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Question on Nautical Ground

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Mr. Berserker, Feb 24, 2004.

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  1. Boat grounds go into the saltwater (a great conductor to be sure), but
    what is the return path if excess electricity flows into the water? I
    understand that since lightning (as in lightning striking the boat) is
    static, it doesn't require any return path, but anomalies in the
    current electricity (like surges) from the generator on the boat
    would. It is not like on land, where your return path is through the
    ground back to the power station, right?
  2. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Not sure about commercial shipping or on small craft but U.S. naval
    practice is to run a three-phase delta ungrounded distribution.
  3. Kevin Weddle

    Kevin Weddle Guest

    Any difference of potential will cause current flow.
  4. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Well, there's relatively little current flowing between the AC power
    cord for the PC and my right foot, notwithstanding the significant
    difference in potential.

    An ungrounded delta system permits continued operation if one phase is
    lost (albeit operating at reduced capacity) or if a phase becomes
    grounded as a result of equipment failure or battle damage. Ground
    detection equipment and subsequent ground isolation procedures are
    designed to return the system to full operation without otherwise
    affecting shipboard equipment.
  5. I thought current electricity absolutely *had* to flow in a loop. Why
    can't one just string appliances on an AC gas generator (or any other
    source of AC) without having to worry about the return path back to
    the generator?

    Jeez I'm confused...
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