Helping Grounding Cable Move When It Needs To

Grounding attachments are typically considered to be a stationary and 
permanent – after all, the equipment being used as a grounding 
connection is generally expected to remain fixed in place. But what 
about installations in which the protected equipment is frequently in 
motion? In these situations, a festoon-style approach can allow an 
appropriate range of motion without fear of creating pinch-points or 
other hazards in the grounding cable. BURNDY

Chuck Ross

Grounding attachments are typically considered to be a stationary and permanent – after all, the equipment being used as a grounding connection is generally expected to remain fixed in place. But what about installations in which the protected equipment is frequently in motion? In these situations, a festoon-style approach can allow an appropriate range of motion without fear of creating pinch-points or other hazards in the grounding cable.

Cable tray, conduit and other frequently used grounding platforms generally stay put once they’ve been bolted, welded or otherwise permanently put into place. In industrial settings, however, assembly equipment and overhead cranes can require grounding designs that allow for repetitive motion. And, since at least the 2014 edition of the National Electrical Code, the gates of AC substations have been required to be bonded to the gate support post. In the case of rolling gates, especially, designers and contractors need an option that allows grounding cable to move back and forth without crimping or sagging dangerously low.

Festoon cable systems meet both these requirements. This approach incorporates a series of wheeled trollies with curved, “saddle”-shaped cable supports. The trollies run in a track that extends across a gate opening. The permanently lubricated trolley wheels move in parallel with the gate, allowing the cable to drape as the gate opens and go back into tension as the gate closes.

“Rolling gates offer a unique challenge over swinging gates, in that the distance the gate travels is considerably longer,” notes Reid Ruland, grounding product manager for Burndy. “A festoon setup allows us to accommodate that increased distance, with the added benefit of getting the expensive grounding conductors and clamps out of arms’ reach, further deterring would-be thieves and ensuring that the fencer is installed per standards.”


Photo courtesy of BURNDY

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