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What is Soil Resistivity and How Does it Affect Grounding?

Posted by Kristen Sermersheim on Feb 19, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Proper grounding proves to be an important issue when designing and installing power and lightning protection systems. The goal of any grounding system is to provide a low-impedance path for fault and lightning-induced currents to enter the earth, ensuring maximum safety from electrical system faults and lightning. 

A properly installed grounding system not only helps protect buildings and equipment from damage caused by unintentional fault currents or lightning surges, but more importantly, it also protects people.

Grounding is a very complex subject. The proper installation of grounding systems requires knowledge of national and international standards, grounding conductor materials and compositions, and grounding connections and terminations.  However, designers and installers of grounding systems should not overlook another important factor—soil conditions.

Below, we explore what soil resistivity is, how it is determined and the ways in which grounding systems are affected by various soil resistivity.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding

An Innovative nVent Ground Conductor On Track in Metro Railways Throughout China

Posted by The nVent Rail Team on Nov 27, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Editor's note: This post was originally published on the nVent Rail and Transit Blog. Click below to find more industry news and specific solutions for rail.

nVent ERICO provides a variety of solutions for earthing (grounding) and bonding across many industries, including rail. Earthing systems are a critical part of railway safety, protecting passengers and the public from electrical shock by preventing electrical voltages in the network where they shouldn't be. Railways have complex electrical infrastructures, and—in addition to public safety—robust grounding systems protect mission-critical equipment from costly damage.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding, Railway Solutions

What Is The Difference Between a Code, Standard, Regulation and Specification in the Electrical Industry?

Posted by Andrew Ritosa on Nov 13, 2018 8:02:00 AM

In the electrical field, engineers, contractors and others must refer to different standards, codes and more to do their work. But have you ever considered the differences between a code and a standard? Or, what about how those are entirely different than specifications or regulations?

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding, Engineering

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 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

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

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

Finally, an Explanation of Earthing vs. Grounding [Plus More Industry News]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jun 5, 2018 8:02:00 AM

The nVent ERICO team is committed to keeping up with the latest developments involving facility electrical protection. To provide you with the most relevant and interesting industry news and information, we’ll curate our favorites and recap them in posts like these.

This week, we recap three articles for subscribers and those in the industry.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding, Industry Trends

Why a Proper Grounding System Is the Key to Effective Lightning Protection

Posted by Brian Liederbach on Apr 10, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Lightning currents inherently want to ground—whether the proper systems are in place or not. A lightning strike, which is intercepted by an air terminal, must have its current transferred to the earth safely and seamlessly. 

The grounding system is the integral part of a modern electrical lightning protection system that must be dependable for this process. 

Without an effective grounding system in place, dangerous ground faults, side flashes and electronic noise can occur, causing damage to structures, fires or personal injury.

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Topics: Lightning Protection, Grounding & Bonding