Earth Testing – We’re frequently asked by Critical Asset owners – “Do we really have to physically test our Electrical Earthing System?”
On-site testing of any kind can be a real pain – The answer Remote Finite Element Analysis Earth Testing
Usually, the rolling of the eyes is the dead give-away and speaks volumes about the impending hassle that an Asset manager/owner is going to face in order to arrange a site visit for an Earth impedance test to either ‘verify’ a new design, or to confirm performance compliance of an existing Earth System.
It goes without saying, once an Earthing System is designed and installed, the story doesn’t stop there!
Natural corrosive and electrical processes initiate the day the copper is buried, and each site is unique… therefore, a condition assessment is a requirement of every standard to review its condition and performance against the intended purpose. After all, we’re dealing with an Electrical Earthing System designed to protect human lives – Earthing/Grounding is a pretty important component.
… but life isn’t always that simple …
For example, maybe you own/manage a significant Critical Asset base which is a terrorist target, or maybe you have some significant other security or economic sensitivities which make accepting non-security cleared people a real problem – what can you do?
Advancements in validated Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software tools and techniques, such as HIFREQ® which is the Electromagnetic Field analysis module of CDEGS software suite, can provide you with the scientifically validated approach to reduce the need to have a physical presence on-site.
“…an electrical earthing system condition assessment IS a requirement in every standard…”
What can Remote Finite Element Analysis Earth Testing do?
By taking the ‘human’ on-site element out of the equation clearly leads to reducing the physical risk(s):
- Security risk – no need to process permits, onerous security clearances, etc.
- Safety risk – sometimes there is no ‘safe’ method for testing. Therefore, remote Finite Element Analysis earth Testing can provide the only viable option eliminating ALL risks of on-site injury
- Economic risk – eliminates the need to take systems ‘off-line’ during tests and makes testing of ‘remote’ sites more economically viable
- Logistical risk – Geographical remoteness of a site might make any kind of visit a logistical nightmare
- Critical risk – Critical operations mean a zero tolerance to system isolation/downtime
I’m sure there will be more items to add to this list as Remote Finite Element Analysis Earth Testing Verification technique gains wider acceptance, but for now, this has been the critical asset de-risking experience using CDEGS, thus far.
I would love to hear from you if you have a geographically challenging critical asset that needs testing then contact us to see how we can make the process as pain-free as possible.
Featured Image: electrophysics.com
Ian is a Principal Consultant at GreyMatters, with 26 years experience solving HV earthing, EMC, and lightning problems for clients worldwide. When he’s not busy studying problems and designing solutions, you can find him mountain biking, sailing and racing motorbikes in the summer. In the winter he tends to head off to the mountains chasing the snow with friends and family. Ian holds a Master’s Degree, and Degrees in both Mechanical and Electrical disciplines, and is one of the top 1% accredited CDEGS consultants and advisor to international utility companies, data-centre and infrastructure developers globally.