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Businesses and governments will continue to focus on efficiency and quality improvements while at the same time remaining under pressure to reduce costs. Hence, automation developed to a very high level and the Internet has become a strategic requirement. The consequent business vulnerability must obviously be recognized and risk reduced. High availability level to the IT infrastructure is a primary requirement.
The necessity for constant availability of electrical power is well and broadly understood. The electrical contractor supplies the protective earthing facilities, another specialized company provides lightning protection, and the IT equipment manufacturer requires a functional earthing system. In the past, this resulted in the installation of three independent earthing systems. This multiple approach has proved to be the cause of certain types of operational problems and damage. The introduction of faster technologies and communication networks increased the number of problems; an alternative was urgently needed.
The Integrated Earthing System discussed in this paper is the result of extensive work by knowledge institutes and suppliers. This technology is meanwhile embedded in the related safety, lightning protection, and EMC standards, and its reliability has been field proven in many installations. The following pages explain the technical principles of this system and the abbreviations used.
The Integrated Earthing System (Earthing Grid) is the current state of the art solution and an indispensable part of critical IT operations.