Lightning Protection In Industrial Settings

Lightning Protection In Industrial Settings

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Industrial facilities are unique in that they need special types of landscapes and areas in order to perform their specified functions.  Most industrial facilities are in secluded areas, or around other facilities of the same type since they will create disturbances that would not be acceptable in residential areas. In addition, they may simply need wider spaces than can be secured in developed areas for reasonable prices.  No matter what the reasoning, the usual outcome is that industrial businesses end up being in regions that position them by themselves, and also put the structures that are located within the facility as the tallest in the region.  Many of the components from which these structures or other elements of the business are made of metals that will allow for them to last over time even though they are exposed to inclement weather and less than ideal conditions.  Combine all these aspects and you have a recipe to attract lightning strikes that is unlike any other.  When statistics show that industrial settings had a higher propensity for lightning strike damage than other types of areas, it is generally because of these factors.  Industrial facilities see damage as a result of lightning strike activity more often than other types of areas, even though lightning strikes are relatively rare occurrence.  Because of the potential for large scale loss as a result of a single lightning strike, most industrial facilities will put in place systems and plans with which to minimize the damage that is expected.

Lightning strikes produce different kinds of damage depending on the location of where the lightning lands.  If it is a direct strike to a component, you can expect near destruction of that component at that point.  The way to minimize or negate damage as a result of a direct strike is to attract the lightning to a different area using some form of overhead metallic shield or diversion cables.  This will draw the lightning away from the more sensitive areas and allow it to places where it can be moved or controlled so as to not cause as much damage.  Other types of strikes will have a different type of damage associated with them.  When the strike happens to the cables which are exposed and yet are attached directly to equipment inside of the shielded structure, the subsequent power surge can create damage to the attached equipment.  In addition, the power surge can also couple into other types of materials that either surround or are connected to the equipment, allowing for that power surge to once again reach the sensitive equipment and damage it.  The way to minimize this type of loss is to install lightning protection systems in the form of surge protection devices either along power and connectivity cables or at critical junctures through which a power surge can travel.  Ultimately, the installation of surge protection equipment designed to protect industrial settings is deployed to save equipment and money in the event of lightning strikes and the power surges that follow them.  Savvy businesses will always prepare for the worst-case scenario.

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