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Andy Peters
11/06/05 17:53
Read: 658 times
Tucson, Az

#103343 - ground vs neutral
Responding to: Suresh R's previous message
Suresh R said:
Hello Every one,
Can any one give me the difference that exists between GND and NEUTRAL.
In designing circuits how these two things must be handled.

Assuming you are asking about mains power distribution, and not low-level DC power supplies:

Neutral and ground serve two different purposes. Neutral is the return for the mains hot wire; as such, it is a current-carrying conductor and must be sized appropriately. (It's worth noting that in a low-level circuit, such as what we deal with with microcontrollers and op-amps and the like, this circuit node would be called "ground.")

Ground is better called "safety ground," because it is NOT normally a current-carrying conductor, but rather it only carries current in the event of a fault (the hot lead shorted to a chassis). The ground wire must return to the panel and be connected to some sort of grounding system (cold-water pipe, copper rods buried in soil, building steel, or something that is dictated by local electrical codes). This is to establish a drain for the fault current as well as a "zero volt" node. At the main panel, the neutral must be bonded to the ground (and only at the main panel -- not in any sub-panels; however, again check your local codes). Bonding neutral to ground in this fashion forces the neutral node to be at 0 V with respect to ground, so the connected equipment doesn't float relative to ground.

I saw some circuits, in which the component's GND pin's are connected to the Centre Tap of the transformer. But no wires from the board lead to GND.

What kind of system are you describing?

Is that really necessary to have a GND path in addition to NEUTRAL when designing circuits.

Power distro or otherwise?


List of 31 messages in thread
Diff between GND and Neutral.      Suresh R      11/04/05 21:26      
   Gnd and Neutral      Steve M. Taylor      11/05/05 04:04      
      UK Only      Ian Bell      11/06/05 13:58      
         Depends      Steve M. Taylor      11/06/05 14:16      
   ground vs neutral      Andy Peters      11/06/05 17:53      
      What happens if...      Vignesh Prasad      11/07/05 07:02      
         Safety ground is not for current        Sasha Jevtic      11/07/05 08:52      
            I recall      Erik Malund      11/07/05 09:16      
            (Mal)Practices      Vignesh Prasad      11/07/05 09:57      
               death by electricity      Andy Peters      11/07/05 11:29      
                  Neutral-gnd bond      Steve M. Taylor      11/07/05 13:45      
                     bonded in the panel, separate from there      Erik Malund      11/07/05 14:35      
                        RE: bonded in the panel, separate...      Sasha Jevtic      11/07/05 15:14      
                     clause: IE rules      Vignesh Prasad      11/07/05 19:41      
                        IE ?      Steve M. Taylor      11/08/05 05:31      
                           Indian Electricity      Vignesh Prasad      11/08/05 05:54      
                              Only one ?      Steve M. Taylor      11/08/05 08:12      
                                 Supplier?      Vignesh Prasad      11/08/05 08:22      
   well 'gnd' is not necessarily groun      Erik Malund      11/07/05 07:13      
      Summing up the points      Suresh R      11/07/05 10:05      
         you basically got everything wrong      Erik Malund      11/07/05 10:47      
            to Mr. Suresh      Vignesh Prasad      11/07/05 12:00      
            Reversal...      Abhishek Singh      11/07/05 19:58      
               correction      Abhishek Singh      11/08/05 05:49      
   PHASE, NEUTRAL, SAFETY EARTH,...      Kai Klaas      11/08/05 09:13      
      Difference      Steve M. Taylor      11/08/05 16:20      
         Not in india as well      Abhishek Singh      11/08/05 21:16      
            TN-S mains structure      Kai Klaas      11/09/05 06:06      
               Ours too      Steve M. Taylor      11/09/05 07:20      
                  I tried to explain this      Kai Klaas      11/09/05 15:12      
                     Hardly !      Steve M. Taylor      11/10/05 02:09      

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