Project Results and Status

To date, the research has developed approximately 50 technical documents that are distilled in various forms on this Website. These include:

  • Power Point Presentations
  • Technical Commentaries on Various Related Topics
  • Case Studies
  • Industry Updates

Contact Voltage Roadmap

The intent of EPRI's initiatives surrounding the topic is to provide unbiased credible support to the proliferation of solutions related to contact voltage scenarios and to fill in gaps in areas where work has already been accomplished. By leveraging existing information and research and using this prior work as a foundation for new efforts, the many areas of concern can be systematically addressed, while avoiding duplication of efforts.

Understanding the Issues

Before developing a plan of action, it is important to first identify the range of concerns associated with stray and/or elevated voltage potentials. With a better understanding of the concerns and the magnitude of the problems, it is easier to identify areas where concerns have already been adequately addressed and areas where supplemental information and/or research can support the efforts already completed.

In all, we have identified 17 different concerns and topics of interest in five different focus areas. These concerns and topics of interest include:

  • Personnel safety related to touch potentials (mostly worker concerns related to induced voltages onto gas and water lines)
  • Animal contact area related to health and productivity impacts
  • Residential swimming pool, hot tub, and other shock hazards related to metallic objects
  • Power circuit resonance conditions creating magnified neutral-to-earth voltage potentials
  • Impacts of power-line carrier communication technologies and other transient switching devices on the magnitudes of stray voltage
  • Voltages on rail, gas, and water line installations near power line right of ways
  • Different opinions on specifications of measurement equipment, measurement protocols, and measurement durations
  • Harmonic neutral currents interfering with telecommunication circuits
  • Modeling and simulation challenges for complete distribution circuits
  • Contributions of transmission lines to elevated NEV levels at animal contact areas
  • Harmonic neutral currents interfering with the operation of signals at railroad crossings
  • Adequate understanding of impacts and benefits of mitigation techniques and of mitigation hardware
  • Energization of metallic object in urban areas
  • Development of representative models for complex soil and electric distribution configurations for underground distribution systems
  • Nonlinear impacts of voltage waveforms and voltage magnitudes on humans and animals

While research has been conducted in some of these identified areas, there tends to be a lack of consistency in terms of understanding how significant the impacts are and whether or not a specific measured value is at or below a specified "level of concern."

The EPRI Plan of Action

The proposed EPRI plan of action is to provide this single information repository and arsenal of tools suitable to address any area of interest related to contact voltage. The annual EPRI research program is ultimately directed by the project sponsors but is geared around five focus areas to include:

  • Testing and Measurement
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Information Services
  • Technology Development
  • Impact Assessments

The overall initiative is designed to assess the important concerns associated with contact voltage at human and at animal contact points by promoting consistent and repeatable assessment methodologies, hosting workshops, and creating the described information repository. These and other project efforts will be geared toward expediting problem identification and resolution.

Key work to date (and future effort) is as follows:


  • Work on studies with TVA, Southern Company, First Energy, and PSE&G.


  • Development of a comprehensive measurement protocol document.
  • Support for IEEE efforts on elevated NEV


  • Develop a modeling and simulation guidebook.
  • Support for IEEE efforts on elevated NEV.


  • Continue the Web site supplementation and update.
  • Develop new training and educational materials.
  • Test mitigation devices and measurement equipment.
  • Support IEEE efforts on elevated NEV.


  • Continue the Web site supplementation and update.
  • Start to gather NEV baseline data from various areas of the country.
  • Continue product testing efforts.
  • Develop a regulatory watch document.


  • Continue the Web site supplementation and update.
  • Promote contact voltage diagnostic theory.
  • Engage in discussions and ideas on regulatory levels of concern.
  • Continue IEEE support efforts.


  • Continue the Web site supplementation and update.
  • Identify and fill in newly identified critical gap areas.
  • Publish EPRI Contact Voltage Guidebook.
  • Continue IEEE support efforts.
  • Develop more advanced diagnostic tools.
  • Promote Lenox pool test results to industry.