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Static Electricity: The Hidden Hand

You may have a vague memory of your science teacher experimenting with static electricity back in your school days. This more-so simplistic concept usually involves a balloon, wool, and human hair, wherein the teacher rubs the balloon on wool and then puts it near the head. This, in turn, causes said hair to stand on end. The reason for this cling is through the electricity created by the balloon and wool getting transferred to the hair. This process is known as Electrostatic Discharge or ESD, ESD simply being a fancy term and acronym for static electricity. While this little science experiment is harmless, the presence of static electricity in or around electrical systems, such as computers and radios, can be quite harmful to their structure.

As with a considerable number of notions within the scientific world, “the devil is in the details”. The truth is, static electricity is present everywhere, the only reason for it going by generally unnoticed is the voltage level usually being below 3500 Volts. On rare occasion, it reaches 3500 volts or higher, and that is precisely when you get “zapped” by it. The next obvious inquiry would be how, in fact, static electricity can damage the systems of electronic devices.

The biggest threat happens when electronic devices are opened for the purpose of maintenance. Unless proper precautions are taken when the technician touches the metal parts, an electronic discharge or ESD could occur. This is a sure-fire way to damage sensitive parts such as inherent circuit boards, which are calibrated to handle a certain voltage number. A persisting issue is that you may not even notice this when it happens: in fact, in most cases, the only indication is when the technician puts everything in place again and tries to operate it. If damage did take place, it will not work, it is as simple as that.

The Relationship Between Lighting and Static Electricity Damage

Lighting is an extreme manifestation of static electricity. Just as when a negatively charged balloon rubs against positively charged wool and thus produces electricity, clouds with different charges will make contact at some point. This is how lightning is created. Obviously, lightning strikes are much more extensive and radically damaging in comparison to wool and balloons.

On the plus side is the fact that there are various lightning protection steps technicians can take — such as the ones at Lightning Master Corporation — to ensure ESD does not cause harm to any sensitive electronic parts. Even on a calm day without the presence of lightning storms, static electricity can build up in electrical systems. On days which lightning activity comes to pass, however, the threat of static electricity can increase. The way to deal with this recurring problem is by using spot and static electricity dissipators.

Contact Lightning Master Today to Learn More About Static Electricity Damage

Lightning Master has a whole host of products designed exclusively for the purpose of dealing with static electricity and lightning strikes. Once the engineers of the company diagnose where the problem areas are within your facility, they will make proper recommendations to handle it. This could be anything from water treatment plants to oil and natural gas facilities, and government buildings. If the facility or building you manage is in Texas, Florida, or Oklahoma, then you may want to consider giving Lightning Master a call at 727-447-6800 to find out how you can greatly enhance the protection of the facility from lightning strikes and static electricity.