Our Melbourne office hosted an informative, one hour afternoon session on the topic of earthing on Monday, 15th July.
Earthing is a niche subject of electrical engineering that involves safely connecting parts of an electrical system (such as overhead transmission towers) with the earth's conductive surface (such as natural soils). Attended by over 30 representatives from clients including WSP, MTM & AusNet, this session was titled 'Earthing 101' and as the name suggests, it offered a simple introduction to an otherwise complex technical field.
Key speaker Rodney Urban (Technical Director – Power Systems Engineering), was joined by fellow earthing specialists Andrew Holt (Senior Power Engineer) and Lasith De Silva (Power Engineer), in covering the principles of their field, including the importance of Earth Potential Rise (EPR) and its effects on step, touch and transfer voltage hazards.
Another topic covered in depth was soil resistivity testing and the importance of accounting for local variations in resistivity associated with complex geological conditions and interference from nearby buried services and structures. Our engineers gather this information on-site to improve confidence in the inputs and parameters for design projects. In closing, Rodney summarised the ultimate goal of earthing as "a balancing act between achieving low earth resistance and transfer voltage." Getting this balance right is key to building electrical infrastructure that transmits power reliably to users and most importantly, safely for those who come into contact with the ground surrounding transmission structures.
Our experience and in-house skilled resources, analytical software and specialist on-site measurement equipment make Beca a single source solution provider for the following services: Earthing & bonding, lightning protection, insulation coordination, low frequency induction (LFI), electromagnetic fields (EMF) and EMC analysis & mitigation. We have undertaken numerous earthing and bonding projects across Australian and New Zealand. This includes EMF and EMC analytical assessments; on-site measurements for power transmission, generation, power distribution, industrial, rail traction, water, oil & gas and telecommunications clients.