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Ground Conductivity Clip

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000194416D
Publication Date: 2010-Mar-23
Document File: 3 page(s) / 351K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Described is a method and apparatus to facilitate grounding of painted racks using a single integrated solution and without adding additional process steps during manufacturing.

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Disclosed is a device that can easily facilitate grounding of painted metal Information Technology (IT) equipment racks to an incoming facilities ground provided in rack Power Distribution Units (PDUs).

    Information Technology (IT) equipment racks used to house components like servers, switches, routers, power distribution units, and other computer related equipment are ubiquitous in customer environments. These racks are generally constructed using painted steel and/or sheet metal. It is desirable to have the rack and all of the metal components in the rack grounded and at the same electrical potential as the facilities ground where they are installed. It is relatively easy to design a custom grounding solution such as linking conductive parts with conductive cables, however it is more difficult to ensure an adequate ground path from the incoming power cable to the PDU chassis to the rack chassis when conductive parts are painted and without adding process steps in manufacturing.

    In addition, safety considerations for racks include having adequate ground continuity between the installed PDU and the rack itself. Depending on the manufacturing process, continuity may be checked using a hi-potential electric strength (hi-pot) tester which requires a continuous low impedance path between the incoming mains line/neutral and ground. With painted racks and painted PDUs, a continuous grounding path is not possible without manual intervention (see Figure 1, 101). The most likely solution is to manually scratch paint off of the area where the PDUs and the rack chassis' interface.

    Establishing a consistent process that can be used across multiple manufacturing sites is challenging and can lead to paint removal outside of the PDU/rack contact area. Visible scratches are cosmetically undesirable. The process is manual and can also lead to sharp edges or unwanted conductive debris....