Grounding Systems

Grounding systems are of great importance to ensure the safety of personnel, equipment, facilities and assets of companies.

In Procainsa we are specialized in the implementation of high performance grounding systems, especially in high resistivity areas (rocky areas, mountainous areas, tunnels, etc.) and in conditions of high corrosivity (brackish water level, sea water, etc.).

We develop initial assessment and engineering (including resistivity survey) to implement specific solutions of grounding systems with low resistance value.

Our company is linked to the electrical protections sector and has developed some types of grounding systems to improve substantially the conventional grounding systems.

Grounding using star plates or plates are installed in artificial soil based on the ditch of 2 to 3 m³ and filling with vegetable soil and other additives to reduce the resistivity of the soil (Ledoux management).

The grounding values obtained at these installations can be considered as acceptable for high resistivity ground. Due to the lack of soil compaction, these values shall be improved after installation and remaining stable for 5 to 10 years

Spikes or javelins constitute the most widespread grounding system due to their easy installation. Considering that the introduction of these is done by driving, the grounding resistance values are obtained immediately, and are better than those of the plate system.
However, these values should be understood as exclusively circumstantial, since due to the effect of corrosion on the steel, the rate of loss of initial resistance is very rapid, and even more so, when the quality of the copper or zinc coatings has deteriorated. reducing or deteriorating during the driving process.

The formation of the rigid graphite electrode in the form of an anode, with a filler activator-conductor to improve the intimacy with the ground, makes this grounding system highly reliable. As it is an electrode made entirely of graphite, it is not intensely affected by corrosion unlike what happens with metals.

Regarding the values of remote resistance in grounding in soils of different resistivities, its behavior is very similar or even better to that of star plates, and much better than that of conventional javelins. At the same time, the evolution of these values over time is unbeatable given its low rate of wear due to corrosion, and therefore its useful life is in principle unlimited compared to traditional systems. Thus, the very nature of the electrode, its dimensions and the surrounding conductive activator mean that it does not need any maintenance (watered or mineralized) as common in other systems.

Due to all these characteristics, the rigid graphite electrode is ideal for superficial and deep grounding since it guarantees long durability and more than acceptable performance.

Zinc spikes constitute an ideal solution for cathodic protection against corrosion of grounding systems when they are made up of galvanized steel conductors. They also prevent the galvanic couples so common in grounding systems of steel structures (buried tanks, or bases of aerial tanks) compared to bare copper conductors.

The recent MIE-ITC-01 and MIE-ITC-02 standards require the installation of grounding with a galvanized steel conductor (or insulated copper) and Zinc spikes in refineries and fuel storage tank farms. These technical considerations can be extended to facilities such as gas stations (MIE-ITC-04), chemical plants, etc.

The main characteristics of these pikes are:

  • Good performance due to its low electrical resistance.
  • Large dispersion surface and good intimacy with the terrain since they are presented with
    bag filled with bentonite-based activator-conductor.
  • Easy handling and easy installation by any user.
  • Possibility of determining their state of degradation without digging them up.

PICRÓN electrodes have been designed for high-performance grounding systems, especially for deep or semi-deep grounding, in swampy terrain, with high water tables (deltaic areas) and even in very aggressive waters (marine environments or directly in sea water), for high and low voltage electrical installations, lightning rods, and computer or robotics equipment.

PICRON electrodes can be considered the grounding system with the greatest guarantee and stability on the market.

Its main features are:

  • Unlimited duration (life >30 years), due to its minimal degradation due to corrosion.
  • They can be used as single electrodes or chain electrodes, for installation in vertical boreholes with diameters of 160 x 3000 mm, or they can be installed
    directly deposited on marine sediments.

Zero maintenance, as they do not require periodic watering to establish their conductivity

To avoid the corrosive problems derived from the Cu-Fe galvanic pairs between conventional bare copper grounding and the steel of the meshes, at Procainsa we have developed combined grounding systems with Picrón electrodes and bare galvanized steel cable.

In large buildings, normally with floors at levels well below the ground surface and already within groundwater levels, it is very difficult to build conventional perimeter grounding. The solution provided by Procainsa consists of the distribution of Picrón electrodes below the slab (hardware, lightning rods, services, elevators, etc.), connected to the galvanized steel cable that is installed inside the slab before concreting. The neutral is connected to a dedicated Picron electrode connected directly by insulated cable.

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