Detrimental effects of capacitance on high-resistance-grounded mine distribution systems

Joseph Sottile, Steve J. Gnapragasam, Thomas Novak, Jeffrey L. Kohler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Modern underground coal mines can be very large, having a total connected load in excess of 15 000 hp. These mines generally have many miles of high-power conveyor belts and 15 or more miles of high-voltage power cables at distribution voltages of 12.47, 13.2, 13.8, or 14.4 kV. The shielded cables used in mine power distribution systems have a significant level of capacitance, on the order of 110 pF/ft. This level of capacitance, in an extensive power distribution system at today's voltage levels, can cause significant charging currents during a ground fault. This paper addresses the potential detrimental effects of capacitance charging currents during line-to-ground faults in mine power distribution systems. A representative mine power system is modeled, and simulations with faults at various locations are conducted to evaluate the effects of this capacitance on the level of fault current and relay selectivity. This paper also includes results of capacitance measurements made on mine power feeder cables used to validate the simulation model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1339
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Paper PID-06-03, presented at the 2005 Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, Hong Kong, October 2–6, and approved for publication in the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS by the Mining Industry Committee of the IEEE Industry Applications Society. Manuscript submitted for review October 15, 2005 and released for publication June 3, 2006. This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, under Contract 200-2002-000589, Reduction of Mining Electrical Hazards Through Improved Engineering Controls, with Dr. J. L. Kohler as the Technical Project Officer.


  • Charging current
  • Ground fault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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