I'm wondering what the mechanism is for fault current traveling into the earth via a grounding electrode from the grounding conductor in a system. Is the current set up due to a potential difference, hence traveling back to it's source via the earth? Or is it more like lightning, where the ground acts like a sink to discharge a charge that is higher than ground potential?
If possible, please explain with respect to the supply transformer from the utility. It seems to me the earth is not a very reliable conductor. Thanks.
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