is mainly because this will require that the reduced
from the analysis (Section 1.0) or Figures 1.1 and 1.2 whether the grid
scale model be made of two stable liquids of different resistivities.
itself is in actual contact with soils of two resistivities as might be the
case with deep grounding. Do the authors feel the equations retain their However, Mr. C. J. Blattner (1) has made some comparisons with
a real life installation (including ground rods in contact with the bottom
generality if the electrode is indeed in contact with soil of one resistivity
only? layer). Our predictions were in good agreement with his measurements.
The results given in Table 4.1 are particularly interesting in that REFERENCE
they show the effect upon Touch Voltages of adding ground rods to the
grid. It can be seen that even though the listed Touch Voltage is 35% (1) Discussion by Mr. C. J. Blattner of "Parametric analysis of
(for K = -0.9), the addition of rods still result in a lower Touch grounding grids" IEEE paper F 79 243-7, IEEE PES winter
Voltage when multiplied by the corresponding IR drop of the grid. meeting, Feb. 1979.
Finally, have the authors had the opportunity to confirm their
results by scale model tests as they have with their earlier analysis?
Manuscript received February 26, 1979. Manuscript received April 23, 1979.