Thank you for your question regarding Grounding and Bonding certification. It is our pleasure to help.
In Europe, the word “Grounding” refers to the process of installing non-current carrying conductors in an electrical system, and the word “Earthing” refers to the process of installing grounding electrodes into the soil. In America, we use the word “Grounding” for both grounding and earthing. This leads to some confusion so it is important to address these definitions early. The subject of Grounding in regards to the installation of non-current carrying conductors with in an electrical system, is a well-discussed and taught topic. You should be able to find training programs for above-grade grounding at any institution that certifies Electricians. Below-grade grounding or “Earthing” is another matter entirely.
The topic of Grounding is a subject matter that is seldom, if ever, taught at any level to either electricians or to electrical engineers. Even Electrical Engineers with Masters degrees are often unschooled in the science of grounding/earthing. Because of this, many people consider grounding to be a self-taught science. This may be true at some level, however there is a great deal of material available on the subject matter and there are courses on grounding that are available. Most of the courses offered today are designed and intended for Electrical Engineers and primarily deal with the proper use of Grounding Engineering & Simulation software, and how to use that software to resolve technical grounding problems.
Courses that are intended more for the Electrician (or curious Engineer) and designed to educate them on the basics of Grounding/Earthing are more difficult to find. However, E&S Grounding Solutions does in fact offer such courses in the science of grounding/earthing. A simple perusal of the blog on our website will show you that there are quite a few topics to discuss. While course length is often tailored to the needs of the trainees, subject matter typically includes:
- Sphere of Influence Theory
- Advantages/disadvantages of various grounding electrodes
- How to properly connect these electrodes into the grounding system
- Types of bonds that are acceptable and where to use them
- Resistance-to-Ground testing
- Soil Resistivity testing
- Basics of grounding system design
- How grounding can resolve Human Safety issues in High-Voltage Environments
- The impact of lightning strikes on grounding systems
- and more
As you can see, the amount of material to cover is vast. E&S Grounding Solutions offers courses in a variety of lengths, from 2-3 hours courses, to full 1-2 day (or longer) seminars. We typically offer “open to the public” grounding/earthing courses in a host city through a sponsor.
Bonding and Grounding/Earthing are often treated as two separate topics in regards to training. The subject of “Bonding” is how to properly make a metal-to-metal connection between objects, such as mechanical connections, brazing, exothermic welding, etc. Bonding generally does not including the subject of how to route wiring or why certain systems should be connected or not. It merely discusses how to make a solid electrical connection between two metallic objects. One generally receives Bonding certification by attending classes offered by various manufacturer’s of bonding products. The training itself is often product-based as it only discusses how to use that specific brand of bonding products. The good news is that you can often receive free training simply by negotiating it into your next purchase of materials. That bad news is that your employees become somewhat indoctrinated into one particular product line. It may be best to always get training from at least two competing vendors.
We hope you find this information useful, if you should have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to speak with you free of charge.
The Engineering Team at E&S Grounding Solutions