Course at a Glance
Code: CEY2
Course Length: 3 Months

In this interactive 3 month LIVE ONLINE course, you will learn how to:

  • Perform the design of substation earthing so as to ensure safety of personnel and equipment under all conditions
  • Design appropriate protection against the direct and indirect effects of lightning strikes on substations and the incoming/outgoing overhead lines
  • Select and apply appropriate power system protection to protect equipment and personnel from abnormal system conditions including short circuits and earth faults
  • Determine the auxiliary power requirements and perform sizing calculations for the battery backup of essential dc power supply
  • Understand the requirements for site preparation, foundations, structures, cable trenches and draining arrangements to effectively coordinate with design teams of related disciplines
  • Select and apply gas insulated switchgear if outdoor type HV substations cannot be used due to any site-related constraints and adjust the other design elements to suit this option



Want a COMPLETE understanding of Substation Design?

If the answer is yes, then you should also apply for the Professional Certificate of Competency in Substation Design (Main Equipment).


Course Details


Substations are the key assets in any power system and serve as important nodes in a transmission and distribution network. Substations thus handle multiple voltages in a given location and link two or more systems of different voltages. In the first part of this two-part certificate series, the participants are given a thorough understanding of the basic principles of substation design, configuration of a substation, the specification/selection of equipment based on a selected configuration, conducting system studies to verify/correct the initial assumptions and to plan the layout of the substation.

In this part, the focus will be on the other subsystems that perform essential functions in substations. These include earthing/grounding, lightning protection of outdoor equipment and substation buildings, power system protection, control and interlocking equipment including the auxiliary power sources and various switchyard facilities such as foundation, structures, cable routing, lighting, fire protection and surveillance equipment.

Earthing of a HV switchyard requires careful design as it has a direct bearing on safety. The design approach to switchyards will be discussed and the basic methods of calculation will be outlined. Lightning is a common occurrence which poses a threat to substation equipment and supply reliability by causing overvoltage surges resulting in insulation failure or spark over. While lightning cannot be prevented, its effects can be minimised by proper lightning and surge protection measures.

Any electrical equipment is susceptible to insulation failures. Protection against such failures and the resulting short circuits is a vital need in power systems. The various protection options available to the designer and the protection of busbars, transformers and substation feeders will be discussed in two parts. Another essential system is the control of switchyard equipment and the auxiliary power supply required for control. Ac auxiliary power is generally used for operation of isolators/disconnectors, the operating mechanism of circuit breakers and for substation lighting. Essential functions are powered through dc supply backed with batteries for reliability. This includes control, annunciation and protection functions, breaker close and trip commands and in some cases emergency lightning.

A switchyard has to be properly planned by preparing the site, measuring earth resistivity required for earthing design/optimisation, earth work, foundations, cable trenches inside the switchyard, draining arrangements etc. These aspects will be covered in detail in a separate module. The last module will discuss about gas insulated switchgear as an alternative to outdoor open type switchyards.

All the above topics will be dealt in this course using a simple step-by-step approach through real life examples. The basic design approach and calculations will be performed by the students to clearly understand the concepts that are being taught.

There will be 12 modules covered in 3 months to give the students adequate time to try and apply the concepts learnt in the modules in the context of their workplace and discuss them with the course facilitator. The contents and sequence of the modules can be seen in the course outline.

Course Outline


Basics of functional and protective earthing
Touch and step voltages in substations
Design of earth grid-basic considerations in conductor sizing and mesh spacing
Safety mesh at operating points
Role of gravel layer in safety
Transferred voltage hazards and planning isolation of outgoing services to avoid transfer voltage


Based on the layout and data of a given HV switchyard:
Perform earthing calculations including sizing of earthing conductors
Calculate the earth mesh size for the switchyard
Develop a layout for the mesh and show the other connections required to avoid transferred voltages
Show the size of safety mesh to be provided and the operating points on the layout
Draw up the installation specification for the earthing system


Basics of lightning and hazards
Role of shield wire and lightning masts
Typical configurations of lightning protection of switchyards
Analysis of hazard using cone of protection and rolling sphere methods
Selection of lightning arrestors-types, class and ratings


Design the lightning protection of a typical HV switchyard based on a given layout and analyse the adequacy of protection
Locate and select surge protection (lightning arrestors) of the above HV switchyard


Brief overview of protection
Over current protection
Current transformers requirements for protection
Protection relays
IEDs and communication options
Protection coordination


Based on the data/SLD for a typical MV substation work out:
Suggested protective devices for over current and earth fault
Suggested settings
Select the specifications of CT and VT
Checking of CT burden
Protection coordination checking
Explore substation automation system using IEDs provided for protection
Prepare an ordering specification


Protection of transformers
Busbar protection
Feeder protection
Equipment requirements for substation automation
PLCC applications in protection and communication
PLCC hardware and integrating them with the switchyard equipment


Using the data/SLD of a typical HV outdoor switchyard, work out the following:
Suggested protection schemes for all the feeders of the switchyard, its busbars and transformers
Explore use of PLCC for line protection and communication
Prepare an ordering specification for protection equipment


DC power requirements for switchyard equipment
DC equipment configuration and specifications
DC distribution for switchyard equipment
Battery calculations basis
Space planning and related facilities for a battery installation
AC auxiliary power for switchyard systems-loads which require AC power
Possible source options
AC auxiliary distribution for switchyard equipment and support systems
Control scheme of disconnectors and circuit breakers
Control interconnection approach
Use of optical fibre-based control scheme
Role and location of marshalling kiosks in different bays


Based on the data of typical substation with both HV and MV switchgear, work out the following:
DC auxiliary requirements
Battery sizing calculation
DC auxiliary equipment and their ratings
DC distribution SLD
Layout of dc equipment
AC auxiliary power requirement
Sources and rating
AC auxiliary system SLD
Layout of auxiliary switchgear
Interconnections of AC and DC auxiliary power and switchyard controls


Site preparation, levelling
Earth resistivity measurement and its role in design verification
Civil works such as equipment foundations, cable trenches, control building, storm drains, transformer oil collection pit
Structures and their design requirements
Substation fence and physical security
Planning water requirements and supply arrangement
Fire protection, lighting and ventilation of control room and other equipment


HV gas insulated substation-an alternative to outdoor HV switchyards
SF6 properties, advantages and environmental impact
Typical substation configurations in SF6
Indoor/outdoor options
Gas safety considerations
Equipment for handling SF6
SF6 substation layout planning and earthing considerations
Cable terminations to SF6 equipment

Learning and Teaching

Benefits of Online Learning to Students

  • Cost effective: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Interactive: live, interactive sessions let you communicate with your instructor and fellow students
  • Flexible: short interactive sessions over the Internet which you can attend from your home or office. Learn while you earn!
  • Practical: perform exercises by remotely accessing our labs and simulation software
  • Expert instructors: instructors have extensive industry experience; they are not just 'academics'
  • No geographical limits: learn from any location, all you need is an Internet connection
  • Constant support: from your instructor(s) and a dedicated Learning Support Officer for the complete duration of the course
  • International insight: interact and network with participants from around the globe and gain valuable insight into international practice 

Benefits of Online Learning to Employers

  • Lower training costs: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Less downtime: short webinars (60-90 minutes) and flexible training methods means less time away from work
  • Retain employees: keep staff who may be considering a qualification as full time study
  • Increase efficiency: improve your engineering or technical employees’ skills and knowledge
  • International insight: students will have access to internationally based professional instructors and students


How Does it Work?

EIT Online Learning courses involve a combination of live, interactive sessions over the Internet with a professional instructor, set readings, and assignments. The courses include simulation software and remote laboratory applications to let you put theory to practice, and provide you with constant support from a dedicated Learning Support Officer.

Practical Exercises and Remote Laboratories

As part of the groundbreaking new way of teaching, our online engineering courses use a series of remote laboratories (labs) and simulation software, to facilitate your learning and to test the knowledge you gain during your course. These involve complete working labs set up at various locations of the world into which you will be able to log to and proceed through the various practical sessions.

These will be supplemented by simulation software, running either remotely or on your computer, to ensure you gain the requisite hands-on experience. No one can learn much solely from lectures, the labs and simulation software are designed to increase the absorption of the materials and to give you a practical orientation of the learning experience. All this will give you a solid, practical exposure to the key principles covered and will ensure that you obtain maximum benefit from your course.


More about High Voltage Training

High voltage is described as any voltage exceeding 1000 V rms or 1000 V dc with current capability exceeding 2 mA ac or 3 mA dc, or for an impulse voltage generator having a stored energy in excess of 10 mJ. Anything over 50 V must be considered high voltage. Voltages over approximately 50 volts can usually cause dangerous amounts of current to flow through a human being touching two points of a circuit.

Growth in High Voltage Usage

Electricity is essential to modern life and all people are dealing with electricity directly or indirectly. Electricity is high-grade energy and working in the proximity of high voltage equipment involves danger. While commercial electricity has been around for over 100 years, the most common hazard of electricity has been electric shock or electrocution. As commercial electric systems grew, other hazardous effects such as arc-flash and arc-blast began to surface. The initiation, escalation, effects, and prevention of electrical arcs have been analyzed and researched since the early 1960’s. Human errors and equipment malfunctions contribute to the initiation of an electrical arc. Engineering design and construction of arc resistant equipment as well as requirements for safe work practices are continuing to target the risk of electrical arc-flash hazard. As the demand for electricity increases, transmission and distribution utility systems are being upgraded. Transformers are being upgraded or replaced with higher KVA ratings and lower impedances at both the utility and industrial/commercial level. Also, as the demand for higher reliability also increases, transformers are being operated in parallel by closing a tie breaker. All of these modifications to the system can cause dramatic increases in the available fault current. More electrical energy throughput is a result of these modifications; however the downside is an increase in the electrical current to feed a fault to existing equipment in industrial and commercial facilities that may now be under-rated to interrupt available fault current. This increase in available fault current can wreak havoc on under-rated and/or improperly maintained equipment.



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The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.

School of Electrical Engineering