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IEEE Grounding Recommendations

Updated on July 10, 2017
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


The IEEE has 13 “color books”, collectively called the IEEE 3000 standards or IEEE power pack.

Several IEEE color books and other IEEE standards give recommended standards on the design of electrical system grounding, calculations to be used when designing utility line grounding and grounding test methods. What are the grounding recommendations outlined in these IEEE "color books"?

Electrical shorts can shut burn out a single appliance. Without proper grounding, electrical irregularities can short out expensive industrial equipment.
Electrical shorts can shut burn out a single appliance. Without proper grounding, electrical irregularities can short out expensive industrial equipment. | Source

Grounding Recommendations in IEEE Color Books

Several of the IEEE color books give IEEE’s recommendations on power system distribution systems, power system grounding, system protection and design analysis.

IEEE 1100 is called the IEEE Emerald Book. IEEE standard 1100 outlines the recommended practices for powering and grounding electronic equipment. IEEE 142 is called the IEEE Green Book. IEEE 142 gives the IEEE’s recommended practices for grounding industrial and commercial power systems. IEEE standard 142 does not apply to residential buildings.

Grounding Electrical Stations and Substations

IEEE 1246 gives the IEEE’s grounding recommendations for temporary grounding of electrical substations. IEEE 1246 grounding recommendations originate in the Substation Safety Working Group, WGE4.

IEEE 837 lists the permanent connections IEEE allows to be used in substation grounding. IEEE standard 367 describes recommended practices for determining power station ground potential rise and induced voltage if there is a power fault. These calculations include the ground potential rise or GPR and longitudinal induction or LI voltage.

IEEE 367 also gives recommendations on how to reduce these values if they are too high. IEEE 80 describes safety measures to be taken during alternating current substation grounding. IEEE 665 was the IEEE guide for generating station grounding, but this standard has been withdrawn.

IEEE 487 gives the recommended practices for protecting wire-line communications like telephone wires for electrical supply locations. IEEE std 1050 is IEEE’s guide for grounding instruments and control equipment located in power generating stations.

Ground Wire Standards

IEEE 1591.1 is the IEEE standard the performance of optical ground wire or OPGW. IEEE 1591.1 also describes the IEEE approved procedures for testing optical ground wire, also called shield wire and earth wire. IEEE 1138 is the standard for the mechanical properties and testing of optical ground wire when it is used with utility power lines.

IEEE 81.2 was a standard on the measurement of impendence of connected grounding systems, but this standard was withdrawn. IEEE 81-1983, the IEEE guide for measuring earth resistivity, is still active. IEEE 524 gives IEEE’s recommendations on safely installing overhead transmission line conductors and overhead ground wires.

Neutral Grounding of Utility Power Systems

The IEEE C62.92 series of standards addressing neutral grounding in electrical utility power systems. C62.92.1 is the introduction to the C62.92 standard family. Each subsection covers a different part of the electrical utility system.

IEEE C62.92.3 outlines IEEE’s recommendations for grounding generator auxiliary systems. IEEE C62.92.4 applies to 2.4-34.5 kV AC distribution system grounding. C62.92.5 covers neutral grounding of sub-transmission systems. These standards are set by the surge protective devices and high voltage oversight committee.

Related Grounding Standards

IEEE uses ANSI standard 32 to define the terminology and test procedures for neutral grounding devices. IEEE C37.101 gives the IEEE’s recommendations for generator ground protection. IEEE C37.101 does not include recommendations on selecting a generator or connecting it to grounding devices.

IEEE C37.20.6 is the standard for 4.76 kilovolt to 38 kilovolt rated ground devices as well as test devices used in enclosures. IEEE 57.13.3 describes the recommended practices for grounding instrument transformer secondary circuits.

IEEE 1048 gives the recommendations for grounding power lines.


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