Raycap News

Industrial Lightning Protection Systems

With industrial businesses, the extension of the lifespan of equipment is a continual challenge.  Many industrial installations are in remote areas that are also exposed to the elements, so we find that equipment will typically have a far shorter operational lifespan than equipment that is housed within a more protected space. While every effort is made on behalf of these types of businesses to protect the equipment utilized in their processes, it is always done with the knowledge that equipment damage must be planned for. One of the more surprising aspects of this protection planning is that the equipment that is sometimes damaged is actually adequately shielded from the elements.  The damage that occurs happens because it is attached or connected to other areas which may have been exposed to the elements. With industries like the cellular business or alternative power production methods, the high tech equipment that is utilized in the processes is actually not completely exposed itself.  In these types of setups, we will usually see some form of exposed equipment that is connected directly to shielded equipment through power lines or data transfer cables. The problem is that when lightning strikes happen in exposed areas, the subsequent power surge that follows a lightning strike travels along pathways and can damage equipment downstream if lightning protection ins not installed. There is almost no way to completely prevent a lightning strike, and most businesses have figured out ways to position only a limited amount of equipment in the areas that are high risk. With the expectation of lightning strikes happening at these points, losses are minimized through the utilization of only necessary equipment at that point. More expensive or more high tech equipment is positioned within more shielded areas, and that equipment is further protected through the installation of surge protection devices along these lines.

Industrial lightning protection systems will generally involve multiple types of protection equipment that will fend off the damage that is expected when lightning strikes an exposed area.  Through the installation of lightning rods or overhead shields, the lightning strike itself can sometimes be diverted to safe areas. The rest of the protection systems are usually made up of components whose job it is to cut off the flow of electricity that is outside of a safe range. The technical equipment used in all of these systems is easily damaged at the circuit board level by excess electricity moving through it. These components can only operate within a specific range of electrical flow after which circuit damage, fires, and explosions can happen. The most technologically advanced surge protection systems have the ability to not only divert excess electrical flow, but continue to safeguard the equipment after a short duration, high volume lightning surge. This allows systems to remain operational even after a lightning strike situation. The damage that would typically shut down the system due to circuit board failure can be avoided effectively.  This minimizes maintenance costs as well as keeps systems functional for longer periods.  Industrial lightning protection systems are a critical element to keeping business up and running.