Surge Protection Devices
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Surge protection devices are equipment that is specifically designed to act as a barrier between electricity which has exceeded a specific level and the equipment that is being powered by the regulated flow. One of the largest costs of doing business at industrial facilities is the repair and replacement of equipment in the field. The critical components that are necessary to continue operations in a wide variety of industries also function at significant risk of damage or destruction every moment that they are operational. This is because of the physical makeup of industrial facilities; characteristics of these facilities being remotely located and also often the tallest structures within a range. In addition to these types of characteristics is the fact that a significant portion of many industrial installations is made up of components and materials that have the ability to conduct electricity. Because of these types of characteristics, lightning strikes and the resultant surges to the exposed areas of many industrial facilities are common. During inclement weather it is commonplace for lightning to be attracted to the exposed portions of these types of facilities, sometimes striking multiple times to the same area. The damage that is incurred at the strike point does not make up the majority of impact in many instances, even though it is almost guaranteed that anything that is struck by lightning will be rendered inoperable and need to be replaced. Instead, a large portion of the costs associated with lightning strikes is seen in the follow on surge damage that occurs downstream. The lightning strikes the facility and an extraordinarily large surge of power follows. This electricity couples into the structure itself as well as cables that allow for electricity to flow along them. This creates a situation where the standard electrical cables that supply power to pieces of equipment within the facility become the catalyst for the delivery of levels of electricity that will damage the equipment. Data transfer cables and other forms of connectivity between devices have the same issue. The excess electricity flows along these lines from component to component, overwhelming the circuitry of the devices often causing fires and explosions. In order to mitigate or eliminate this type of subsequent damage as a result of lightning strikes, the integration of surge protection devices that have been manufactured on the industrial level is critical. These types of devices are installed along the junction points as well as lines and cables that have the ability to conduct electricity. They function for a single purpose, to stop or divert the flow of electricity if it exceeds a specific amount. The safe range of operations is maintained through the installation of these types of devices so as to protect equipment from instances damage due to electrical overvoltage. While it is almost impossible to stop lightning from striking these types of facilities, the installation of surge protection devices along the potential flow routes can mitigate the amount of damage that is sustained every year.