AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/2004ATT-TP-76416-001Grounding and Bonding forNetwork Facilities – Design FundamentalsThis document reviews the concepts that influence the design of grounding and bondingsystems. This is not, however, a standard for engineering and installation. For design andinstallation requirements, refer to ATT-TP-76416, ATT-TP-76300 and ATT-TP-76400.Audience: All network employeesEffective Date: 2/01/2004Issue Date: Issue 1, 02/01/2004Expires On: NARelated Documents: ATT-TP-76416 (Grounding and Bonding Requirements for NetworkFacilities)Cancelled Documents: ATT-812-000-027, ATT-812-000-028Issuing Department: NP & E, Enterprise Technology Support – Common SystemsBusiness Unit: AT&T Services, Inc.Points of Contact:Author(s):Chuck Slavin, 775-333-3948 SBCUID: cs2416 2003 AT&T Management Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved.i

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/2004INTRODUCTIONThis document reviews the concepts that influence the design of grounding and bondingsystems. This document was previously numbered ATT-812-000-028, Issue 0, May 2003.REASON FOR REISSUEIssue1-DateDescription of Changes02/01/2004 a) Convert ATT 812-000-028 to ATT-TP-76416-001; b)miscellaneous clarifications, revisions and additions assummarized in Annex B.-There are no previous issues of this document. 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.1AuthorCS2416

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/2004Table of ContentsSection .Page1.0 PURPOSE .42.0 SCOPE .43.0 DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS .44.0 DESIGN OBJECTIVES .45.0 GROUNDING COMPONENT CHARACTERISTICS .45.1 Grounding Electrodes .55.2 Bus Bars .55.2.1 Central Office Ground (COG) .55.2.2 Main Ground Bus (MGB) .65.2.3 Office Principal Ground Point (OPGP) .65.3 Wire 65.3.1 Construction.75.3.2 Plating .75.3.3 Gauge .75.3.4 Insulation .85.3.5 Impedance .85.4 Equipment Frames.105.5 Bonds.105.5.1 Direct Bonds.115.5.2 Indirect Bonds .135.5.3 Direction of Wire Bends .146.0 GROUNDING DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS .156.1 Facility Ground Reference .196.1.1 Underground Water Pipe Electrode .196.1.2 Building Steel Electrode.196.1.3 Concrete Encased Electrode .196.1.4 Ground Rod Electrode.206.1.5 Ground Ring Electrode.206.1.6 Ground Ring Electrode (AT&T).206.1.7 Lightning Protection Electrode.216.2 Ground Reference Equalization .216.2.1 OPGP.226.2.2 AC Power .226.2.3 Cable Entrance Facility (CEF) .246.3 Ground Reference Distribution .256.3.1 Vertical Riser .256.3.2 COG .256.3.3 Horizontal Equalizer.266.3.4 Grounding vs Bonding .266.4 Ground Reference Applications .266.4.1 CBN .266.4.2 IBN .286.4.3 DC Power .326.5 Wire Selection .32 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.2

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/20046.5.1 NEC.326.5.2 Fault Current.336.5.3 Withstand Current.376.5.4 Lightning Current.396.6 Other Considerations .406.6.1 Fuse Open Current.406.6.2 Skin Effect.406.6.3 Flash Over.41ANNEX A.42ANNEX B.44ANNEX C.45 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.3

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/20041.0 PURPOSEATT-TP-76416 (Grounding and Bonding Requirements for Network Facilities) providesinformation about the who, what, where and how of bonding and grounding. It does not providemuch information about why the requirements are specified as they are. This document isintended to address design issues that can impact the performance of bonding and groundingsystems and explain, as much as possible, the derivation of our current standards.2.0 SCOPEThe scope is the same as specified in Section 1.2 of ATT-812-000-027 (Grounding and BondingRequirements for Network Facilities). ATT-812-000-027 is the reference for engineering andinstallation standards. This document (ATT-812-000-028) is instructional in nature and notintended to specify engineering or installation requirements.3.0 DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMSSee ATT-TP-76416 for definitions and acronyms that appear in this document. Networkacronyms can be found in ATT-000-000-020, Network Acronyms Dictionary.4.0 DESIGN OBJECTIVESThe bonding and grounding infrastructure within a facility containing sensitive electronicequipment is one of the most important and least understood aspects of facility design.Properly designed and maintained grounding systems are necessary to assure the safety ofpersonnel, to protect the facility from fire and equipment malfunction, to create an environmentwith low levels of electrical noise and, to varying degrees, to provide protection against lightning.Bonding and grounding systems are used in telecommunications installations to accomplish thefollowing objectives: Personnel Safety - Maintain low, equalized voltage potentials among frames,cabinets, ironwork and other conductive components. By limiting the potentialdifferences, current flow is limited and the possibility of electrical shock due to normaloperation, power faults, electrostatic discharge and lightning strikes is minimized.Equipment Protection - Provide engineered fault current paths of sufficient currentcarrying capacity and low impedance to allow over-current protective devices tooperate in a timely manner and to eliminate excessive conductor heating.Equipment Operation - Provide a common voltage reference for connectedequipment.Network Reliability - Provide a high-quality grounding infrastructure that resistsdeterioration, inadvertent disconnection and requires minimal maintenance.Noise Mitigation - Reduce noise and electromagnetic interference produced by thetelecommunication installation.5.0 GROUNDING COMPONENT CHARACTERISTICSThis section describes the physical construction and function of major grounding systemcomponents. 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.4

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/20045.1 Grounding ElectrodesGrounding is a matter of bringing all of the bonded equipment to the potential of the surroundingearth. Ground potential is established by means of one or more electrodes buried in the earthand connected together.This "ground reference" is then extended to the OPGP and throughout the network installationvia a network of conductors, connectors and buses provided for the purpose. The intent is toprovide a common ground reference throughout the network.It is important to note, however, that this ground reference potential is not necessarily the samein all parts of a grounding electrode system. In a network installation, a difference of potentialbetween different points on the ground planes is unavoidable. This is because DC power plantssupply current to equipment throughout the installation and current constantly flows back to thebatteries or rectifiers over ground conductors.Depending on the impedance of the current return path and the magnitude of current flow, adifference of potential will exist between the originating and terminating points of a ground path.Under normal operating conditions, the CO GRD system is expected to maintain groundpotential differential of less than one volt between any two points on the ground system.5.2 Bus BarsBus bars provide a convenient means to connect multiple conductors together. They areusually made of un-tinned copper, typically ¼” thick, 4” wide and as long as necessary toaccommodate anticipated terminations. Bus bars are given different names to identify how theyare used. When un-tinned bus bars are used, the surface must be burnished to a bright finishand coated with an anti oxidant before terminations are made.5.2.1 Central Office Ground (COG)The COG bus bar is required on every equipment floor. The COG is an extension of the OPGPground reference and associated vertical riser. The COG serves as the primary groundreference on each floor and is provided as a more convenient point of attachment (rather thanbonding directly to the vertical riser). The COG bus is located on a steel column that serves as avertical equalizer or, when a wire conductor serves as the vertical equalizer, on a column or wallthat best serves the requirements of the physical design of the building. In the later case, thebond between the vertical equalizer and the COG should be as short as practical but no longerthan 20 feet. All grounding conductors on each floor must have a reliable electrical path back tothe COG.The COG can serve equipment within 200 conductor feet of the vertical riser to which the COGis attached (see Figure 5.1). This 200’ restriction is a generic guideline and is based on theneed to provide a low resistance fault current path for the operation of fuses and breakers.Section 6 will provide sample calculations that illustrate the correlation between this 200’limitation and calculation of fault current.If equipment is placed beyond 200 conductor feet from the vertical riser, a second COG shouldbe installed on all floors that exceed this 200’ limit along with a second vertical equalizer thatoriginates at the OPGP. The COGs are connected with a 750kcm horizontal equalizer on everythird floor in order to limit the potential difference between any two grounded objects to 1/2 voltor less during normal operation.The ideal location for the COG is in the center of the equipment floor (to maximize the areaserved) and near the MDF (to provide a short discharge path for protectors). 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.5

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/20045.2.2 Main Ground Bus (MGB)The MGB is part of the common bonding network (CBN) and provides the single connectionbetween the CBN and the isolated bonding network (IBN). The IBN is electrically insulated fromcontact with any other grounded metal except at the MGB.There are other metal conductors - normally part of the CBN - that exist within the IBN. Theseinclude anchor bolts, frames, superstructure and conduits. IBN equipment must be insulatedfrom these conductors to prevent formation of current loops.Figure 5.1 illustrates the distance relationships between the vertical riser, the COG, MGB andgrounded equipment frames. The distances are in conductor feet and apply equally to the CBNor IBN environment. It is important to note that the physical placement of equipment will bemore restrictive than the 200 conductor feet shown in Figure 5. 1. This is because groundingconductors are routed along aisles and perpendicular to aisles and results in a longer path thanif a direct route (“as the crow flies”) was used.MGBMGB location 100 conductorfeet from VRCOG location 20 conductorfeet from VRVRCOGCBN / IBN equipmentplacement 200conductor feet from VREQUIPMENTFigure 5.1(Distance Limits of COG, MGB and Equipment Frames)5.2.3 Office Principal Ground Point (OPGP)The OPGP is, as the name implies, the main ground reference for the building. The OPGP iswhere the ground reference sources (building electrodes, AC ground reference, OSP groundreference) are tied together to provide one ground reference for the building.5.3 WireCopper wire used for grounding in a central office environment is typically stranded, tinned,insulated or not insulated, will vary from #6AWG to 750kcm in size and is plated with an anticorrosive metal. Wire smaller than #6AWG may be used to connect network elements(equipment shelves) to the CO ground system. However, as will be seen in section 6, a #6AWG is based upon expected fault current from an equipment frame and NEC requirements.The upper limit of 750 kcm is based on physical size, weight and general availability - althoughoccasionally a 1000 kcm will be installed. 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.6

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/2004Wire used for below ground applications is usually solid, non-insulated, #2AWG and also plated.Copper wire characteristics are described below and summarized in Table 5.1.Aluminum is not a good grounding conductor as it forms non-conducting oxides very rapidlywhen exposed to air, expands more than copper when heated and has a higher galvanicreaction when bonded to steel.5.3.1 ConstructionStranded construction consists of combining several small gauge, solid wires into a single largergauge conductor. The first layer of strands around a center conductor is typically made of sixconductors. The second layer – if used – is made of 12 additional conductors, the third layer – ifused – consists of 18 additional conductors. Thus, stranded wires are composed of 7, 19, 37stands, in continuing fixed increments.The individual wires in a stranded conductor are usually twisted together and are not insulatedfrom each other. Stranding makes the wire more pliable and easier to install and the spacebetween individual strands makes the wire easier to crimp. Solid wires are not as susceptible tocorrosion as stranded wires and, as a result, are more suitable for buried applications.Figure 5.2(Stranded & Solid Wire)5.3.2 PlatingBare copper conductors will oxidize from exposure to the atmosphere and will form copperoxide on the surface. Oxidation and other types of corrosion are accelerated by the presence ofheat and moisture. The oxide film is a poor conducting material and must be removed frombonded surfaces to assure a good, reliable connection. To prevent corrosion and improvetermination reliability, copper is coated with a metal that is less susceptible to oxidation andcorrosion. Silver, nickel and tin are the most frequently used coatings with tin being the leastexpensive and most prevalent. Plated or tinned copper wire, lugs, connectors and bus bars willtypically have a minimum 20 micro-inch coating of tin. Tinned conductors have marginallyhigher resistance than the equivalent non-tinned conductor. The data in Table 5.1 is for tinnedconductors.5.3.3 GaugeAn increase in the diameter or cross section of a wire decreases its resistance and increases itscapacity to carry current. Two designations are used to specify conductor size, American WireGauge (AWG) and circular mil. AWG varies in size from 56, the smallest, to 0000 (or 4/0), thelargest. AWG sizes were arbitrarily selected so the next larger size would have a crosssectional area 26% larger than the previous size.A change in three “AWG” conductor sizes results in a doubling of cross sectional area and ahalving of conductor resistance. For example, referring to column 2b and column 3 of Table5.1, the area of a 1/0 AWG wire is half the area and twice the resistance of a 4/0 AWG wire. 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.7

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/2004A mil is 0.001 inches and a circular mil (cmil) is defined as the cross-sectional area of aconductor with a diameter of 1 mil. One thousand cmils is abbreviated “1kcmil” (or 1kcm).Column 2b gives the area of widely used grounding conductors in kcm.Since the area of a circle (A πD2/4) varies according to the square of the diameter, a doublingof the wire diameter will increase the area by a factor of 4.Wire sizes larger than a #4/0 AWG are given as kcm and generally range from 250 kcm to 1000kcm. Kcm wire sizes get larger with larger numbers. In contrast, AWG wire sizes get smallerwith larger numbers.5.3.4 InsulationBesides the obvious benefit of providing electrical isolation, insulation also provides physicalprotection for the copper wire and eliminates strand separation at locations were the wire makesa bend. Wire insulation is based on Telcordia General Requirements, GR- 347. Wireinsulation adversely affects the ability of a conductor to dissipate heat. This results in lowerampacity ratings for insulated wire than for non-insulated wire used in equivalent applications.Non-insulated wire is specified for grounding electrode applications (below ground) as itprovides additional electrical contact with the earth.Wire is first covered with a layer of Hypalon (a polyethylene) insulation. Hypalon has goodresistance to most chemicals, oil, heat and abrasion. Wire that is larger than #6 AWG is thenwrapped with a polyester tape. All wires used in our grounding infrastructure (#6 AWG to750kcm) have an outside cover of cotton braid that is saturated with a heat, moisture and flameretardant compound and then coated with lacquer. The polyester tape helps to keep the cottonbraid from gripping into the Hypalon insulation and makes it easier to strip the insulation fromthe conductor.5.3.5 ImpedanceImpedance is the measure of the degree to which an electric circuit resists electric-current flowwhen a voltage is impressed across its terminals. Impedance (Z), expressed in ohms, is theratio of the voltage impressed across a pair of terminals to the current flow between thoseterminals: Z V/I and includes the effect of inductance and capacitance.The predominant power sources in our network facilities are DC and low frequency AC (i.e.,commercial AC). Most calculations of ground circuit impedance can ignore the effect ofinductance and capacitance when considering DC and low frequency AC issues. However,when lightning current enters a grounding system, the very fast rise time and subsequent decayof the lightning strike requires treatment of the lightning strike as a high frequency AC current.During lightning strikes, ground circuit impedance is a function of resistance and inductivereactance, both measured in ohms. The effects of capacitive reactance can generally beignored. To design an effective ground system, it is important to be aware of the relative effectsof resistance and inductive reactance. ResistanceIn order for power board and BDFB fuses to operate in a timely manner, it is important that theDC resistance of the fault current path not exceed design limits. DC resistance is dependent onlength, cross-sectional area and whether or not the conductor is tinned. Values for the DCresistance of common ground wires are shown in column 3 of Table 5.1 Fault currentcalculations are described more completely in section 6.In AC circuits, resistance is dependent on the same physical characteristics as DC resistancebut it is also dependent on frequency. The influence of frequency is normally not a 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.8

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/2004consideration for the low frequencies of commercial power but is a consideration for the highfrequency components of lightning current. See skin effect in Section 6.6.2. The AC resistance(at 1MHz) for common ground wires is shown in column 4 of Table 5.1. These values rangefrom 5 times to 67 times the comparable DC resistance values. InductanceInductance is the property of an electric circuit that opposes any change in electric current.Inductance is designated by the letter “L” and is measured by the “henry” or, more conveniently,micro henries. In CO grounding systems, inductance is a property of every grounding conductor.Sharp turns or bends should be avoided in grounding systems to minimize the inductivereactance that is introduced by lightning or other fast transient waveforms. It is common to thinkof inductance as being associated with a coil of wire. However, even a straight length of wirewill have inductance.This self-inductance for a single conductor can be approximated by the formula:L 2*Lc*(ln(4L/D) - 0.75)where " L" is the inductance in micro henries, "Lc" is the length of the conductor in cm, "D" is theconductor diameter in cm and "ln" is the natural logarithm. This is the formula used to estimatethe inductance of wires listed in columns 5a, 5b and 5c of Table Inductive ReactanceThe impact of inductive reactance at high frequencies can be demonstrated by comparing theDC resistance and inductive reactance for a #6 AWG wire. The DC resistance for 10 feet of#6AWG wire is 0.00427 ohms (column 3 times 10) while the inductive reactance for the samewire at 1Mhz is 24 ohms (column 6a) – over 5000 times as large. This is why there is so muchemphasis on reducing inductance in our grounding infrastructure by using the shortest possiblewire routes and minimizing all bends.Inductive reactance is proportional to the applied frequency and will increase as the frequencyincreases. 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.9

AT&T Practice1SizeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, (ZL) @ 1MHz5a5b5cSelf Inductance (L) inmicroHenries for conductorlengths of 10', 100' & 200'6a6b6c7Inductive Reactance Short Circuit(ZL) in Ohms @ 1MHzwithstandcurrent atfor lengths of 10', 100'& 200'2500C(AWG)Diam (in)Area(kcm)(milliohms/ft) (milliohms/ft) .6540.5589.5617255562107590Table 5.1(Copper Wire Characteristics)5.4 Equipment FramesThe equipment frame is a key component of the overall grounding infrastructure. Typically,network elements consist of multiple circuit packs that are mounted in a shelf or chassis.The ground lead or pin within the circuit pack will make a connection with the backplane of theshelf or chassis and the shelf or chassis, in turn, is bonded to the equipment frame with either adirect or indirect bond. Finally, the steel equipment frame is bonded to the groundinginfrastructure with a #6 AWG or #1/0 AWG wire.Unless a stranded bay ground lead (SBGL) is used, the steel equipment frame will be part of thegrounding path. Although a steel frame is not nearly as good a conductor as copper wire, thecross sectional area of the frame uprights is approximately 6 times that of a #6 AWG copperwire. The end result is that a 7-foot vertical upright has approximately the same electricalresistance as an 8-foot, #6 AWG copper wire.5.5 BondsBonding refers to the process by which a low impedance path for the flow of current isestablished between two or more metallic objects. In most electronic systems, numerousinterconnections between metallic objects must be made in order to provide electric power,minimize electric shock hazards, provide lightning protection, establish references for electronicsignals, etc. Bonding is simply a matter of connecting all grounded electrical and metallicobjects together in order to establish a single electrical potential. When everything is at thesame electrical potential, no current will flow between objects. This protects both people andequipment. 2004-2005 AT&T Knowledge Ventures All rights reserved.10

AT&T PracticeAT&T-TP-76416-001Issue 1, 02/01/2004Bonding is concerned with the techniques and procedures necessary to achieve a mechanicallystrong, low impedance interconnection between metal objects and to prevent the path fromsubsequent deterioration through corrosion or mechanical looseness. In terms of the results tobe achieved, bonding is necessary for: Protection of equipment and personnel from the hazards of lightningDischarges;Establishment of low impedance fault current paths;Establishment of homogeneous and stable paths for signal currents;Minimization of radio frequency potentials on enclosures and housings;Protection of personnel from shock hazards arising from accidental powergrounds, andPrevention of static charge accumulation.With proper design and implementation, bonds minimize differences in potential between pointswithin the fault protection, signal reference, shielding, and lightning protection networks of anelectronic system. Poor bonds, however, lead to a variety of hazardous and interferenceproducing situations. Loose or high impedance joints in lightning protection networks can beparticularly dangerous.The high current of a lightning discharge may generate several thousand volts across a poorjoint. Resulting arcs (flashovers) are a source of interference and damage to equipment andmay cause a fire hazard. A bonding resistance of 1 milliohm or less is considered a high qualitybond. There are two classifications of bonds: direct bonds and indirect bonds.5.5.1 Direct BondsDirect bonding is the establishment of the desired electrical path between the interconnectedmembers without the use of an auxiliary conductor.Examples of direct bonds are the splices between bus bar sections, the exothermic connectionsbetween a grounding rod and a ground ring and the joining of equipment shelves to equipmentracks.Direct bonds are accomplished by direct contact of the mating surface without the use of anintervening conductor. Electrical continuity is obtained by establishing a fused meta

The scope is the same as specified in Section 1.2 of ATT-812-000-027 (Grounding and Bonding Requirements for Network Facilities). ATT