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.