Raycap News

The Importance Of Lightning Protectors

One of the more important discoveries over the course of the last 50 years has been the improvements to uptime of mission-critical systems enabled by advanced lightning protection technology. Lightning protectors are essentially surge protection devices which are strategically positioned throughout a connected system of electronic equipment. They create a barrier between exposed areas which are ultimately vulnerable to lightning strikes during inclement weather. While there is little that can be done to completely eliminate damage to equipment that is directly struck by lightning, there is an ability to salvage downstream equipment that would normally be damaged by the same strike.  Many people are unaware that the damage that is caused by a lightning strike is not isolated to that strike point. Instead, we find that the associated electrical surge that happens after the strike is what produces the majority of the damage. This is due to weaknesses that are seen within many industrial applications, such as cellular towers or wind turbines.  In order for the most effective level of systems to be provided, cellular towers and wind turbines are many times positioned areas and ways that make them vulnerable to lightning strikes.  They’re generally constructed of metal, located in an isolated area, and the tallest structure around. While this setup provides the best direct communication lines and access to high wind areas, it also makes that these towers magnets for lightning strikes. The equipment that is positioned at the tower top will most likely be damaged by the strike itself.  While there is little that can be done to prevent the damage at this point, the inclusion of lightning protectors throughout the entire structure can prevent the damage to equipment located either midway or at the bottom of that tower. In most cases equipment that is positioned at a tower top must be directly connected through data transfer cables and power lines to the equipment positioned elsewhere in the tower. In the past a strike to the top would allow for a power surge to travel on these cables and overwhelm any equipment downstream. A lightning strike in past years would be expected to destroying or disable the majority of equipment within that tower. Through the development of more technologically advanced lightning protectors, not only is the equipment beyond the strike point now salvageable, the systems are actually able to stay online even after the lightning strike happens. This is due to the development of improved surge protection technology that can cut off or divert electricity that is over a measured amount, then quickly recover and remain in intact working order. This allows for not only the reduction of operational costs due to less equipment needing to be repaired, but also increases customer satisfaction rates because of the improved up times and ability to connect calls when necessary. These increased performance levels are directly associated with improved technology within the surge protection industry being passed on to companies that require towers to conduct their own business.