Earthing is the method of transmitting instant electricity discharge directly to the ground through low resistance wires or electrical cables. It is basically a system designed to protect electrical wires and components from damage caused by sudden electrical power surges. Earthing systems also prevent personnel from electrical shocks in the event of a short circuit.
Regardless of system voltage, earthing is required on all solar PV power plants. Its main purpose is to reduce the risk of dangerous electrical shocks to the installer or the user from uninsulated metal parts of a plant. There are two common types of earthing done in solar PV power plants:
- Equipment earthing – The basic objective of equipment earthing is human safety by preventing the surge of current to an unsafe level. In this metallic body of equipment / devices is connected to the grounding grid to prevent electric shocks to any personnel touching that equipment or device.
- System earthing – The system earthing is also referred to as neutral earthing. Under this, neutral of the electrical system is directly connected to the earth.
Earthing in a solar PV power plant
A rooftop solar power plant earthing is usually divided into two parts based on its electrical construction, AC side and DC side.
- DC Earthing – These parts cover the equipment in the DC side of the electrical circuit, such as PV modules, module mounting structures, DC junction box, DC Monitoring Box (if any), etc.
- AC Earthing – These parts cover the equipment in the AC side of the electrical circuit, such as solar Inverter, LT/HT Panels, LT distribution box, etc.
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