Lightning And The Damage It Causes
Natural occurrences in weather are one of the most significant causes of losses at industrial facilities every year. This is because the equipment which is utilized in the processes has a certain amount of exposure to the potentially damaging effects of lightning strikes. Because lightning strikes are not able to be predicted as far as their location or intensity, industrial operators find that the best defense is an offense. Through the installation of systems which are designed to protect equipment by having it protected in the first place, industrial operators save the money that would be spent on repair and maintenance as well as downtime and outages. This is accomplished in several different ways and through several different types of systems that are utilized onsite. The first and most obvious is the lightning protection system consisting of overhead shielding and lightning rods. These types of devices draw lightning strikes to themselves as opposed to having those lightning strikes hit less protected areas of the facility. Through drawing the lightning strike to a structure that has been set up specifically for the purpose of being struck, the fires and explosions that happen at the strike point as well as the electrical discharge that happens afterwards are able to be diverted away from sensitive equipment and to ground. These diversionary tactics are designed to protect components utilized in manufacturing or industrial process through the simple process of never having the equipment being hit in the first place. Every year, millions of dollars that would be spent on repair and maintenance of components are saved by drawing the lightning strikes area away from the equipment.
The second way that industrial facilities protect themselves against lightning strike damage is through the integration of surge protection devices at critical junctures and along specific pathways within their systems. This means integrating surge protection devices within the structures that could allow electricity to travel along them. By installing surge protection devices at junction boxes and along conductive surfaces, the electricity that is produced by the lightning strike is able to be stopped in its tracks so is never to reach sensitive components. Surge protection devices are also installed along any areas where cables interconnect equipment within the facilities. Both power lines and data transfer cables are able to carry electricity to flow along them which is far outside of the range of safe operations for the equipment that is connected to those lines. This means that the components which may have been overwhelmed by an electrical surge have the ability to also facilitate damage to equipment which is directly connected to it through these cables. By the installation of surge protection devices as preventative measures along the cables that interconnect equipment involved in these processes, damage as a result of power surges and lightning strikes can be mitigated to only the equipment that is originally affected. Through the integration of these different types of surge protection and lightning protection, industrial businesses save money.