The Proxy Earth Protocol (PEP) is the means to an important end. We all want life, electrical, and fire safety in our facilities. PEP is the workhorse that delivers it. PEP is the aggressive employment of meshed grounding and bonding conductors with the goal of strengthening the facility’s grounding cone of protection from within. It lies at the very core of the integrated services bonding point (ISBP).
PEP is a culture of learned and repeated behavior. It uses made connections to ensure that a sufficiently conductive and survivable pathway is present between two points. Wherever possible, PEP goes beyond “exceptions” to the NEC and delivers made connections. Nothing is left to chance.
PEP takes its name from a vital function: to bring true earth potential as far into the facility as possible with as much ampacity as possible. PEP aims to create authentic electrical copies of the Earth inside the facility and at its major bonding points, such as the electrical power service entrance (ESE), sub-panels, and ISBP(s).
PEP complements and completes the integration services of the centralized hardware outerlinks protocol (CHOP) to a primary node at ISO/OSI Network Model layer one, physical layer. Services include, but are not limited to:
Mitigation and elimination of transient voltages
Mitigation and elimination of electromagnetic interference (EMI)
Mitigation and elimination of radio frequency interference (RFI)
Mitigation and elimination of static electricity
Mitigation of electromagnetic pulse (EMP)
Mitigation of lightning
PEP is the workhorse that carries out the task of shielding, bonding, and grounding within the proxy node. PEP eliminates hazards such as air gaps and spark gaps by affirmatively bonding electrical ground connections at the proxy node. PEP creates as low a resistance as possible in the hardware of the proxy node while increasing available ampacity for balancing high voltages across the proxy node. It rejects outright the use of isolated ground (IG) receptacles and any IG procedures because they create the hazards and problems that PEP solves.
Implementing PEP with readily available materials, some of which can be recycled or scrap, can be inexpensive. For example, bare and green insulated wires are preferred, while wires of other colors can be stripped of their insulation and used as bonding jumpers or grounding wires.
PEP is scalable. You can do a small portion of the total project and still realize all the safety benefits. PEP can be scaled down to individual enclosures or scaled up to entire systems at a facility such as the ISBP suite.
PEP is scalable and contributes to the safety of the facility, but it impacts mostly on its immediate vicinity. So, scale up and scale down. Repeat with PEP as often as needed to strengthen the grounding cone of protection where it is most needed.
This is why PEP is featured in the ISBP suite, a critical point. The ideal ISBP is made with PEP. Verify that every ISBP sponsors at least two different electrically isolated systems. It is OK for the same two systems to be sponsored on different ISBPs because PEP further enhances the grounding cone of protection.
PEP routinely provides backup jumpers to connect points served by grounding wires and bonding jumpers. Extra conductors lighten the load, burden, and stresses imposed at primary conductors so that they will last longer and survive even higher levels of electrical or other physical stress.
PEP is not intended as a replacement or substitute for ESE bonding procedures, which are plainly spelled out in the National Electric Code and other resources. However, PEP complements the ESE by affirmatively bonding and grounding in such a manner that it approaches the level of quiet found in the zone around the ESE. PEP can actually expand the range of the quiet zone at the ESE. In so doing, PEP strengthens the grounding cone of protection.
The Proxy Earth Protocol (PEP) is a scalable and aggressive technique of ensuring that bonding and grounding connections are made, and that they result in a conductive and survivable pathway. Its goal is to strengthen the grounding cone of protection from within.
PEP sets the standard for bonding and grounding procedures within the ISBP and individual modules of the ISBP suite. Now that modern facilities are supported by more interconnected appliances, systems bonding and grounding is more important than ever before to ensure that these devices survive and continue to work as they should.