Difference between Neutral, Earth and Ground

What is Neutral?

The term “neutral” refers to a point with zero potential. Because each single phase load requires the current return channel, the perfect ground point is called Neutral. To maintain a continuous flow, the electron should travel from source to load to source. As a result, it necessitates a flawless return path. If you use ground or the earth as a current return path, the ground will always have some resistance, which will be added to the load, resulting in a voltage drop across the ground. The exact output from the source cannot be acquired due to the ground resistance. As a result, the perfect ground point from the source, known as neutral, is obtained.

What is Neutral

Neutral Connection in Electrical System:

By making Star Connection, the star point of a three-phase supply system is referred to as Star Point or Neutral Point. The wire that emerges from that location is known as Neutral wire, and it is always represented by black wire.

In the three-phase supply system, star and delta connections are made. Wires are given to the load from their points. The sum of current flowing across all three phases in both of these connections is zero ‘0’.

IR + IY + IB = 0

Because the maximum value is at one step in the construction of three phases, the same phase is at the highest value. The third failure is at or near zero.

As a result, the vector sum of all three phases’ current or voltage is ‘0’. This means that if two phases carry current, the third phase also carry current. This indicates that the path to the third phase current’s return is complete.

Star and Delta Connection

In a delta connection, Neutral is not available. As a result, with a delta connection, one of the three phases is responsible for completing the current return path. In Star Connection, the return path of current is completed by the neutral wire. The current flowing through the Neutral is the sum of the currents running through all three phases. 

IR + IY + I B = IN

What is Earth?

If there is a failure in your electrical system, accessing an active metal element could result in an electric shock. This is due to the possibility that electricity will use your body as a connection between the live and earth parts.

Earthing is a technique for preventing electric shocks. It accomplishes this by providing a conduct for a fault current to flow to ground as a protective conductor. It also causes the protective device either a circuit breaker or a fuse to turn off the power to the circuit with the fault.

To Know More about Circuit Breaker CLICK HERE

What is Earth Connection

Earthing provide an alternate path for the fault current to flow so that the user is not harmed. Earthing ensure that none of the exposed conductive elements reach a harmful voltage. It also avoids overcurrent or excessive voltage on appliances or equipment; keep the voltage in any section of an electrical system at a defined level.

Good Earthing must have a low enough impedance to allow enough current to flow through the safety device to disconnect the supply less than 0.4 seconds. Fault current is substantially higher than the circuit’s full load current, melting the fuse. As a result, the device is automatically unplugged from the power supply.

Properties of Earthing:

  • Low electrical resistance is required for good earthing.
  • It must be corrosion resistant.
  • High fault current must be dissipated periodically.

What is Grounding?

Connection of current carrying parts to ground, i.e. connection of power system neutral to ground, is referred to as grounding of an electrical system. Grounding is done for the safety of the equipment.

What is Grounding

Measures for protecting the circuit portion are included in the grounding. It performs the circuit’s required function or functional feature. The act of grounding can be done directly or indirectly.

  • The grounding system is connected directly to the grounding system for direct grounding.
  • Indirect grounding is accomplished by connecting to the grounding system via impedance, such as active resistance, inductance, and capacitance.

Properties of Grounding:

  • The current-carrying portions are directly connected to the ground in grounding.
  • The return path for the leakage current is provided by grounding, which protects the power system equipment from harm.
  • When an equipment fault occurs, the current in all three phases of the equipment becomes unbalanced. Grounding discharges the fault current to the earth, bringing the system back into balance.

Difference between Neutral, Earth and Ground:

A neutral is a current return path that carries current back to the source. To complete a circuit, a neutral line is required.An earthing is a connection between specified electrical installation pieces and the earth surface, primarily for safety reasons.A grounding can be thought of as an electrical circuit’s equipotential point. This is the point with no potential in comparison to other points with positive or negative potential.
Neutral is the only a return path of the current flow.Each piece of electrical equipment is earthed to safeguard people from overload currents.To safeguard electrical equipment from fault currents, grounding is applied to specific or entire electrical components.
For return current, a standard gauge cable must be provided.Corrosion-resistant earthing material should be used.The entire electrical equipment is grounded using ground electrodes.
There is some volt potential in neutral.The potential of earthing is zero voltsWhen there is no fault, the potential of the grounding is zero; nevertheless, when a fault arises, the potential rapidly rises.
The neutral connection is represented by black wire, which is a conventional wire depiction.The earth connection is represented by green or yellow wire, which is a conventional wire depiction.The ground connection is represented by white or black with white wire, which is a conventional wire depiction.

Rabert T

As an electrical engineer with 5 years of experience, I focus on transformer and circuit breaker reliability in 110/33-11kV and 33/11kV substations. I am a professional electrical engineer with experience in transformer service and maintenance. I understand electrical principles and have expertise troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining transformers, circuit breakers, and testing them. Tweet me @Rabert_infohe

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