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08/04/2010

ABSTRACTS FROM EG 201 147, TR-NWT-000295, TR-


NWT-000154 AND GR-947-CORE WITH SPECIFIC
REFERENCE TO GROUNDING REQUIREMENTS IN

TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT.

By P. S. Marshall - - - Engineering Services & Best Practice - - - Power Division.

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1 INTRODUCTION.
This document aims to provide a quick reference for future use by design and compliance
engineers.

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2 TWO TYPES OF SYSTEM.

2.1 Common features.


While there are two systems for connecting equipment to ground they both share some common
points.
1. Signal transmission cables are always screened and the screen is connected to the ERC
(equipment rack chassis) at one end and the MDF (main distribution frame) chassis at the
other.
2. The MDF chassis is connected directly to the MET (main earthing terminal).

3. The ERC is connected directly to the SRPP (System reference potential plane, this is a
ground plane located in the telecomm room)
4. The SRPP is connected to the RGT (room grounding terminal) around the entire edge of
the SRPP.
5. The RGT is connected directly to the MET normally from 2 or more points.

6. The PWP (main power plant) is connected directly to the MET at its positive terminal.

7. The PWP chassis is connected directly to the MET.

2.2 DC/C System.


This is also known as the two-wire system. Typically the ERC (equipment rack chassis) is
connected to the return conductor (the positive) of the equipment input close to the point defined
as interface A in ETS 300 132 – 2. Then as in 3 above the chassis is connected to the SRPP. The
return conductor is then connected directly to the RGT once it is outside the limits of the SRPP.
The return conductor then terminates at the PWP positive terminal which itself is connected as in
6 above. Standards state that the voltage drop between the DC power return connection at the
PWP and the system connection (interface A presumably) must be less than 1.0V at it’s
maximum load current (this shall be taken at maximum and minimum voltages).

2.3 DC/I System.


Also known as the three-wire system. All conditions in 2.1 apply the difference between this
system and that described in 2.2 is that the power return (positive supply) does not connect to
ground until its connection with the positive terminal in the PWP. With this system there appears
to be the possibility that the grounding system does not share an equipotential level. This will be
most acute in physically large or/and high power installations. The power return line could
exhibit a relatively large potential difference between interface A and the positive terminal of the
PWP. The only constraint with this system is that the voltage drop in the DC power distribution
return line shall be calculated to ensure that the interface A voltage shall remain within the limits
specified (presumably in ETS 300 132 – 2).

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3 INTERCONNECTION AND DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS.

3.1 Interconnection.
There are three combinations of interconnection.

3.1.1 DC/I to DC/I.


There are no common paths between grounding and power distribution so there should be no
mutual influences.

3.1.2 DC/C to DC/C.


Total DC power supply current is split into all ground connections and will modify the initial
share of DC return current. Precautions should be taken to increase the cable dimensions of both
systems due to the increased current, also to study carefully the requirements of grounding where
asymmetrical signals from both systems are referenced to a common ground and that signal
cables are not subject to heating due to increased current nor excessive voltage drops especially in
asymmetric links e.g. co-axial cable.

3.1.3 DC/C to DC/I.


Part of the current passing through the DC/C system can pass through the impedances common
to both systems (those connected directly to the MET) and also in a reverse direction through the
DC/I impedances that connect to the SRPP hence to the MDF ground point. Therefore the DC/I
system conductors and connectors may have to be upgraded, care must be taken that the ground
referenced asymmetrical links in the DC/I system do not have their noise immunity reduced and
that signal cables between the DC/I system and the MDF do not suffer heating or voltage drops
sufficient to cause signal faults in asymmetric cables e.g. coax.

3.2 Designing the power circuit.


Because there is this requirement for both types of grounding system, power circuit design must
provide the facility for either to be easily implemented.
The major consideration must be the provision of links that can be customer set if necessary.
These links will be on the system side of interface A and will either allow the return (positive)
rail to float (position 1) DC/I or connect the return rail to a ground stud placed close to interface
A (position 2) DC/C. The provision of these links will mean that a separate and effective
ground plane will have to be included in the PCB. This ground plane will be permanently
connected to the ground stud on the chassis. To accomplish this with minimum impedance will
require a design review.
The links should be de-rated by 50% - 75% to enable a low impedance path capable of
withstanding large fault currents to be established.

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