What is a Field Equipment Earth?

When undertaking work around an electrified system such as a Substation or Transmission line, it is not only the danger of a direct fault that needs to be protected against. Engineers also need to be protected from Induced Voltages, which is why PBwel recommend using Field Equipment Earths.

Induced Voltages

An Induced Voltage occurs when a live system such as a busbar or conductor creates a magnetic field which energises other nearby conductive equipment. This equipment could be anything from a metal fence, a MEWP or a nearby dead conductor, and there is a risk that an Engineer could come into contact with this equipment and create the path to earth.

A Field Equipment Earth is two Aluminium clamps connected via a stranded Aluflex conductor. When these clamps are used to connect a potentially conductive piece of equipment such as an access platform and an earth point, the Field Equipment Earth provides a continuous drain for any Induced Voltages, thereby making them safe to use.

 

               How Induced Voltages are Generated

 

Field Equipment Earths are sometime referred to as Drain Earths for this reason, they are designed to continuously drain voltage rather than withstand a full fault current, which is the function of Primary Earths.

 

What does a Field Equipment Earth consist of?

Within the UK, Field Equipment Earths use a CE4/Short Handle Scaffold Clamp which is suitable for application to a range of equipment including scaffolding, Access Platforms and Fencing. The Portable Earths also use a CE20 Earth end clamp which is suitable for securely fitting to Earth Tape through which any induced voltages will be drained.

These earths are a vital part of any safety management programme whilst working in the vicinity of electrified lines or systems, and will ensure that all Engineers can work in complete safety from the risk of electrical accident.

 


Meet the PBwel Team- Richard Guthrie

 

 

In 2018 Richard Guthrie joined the team at PBwel as a Technical Sales Engineer, focusing on Southern UK customers. Servicing customers from Dover to Aberystwyth, and Oxfordshire to Cornwall, Richard has 15+ years specialising in instrumentation within the Electricity Supply and Gas industries.

 

Richard is always more than happy to visit customers at site to discuss their requirements from PBwel’s extensive range of equipment designed for the safe working in proximity of electrified systems. All advice that Richard offers is backed up with over 80 years of experience from P&B Weir Electrical Ltd.

 

“As a representative of PBwel, the most important thing when talking with our customers is making sure that everything we offer is perfectly suited to their requirements. Integrity is the best way to make sure our customer is happy and safe.”

 

Richard can be contacted on any of the following-

 

Richard.guthrie@pbwel.com

+44 (0) 7774 154779

+44 (0) 1225 811449


PBwel design and supply new Interlocking solution

PBwel were recently approached by Zone Green, a Sheffield based rail safety specialist with a bespoke design for the safe maintenance of trains under electrified lines.

Following on from the recent Network Rail decision to make Interlocked Long Blue Earths mandatory, it has been widely acknowledged that the best way to ensure that no inadvertent contact with live lines is through an Interlocking solution.

With this in mind, Zonegreen wished to supply a system whereby permanently stored earths in Rail depots could be accessed only with the use of an interlocking key system, and they approached PBwel to design and manufacture a suitable solution.

Using a solution similar to PBwel’s “Fixed Earthing” solutions for Substations, the company was able to design, manufacture and supply the solution in a tight time schedule, and Zonegreen are now able to supply and fit this solution as standard.

Geraint Evans, Managing Director of PBwel was pleased with the outcome: “This is another great example of our capabilities to see through a design project from beginning to end, always with the customers desired outcome in mind. Our expertise in this field made it possible for us to produce the interlocking solution in good time, and I am pleased that Zonegreen are happy with the end result.”


P&B

P&B Weir Electrical is a globally recognised designer, manufacturer and supplier of temporary portable earthing, voltage detectors and Buchholz Relays.

With a heritage spanning over eighty years, and world class experience in equipment designed for the safe maintenance of power systems, P&B Weir Electrical provide customers with high quality service, reliable solutions and technical expertise.