It is common knowledge and a very important part of the Code that equipment and systems must be properly bonded and grounded to ensure worker and civilian safety from electric shock. There are countless avenues that engineers and installers can utilize to meet grounding and bonding requirements, but the resilience and quality of these methods are not always equal. Connections that do not last for the lifetime of the system will require regular O&M work to maintain system safety. There is limited data available to determine the required frequency of this O&M work vital to the safety of all systems from residential to utility scale.
To combat this lack of data, extensive testing has been conducted to evaluate bonding methods and aid in material and product selection to ensure the longevity and continued safety of an installation. Testing results will be shared that include product reaction to electrical, mechanical and environmental stress. Testing includes industry standard procedures as well as innovative multi-stress sequences applied to a variety of products made from substantially different materials. Results provided will aid in informed decision making in both system design and on system maintenance scheduling.
Viewers of the poster will take away knowledge of the importance of properly bonding and grounding systems as well as the variety of products available to meet their needs. They will also be informed on the environmental stress that systems are exposed to and innovative methods for the accelerated evaluation of materials through exposure to these environmental factors. Mechanical and electrical stress evaluation will inform viewers on the importance of products being able to hold up to harsh conditions without diminishing their functionality or the safety of a system.
An additional section of the research and poster presents the viability of utilizing existing bonding and grounding technologies in new spaces such as energy storage systems. Grounding and bonding in these systems is extremely important given the capacitance available in the event of a ground fault. The poster will explore technologies that solar professionals are already familiar with and can be applied to this new area with slight modifications.
All solar professionals can benefit from viewing and analyzing the information to be provided on this poster. Manufacturers will benefit from new product testing methods and information on an emerging market. Engineers and installers will benefit from information on resilience of existing technologies and potential new applications.
Kurt Naugler– Product Engineer, Burndy LLC (Wiley)