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EHV/HV Cable Sheath Earthing

Introduction:
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In urban areas, high voltage underground cables are commonly used for the
transmission and distribution of electricity. Such high voltage cables have metallic
sheaths or screens surrounding the conductors, and/or armour and metallic wires
surrounding the cables. During earth faults applied to directly earthed systems,
these metallic paths are expected to carry a substantial proportion of the total fault
current, which would otherwise flow through the general mass of earth, while
returning to system neutrals. These alternative return paths must be considered
when determining the extent of the grid potential rise at an electrical plant due to
earth faults.
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For safety and reliable operation, the shields and metallic sheaths of power
cables must be grounded. Without grounding, shields would operate at a potential
considerably above ground. Thus, they would be hazardous to touch and would
cause rapid degradation of the jacket or other material intervening between shield
and ground. This is caused by the capacitive charging current of the cable
insulation that is on the order of 1 mA/ft of conductor length.
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This current normally flows, at power frequency, between the conductor and the
earth electrode of the cable, normally the shield. In addition, the shield or metallic
sheath provides a fault return path in the event of insulation failure, permitting
rapid operation of the protection devices.
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In order to reduce Circulating current and electric potential difference between
the sheathings of single core three-phase cables, the sheathing is grounded and
bonded at one or both ends of the cables. If the cable is long, double bonding has to
be carried out which leads to circulating currents and increased total power loss.
Raising the sheaths resistance, by decreasing its cross section and increasing its
resistivity, can reduce this almost to the level of the core losses.
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However, in case of an earth fault, a considerable portion of the fault current
flows through the increased sheath resistance, creating much higher power in the
sheaths than in the faulty core. A simple solution, a conductor rod buried into the
soil above or under the cable can divert this power from the sheaths.

Cable Screen:
(1) Purpose of cable screen:
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Cable screen controls the electric field stress in the cable insulation.
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Cable Screen Provides return path for Cable neutral and fault current.
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If the screen is earthed at two ends than it provides Shielding for electromagnetic
radiation.
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Enclosing dangerous high voltage with earth potential for safety.
(2) Purpose of bonding cable screens at both ends:
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The electric power losses in a cable circuit are dependent on the currents flowing
in the metallic sheaths of the cables so by reducing the current flows in metallic
sheath by different methods of bonding we can increases the load current carrying
capacity (ampacity) of the cable.
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It provides low impedance fault current return path and provides neutral point for
the circuit.
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It provides shielding of electromagnetic field.
(3) Induced voltage & circulating circulating current in cable screen:

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Electromagnetic coupling between the core and screen Electromagnetic screen.
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If the cable screen is single point bonded, no electrical continuity and mmf
generates a voltage.
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If the cable screen is bonded at both ends, the mmf will cause circulating current
to flow if there is electrical continuity.
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The circulating current produces an opposing magnetic field.
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Suitable bonding method should be employed to meet the standing voltage limit
and keep Circulating current to an acceptable level.

Laying Method of Cable:
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The three Single core cables in a 3-phase circuit can be placed in different
formations. Typical formations include trefoil (triangular) and flat formations.
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To minimize the electromechanical forces between the cables under short-circuit
conditions, and to avoid eddy-current heating in nearby steelwork due to magnetic
fields set up by load currents, the three single-core cables comprising the three
phases of a 3-phase circuit are always run clamped in Trefoil formation.

Advantage:
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This type of Formation minimizes the sheath circulating currents induced by the
magnetic flux linking the cable conductors and metallic sheath or copper wire
screens.
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This configuration is generally used for cables of lower voltages (33 to 132kV)
and of smaller conductor sizes.
Disadvantages:
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The trefoil formation is not appropriate for heat dissipation because there is an
appreciable mutual heating effect of the three cables.
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The cumulated heat in cables and cable trench has the effect of reducing the
cable rating and accelerating the cable ageing.
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This is a most common method for Laying LT Cable.
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This formation is appropriate for heat dissipation and to increase cable rating.
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The Formation choice is totally deepened on several factors like screen bonding
method, conductor area and available space for installation.

Type of Core and Induced Voltage:

Three Core Cable:
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For LT application, typically for below 11 kV.
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Well balanced magnetic field from Three Phase.
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Induced voltages from three phases sum to zero along the entire length of the
cable.
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Cable screen should be earthed at both ends
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Virtually zero induced voltage or circulating current under steady state
operation.
Single Core Cable:
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For HV application, typically for 11 kV and above.
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Singlecore cables neglect the use of ferromagnetic material for screen, sheath
and armoring.
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Induced voltage is mainly contributed by the core currents in its own phase and
other two phases. If cables are laid in a compact and symmetrical formation,
induced in the screen can be minimized.
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A suitable screen bonding method should be used for singlecore cables to
prevent Excessive circulating current, high induced standing voltage.igh voltage.

Accessories for HT Cable Sheath Bonding:
Function of Link Box?

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Link Box is electrically and mechanically one of the integral accessories of HV
underground above ground cable bonding system, associated with HV XLPE
power cable systems.
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Link boxes are used with cable joints and terminations to provide easy access to
shield breaks for test purposes and to limit voltage build-up on the sheath

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Lightning, fault currents and switching operations can cause over voltages on
the cable sheath. The link box optimizes loss management in the cable shield on
cables grounded both sides.
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In HT Cable the bonding system is so designed that the cable sheaths are bonded
and earthed or with SVL in such way as to eliminate or reduce the circulating
sheath currents.
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Link Boxes are used with cable joints and terminations to provide easy access to
shield breaks for test purposes and to limit voltage build-up on the sheath. The link
box is part of bonding system, which is essential of improving current carrying
capacity and human protection.
Sheath Voltage Limiters (SVL) (Surge Arrestors):

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SVL is protective device to limit induce voltages appearing on the bonded cable
system due to short circuit.
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It is necessary to fit SVLs between the metallic screen and ground inside the
link box. The screen separation of power cable joint (insulated joint) will be
protected against possible damages as a result of induced voltages caused by short
circuit/break down.

Type of Sheath Bonding for HT Cable:

There is normally Three Type of Bonding for LT/HT Cable Screen.
(1) Single Point Bonded.
One Side Single Point Bonded System.
Split Single Point Bonded System.
(2) Both End Bonded System
(3) Cross Bonded System

(1) Single point bonded system:

(A) One Side Single Bonded System:
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A system is single point bonded if the arrangements are such that the cable
sheaths provide no path for the flow of circulating currents or external fault
currents.
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This is the simplest form of special bonding. The sheaths of the three cable
sections are connected and grounded at one point only along their length. At all
other points there will be a voltage between sheath and ground and between
screens of adjacent phases of the cable circuit that will be at its maximum at the
farthest point from the ground bond.
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This induced voltage is proportional to the cable length and current. Single-point
bonding can only be used for limited route lengths, but in general the accepted
screen voltage potential limits the length
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The sheaths must therefore be adequately insulated from ground. Since there is
no closed sheath circuit, except through the sheath voltage limiter, current does not
normally flow longitudinally along the sheaths and no sheath circulation current
loss occurs.
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Open circuit in cable screen, no circulating current.
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Zero volt at the earthed end, standing voltage at the unearthed end.
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Optional PVC insulated earth continuity conductor required to provide path for
fault current, if returning from earth is undesirable, such as in a coal mine.
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SVL installed at the unearthed end to protect the cable insulation during fault
conditions.
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Induced voltage proportional to the length of the cable and the current carried in
the cable.
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Zero volt with respect to the earth grid voltage at the earthed end, standing
voltage at the unearthed end.
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Circulating current in the earthcontinuity conductor is not significant, as
magnetic fields from phases are partially balanced.
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The magnitude of the standing voltage is depended on the magnitude of the
current flows in the core, much higher if there is an earth fault.
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High voltage appears on the unearthed end can cause arcing and damage outer
PVC sheath.
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The voltage on the screen during a fault also depends on the earthing condition.
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Standing voltage at the unearthed end during earth fault condition.
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During a ground fault on the power system the zero sequence current carried by
the cable conductors could return by whatever external paths are available. A
ground fault in the immediate vicinity of the cable can cause a large difference in
ground potential rise between the two ends of the cable system, posing hazards to
personnel and equipment.
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For this reason, single-point bonded cable installations need a parallel ground
conductor, grounded at both ends of the cable route and installed very close to the
cable conductors, to carry the fault current during ground faults and to limit the
voltage rise of the sheath during ground faults to an acceptable level.
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The parallel ground continuity conductor is usually insulated to avoid corrosion
and transposed, if the cables are not transposed, to avoid circulating currents and
losses during normal operating conditions.
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Voltage at the unearthed end during an earth fault consists of two voltage
components. Induced voltage due to fault current in the core.
Advantage:
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No circulating current.
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No heating in the cable screen.
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Economical.
Disadvantage:
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Standing voltage at the unearthed end.
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Requires SVL if standing voltage during fault is excessive.
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Requires additional earth continuity conductor for fault current if earth returned
current is undesirable. Higher magnetic fields around the cable compared to solidly
bonded system.
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Standing voltage on the cable screen is proportional to the length of the cable
and the magnitude of current in the core.
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Typically suitable for cable sections less than 500 m, or one drum length.

(B) Split Single Point-bonded System:
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It is also known as double length single point bonding System.
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Cable screen continuity is interrupted at the midpoint and SVLs need to be fitted
at each side of the isolation joint.
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Other requirements are identical to singlepointbonding system like SVL, Earth
continuity Conductor, Transposition of earth continuity conductor.
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Effectively two sections of singlepointbonding.
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No circulating current and Zero volt at the earthed ends, standing voltage at the
sectionalizing joint.

Advantages:
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No circulating current in the screen.
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No heating effect in the cable screen.
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Suitable for longer cable section compared to singlepointbonding system and
solidly bonded single-core system.
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Economical.
Disadvantages:
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Standing voltage exists at the screen and sectionalizing insulation joint.
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Requires SVL to protect the unearthed end.
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Requires separate earth continuity conductor for zero sequence current.
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Not suitable for cable sections over 1000 m.
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Suitable for 300~1000 m long cable sections double the length of singlepoint
bonding system.

(2) Both End Solidly Bonded (Single-core cable) systems.
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Most Simple and Common method.
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Cable screen is bonded to earth grids at both ends (via link box).
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To eliminate the induced voltages in Cable Screen is to bond (Earth) the sheath
at both ends of the cable circuit.

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This eliminates the need for the parallel continuity conductor used in single
bonding systems. It also eliminates the need to provide SVL, such as that used at
the free end of single-point bonding cable circuits
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Significant circulating current in the screen Proportional to the core current and
cable length and de rates cable.
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Could lay cable in compact trefoil formation if permissible.
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Suitable for route length of more than 500 Meter.
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Very small standing voltage in the order of several volts.



Advantages:
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Minimum material required.
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Most economical if heating is not a main issue.
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Provides path for fault current, minimizing earth return current and EGVR at
cable destination.
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Does not require screen voltage limiter (SVL).
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Less electromagnetic radiation.
Disadvantages:
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Provides path for circulating current.
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Heating effects in cable screen, greater losses .Cable therefore might need to be
derated or larger cable required.
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Transfers voltages between sites when there is an EGVR at one site.
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Can lay cables in trefoil formation to reduce screen losses.
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Normally applies to short cable section of tens of meters long. Circulating
current is proportional to the length of the cable and the magnitude of the load
current.

(3) Cross-bonded cable system.
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A system is cross-bonded if the arrangements are such that the circuit provides
electrically continuous sheath runs from earthed termination to earthed termination
but with the sheaths so sectionalized and cross-connected in order to reduce the
sheath circulating currents.
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In This Type voltage will be induced between screen and earth, but no
significant current will flow.
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The maximum induced voltage will appear at the link boxes for cross-bonding.
This method permits a cable current-carrying capacity as high as with single-point
bonding but longer route lengths than the latter. It requires screen separation and
additional link boxes.
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For cross bonding, the cable length is divided into three approximately equal
sections. Each of the three alternating magnetic fields induces a voltage with a
phase shift of 120 in the cable shields.
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The cross bonding takes place in the link boxes. Ideally, the vectorial addition of
the induced voltages results in U (Rise) = 0. In practice, the cable length and the
laying conditions will vary, resulting in a small residual voltage and a negligible
current. Since there is no current flow, there are practically no losses in the screen.
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The total of the three voltages is zero, thus the ends of the three sections can be
grounded.
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Summing up induced voltage in sectionalized screen from each phase resulting
in neutralization of induced voltages in three consecutive minor sections.
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Normally one drums length (500 m approx) per minor section.
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Sectionalizing position and cable jointing position should be coincident.
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Solidly earthed at major section joints.
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Transpose cable core to balance the magnitude of induced voltages to be
summed up.
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Link box should be used at every sectionalizing joint and balanced impedance in
all phases.
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Induced voltage magnitude profile along the screen of a major section in the
crossbonding cable system.
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Virtually zero circulating current and Voltage to the remote earth at the solidly
earthed ends.
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In order to obtain optimal result, two crosses exist. One is Transposition of
cable core crossing cable core at each section and second is Cross bond the cable
screens effectively no transposition of screen.
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Cross bonding of cable screen: It is cancelled induced voltage in the screen at
every major Section joint.
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Transposition of cables: It is ensure voltages to be summed up have similar
magnitude .Greater standing voltage at the screen of the outer cable.
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Standing voltages exist at screen and majority of section joints cable and joints
must be installed as an insulated screen system.

Requirement of transpose for cables core.
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If core not transposed, not well neutralized resulting in some circulating currents.
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Cable should be transposed and the screen needs to be cross bonded at each
sectionalizing joint position for optimal neutralization


Advantage:
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Not required any earth continuity conductor.
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Virtually zero circulating current in the screen.
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Standing voltage in the screen is controlled.
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Technically superior than other methods.
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Suitable for long distance cable network.
Disadvantage:
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Technically complicated.
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More expensive.

Bonding Method Comparison:

Sheath Losses according to type of Bonding:
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Sheath losses are current-dependent losses and are generated by the induced
currents when load current flows in cable conductors.
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The sheath currents in single-core cables are induced by transformer effect;
i.e.by the magnetic field of alternating current flowing in cable conductor which
induces voltages in cable sheath or other parallel conductors.
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The sheath induced electromotive forces (EMF) generate two types of losses:
circulating current losses (Y1) and eddy current losses (Y2), so the total losses in
cable metallic sheath are: Y= Y1+Y2
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The eddy currents circulating radially and longitudinally of cable sheaths are
generated on similar principles of skin and proximity effects i.e. they are induced
by the conductor currents, sheath circulating currents and by currents circulating in
close proximity current carrying conductors.
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They are generated in cable sheath irrespective of bonding system of single core
cables or of three-core cables
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The eddy currents are generally of smaller magnitude when comparing with
circuit (circulating) currents of solidly bonded cable sheaths and may be neglects
except in the case of large segmental conductors and are calculated in accordance
with formulae given in the IEC60287.
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Circulating currents are generated in cable sheath if the sheaths form a closed
loop when bonded together at the remote ends or intermediate points along the
cable route.
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These losses are named sheath circulating current losses and they are determined
by the magnitude of current in cable conductor, frequency, mean diameter, the
resistance of cable sheath and the distance between single-core cables.

Conclusion:

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There is much disagreement as to whether the cable shield should be grounded at
both ends or at only one end. If grounded at only one end, any possible fault
current must traverse the length from the fault to the grounded end, imposing high
current on the usually very light shield conductor. Such a current could readily
damage or destroy the shield and require replacement of the entire cable rather than
only the faulted section.
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With both ends grounded, the fault current would divide and flow to both ends,
reducing the duty on the shield, with consequently less chance of damage.
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Multiple grounding, rather than just grounding at both ends, is simply the
grounding of the cable shield or sheath at all access points, such as manholes or
pull boxes. This also limits possible shield damage to only the faulted section.