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In today’s industrial business landscape, the reliance upon higher tech equipment grows every year. Businesses once operated with far less technical capacity, and their reliance upon data and control systems was astoundingly low when compared to today’s modern industrial businesses. The integration of sensitive electronic equipment like microprocessors and circuit driven components provides business with the ability to function on higher levels than ever previously seen, but also makes these businesses more susceptible to outages and damage as a result of grid-side electrical surges and natural events such as lightning. The automation of many types of businesses and integration of sophisticated manufacturing systems creates higher vulnerability and potential for damage and outage and interruptions as a result of fluctuations within the power system. Catastrophic failure is not the only threat, and losses also mount as a result of system interruptions as well as the premature aging of equipment, which ultimately leads to failure. One of the primary functions of business analysis today is to drive down costs that have been previously identified as avoidable. The development and creation of high functioning surge protection devices, as well as the more elaborate integration of these types of devices within industrial systems, has aided in driving down costs and ultimately improving of business capacity across the board. Only through the systematic analysis of weak spots within the systems have we been able to identify methodologies and product improvements that will assist businesses in the avoidance of surge related damage and outages. Surges must be avoided through the integration of these types of devices facility wide, being seen at all stages of the distribution system from the electrical service entrance all the way to the single-phase loads. While the damage to equipment that is the result of direct strikes from lightning are nearly unavoidable, the downstream effects of surges can have a grave effect if left unchecked. These are the areas that can be protected through the integration of surge protection equipment on the industrial level. These are the areas that business can be improved with the development of better SPD technology or the more effective integration throughout the entire system of these types of devices.
The two types of lightning strikes that provide most of the damage on the industrial level are direct strikes and local strikes. Direct strikes to equipment will provide a certain amount of loss to that component, but the downstream effect of the subsequent surge can be avoided even if the equipment at the strike point is destroyed. Localized strikes are ultimately going to have effect in that they can couple onto lines feeding into the physical plant. The effective integration of surge protection devices at the service entrance has the ability to mitigate or potentially completely eliminate damage as a result of these types of strikes.