Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Electrical Engineering


Virgilio E. Gonzalez


An electrical substation is composed of various subsystems that allow for the effective and safe operation of the power grid. One of the subsystems integrating a conventional substation is defined as the ground grid system. This system allows for the effective operation of the power grid and all the electrical equipment connected to it by providing a ground potential reference, commonly known as the system ground. In addition, the ground grid system provides safety to the workers and the public transiting inside or living nearby a substation by reducing the step and touch potential (or voltage) levels present during a system fault. In today’s utility industry practices there is an increasing trend for using pad-mounted electrical equipment for substation applications in an effort to construct new or upgrade existing electrical facilities inside limited property spaces. This thesis work presents an analysis for the effects of touch and step voltages at existing distribution substations where 23.9kV to 4.16kV & 13.8kV to 4.16kV pad-mounted transformers and other pad-mounted switchgear was installed to replace the traditional station class equipment. Moreover, this study will expose modeling techniques employed to define and determine the effects of floating grounds and other exposed metal bodies inside or surrounding these substations using WinIGS; this is in an effort to determine any risks of electric shock associated with this type of installations. The results presented in this work are intended to verify the requirements for the ground grid analysis and design for 4.16kV distribution substations with pad-mounted equipment in order to prevent dangerous step and touch voltage levels appearing at these sites during system faults; and ultimately prevent exposing individuals to the risk of an electric shock.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

68 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

David Guillermo Guzman