Panel Discussion on Electrical Safety Regulations

Panel Discussion on Electrical Safety Regulations

26th March 2022 Saturday 4.00 PM


Electrical safety requirements changes depending upon the improvement in technology and systems. Awareness classes of VIDYUT SURAKSHIT BHARAT ABHIYAN keep participants informed about the latest trends in electrical safety and compliance requirements to code of practices and regulations.


This panel discussion is to discuss about the doubts and common questions of every engineer about The Electricity Act, Regulations, Code of practices and Standards.


Panel of experts who answered the questions are

  • Shri. Mukul Kumar, Asst. Director, Central Electricity Authority.

  • Shri. Appavoo S, Chief Electrical Inspector to Government of Tamilnadu (Retd.).

  • Shri. Vinay Nagdeo, Superintending Engineer (Retd), Nagpur Regional Inspection Circle, Maharashtra.

  • Shri. Jameskutty Thomas, Electrical Inspector (retd.), Electrical Inspectorate, Kerala.

  • Shri. Debdas Goswami, Head of standardisation divisions (Retd), Bureau of Indian Standards.

Moderator

  • Shri. Gopa Kumar S, Member in working groups of IEC TC64, TC81 & SC 37A, ETD 20, ETD 30 & ETD50.

Out of 200+ questions posted by registrants of the webinar, about 15 questions of common nature are selected and answered. The Q&A are as below.


Note: Regulation mentioned in this blog means "CENTRAL ELECTRICITY AUTHORITY (MEASURES RELATING TO SAFETY AND ELECTRIC SUPPLY) REGULATIONS, 2010" including its amendments up to 2019.

 

Question 1:

IE rule and CEA regulations. Still IE rules 1956 is referred in several documents and tenders, Is it correct. what is the legal validity??.


Answer

Answered by Shri. Mukul Kumar, Shri. S Appavoo and by Shri. L.K.S Rathore, Director, RIO (west), Central Electricity Authority.


Referring IER 1956 for Statutory purposes is illegal.


The Electricity Act, 2003 [No.36 of 2003] of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 26th May, 2003, and published. Hence it is legally incorrect to refer IER, 1956 subject to the repugnancy provided for in the Repeal provisions.


The promulgation of any Act has a repeal provision to make any rule under the Act as defunct. However, it is subject to safeguard important aspects like pending executive instructions in accordance with the General Clauses Act, 1897. The repeal provision is furnished below for ready reference:


Section 185. (Repeal and saving): --- (1) Save as otherwise provided in this Act, the Indian Electricity Act, 1910, the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 and the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 are hereby repealed.


(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, -

xxxxxxx

(c) the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956 made under section 37 of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 as it stood before such repeal shall continue to be in force till the regulations under section 53 of this Act are made.

xxxxxx

(5) Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (2), the mention of particular matters in that section, shall not be held to prejudice or affect the general application of section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, with regard to the effect of repeals.


Section of the General Clauses Act is also furnished below:


6. Effect of repeal. Where this Act, or any 1 [Central Act] or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act, repeals any enactment hitherto made or hereafter to be made, then, unless a different intention appears, the repeal shall not


(a) revive anything not in force or existing at the time at which the repeal takes effect; or

(b) affect the previous operation of any enactment so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder; or

(c) affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under any enactment so repealed;


In view of the above provisions, unless a different intention appears in the new Regulations and subject to the accrued privilege, obligation etc. in the form of a repugnancy, the IER 1956 should be treated as repealed.


Hence quoting any rule number or any technical point of IER will not be legally valid.


 

Question 2:

In large projects, compliance to British and American and often private standards are asked for, without any compliance to Indian standards. Is it legally, correct?? And how regulation 12 (2& 3) to be understood.


Answer

Answered by Shri. Debdas Goswami


Referring to standards other than Indian standards are not legally valid. e.g. the regulation 12 (3) explains "The material and apparatus used shall conform to the relevant specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards or International Electro-Technical Commission where such specifications have already been laid down".


As a result, it is clear using national standards of other countries and private standards are legally not valid. Indian projects shall use IS standards or IEC standards.


Mr. Goswami recommended a small correction in the sub regulation 12 (2) as "Save as otherwise provided in these regulations, the relevant code of practice of the Bureau of Indian Standards or National Electrical Code, if any, shall be followed to carry out the purposes of this regulation and in the event of any inconsistency, the provisions of these regulations shall prevail". (the word "may" to be replaced by "shall"). With this correction, the Code of practices of BIS also is made mandatory.


 

Question 3:


Regulations 14, 15 & 16. What does it mean and how to implement?


Answer

Answered by Shri. Jameskutty Thomas


(a) Regulation 14. :- It is regarding the switchgear to be provided by the Supplier at the Consumer’s premises before the Point of Commencement of Supply. As per the sub clause (2) the switchgear must be protective type. The earthed neutral or the earthed conductor provided by the Supplier should be skipped in this action. Means, the protective switchgear should not be added to them, by which they should be kept intact without breaking.


(b) Regulation 15:- This regulation is really a continuation of Regn 14. Here it is explained that the earthed conductor or the earthed neutral conductor belonging to the Consumer should be identified. And also, these two portions should not be provided with any cutout or so, but can be operated together with the live conductors through a linked arrangement.


(c) Regulation 16:- This is also continuation of Regn 14. As per this clause the Supplier need to provided an earthed terminal to the Consumer.


But, the earthed terminal is not made practical by the energy supplier due the confusions in various system earthing such as TNC, TNS, TT, IT.


Shri C. P. George, Deputy Chief Engineer (Rtd.) Kerala State Electricity Board Limited Kerala State Electricity Board Limited added that


As the system of network has not specified explicitly for license supply network, the distribution companies not complying any specific recommend network as specified in IS 3043 and complicating the safety environment.


If we go through various regulation, it is obvious that only TN-S system is capable enough to comply various safety related earthing provisions specified in the CEA safety regulation.


Actually, the type of earthing need to comply hand in hand with the type protection which in turn shall be decided based on the type of system in LT network.( That is TN-S or TN-C-S or TT)


Since this is not specified in CEA Safety or in CEA construction standards, the supply companies construct the supply system as per their whims and fancies and practically complicating the safety environment.


More over there is confusion regarding earthed neutral ( system earthing) and safety earthing ( body earthing) in the distribution network.

It is being mixed up in the supply system by mounting "bare neutral" conductors in metal cross arm without insulators and complicating the safety aspects consequent to conductor snapping. ( Return supply remain in the snapped conductor and in every metal parts due to the live source which never trips in the event of conductor snapping)


Construction of multi voltage distribution systems (33kV, 11kV & LT distribution ) in the same support ( which is very common now due availability of extra ROW) is also complicating the safety environment due to wrong conception of earthing systems followed by supply licensee in LT network.


As such, it is observed that we need to specify a system of earthing / network (TN-S or TN-C-S or TT system) with appropriate system of protection based on the level of safety requirement as per the present public demand and requirements.


And it is observed that TN-S system is best suited for the present requirement.


Mr. Mukul Kumar added that in the upcoming regulation (which is under drafting), the systems will be simplified to that it will be easy to understand and follow.

 

Question 4:


Regulation 30,31, 33 and 40 Testing (Periodic testing, Initial testing, Testing by the consumer and testing by supplier while reconnecting).


For Low voltage consumer premise, how these tests are practically carried out and by whom.


Answer

Answered by Shri. S Appavoo and Shri. Jameskutty Thomas


Due to the shortage of infrastructure, the tests as per the regulations are rarely conducted in Low Voltage consumer premise.


Number of deliberations happened in this question. Please refer the video for more information.


Conclusion "The state governments shall instruct the distribution companies to carry out the tests as per the regulation in order to reduce accidents such as electric shock hazards and fire due to short circuit. The state governments also implement Chartered Electrical Safety Engineer as per the regulation 5.A to carryout these tests at a Low voltage consumer premise".



 

Question 5:

Regulation 41 – Earthing. Two earth electrodes for neutral and two for body. Is it correct and is there is a mis interpretation, how and why??


Answer

Answered by Shri. S Appavoo, Shri. Mukul Kumar.


This regulation comes under chapter 5, which is the requirement for voltages up to 650 volt. How ever this voltage band is not existing anymore in IEC. Mr. Appavoo recommended to make the voltage as per IEC (e.g. 1000 V AC).


The sub regulation 1 explains "generating station and at the sub-station". How ever in a low voltage installation, the above wordings are not applicable.


Connections to two earthing systems can be understood for the purpose of redundancy, which can be a special requirement in India. How ever connecting to two earth electrodes are not correct and shall be carried out as per the adopted system earthing (such as TN-C-S, TN-S, TT .. etc)


Shri. Mukul Kumar added that this regulation has been simplified and the requirements as per IS3043 and IS732 are being included in the new draft.


Shri. H.H Khoja, Dy Chief Electrical Inspector, Govt of Gujarat added that this regulation to be read along with requirement of RCD. He insisted RCD a every consumer premise as the electricity supply companies are providing TT system.

 

Question 6:


Regulation 42 – RCD and its usage


Answer

Answered by Shri. Debdas Goswami and by Shri Mukul Kumar.


From the first line of this regulation which says "The supply of electricity to every electrical installation" and the second para of this regulation "Provided that such earth leakage protective device shall not be required for overhead supply lines having protective devices which are effectively bonded to the neutral of supply transformers and conforming to regulation 73" means this regulation is applicable for an installation and to be followed by the electricity supplier.


How ever further explanations such as "voltage not exceeding 250 V" and "below 2 kW" are not understood very well. As a result this regulation is being insisted in various states by the electrical inspectors for application inside an installation, which is wrong.


Shri. Mukul Kumar and Shri. L K S Rathore added that this regulation has been simplified in the new draft.


 

Question 7:


Regulation 45 (interlocks) is under chapter 6 which is applicable for above 650 volt. Inerlocks are also used for application less than 650 volt. Is this regulation applicable for LV change over as well?? How to understand the regulation.


Answer

Answered by Shri. S Appavoo


A detailed answer by Shri. S. Appavoo is added separately which can be read from this link


 

Question 8:


Regulation 74, protection against lightning (connection of Surge Arresters in High Voltage Application).


Answer

Answered by Shri. Jameskutty Thomas.


A detailed answer by Shri. Jameskutty Thomas is added separately which can be read from this link

 

Question 9:


Regulation 70 to 73 – Are they really implemented by the distribution / supply companies across India.


70 - Guarding, 71 - Service lines from overhead lines, 72 Earthing & 73 Safety and protective devices


Answer

Answered by Shri C. P. George


A detailed answer by Shri. C.P George is added separately which can be read from this link


 

Question 10:


Does the Safety regulations permits construction under overhead lines if stipulated vertical clearance is maintained?


Answer

Answered by Shri Mukul Kumar


NO it is not permitted


Shri. H.H Khoja, Dy Chief Electrical Inspector, Electrical Inspectorate, Gujarat added that when transmission lines are constructed over existing buildings, there are challenges w.r.t compliance of the regulation. This also need to be looked into.


 

Video of the panel discussion is available at



Note: This blog is not final and is subject to minor modifications.

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