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High Impedance Ground Fault Detection for a Safer Petrochemical Industry

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  • Create Date October 12, 2021
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High Impedance Ground Fault Detection for a Safer Petrochemical Industry

High Impedance Ground Fault Detection for a Safer Petrochemical Industry: This paper discusses the high impedance fault (HIF)1 detection system which utilizes relatively new technology on ground fault sensing and protection. The HIF system uses algorithms to detect a high impedance fault such as when a conductor falls onto the ground and where there is insufficient current to blow a fuse or operate a normal relay to trip a circuit breaker.

The HIF detection system has potential for improving electrical safety in the oil patch where overhead power lines are prevalent and where present methods of ground fault detection are incapable of sensing
and tripping for such a fault resulting in potentially dangerous conditions for workers and the general public. This paper introduces HIF detection to the petrochemical industry and presents the findings and conclusions of the author into the use of this relatively unique technology for the petrochemical industry.

Electrical Safety in the Petroleum and Chemical Industry has greatly improved over the last few decades through efforts and contributions originating in the IEEE Industry Applications Society’s (IAS) Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC). Many of these improvements have been within the industrial plants in the petrochemical industry. This paper covers the safety aspects associated with high voltage overhead power lines which are commonly associated with many petrochemical facilities throughout the world.

Historically, high voltage electric overhead power line systems have been protected utilizing a combination of fuses, reclosers and circuit breakers to detect abnormal conditions such as three-phase, phase-phase and phase-to-ground faults. The settings for such devices have been calculated typically based on a power system analysis using system load flow and fault studies. The use of the system protections engineer’s most basic tool, symmetrical components, has been an effective means of protecting the power system equipment from the dangerous effects of faults on the system.

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High Impedance Ground Fault Detection.pdf