Feasibility of Electrical Separation of Proximate Grounding Systems as a Function of Soil Structure

S. Tee and F.P. Dawalibi (Canada)


Ground Grid Separation, Grounding Performance, Conductive Coupling, Transferred Potentials, Computer Modeling


: Electrical separation of proximate grounding systems has been the subject of much heated debate in the past and continues to generate much interest and discussion, particularly when the target grounding systems belong to different utilities. Essentially, the main argument used by the advocates of electrical separation is to prevent transfer of high ground potential rise from the neighboring but physically separate grounding system to their own system, which is typically a lower voltage installation. The main objective of this paper is to determine the feasibility and adequacy of electrical separation of grounding systems buried in a variety of soil structures, by carrying out a computerized parametric analysis. The computation results show that the nature of the soil structure has a significant influence on the intensity of the conductive coupling between grounds. Transferred potentials from one system to the other may range from a fraction of one percent to more than 90%, in most practical cases examined. Most of the results shown in this paper have never been published before.

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