Ground potential rise and lightning overvoltages in control systems of large power-plants under high soil resistivity

Matti Lehtonen, Moritz Pichler, Robert Schürhuber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Power-plants are sometimes built on massive bedrock with high soil resistivity thereby often resulting in less favorable grounding conditions. While grounding for applications with power system frequency can be achieved with large electrode areas, lightning strokes usually affect smaller areas with heavier impact. As a consequence a grounding system suitable for power system frequency is not necessarily capable of handling transient phenomena sufficiently well. A critical case is the ground potential rise when a large lightning surge propagates through the grounding system. The potential differences in different parts of grounding system may damage the connected wiring and equipment, depending on how grounding connections are made. New installations can be equipped with proper equipment but existing plants, especially those subject to detailed approval processes such as nuclear power-plants, often can't be modified easily. This paper evaluates the impact of lightning on a grounding system with different lightning surge propagation properties and finally presents a variety of solutions how to properly improve the transient protection for control equipment from a system point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 20th International Scientific Conference on Electric Power Engineering, EPE 2019
EditorsStanislav Rusek, Radomir Gono
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728113333
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Scientific Conference Electric Power Engineering - Kouty nad Desnou, Czech Republic
Duration: 15 May 201917 May 2019
Conference number: 20

Publication series

NameInternational Scientific Conference Electric Power Engineering


ConferenceInternational Scientific Conference Electric Power Engineering
Abbreviated titleEPE
CountryCzech Republic
CityKouty nad Desnou


  • ATPDraw
  • equipotential bonding
  • grounding
  • high soil resistivity
  • lightning protection
  • power plants ground potential rise

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