If one is not from a civil engineering background, the knowledge about earthing rods or simply earth rods is ridiculously hard to come by. So what is an earth electrode? Well, contrary to what many people think, Earth Rods come under the super-category of earth electrodes.
Simply said, earth rods are nothing but different types of earth electrodes. So where do we can find earth electrodes? The simple answer is – Nowhere. Weird, isn’t it? Well, that’s true as well. Because earth electrodes are usually fit into the ground very deep. As we all know, earth electrodes are conducting elements, hence, it is essential to keep them under the ground. And this process is usually called Rod Type Earthing.
These earth electrodes serve a very important function and that is to ensure the flow of fault currents directly into the ground. But one might think here that how long can a metallic thing can survive in the soil for such a long time that could be several years if we talk the least.
Well, it’s actually true that almost all metals are prone to corrosion if they are kept open in the ground where moisture is always present. And that’s exactly why the earth electrodes must have a proper resistance down in the ground. And that’s exactly why almost no earth type electrodes come bare open. Regardless of their types and quality, the need for proper insulation is dire to save it from the danger of corrosion.
There are a number of types when it comes to earth electrodes. A variety of shapes, sizes, and all different kinds of materials are there to distinguish one from another. On top of that, a large array of arrangements in earth electrodes is present. For example, if someone wants to go from pipes, plates, or ring which are different from one another in measurements and structures, one can go for it.
If there is a ring around the structure of an earthing, it will be recognized as a Type B Earthing. Or, experts simply call it just Earth Rods sometimes. But if we move more towards western countries such as the United States of America, the name which is popular there is – Ground Rods. Many people still have no clear idea about what earthing is used for. Most of these people are usually not from an electrical or civil background and that makes sense.
Earthing is mostly used to provide maximum protection from natural lightning. The natural lighting can be of 200,000 amps and can cause massive destruction if it hits an important facility or factory. So as a precautionary measure, the earth electrodes and earthings are used to absorb the lightning before it hits the ground.
The lightning then hit the electricity conductors usually set up on the roops to all the way down to the earth. And since the earth neutralizes all charges, the facilities don’t take any damage. Almost all important factories, military buildings, and important government facilities make use of earthings to get rid of unexpected damage by the natural lightening.
Different Types of Earth Rods According to their Construction
Copper Bonded Earth Rods
Copper bonded earth rods are a very effective kind of earth rods because they are very superior in terms of providing a great deal of corrosion resistance. The electrical resistance in these rods is also very low. It combines steel cores which helps direct a high amount of electricity right to the ground to neutralize it.
Solid Copper Earth Rods
Copper Earth rods may come a bit expensive but if it is a long life that you are seeking, these rods stand out from the rest. Government and private facilities use these shield wire earthing when they seek minimum maintenance and fit and forget kind of long life.
Stainless Steel Earth Rods
If the risk of galvanic corrosion seems very high in certain places, then stainless steel rods are the most used earth rods. Stainless steel is exceptionally rigid which makes it the best thing to pick for these scenarios.
Galvanised Steel Earth Rods
Well, there is always a cheaper option available for everything in life. Isn’t it? Galvanized steel earth rods are such choices when it comes to earth rods. But the low cost comes with some drawbacks as well such as the electrical conductivity. That means they are not able to help flow a high amount of electricity to the ground because their current carrying capacity is low. Their corrosion resistance is also usually low.