Power Surges And Cellular Sites
Power surges harm almost all computerized equipment. This is because the circuitry inside those components can only operate within a specific electrical range, and any deviation outside that range can destroy circuits. If you have ever lived in or visited a place with fluctuating electrical delivery from the grid, you may have either lost a home computer or had one die earlier than expected due to the degradation of its circuitry as a result of minor power surges. When the stakes are higher, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment must stay online to keep your business functioning correctly and profitable, you invest far more into electrical protection than a surge strip. Cellular sites are a prime example of how equipment placed in the field must be protected in order for the business to remain profitable.
Cellular companies place equipment that creates a network to support their business. Cell sites are placed in this network in a way that will enable the strongest signals for the most customers. For high-speed data transfer, the sites must be closer than ever. As a result, cell carriers invest heavily in the launch of new sites and upgrading existing sites with new equipment, all in support of current and next-generation networks. The new equipment is being installed on existing macro cell sites in support of C-band signals and in small cell sites closer to customers to support the shorter distance mmWave signals. Because of all this investment, the antennas, radios, and other equipment used to support the network must often be concealed and always be protected. By placing the equipment in cabinets and shrouds, it can be hidden, protecting it from vandalism. But to be protected from the electrical damage that lightning strikes can cause, industrial surge protection must also be installed on all the cell site locations. Power surges of the magnitude produced by a lightning strike will travel along cable connections between the equipment and overwhelm it and cause significant damage and downtime. Each cellular installation in a network performs the task of receiving and transmitting a signal if the user is within its range. If that tower or structure goes offline due to damage, dead spots can be created where calls are dropped or no signal is available. Downtime causes customer dissatisfaction which leads to lost revenue for the cellular carrier. In addition, the cellular company must spend to repair the equipment and restoring functionality. In a nutshell, the best policy is to reduce damage to reduce downtime and conserve budget. Reduced downtime can be accomplished by integrating external surge protection systems into the site along the pathways that electricity travels. These surge protection devices block will any power outside a range considered safe for the equipment. It acts as a failsafe to stop the damage from traveling to other equipment in the case of a nearby lighting strike. This policy of integrating surge protection equipment will not prevent the lightning strike, but it can salvage the equipment connected nearby to the places where the strike happens. This allows cell installations to be restored faster and for less money, creating a win-win for customers and companies.