Grounding and Bonding

Grounding is one of the most important aspects of your electrical system, and also one of the least understood. The National Electrical Code (NEC) discusses grounding extensively in section 250. This information should be followed, along with all state and local codes to ensure a safe electrical system.

None of this, however, will protect systems from power quality problems. These issues are covered by The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). IEEE produced The Green Book/ Grounding Industrial and Commercial Buildings. It presents a thorough investigation of grounding problems, and the methods of solving them.

The solution to many power quality problems is simply to ensure the quality and continuity of the ground system. Even if providing a high quality ground system doesn't solve a problem, it will certainly enhance the overall reliability of the loads once complete solutions are implemented.

It is important to recognize the difference between grounding and earthing. Grounding is the process of establishing a zero volt reference for all metallic components within a facility including the power system, and making sure the impedance of all paths is low. This is how facilities are referenced and protected.

Earthing is a process of referencing the actual dirt outside, which typically has a fairly high impedance. This is how the utility references their distribution systems.