Strategic Inspection and Assessment for Energy Industries

Aside from our expertise in the field of engineering and consulting, OrionMagnetics, LLC. also offers field services to our local and international clients. We currently travel throughout North America and other countries to serve more individuals and companies needing our services.


Grounding System and Grid Assessments

Our knowledge in the area of grounding system evaluations is exceptional in the electric power industry. We have invested a lot in this area, especially in terms of resources, test equipment, and techniques since these are important components of our business.

The Process

Unlike testing devices and equipment where test techniques and protocols are fixed and acceptable values are documented, testing of grounding systems is handled differently. Every grounding system is unique and has adverse levels of challenges. For these reasons, all testing and evaluations will only be conducted by an experienced engineer from OrionMagnetics, LLC. to ensure quality and performance.

What We Offer

Here is a partial list of services that we offer in the area of grounding system assessments:

  • Step and touch potential measurements and qualifications using human body simulators. Our evaluations can be done according to the following standards:
  • CENELEC HD 637 S1
  • IEEE 80
  • IEC 60479, 61201
  • High-current ground impedance (also referred to as ground resistance) measurements
  • Ground Potential Rise (GPR) evaluations as a function of distance
  • Ground conductor integrity testing (µΩ) using high-current dc
  • Telecommunications site evaluations
  • Equipotential plane/zone evaluations
  • Hybrid evaluations using computer models and test data to evaluate grounding system performance

Soil Resistivity Measurements

The fundamental basis of designs and studies of grounding systems comes from soil resistivity data. If test practices were improperly handled, a profound impact on the quality of data may affect the design and study results. It is for this reason that only trained engineers with knowledge and skills in understanding soil models can perform our measurements.

How We Do It

OrionMagnetics, LLC. uses geological survey equipment in performing all resistivity measurements. It is due to the reason that the output power capability (400 volts, 800 watts minimum) and accuracy of these units are generally superior to other soil resistivity meters. This capacity is needed for working in highly resistive soils and rock that are traversing over long distances.

Producing Reliable Results

We guarantee that our measurements will be performed with multiple iterations. This includes having a standard deviation between iterations that is at or below 0.2% and are free from the effects of conductive interference. All measurement data will be compiled and rendered to our clients in both standard report and electronic spreadsheet format for convenient transfer to software applications.

Request Any Protocol or Interpretation Service

We can provide measurements using any protocol you prefer, like the Wenner 4-Pin Method, Schlumberger, and Dipole-Dipole. For clients who are interested in knowing the depths, number of layers, and resistivity values of their soil, we also offer data interpretation services to keep you informed.

Sequence Impedance Measurements

The sequence impedances (positive – Z1 and zero – Z0) of overhead lines and underground cables are important attributes of electric power systems. This is because the accuracy and performance of protective relay systems, load-flow applications, and energy management systems depend on the impedances’ accuracy.

A lot of engineers and systems use sequence impedance values that have been computed from software models of overhead and underground lines. Also, there are several commercial software applications that use this feature. However, in most cases, software cannot accurately model the zero-sequence component due to the irregular composition of the earth in different locations.

It is not uncommon to have the soil model change several times throughout the length of an overhead transmission line. There are also the innate obstructions of buried conductive objects that can also impact the zero-sequence component. As a result, the zero-sequence component can be a moving target and an impracticality to accurately identify with simple software tools.

The result of not accurately characterizing the zero-sequence component is manifested in the performance of distance relay schemes. Since most of the faults on electric power systems are faults to the ground, it is important to get a zero-sequence value that closely represents the circuit line. With this, over and under-reaching operations of the relay scheme will be avoided.

A simple and accurate alternative to modeling overhead and underground lines are direct measurements of the sequence impedances. While the equipment used to get these values are advanced, the actual test is quick and safe for other parts of the power system. In addition, approximately one hour is all that is required for the outage on the line or cable system.

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Electromagnetic Interference and Disturbance Investigations

Our staff at OrionMagnetics, LLC. have a strong background in electronics and power quality. The experience that we had has allowed us to excel in the broad field of electromagnetic interference and disturbance investigations. These two terms encompass many types of anomalies that can occur in electric power systems, and we are present to provide solutions to these issues.

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Accomplished Areas of Expertise

  • Electric Contacts/Accident Investigations
  • AMI metering disturbances and misoperations
  • Transmission line hardware failures, poles fires, dry soil conditions around structures
  • High neutral voltage, stray voltages
  • Induced voltages from transmission and distribution sources onto railroads, gas and petroleum pipelines, fences, guardrails, buildings, etc.
  • Electrical anomalies occurring with equipment within substations, transmission switchyards, and generating stations
  • Electrical arcing between components of a grounding system
  • Measurements of Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)

Transmission System Integrity Audits

Various transmission outages in the past have prompted regulatory agencies to be more rigid in the requirements of maintaining and operating transmission systems. OrionMagnetics, LLC. takes pride in having a suitable and reputable background in terms of third-party field audits of transmission systems.

What We Can Do

Some of the services that we offer in this area include:

  • Inspection of overhead facilities, including hardware inspections, measurement of footing resistances, and comprehensive structure grounding evaluations
  • Station evaluations that include inspections and testing of the grounding system, control house inspections and grounding evaluations, security audits, equipment inspections
  • Underground cable system evaluations that include testing thermal resistivity of soils and thermal rating methodology, test methodology, grounding and bonding inspection of cables and vaults
  • Fault analysis and circuit breaker fault interrupting audits

Partner With OrionMagnetics, LLC.

Our firm’s knowledge and experience in the field enable us to be efficient in our craft. Contact us today for questions about our inspections and audits. We will be glad to discuss our services with you.