While studying "Neutral grounding" I've come to know that advantage of neutral grounding is

  1. Voltage to ground are limited to phase voltage.
  2. The high Voltages due to arching faults or transient line to ground faults are eliminated.

And some advantages of isolated neutral

  1. Possibility of maintaining a supply even with fault on one line.

Can anybody explain me clearly these advantages of neutral and isolated grounding. I don't understand these at all.

I am attaching images of source thorough I've read these concept for reference:

enter image description here.

These are two images

  • \$\begingroup\$ The book you made pictures of, looks very close to fulfilling what I really needed. can you please write me the name of the book and the author so that I can find it? \$\endgroup\$ May 24, 2021 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AliSinaAtayee - Although this link below refers to a different edition than the one used in the question, the book seems to be: "Power System Engineering" by D P Kothari, I J Nagrath, published by McGraw-Hill Education. See the equivalent page in the 3rd edition here on Google Books. \$\endgroup\$
    – SamGibson
    May 24, 2021 at 10:06

2 Answers 2



simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

Figure 1. (a) Grounded at supply transformer secondary. (b) Isolated secondary.


  • In Figure 1a we have a grounded supply. Since one of the lines from the transformer is connected to ground the voltage on it is "neutralised" and so we have Line and Neutral.
  • If we get an earth fault at A nothing happens. The line remains neutralised. You might ask why we don't eliminate the ground wire: that's because the earth is not a reliable or particularly good conductor and resistance varies with soil conditions, etc.
  • If we get an earth fault at B we will trip a fuse or circuit breaker (not shown). The first fault will shut down the supply.


  • In Figure 1b there is no ground connection at the supply transformer.
  • If we get an earth fault at C then the setup becomes like that of (a) and operation can continue.
  • If we get an earth fault at D (not simultaneous with C above) then we have the same situation with LINE1 becoming N and LINE2 becoming live.

Fault detection

The isolated circuit means that operation can continue so the setup is "fault tolerant". This is of little use unless some indication is given that a fault has occurred and that it is scheduled to be repaired.


simulate this circuit

Figure 2. A simple earth fault detection system.

Figure 2 shows a simple earth fault detection system. In normal operation both phases will be pulled towards ground by the lamps which should glow at about half brightness.

If an earth fault occurs on LINE2 there will be no voltage across the LINE 1 FAULT lamp so it will turn off. Meanwhile the LINE1 lamp will have full voltage across it and will go to full brightness.

In power distribution systems they will use something more reliable than a lamp. They may also deliberately switch the faulted line to ground at the substation to keep it neutralised as there may be a chance the cable is lying on the ground and this would present a shock hazard to people and animals.


And some advantages of isolated neutral

  1. Possibility of maintaining a supply even with fault on one line

Power supply utility can switch off faulty line in a controlled manner, while with grounded neutral the same fault will result with tripped breakers immediately. The isolated ground system are not used in homes etc. due to safety risks (possible high voltages, arcing).


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