Why Earthing Switch or Disconnector is Used in Transmission Line?

Why Earthing Switch or Disconnector is Used in Transmission Line?

How Earthing or Disconnector Switch Play Rule to Personnel Safety Even in a Isolated Disconnected Line? 

The function of earth or disconnector switch is to discharge the capacitive voltage that stored in generator side or long transmission line conductors in the isolated system just after opening the CB (Circuit Breaker) and Isolator.


So, we understand that the main purpose of earth switch is to ground the isolated bus/conductor. Generally earth switch is mechanically interlinked with isolator. Means when isolator opens the circuit then earth-switch closes & vice-vars.

When earth switch is connected to the isolated but charged system it discharges the stored energy to earth, so that maintenance work can be carried out either in line on generator side.

So earth switch provides extra safety to the working personnel during transmission line maintenance.
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In my practical experiences I found three cases regarding the necessity of earthing in dead line too.

Case-1:
When the line crews working a dead line where parallel another line is alive. The line crews experienced the voltage exist and they felt some electrical shook.

Case-2:
When we construct parallel two circuits high voltage transmission line and energized a single circuit first. We found that other circuit also experiencing around 1kV in control panel metering system. This happened due to induced voltage.

Case-3:
When we construct a long overhead transmission and it was causing electric shook before touching with any energized line. Finally we discovered the voltage developed in it due to conductor capacitive behavior.


When Earthing Switch or Disconnector Should be Operated?

Operating the earth switch in an energized line may causes sever accident. The condition of earth switch operation is as below;


  1. Earth switches should be operated only when the isolators are in open;
  2. All earth switches can be operated manually. Semaphore indicator can be seen for position feedback (on/off) in switch yard control panel.


Latest Earth Switch or Dis-connector

What we discussed is for maintenance purpose earth switch mainly, but in latest GIS (Gas Insulated Switch) system switch-gear used automatic high speed earth switch. In this system when any fault occurred the faulty part automatically isolated and earthed by high speed auto earth switch and protect the equipment immediately.

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