Electrical Potential Transfer Through Grounding and the Concern for Facility and Worker Safety

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Electrical grounding is probably the most over-looke~ ignored, and misunderstood part of electrical energy source circuits. A faulty ground circuit am have lethal potential to the worker, can damage electrical equipment" or components, and can lead to higher consequences. For example, if the green-wire ground return circuit (in a three-wire power circuit) is fhulty or is open (someone cut the prong, etc.) a person can receive an electrical shock by touching the conductive enclosure, and the result can be lethal. If high explosives are involved m the process, sneak electrical energy paths may cause electrical threats that lead to ignition, ... continued below

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6 Pages

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Konkel, Herbert September 13, 1998.

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Description

Electrical grounding is probably the most over-looke~ ignored, and misunderstood part of electrical energy source circuits. A faulty ground circuit am have lethal potential to the worker, can damage electrical equipment" or components, and can lead to higher consequences. For example, if the green-wire ground return circuit (in a three-wire power circuit) is fhulty or is open (someone cut the prong, etc.) a person can receive an electrical shock by touching the conductive enclosure, and the result can be lethal. If high explosives are involved m the process, sneak electrical energy paths may cause electrical threats that lead to ignition, which results to higher damage consequences. Proper electrical grounding is essential to mitigate the electrical hazard and improve work place safety. A designer must ask the question, "What grounding is proper?" continuously through a process design and in its application. This question must be readdressed with any process change, including tiom layout, equipment, or procedure changes. Electrical grounding varies ilom local work area grounding to the multi-point grounding found in large industrial areas. These grounding methods become more complex when the designer adds bonding to the grounding schemes to mitigate electrostatic discharge (ESD) and surfkce potentials resulting from lightning currents flowing through the facility structure. Figure 1 shows a typical facility power distribution circuit and the current flow paths resulting ffom a lightning discharge to a facility. This paper discusses electrical grounding methods and their characteristics and identifies potential sneak paths into a process for hazardous electrical energy.

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6 Pages

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  • PSAM 4, New York, NY, 9/13/98-9/18/98

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  • Other: DE00001260
  • Report No.: LA-UR--98-1634
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1260
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc627358

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 13, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • May 16, 2016, 11:32 a.m.

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Konkel, Herbert. Electrical Potential Transfer Through Grounding and the Concern for Facility and Worker Safety, article, September 13, 1998; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627358/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.