[Main] Difference Between Neutral and Earth Explained

The main difference between Neutral and Earth is, The wire coming from the node of the three-phase star connection having zero potential respect to the earth or ground is called Neutral and when the metallic body of any equipment is connected to the ground with a wire it is called Earthing. In this article, you will find all the key differences between Earth and Neutral.

If you see the below figure carefully then you will understand easily the difference between Neutral and Earth.

Difference Between Neutral and Earth in Electrical Power Distribution system

As you see in the above figure, a simple diagram of an electrical power distribution system is given. The distribution transformer has a delta connection in the primary winding and a star connection in the secondary winding. There are three single-phase loads are connected. Each load takes a phase wire and a neutral wire. The three loads are equally divided into three phases. A three-phase load is also connected which takes three phases from the supply and does not take the neutral wire.

As you see the neutral wire comes from the center node of the star connection in the transformer and it is used to provide a single-phase power supply. The metallic body or noncurrent carrying parts of each load are connected to the ground or earth which is called Earthing.

Difference Between Neutral and Earth

1.      Neutral help to provide a single-phase power supply from the three-phase power supply whereas earthing helps to give protection to human from electrical shock.
2.      In normal conditions neutral carries the load current but in normal conditions, earth wire does not carry any current. Only during the fault condition, the earth wire carries the fault current.
3.      According to the Indian Electricity(I.E) rule, black color must be used for neutral wire and whereas green color should be used for earth wire.
4.      Neutral is must need to run a single-phase load. But a single-phase load can run without earth wire.
5.      For three phases of load neutral is not required but earthing is required for safety purposes.
6.      Earth wire provides the protection of the wires from the lightning in a three-phase overhead transmission line whereas the neutral is not used in the transmission line.

So, in conclusion, in residential and commercial electrical systems the electrical power is typically supplied in the form of AC or alternating current where the current alternates direction periodically. The hot wire (also known as the live wire or phase wire) carries the current from the source to the load, providing energy for devices and appliances. Once the current passes through the load, it needs a path to return to the source. This is where the neutral wire provides that return path to flow back the current to the source.

On the other hand, the earth wire, also known as the grounding wire or protective earth (PE) wire provides a path for electrical faults and surge current to safely dissipate into the ground. In general, condition the earth wire does not carry any current like neutral. It only conducts current when there is any fault.

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[Main] Difference Between Neutral and Earth Explained [Main] Difference Between Neutral and Earth Explained Reviewed by Author on May 27, 2019 Rating: 5
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