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I choose to live. All AMI networks in Canada must be duly grounded and safely installed to meet the National Electric Code as a minimum. There are zero shortcuts when it comes to safety and lightning.

A Respected Telecommunications Engineer

LIGHTNING GROUND – Grounding is crucial for municipal water Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) networks in Canada for several reasons:

Safety: Grounding helps protect personnel and equipment from electrical hazards. It provides a safe path for electrical currents to flow to the earth, preventing the buildup of dangerous voltages. In the event of a fault or lightning strike, grounding helps dissipate the electrical energy and redirect it away from sensitive equipment, reducing the risk of electrical shock and damage.

Equipment Protection: Effective grounding helps safeguard the AMI network equipment from power surges, voltage transients, and other electrical disturbances. These can occur due to lightning strikes, switching operations, or faulty electrical equipment. By providing a low-resistance path to the ground, grounding helps divert excessive electrical currents and voltage spikes away from the equipment, minimizing the risk of damage.

Signal Integrity: Grounding plays a vital role in maintaining signal integrity within the AMI network. Proper grounding helps establish a reference potential and minimizes electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) caused by external sources. It reduces the risk of signal degradation, data loss, and communication errors, ensuring accurate and reliable meter readings and network performance.

Compliance with Standards: Municipal water AMI networks in Canada need to comply with various electrical codes and standards, such as the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) and National Electrical Code (NEC). These codes often require proper grounding practices to be implemented for electrical systems. Adhering to these standards ensures that the AMI networks meet the necessary safety and performance requirements set forth by regulatory authorities.

Liability and Legal Considerations: In the event of electrical accidents, non-compliance with grounding regulations can result in significant legal and financial liabilities for municipalities and utility companies. Implementing proper grounding practices helps mitigate such risks and demonstrates a commitment to safety and compliance.

Overall, grounding is crucial for municipal water AMI networks in Canada to ensure safety, protect equipment, maintain signal integrity, comply with standards, and minimize legal and financial liabilities. It forms an essential part of the overall electrical infrastructure of the network, contributing to its reliable and efficient operation.

A – Protection of the antennas

B – Protection of the pipe clamps for lightning equipotential bonding for pipes with adjustable tension strap.

C – Protection of the power supply sources

D – Protection of the coaxial and Ethernet cabling

About the Author:

Michael Martin is the Vice President of Technology with Metercor Inc., a Smart Meter, IoT, and Smart City systems integrator based in Canada. He has more than 40 years of experience in systems design for applications that use broadband networks, optical fibre, wireless, and digital communications technologies. He is a business and technology consultant. He was a senior executive consultant for 15 years with IBM, where he worked in the GBS Global Center of Competency for Energy and Utilities and the GTS Global Center of Excellence for Energy and Utilities. He is a founding partner and President of MICAN Communications and before that was President of Comlink Systems Limited and Ensat Broadcast Services, Inc., both divisions of Cygnal Technologies Corporation (CYN: TSX). Martin served on the Board of Directors for TeraGo Inc (TGO: TSX) and on the Board of Directors for Avante Logixx Inc. (XX: TSX.V).  He has served as a Member, SCC ISO-IEC JTC 1/SC-41 – Internet of Things and related technologies, ISO – International Organization for Standardization, and as a member of the NIST SP 500-325 Fog Computing Conceptual Model, National Institute of Standards and Technology. He served on the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) [now OntarioTech University] and on the Board of Advisers of five different Colleges in Ontario.  For 16 years he served on the Board of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Toronto Section.  He holds three master’s degrees, in business (MBA), communication (MA), and education (MEd). As well, he has three undergraduate diplomas and five certifications in business, computer programming, internetworking, project management, media, photography, and communication technology. He has completed over 30 next generation MOOC continuous education in IoT, Cloud, AI and Cognitive systems, Blockchain, Agile, Big Data, Design Thinking, Security, Indigenous Canada awareness, and more.