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The 2 Most Important Factors to Weigh When Selecting Ground Rod Material

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Oct 30, 2018 8:02:00 AM

The purpose of a grounding system is to protect people, structures and equipment, and to ensure maximum safety from electrical system faults and lightning. A vital piece of the system is the ground electrode. The overall system’s reliability is dependent on this component.

When using a ground rod for the ground electrode, the general performance or conductivity of available materials is minimal, but the service life of each material can vary by decades.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding

The Difference Between Lightning Protection and Surge Protection

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Oct 16, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Lightning is known to be the most significant source of surges—bolts have been recorded to have a million to a billion volts and between 10,000 to 200,000 amps. However, lightning only makes up a portion of all transient events in a facility.

Because transients can originate from both external sources (like lightning) and internal sources, facilities ought to have both a lightning protection system and surge protection installed.

This begs the question: what is the difference between these two systems, and how do they work together?  

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Topics: Lightning Protection, Surge Protection

How Machine Learning Is Being Applied to Smart Power Outlets [Plus More From the Electrical Engineering Industry]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Oct 2, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Electrical engineering and components of the industry’s technology are getting smarter everyday, but implementation and installation of that technology is still up to those in the field. In this curated post, see a mix of both, including the following topics:

  • How MIT engineers are using machine learning to make a power outlet that gets smarter as it’s used.
  • Why lightning protection is especially critical for wind turbines, and how to assess protection effectiveness.
  • The 14 most common reasons electrical services are red tagged.

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Topics: Lightning Protection, Industry Trends, Facility Electrical Protection

The Pros and Cons of 4 Common Ground Rod Materials

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Sep 18, 2018 8:02:00 AM

When it comes to selecting a ground rod, engineers must avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Different factors—material, soil resistivity, location, facility type, size, among others—play into the overall efficiency and service life of both the ground rod and overall grounding system.

Below we provide key considerations for ground material selection and then compare the most common types.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding

What Is the Difference Between Copper-Clad and Copper-Bonded Steel?

Posted by Martin Havelka on Sep 4, 2018 8:02:00 AM

When discussing the components in an electrical grounding system, we often hear the terms “copper-clad steel” and “copper-bonded steel” used interchangeably. Though it may seem inconsequential, each term represents a different copper plating process, in which the copper is composite on the steel core.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding

How nVent ERICO Parts Protect Architect Frank Gehry’s Unique 320,000 Brick Building From Lightning Strikes

Posted by Philip Jones on Aug 21, 2018 8:51:00 AM

Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated to be more comprehensive.

Famed architect Frank Gehry is known worldwide for his unique, contemporary style across a variety of building types. He is best known for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; and the Experience Music Project in Seattle, among other famous works.

In 2009, Gehry embarked on his next project: the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia. The building was part of a $1 billion campus renovation project and Gehry’s first time designing a building in Australia.

The building was completed in November 2012 and came in on budget at $180 million. The structure stands tall at 12 stories high, yet has only one straight column supporting the entire building. Furthermore, the longest unbroken column is only 13.98 meters (45.87 feet).

Built with approximately 320,000 bricks, builders claimed the structure to be a challenge to construct. But another challenge arose even after construction was complete: installing a functional lightning protection system to adequately safeguard such a uniquely designed building. 

Read below to learn how nVent ERICO parts were used in the installation.

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Topics: Lightning Protection

The Grounding Mistakes You Need to Avoid to Meet Code [Plus More From the Industry]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jul 31, 2018 8:03:00 AM

The concept of grounding is well known, but details in the code are allowing installers to make preventable mistakes. After a review of those grounding mistakes, we’ll overview what the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) emphasized to the public this summer. 

Then, from an inspector’s point-of-view, what was New Orleans like after Hurricane Katrina?

Keep reading below for this month’s roundup of top industry news.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding, Industry Trends

The Need for Coordinated Surge Protection to Protect Against Electrical Transient Events

Posted by Chris Barcey on Jul 17, 2018 8:07:00 AM


Grounding, bonding and lightning protection systems protect against electrical events that have potential for significant damage or downtime. These events are hopefully few and far between in the lifetime of a facility. However, lower energy transient events can occur more frequently that may go unnoticed, until one day a piece of electronic equipment stops working.

Significant damage can occur to the more robust systems as a result of lightning-induced surges resulting within a radius of several kilometers, or from repetitive switching-induced surges. Costs can range from degradation of electrical or electronic systems, to data loss and equipment destruction. Some of these costs can appear relatively minor, but the loss of an essential service or revenue associated with a facility or plant shut down can be enormous.

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Topics: Surge Protection

How Grounding and Bonding Upgrades Prevented Disasters for a Florida Radio Group [Plus More Industry News]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jul 3, 2018 8:02:00 AM

In this iteration of curated industry news, we highlight the work of a contractor in Florida who cost effectively solved a Florida Radio Group’s failing grounding and bonding system.

Then, we overview how to classify a room according to the National Electrical Code’s (NEC) hazardous locations article, and lastly present how three emerging technologies present safety issues for customers.

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Topics: Industry Trends, Facility Electrical Protection

What’s What: Grounding, Bonding and Earthing

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jun 19, 2018 1:33:46 PM

Grounding and bonding are an integral part of any modern electrical protection system design. An effective, low-imped­ance ground system is the foundation of an electrical system, regardless of structure type. It is crucial to help provide personnel safety, as well as reliable protection for vital equipment, as well as to minimize inter­ruptions of service and costly downtime. Knowing the difference between grounding, bonding and earthing is imperative to properly design and install an electrical grounding system.

But first, let’s define the terms.

  • Ground: A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.
  • Earth: The conductive mass of the earth, whose electric potential at any point is conventionally taken as equal to zero. In some countries the term "ground" is used instead of "earth."
  • Bond: The permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path that will ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct any current likely to be imposed.
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Topics: Grounding & Bonding