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In the June/July issue of our magazine, we discussed optional bonding system, which is typically associated with corrosion protection. The mandatory safety grounds for alternating current are closely related to bonding system. If your vessel has an AC power system—supplied by shore power, a genset or inverter—then the safety ground is critically important.
The terms “ground,” “bond” and, to some extent, “DC negative” are often used interchangeably. They are all related but have different missions.
In marine electrical systems, a grounded conductor is always common with ground. This would apply to the neutral or white wire in a 120-volt, alternating current (VAC) system. The conductor is always common to the ground when it comes from its source. This includes dockside utility transformers, onboard…