SERPAT Project
An innovative project to minimise risks in grounding methods
Elewit and Red Eléctrica are committed to developing SERPAT, an advanced solution to improve worker safety in substations
Elewit and Red Eléctrica are committed to developing SERPAT, an advanced solution to improve worker safety in substations

Grounding processes are common in the electricity sector, especially in work carried out in substations. Specifically, earth electrodes, also known as ground connections, link electrically live elements with the earth so that, in the event of any type of incident or discharge from the atmosphere, the energy flows towards the ground to be diverted or absorbed, thus avoiding contact with people.

Their importance lies in ensuring the safety of people, protecting equipment and systems, regulation compliance and maintaining the stability of the electricity supply. Neglecting the implementation of a proper grounding process may result in serious consequences for people's safety, as well as the safety of assets and the electricity system.

Therefore, in order to increase the safety of the grounding process in substations, a multidisciplinary team formed by members of various Red Eléctrica departments has designed two tools which significantly improve the current grounding processes. With a view to implementing these tools in the business, its inventors, in collaboration with the Department of Occupational Safety at Redeia and Elewit, developed an innovative project called SERPAT in 2020, which aims to improve and develop the tools currently in use.

SERPAT (Sistema Ergonómico de Puesta a Tierra), our Ergonomic Grounding System, consists of a set of two devices designed to safely and ergonomically carry out the job of applying and removing portable earth electrodes, thus minimising the risks inherent in this activity.

In December 2021, tests were carried out at the Galapagar substation, validating its benefit and differentiating it from traditional or marketed methods.

Throughout the project, it has been demonstrated that SERPAT improves the methods currently used for grounding in substations and enables the earth electrodes to be applied at higher points, without the need for lifting equipment and maintaining the safety measures at all times, providing technicians with greater control and requiring less effort.

What are SERPAT's benefits?

The benefits of this innovative solution for electricity substations are as follows:

  1. Reduces physical strain by eliminating the need to handle uncontrollable weights at height.
  2. Eliminates risks of imbalance and error with adjacent bays.
  3. It has a system suitable for heights over 7 metres, therefore avoiding the need for down conductors.
  4. It uses clamps with safety keys that minimise the risk of human error due to disconnection in the wrong order.
  5. It can be replicated in other companies in the sector.