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Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd: shack wiring

To: "'Jim Thomson'" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd: shack wiring
From: "Bert Almemo" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 11:34:12 -0400
List-post: <">>
Hi guys,

I'm no expert but it seems to me that the NA electrical distribution system
is completely antiquated and needs rebuilding. Overhead wires on wooden
poles is a cheap and ugly system. It also works as unwanted antennas for us

In many countries in Europe all single family homes have 3-phase electrical
systems. Distribution lines in the urban areas are all undergorund which
make the neighborhoods look much nicer and the wires are not exposed to ice
storms, hurricanes, tornados or other common weather conditions. It costs a
fortune every year to repair overhead power lines in NA. The long term
benefits are obvious. 

I wonder when we on this side of the pond realize we have to modernize our
electrical system? Just my 2 cents worth.

73 Bert, VE3OBU/SM7BUR

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jim Thomson
Sent: Monday, August 02, 2010 10:55 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Fwd: shack wiring

Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 08:31:22 -0400
From: "Paul Christensen" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd:  shack wiring
> ##  If the business's  don't get a neutral... then how do the 
> business's obtain 120 vac ??

The neutral for premise distribution is created at the utility transformer
secondary.  Speaking of electrical distribution and use of neutrals, this
evolution of plant step-down architecture has always bothered me:

In the U.S., the HV primary on a pole transformer feeding a home is tapped
between one phase of a three-phase system and a Multi-Ground Neutral (MGN). 
The photo in the top link shows only one phase on the pole insulator. 
Often, the other two phases are not passed in deeper residential

###  Same thing here.     BUT.... we have 3 phase running down the main
1st side street gets  phase A..... 2nd side street gets phase B..  etc, etc.

Then the 30,000 resisdent's  total load is divide up fairly evenly between
all 3 x phases. 

At each pole, a grounding conductor (shown in the second link) is run from
the MGN to earth to keep the distribution's MGN ground line at earth
potential.  That's a good thing because if a ground fault occurs, it's
possible that the pole grounding conductor (runs from the top of the pole to
the ground stake) would elevate to the full 7200V delivered by the
distribution phase through the transformer primary.  During a fault
condition, a person standing on the ground while touching the pole's
grounding conductor would be guaranteed electrocution.

##  I don't think so.   The most that could happen is the input
fuse to the xfmr would blow open.  The MGN is the return leg
for the 7200/14.4 kv.   Notice that the CT  of the sec of the xmfr 
is also bonded to this same MGN .   That's each home
that gets a neutral, also has the same neutral grnded to cold water
pipe etc.   So the  MGN  [HV return] gets grnded at each house as well.
The MGN also gets grnded at each pole that has a xfmr. 

## I call that an 'unbalanced HV primary. '... and a 'balanced 240 sec'..
[with a grnded CT]

Albeit more expensive for utility companies, it makes more sense to me that
for new neighborhood construction, two phases should be carried to the home 
transformer's HV primary, and not between one phase and the MGN.   This is 
especially the case where 3-phase is available on the pole.  Yet, in cases
where a residential transformer is mounted on a 3-phase pole, the utility
companies still use the MGN instead of a second phase.

##  the xfmr voltages  would be all wrong!  If you are going to use 2 x
phases..then u really need 2 x xfmr's .  Unless, what ur proposing,
is run one xfmr between  2 x hv phases... which is doable.   That requires
2 hot wires to each xfmr.    They don't do it that way cuz they use an UN
distribution system.  

## Notice right now.. that one side of the xfmr Primary is grnded.   And
that the CT
of the sec is also grnded  [ both to the same MGN]. 

## In the UK... they use no CT on their xfmrs.   [230 vac 50 hz single
BUT, one side of the sec is bonded to  the MGN..and also  dirt grnded. One
side of the HV primary  is also grnded/bonded to the same MGN.   What 
they have in effect is  UN balanced sec power.  What they call a neutral is
just one side of the grnded 230 line.  That way... you only need one spst
switch for each circuit in a a light switch.  [you only have
one hot leg]. 

 The safety of the 
exiting distribution is wholly dependant on the bonding quality of all 
components between the MGN, the pole grounding conductor, and the earth 
grounding rod. 

## The  MGN  also extends to each home...via the neutral [ CT]..where it's
connected to a cold water pipe, etc... so the MGN gets grnded 9 x times
for each xfmr..for 9 x homes.  The fault current can't flow down the pole's
safety grnd.. and zap anybody.  As soon as it hit the MGN.. or anything
HV fuse blows. 

 Tapping two phases instead of one eliminates the deadly 
ground fault condition.  Then again, just how many accidents or deaths 
result each year from such a ground fault?  In areas of *well-maintained* 
plant, probably not too many.

## The reason they use the MGN set up is so if something happens
like say the xfmr develops a pri to sec short.. ur safe.   with a primary
to sec short, since the CT [neutral]  is bonded to the MGN.... all you end
up doing, is  shorting out the primary side ! .... and the HV fuse to the
input of the xfmr blows open. 

## If u did it ur proposed way..with one xfmr  pri  across 2 x phases...
and  say you had a pri to sec short in the xfmr.... then u would end up
7200/14.4 kv  right into your living room!  

## it's  actually a well thought out system.  Now, how  9 x homes..each with
'200A'  service can all hang off the same 50 kva beyond me..esp at
dinner time.
The  xfmr  is only rated for 210 A. 

Jim  VE7RF

Paul, W9AC 


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