GroundLinx is Setting the New Standard for Grounding/Earthing
Sometimes, creating a better solution requires a totally new approach to the problem.
And that‘s exactly what GroundLinx Technologies developers have done with the Gradiance™ system.
Severe power surges, spikes, and lightning damage can be dangerous and are increasingly expensive. Yet for well more than a century now, only the humble ground rod — in all its various forms — has been the heart of grounding¹/earthing designs, both as an Earth reference and for surge/lightning protection. Presently, even “enhanced” grounding systems extensively use ground rods as the ultimate points of dissipation of current.
Such longevity in use is certainly a testament to this simple design. However, there is much more to this story — that urgently needs to be told.
New materials science and improved measurement devices have exposed that ground rods very often are not as effective in creating low resistance pathways to Earth as once thought. Further, advanced analysis has revealed copper has substantial limitations with respect to dissipation of high frequencies. These facts are very important In our electronics-dependent culture, where superb grounding/earthing is absolutely essential to prevent very expensive, dangerous losses, as well as compromises to public safety.
It seems the “rules” for grounding and ground rods have been written over the years assuming ideal soil compositions, stable moisture levels, household current frequencies, and system performance consistency.
National codes and engineering standards are essentially identical throughout the world, regardless of local soil characteristics: Install a given number of ground rods or earthing electrodes to either meet code requirements or to achieve an acceptable resistance-to-ground (RTG) specified by system engineers at the time of installation. No mention is made of frequency management.
GroundLinx Technologies believes the rules need a different focus. Seeking only a specified level of system resistance (generally at a specific point in time) fails to address several essential dynamics of fault current dissipation:
In order to be fully protective, grounding systems MUST be designed to create an impedance gradient between input conductors and native soil, AND MUST be able to manage a very large range of frequencies – from common household current at 50/60Hz up to lightning discharges with frequencies over a million times higher.
Soil conductivity conditions are not static. As well, geologic strata can vary greatly within a grounding site. Taken together, these soil considerations require far greater resiliency and capability in grounding/earthing system design.
In a lightning strike, soils and sands found on the west Texas Range don’t behave much like the rich dirt in an Iowa corn field, and Appalachian limestone doesn’t behave like central Florida sand in terms of electrical resistance or reaction to a high voltage “hit”. Importantly, similar variations in soil composition and moisture levels (therefore altering resistivity) can happen in only a few meters . . . let alone from one side of a grounding site field to another.
Entirely ignoring frequency matters, while establishing performance standards entirely on achieving a given RTG level at a single point in time - using only low voltage test equipment - is entirely myopic.
Unfortunately, a full analysis of grounding system design and performance is rarely undertaken due to complexity, costs, or the general acceptance that grounding isn’t as critical as it truly is. The result of this extremely common oversight is either construction of expansive, expensive ground rod arrays, or wholly insufficient, yet code compliant, minimal deployments of rods, straps, and grids, — often in highly resistive soil. The latter situation is now yielding a frightening level of residential and commercial losses due to lightning and fault surges. See the For Insurers section of this website for more detail.
GroundLinx Gradiance™ grounding systems approach management of surge/fault currents in a radically different way: It’s not the quantity of conductor one puts in the ground that optimizes the grounding process; it’s the dispersion qualities of the entire electrode system across the full range of surge current frequencies, system impedance, AND soil resistivity that matters. Without considering each of these concepts, a grounding system design can easily become insufficient . . . and dangerous.
With this as our starting point, GroundLinx has designed a cost-efficient, highly durable grounding system that is is stunningly effective in nearly any soil composition and resistivity, while substantially more capable of mitigating the frequencies found in lightning strikes and other steep-wave-front current anomalies. This performance suite far exceeds that of any ground rod based system.
In doing so, we have begun the process of rewriting the rules of grounding.
A revolution in the science and the art of electrical grounding is underway.
¹ Throughout this website, the term “Grounding” is used entirely interchangeably with the more globally familiar expression, “Earthing”.
Via use of our technology, we endeavor to see our customers economically enjoy greater safety, stability, and security in all aspects of their use of electricity. Whether in business, homes, or individual lives, our mission is the reduction of losses due to lightning and static discharges, as well as fault currents in general.
This is a tall order. We understand that. But such a goal is imperative.
Grounding/Earthing techniques have failed to keep pace with complex electronics technology for much of the last half-century. More importantly, the basic understanding of grounding principles, as well as their implementation and testing in electrical systems, is very often deficient. Across the entire spectrum of electrical system designs, installations, and uses, our field research has consistently uncovered evidence of potentially catastrophic errors.
Grounding an electrical system, unfortunately, is frequently treated as "just something that has to be done". Often installed to simply satisfy a given industry specification, a dangerously insufficient grounding system can result, simply because installers either don’t have necessary performance measuring equipment or are not properly trained in the use of such equipment.
In many cases, grounding system specifications call for achieving a stated maximum resistance-to-ground using industry-standard published guidelines. These specs generally rely on arrays of traditional grounding rods at the ends of long radial conductors, and/or along ground rings and grids.
In low resistivity soils, these and similar designs can work very well. But when ideal conditions don’t exist, “textbook” specs generally don’t give efficient, effective results. Truth be told, “textbook”, ideal soils are not really that common.
Too often, the final product is excessive expense to the system owner — without statistically significant grounding performance improvement. A physically excessively large, yet surprisingly underperforming grounding system that jeopardizes critical equipment and structures...is far too common.
Importantly, Gradiance™ grounding systems work uniformly in nearly any soil, moisture level, and design configuration making proper grounding easier and more reliable at a highly competitive cost. Furthermore, grounding system performance using a Gradiance™ kit is significantly more stable with respect to changing environmental conditions.
These characteristics make the Gradiance™ concept ideal for improving electrical grounding in all aspects, from system cost to safety.
And that is our goal.
Formed in late 2015, GroundLinx Technologies is a young company. Following the chance discussion of two of our founders regarding problems that clients of both their firms were having with recurrent power surges, disabled critical equipment, and loss of various electronic devices, the common culprit was rather quickly identified as insufficient, or inappropriately high-resistance grounding systems. That initiated nearly two years of research into the science — and the art — of electrical grounding, resulting in three major conclusions:
The design and oversight of electrical grounding systems has become dangerously out of date;
In far too many cases, grounding has been poorly installed and incorrectly tested; and
A radical re-thinking of the practice of grounding in all respects is warranted.
Two additional founders were rapidly recruited to assist with engineering and manufacturing matters that would become important in product development. After approximately one year of prototype testing and modifications, the Gradiance™ Grounding System was born.
Now Intertek / ETL certified and patented, Gradiance™ Grounding Systems use a novel combination of materials in a proprietary configuration to scatter fault currents along millions of created pathways converting common ground rods into massively more capable “dispersers” of current. As discussed in the Products page on this site, Gradiance™ goes far beyond the simple addition of electrolytes or clays to reduce resistivity.
GroundLinx Technologies is a subsidiary of GLxT Holdings, LLC, and is based in Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA. GLxT Holdings is privately held and managed by the key personnel shown below. Each manager brings a unique and extensive experience matrix to GroundLinx and GLxT, from business development to project management.
The company’s newly expanded manufacturing facility in Blue Ridge is home to a talented and loyal staff, all committed to building GroundLinx Technologies into one of the best places to work in the tri-state region of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
GroundLinx Technologies’ products are sold exclusively to our licensed representatives, who, in turn are experts in their respective trades and markets. By organizing our sales efforts in this fashion, we gain well-informed, established access to an extremely broad range of businesses and industries, each of which may have unique product requirements and pricing sensitivities, known best by our licensed reps. Tech support also becomes much more easily delivered with a known local presence.
Our Key People
BS/Ceramics Engineering, Georgia Tech
Over 30 years senior management experience in technical, and high voltage ceramic products
Focused on continual product and process innovation
BS, Manhattan College, Bronx, NY
45 yrs Electrical Contracting and Inspection
Key functions include product design, manufacturing and testing
John H. Belk
BS Physics; MS Mechanical and Aerospace Sciences; Masters in Engineering Management
Aerospace Engineer, Industrial Physicist, Technology Scout (Boeing)
Expertise in Material Science, Energy Transfer, Applied Physics, Program Management
Telecom operations executive (Fortune 500) for more than three decades
Specialist in product development and launch
Tasked with coordinating all project management activities at GroundLinx
MBA, University of Chicago
Extensive experience in entrepreneurial business development
Key functions include product design and project management.