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Industrial Protection From Lightning

Industrial Protection From Lightning

Raycap is a world-leader in the manufacture of equipment and products that provide industrial protection from lightning. There are hundreds of thousands of industrial sites in the United States alone that are highly susceptible to a lightning strike at any time, all of which are at risk of costly losses due to the electric surges that result. These losses will generally come in the form of damage to high tech equipment or data loss due to that damage, as seen in the failures of fragile components inside computers, programmable logic controls (PLC) or microprocessors, all of which are heavily used in the automation processes of industrial sites. The protection that can be provided by the addition of Raycap products to both existing and new sites can potentially save millions of dollars in a single incident, and while direct strikes are rare, the potential for damage exists 24 hours per day.

The most obvious form of damage that can be incurred from lightning on an industrial level is the “direct strike” damage which occurs with lightning hitting lines or equipment directly. The mitigation of this type of damage is accomplished through the use of air shield conductors installed above the structures or by grounded air terminals. This type of damage control setup does not mitigate “down line” surge problems, but can minimize propagation effects throughout the rest of the facility.

A “local strike” damage situation is one where lightning strikes the power lines that are directly connected to a facility, striking somewhere before their entry point. Even several miles from the facility, a lightning strike to these lines can cause a massive surge effect which causes extreme amounts of damage and data loss. In these cases, the best method of mitigating damage is to install industrial surge protection products at the service entrance and in as close a proximity to the equipment as possible. Through this “proximity installation” strategy, the maximum failsafe can be achieved by leveraging surge mitigation by distance traveled in combination with maximum grounding and protection devices, essentially allowing the surge protection equipment to absorb the minimum amounts of overvoltage in order to maintain consistent current levels at the point of machinery.

The “coupled strike” is a situation where the voltage added by the lightning strike itself is coupled into the lines supplying the equipment. When the strike itself happens on a structure, the overvoltage produced is coupled into parallel lines within the structure. The industrial surge protection strategy is to install products that will diminish this overvoltage at the join points of lines, which are generally service panels and distribution points on busbars. This strategy mitigates the voltage increases running down the lines themselves, and should be used in combination with protection products installed at the points of equipment for maximum efficiency.

Raycap manufactures products and systems which are able to efficiently protect industrial sites of all sizes and equipment of all types from the damaging effects of lightning strikes of all kinds. Use of Raycap products prevents the catastrophic effects that equipment damage can have on your business. Protect yourself against lightning.