Utilities in general need to plan for all different kinds of situations and events. Some of them more critical than others. A lightning strike is one of those potentially catastrophic events that need to be planned for. The correct planning and equipment can turn disaster into practically routine. And while some geographic areas see very few thunderstorms per year, areas such as the US Gulf Coast see typically 40 to 80 per year.
So how does a utility protect its equipment and network from the effects of a lightning strike?
- Lightning Capture Rods
It starts with equipment such as lightning capture rods, meant to protect if possible at the point of entry of the lightning.
It continues with arresters, that switch from blocking current normally to instantly moving to relay the power surge of a lightning strike to ground so as not to conduct the electricity throughout the its connected equipment.
- Grounding Equipment
Attached to this conductive system is the path to ground, in the form of grounding equipment such as grounding rods. The main effect of this system is to avoid damage caused by the sudden and massive surge in power a lightning bolt can provide.
A system as critical as lightning protection needs regular maintenance and part replacement. Arresters, for instance, may over time fail and begin to create surges of power to equipment instead of preventing them.
To find out more about what can be done to plan for the purchase, maintenance or update of a lightning protection system, contact us today to discuss lightning protection equipment options.