On the analysis of impulse test results on grounding systems

N. Harid, H. Griffiths, S. Mousa, D. Clark, S. Robson, A. Haddad

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In this paper, an analysis of experimental results on the behavior under impulse currents of various grounding electrodes: rod and horizontal electrodes, a ground grid, and tower footings, is presented. The parameters used for analyzing transient performance are reviewed, and the differences are highlighted based on test data. The analysis is extended to the following: 1) to quantify the effect of impulse shape; 2) to quantify the effect of current magnitude; 3) to compare low-frequency and impulse performances; 4) to compare impulse and high-frequency performances; and 5) to examine the effects of the test setup on measured results, e.g., in the case of field tests, the effect of current return leads, and proximity and extent of return electrodes. A generalized impulse index is introduced to help elucidate the differences between different parameters used for the analysis of transient test results on ground electrodes. It is found that the analysis of test data based on different parameters may lead to different assessments of impulse performance. The results also show that the impulse parameters used for the analysis of test data can be influenced by several factors such as electrode length, impulse current rise time, and experimental setup. In addition, variable-frequency test results are analyzed by introducing a 'harmonic coefficient' which quantifies the deviations of the harmonic impedance from the low-frequency resistance over different frequency ranges covering the entire lightning frequency spectrum. Significant variations of the harmonic coefficient with frequency were observed, highlighting the importance of taking the frequency dependence of soil properties when modeling the impulse and high-frequency behavior of grounding systems.

Original languageBritish English
Article number7118657
Pages (from-to)5324-5334
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Grounding
  • impulse resistance
  • lightning
  • soil ionisation
  • transmission line towers


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