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February 2013 ArresterNews
March 2013
Guide for Selecting an
Arrester Field Test Method
ArresterFacts 042
ArresterFacts 042              

A vital aspect of asset management on power systems is understanding the remaining life of a critical component. Predicting the life of these components while on-line or off-line is an onerous task at best. This document offers guidance when selecting the method to test surge arresters away from the lab environment. Testing surge arresters in the field is important on both transmission systems and distribution systems since they are extensively applied in both.  The various field test methods of assessing the life of arresters are reviewed.  The positive and negative attributes are discussed for all test methods.  A table that clearly contrasts the benefits of each test type based on the situation is presented.   more ...

Example of Copper Conductor in parallel with Structure Steel  

To Ground or Not To Ground,

That is the Question


I recently received the letter below from a power engineer.  He brings up a subject that has long been a question of mine also.   Do we really need an arrester ground conductor if the arrester is mounted directly to a grounded transformer tank or grounded structure.   Here is the total question in his words.

Mr. Woodworth:

We've been discussing the need for a ground pad being located within a few feet of the arrester mounting brackets on our power transformers and the question has arisen as to whether a ground lead between the arrester base and the tank wall is even necessary, provided the bolted connections between the arrester base and the transformer tank body are properly prepared.  


My opinion is that a ground lead between the arrester base and the tank wall (keeping the lead length to less than a few feet) is cheap insurance and is the best "quantifiable" surge path to the tank wall. 


Admittedly, I do believe the base-to-bracket-to-tank-wall path is probably the lowest surge impedance path, provided everything is prepared correctly.  However, the copper lead between the arrester base and the ground pad is easily made and easily inspected and results in a "known quantity". 


I have an opinion, which I will discuss in a later publication, but I am looking for your opinion...  What do you think? Is the parallel ground conductor necessary or not?
To leave a comment, send an Email to or leave it at the ArresterWorks Forum


  Mystery Photo
Extreme Arrester Location Photos
Eastern Most Arrester, Continental USA

ArresterWorks has started an online collection of photos of arresters that are located at extreme locations. We would love to show hundreds of arresters from around the world that are located in such places.  The term extreme is completely relative to the country or region in which it is located.   If you have a photo of an arrester that is located in an extreme location, share it with us and we will post it with credits to the photographer and manufacturer of the arrester.  If you can show some evidence of the location that would be good, but not necessary.   Above is the start of the collection.


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About Us
ArresterWorks is an International Consulting Firm, owned an operated by Jonathan Woodworth and Deborah Limburg, focused on assisting others in improving power system reliability through design, production and application of arresters to mitigate the effect of lightning and other transients.


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