Raycap News

Protection From Lightning For Crucial Components

 Nearly every industry has become more technologically advanced over the past decades, and there is not nearly a single business that is not reliant upon computers for some portion of their operations.  Due to this move into the technology space even by  industries that would not seem to need to be technologically advanced, the increasing need for equipment protection becomes even more important.  The things that everyday consumers take for granted are generally tied to computerized systems in one form or another, and the only time that this dependence becomes apparent is when the system is no longer available.  When your power goes out, or when you cannot get a cell phone signal, you are being indirectly affected by a system that is probably controlled by computers, and you are witnessing in real time the need for protection systems to be in place.

A good example of this need is the telecommunications industry, which is called upon by millions of customers every hour to provide a continually connected service that will transfer enormous amounts of data within seconds from a phone to a tower, across a network and to another phone.  The sheer technological magnitude of this service is mind boggling, and yet consumers will simply be irritated if they are not able to complete their tasks without interruption.  The cellular industry relies upon towers that are strategically placed all over the country, a grid which functions to provide a tower within the range of any device at any time.  These towers in a distributed antenna system contain the same technology for the most part, consisting of a structure which is as unobstructed as possible, a BSU (base station unit) and a number of RRH (remote radio heads) All computerized components are connected via data transfer lines and power lines that run up and down and throughout the structure itself.  A drawback to being unobstructed is that the structure is generally isolated and the tallest structure in an area, making it a prime target for lighting strikes.  A strike to a tower, or even near it will create a substantial electrical surge known as a lightning surge, which will travel through these connection lines from component to component, overwhelming them and creating circuit damage and potentially even explosions and fires.  This creates system shutdowns which results in a lack of connectivity for customers as well as massive amounts of monetary loss as the components must then be repaired and replaced.

The integration of advanced industrial surge protection devices made specifically for the mission-critical telecommunications market will prevent lighting-related power surges. They are the only effective line of defense against this damage. By positioning the SPDs along power and data cables a surge can be stopped from reaching the next component.  A redundancy of protection is the ultimate solution at the tower or rooftop,in order to prevent a surge if one SPD should fail or be taken out of commission and unable to prevent the flow.  Integration of devices into junction boxes and at other crucial points is the best method of preventing lightning surge damage at a cell site. The small inadequate attempts at surge protection installed by radio manufacturers in their equipment will not be adequate to stop the radios from being damaged during a lightning surge.  The operator that effectively uses surge protection to extend the useful life span of their critical equipment is generally the one that will survive and outpace the competition, and in the modern business climate this is not just suggested, it is critical.