OPTIMAL DESIGN ANALYSIS OF SUBSTATION GROUND GRID MESH
Keywords:ETAP, Finite element Method, IEEE Std. 80-2000, ground grid system, Max. Fault Current
Substations are grounded by means of earth-embedded electrodes in order to provide safety during normal or fault conditions. Electric substations are effectively grounded to guarantee the proper operation of electrical devices, minimize the likelihood of flash-over during transient conditions as well as dispel lightning strokes. A structure is termed grounded if it is electrically bonded to earth-embedded metallic frames. The earth-embedded metallic frames provide a conducting pathway of electricity to the earth and it is called a ground grid system. Substation ground grid mesh is comprised of vertical and horizontal conductors as well as vertical rods buried beneath the substation ground. Electric current flow through the human body is hazardous. Therefore, ground grid systems should be designed such that the likely electric body current in an operator or passer-by should not exceed the standard defined limits under any foreseeable harmful circumstances and as well provide protection of equipment. The objective of this study is to determine substation, safe ground grid system parameters as well as the cost-effectiveness of designing substation ground grids by comparing the IEEE Std. 80-2000/2013 and the Finite Element Method (FEM). ETAP 16.0 Power Tool is employed in carrying out this analysis. The substation expected maximum short circuit current is stated. The design analysis using both methods is presented separately and suggestions are made with reference to the most cost effective and safest method for the effective designing of the substation ground grid system.
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