Analysis of whole of life cost for component in high voltage earthing systems

High voltage electrical installations require appropriately designed earthing systems to provide the requisite levels of safety and operational security.

Earthing system installers and HV asset owners face continual pressure to lower cost, and the project-based nature of construction work leads to a focus primarily on component cost rather than whole of life cost. However, where this pressure leads to the use of inferior components or installation methods, the safety outcomes will be impaired, and the total cost may even be higher.

This paper will explore the cost of various component groups, and present these in the context of both the total earthing system installation cost; and in proportion to the whole of life cost of owning and managing the earthing system for a 30-year asset life. The costs and risks of component failure will also be explored.

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