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Safe Grounding Practices and Design for Outdoor AC Substations

You will review the requirements needed for a safe substation environment and learn how to provide a procedure for design of practical grounding systems, based on the criteria set forth in IEEE Std. 80-2000. The AC substation grounding system provides a low impedance path for fault current so that substation equipment is protected. This grounding system also provides an assurance of the safety of personnel working in the substation and the public outside of the substation.


The two day course outline includes details on the biological model, the electrical safety thresholds and how they affect the human body; soil resistivity measurements, methods of test, soil types and characteristics; ground fault currents and the use of current splitting graphs as a tool to attain optimum results; how and when to use surface materials , rods and conductors to achieve tolerable step and touch criteria; and a discussion on special grounding considerations for Gas Insulated Substations completing the first day of training. Day two enters into the practical design aspects of the grounding system; practical considerations, calculations and design modifications to determine what components affect each of the grounding characteristics; an overview and critic of the popular computer programs that are presently in use by most consultants and utilities; finally an open discussion regarding grounding problems and possible solutions for the course participants.

This course will provide guidelines for the consultant and utility engineer to safely design substation grounding systems and provide techniques to mitigate the dangerous effects of ground potential rise (GPR), and intolerable step and touch potentials. Currents flowing into the ground grid from lightning, insulator flashover and line to ground faults all cause potential differences between grounded points in the substation and earth. Without a properly designed grounding system a real threat to personnel exists. This course will provide the tools needed to deal with each of these issues.

Day One 8:00 AM:

• General Introduction to Grounding
o What is it?
o Why do we need it?
• Definitions
• Conditions of Danger
o Biological Models
• Area of the Ground Grid
o Substation size
10:30 AM Break
• Soil Resistivity Measurements
• Soil Model and Characteristics
12:00 PM Lunch
• Discussion of Ground Fault Currents
• Ground Conductors, Ground Rods, Surface Materials
2:30 PM Break
• Tolerable Step and Touch Voltages
• Special Considerations for Gas Insulated Substations(GIS)
4:00 PM Adjournment

Day Two 8:00 AM:

• Design of a Substation Grounding System
o Design procedure
o Design modifications
10:30 AM Break
o Calculations
• Practical Considerations
12:00 PM Lunch
• Use of Computer analysis in the Grid Design
o What computer programs are available
o What data is needed to start the analysis
2:30 PM Break
o Examples of graphic presentations
• Open Discussion - Grounding Clinic
• What Have We learned?
o Short multiple choice quiz
4:00 PM Final Adjournment

Close ▲


This program can be applied toward the:

Dates and locations to be announced.
Fee: $890
CEUs: 1.4
  Safe Grounding Practices and Design for Outdoor AC Substations course details PDF
Email us with your interest, contact:
Murali Vedula,, 414-227-3121
Marcia Gabriel,, 414-227-3378


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