Ground Potential Rise Studies

As the practice of utilizing high voltage environments as locations for communications towers and switch sites becomes more and more common, the understanding of the hazards posed by high voltage fault conditions to personnel and equipment is becoming critical.

Personnel and equipment require protection from the hazardous and damaging effects of Ground Potential Rise (GPR) and Step-Touch Voltages. Close coordination and cooperation are needed from all involved parties (Utility, Communication Company, and Engineering Firm) from the earliest design stages of the site. We have a strict adherence to industry standards of design and recommended practice, such as IEEE Std. 487 and Std. 387, is critical in designing a properly protected site that will ensure the safety of the personnel and proper operation of the equipment. Unfortunately, many communications site providers are simply unaware of the hazards of installing equipment in these high voltage environments and many utilities take for granted that the proper design considerations for safety have been met by the installers of the sites on their property. Understanding and developing a proper plan for the safe installation of communications sites within the high voltage environment is, and will grow to be, a critical design component in the future of the utilities and the communications companies.