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Old 11-08-2015, 02:22 PM   #1
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Default Power distribution in the UK

Does anyone have the time and energy to explain to this retired American electrician how your power distribution is arranged in the UK?

In North American practice the power is delivered with three High Voltage phase lines and a Neutral Conductor. The transformer that supplies an individual residence would be connected on it's Supply side between a single phase conductor and the Neutral. The connecting bushing for the Neutral end of the supply winding is usually uninsulated and the entire metallic enclosure of the transformer is bonded to the Neutral. The distribution Neutral conductor here is Multi-grounded. By that I mean that at intervals along the line and at every transformer the Neutral is earthed by connection to a variety of Grounding Electrodes. Some are driven rods. Others may be copper but plates on the bottom of the pole. Some are just the Grounding Electrode Conductor continued to the buried portion of the pole and wound in a spiral across the but of the pole.

My biggest question is about the Neutral Conductor of your utilities distribution system. Is the Neutral conductor solidly grounded (Earthed) in multiple locations or not? I am not asking about various kinds of protective devices that might conduct to earth during an abnormal condition such as a lightning strike to a line. Is the supply side of the transformer; in a neighborhood that is only single family detached dwellings; connected between a phase and the Neutral or is it phase to phase? Is one of the Supply conductors from the load side winding of the transformer Earthed? If it is earthed, is that done at the transformer, the service unit on or in the home, or were. Is the supply to an individual residence of ordinary size a single voltage? How many current carrying conductors; that being those that carry current under normal operating conditions; are brought to a single Service Unit?

I'm just idly curious you see now that I am retired and have time to wonder about such things.

Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use." Thomas Alva Edison

Last edited by hornetd; 11-08-2015 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Add signature
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:57 PM   #2
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Use the search tool to find the old thread below which may answer your questions.

The differences in our electrical systems
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:34 AM   #3
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In the UK most public distribution systems are 3 phase 3 wire where a transformer steps 11kv down to 240/415Y 4 wire (Its really 250/433Y as based on the name plate with no load).
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:40 AM   #4
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Homes get on phase, a neutral and sometimes a separate ground. Google TN-C-S, TN-S and TT earthing systems to get a basic crash course.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetd View Post
Does anyone have the time and energy to explain to this retired American electrician how your power distribution is arranged in the UK?

In North American practice the power is delivered with three High Voltage phase lines and a Neutral Conductor. The transformer that supplies an individual residence would be connected on it's Supply side between a single phase conductor and the Neutral. The connecting bushing for the Neutral end of the supply winding is usually uninsulated and the entire metallic enclosure of the transformer is bonded to the Neutral. The distribution Neutral conductor here is Multi-grounded. By that I mean that at intervals along the line and at every transformer the Neutral is earthed by connection to a variety of Grounding Electrodes. Some are driven rods. Others may be copper but plates on the bottom of the pole. Some are just the Grounding Electrode Conductor continued to the buried portion of the pole and wound in a spiral across the but of the pole.

My biggest question is about the Neutral Conductor of your utilities distribution system. Is the Neutral conductor solidly grounded (Earthed) in multiple locations or not? I am not asking about various kinds of protective devices that might conduct to earth during an abnormal condition such as a lightning strike to a line. Is the supply side of the transformer; in a neighborhood that is only single family detached dwellings; connected between a phase and the Neutral or is it phase to phase? Is one of the Supply conductors from the load side winding of the transformer Earthed? If it is earthed, is that done at the transformer, the service unit on or in the home, or were. Is the supply to an individual residence of ordinary size a single voltage? How many current carrying conductors; that being those that carry current under normal operating conditions; are brought to a single Service Unit?

I'm just idly curious you see now that I am retired and have time to wonder about such things.

Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use." Thomas Alva Edison

So like me youíre retired and interested in other distribution systems.

Iím willing to e-mail DNO (PoCo) design guides, I will not post them in open forum. PM me.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:57 AM   #6
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Yes !
Lots of regular earthing
Most poles would have neutral bonded
And all buildings also have ground rod.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Yes !
Lots of regular earthing
Most poles would have neutral bonded
And all buildings also have ground rod.
Almost right
Wrong
Wrong
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:28 PM   #8
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Almost right
Wrong
Wrong


No Ground Rod ?

What do you do for Lightning ?



Pete
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:11 PM   #9
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Didn't you know, they don't get lightning in the UK.

An acquaintance of mine in the UK says a lot of power is run from the substation (maybe he meant pole pig or pedestal?) to the residence. He stated that there is a grounding conductor at the substation, but none at the residence.

I have no idea about the veracity of his claims. He is a decade older than I am, so his mind may be even foggier than mine.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete87 View Post
No Ground Rod ?

What do you do for Lightning ?



Pete
Itís up to the DNO (PoCo) to provide an earth for TN-S, TN-C-S and PME supplies. TT supplies it is up to the consumer to provide an electrode.

PME is like your CNE system.

Residential areas donít have multiple small ďcansĒ but large local 11/.433KV units serving an underground network. The supply to my place is from a 1250KVA 11/.433KV 4.5% reactance substation about 500 feet away.
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:28 AM   #11
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Yes, he told me that the sub-station to his house was well over 1000 feet away. He stated that the one supplying a theatre where he worked was even further.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:41 PM   #12
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I am told that the only situation where an earth electrode is installed at the consumer's end is in remote rural sites. Many domestic installations are connected to the TN-CS system, where the DNO connects the consumer's earthing terminal to the neutral conductor.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:35 AM   #13
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Living in Scotland you should know the supply situation for remote areas. On the isles I’ve seen CNE which is unusual for the UK.
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:56 PM   #14
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Saw what by accident?
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Saw what by accident?
Gibberish replies to get you to look at his spammy profile.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:40 PM   #16
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Methinks one should start with Earthing Systems , as perspective, and ask from there.

And Pete, if you're on the job, know that the last go around with this was closed due to the 'pack mentality' of late here....

~CS~
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:46 AM   #17
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Hey there,

Agree with @meadow.


Homes get on phase, a neutral and sometimes a separate ground.



Cheers,


Barry
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