Product Catalog

Grounding Cells

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Protection Against Dangerous Voltage
Induced alternating current, lightning strikes, and grounding fault current on buried pipelines not only pose serious safety
threats to pipeline operators and contractors,they can also cause major damage to buried pipelines. Kirk grounding cells control these hazardous voltages while permitting lower level cathodic protection voltage to flow. The cells do not possess an internal voltage. Instead they act as an electrochemical switch to shunt dangerous voltage to ground. They consist of multiple pairs of stainless steel plates, which are immersed in a 30 percent potassium hydroxide solution. An oil seal is also

added to prevent evaporation and limit foaming of the electrolyte solution under high current flow. When low levels of DC current flow through the grounding cell, a film of hydrogen gas forms on the negative plates of the Kirk cell. At the same time a film of oxygen gas forms on the positive plates. This polarization allows the low level DC voltage associated with cathodic protection to develop. As the applied voltage across the cell increases from either AC or higher DC current, the polarization film on the plates breaks down and the Kirk cell conducts current.

Kirk grounding cells can be installed above or below grade. For exterior installations, a series of galvanized steel enclosures are offered which are NEMA 3R and 3S rated. The cells are shipped with a dry package of potassium hydroxide and can be stored definitely in clean, dry locations.

Typical Applications
Kirk grounding cells control the flow of
potentially dangerous AC and DC current on
buried metallic structures. They are often
used on buried oil, gas, and water pipelines
that share the same right-of-way as high
voltage power lines. Because the cells
produce various gases that can be explosive,
they should be installed with proper venting.
They should also be routinely inspected to
ensure adequate electrolyte levels are
present. The cells can be operated in
temperatures ranging from -40°F to 140°F.


Ordering Procedure
Corrpro is an authorized distributor for Kirk
grounding cells. To order the right cell for
your particular application, indicate that you
need a Kirk grounding cell and specify the
quantity desired, the cell model, and the type
of enclosure if any. An example is included
to help illustrate this process.