Protect Your Vital Commercial Systems from Power Surge Damage

Many industrial companies lose millions of dollars every year repairing and replacing damaged equipment due to various electrical power damage concerns. While the obvious issues including vandalism and theft can be effectively limited through investing in security systems, some forms of damage like power surge damage demand more stringent management measures.

Since power surges occur across all attached components within your industrial electrical system, this means they can cause immense damage to your entire organization. Measures that act to prevent power surge damage to your critical systems and components ensures you won’t have to deal with costly repairs. Such a strategy alongside providing a lightning protection risk assessment business continuity even during lightning strikes since all your systems will have lightning protection.

Direct and Indirect Lightning Damage

Lightning strikes, both indirect and direct, can inflict damage to your organization. For instance, a direct strike could cause considerable lightning damage to all electrical equipment on your premises and adversely affect other non-electrical items. It can cause the wiring to start a fire or even result in significant structural damage. Meanwhile, during an indirect lightning strike, your industrial power circuit is exposed to large energy spikes, negatively affecting the attached equipment.

Top ways to Prevent Power Surge Damage

Below we examine the top ways to achieve effective protection from power surges to ensure your industrial systems, whether in chemical plants, oil and gas storage facilities, government buildings and others, are secure as possible.

Industrial Surge Protection Devices

The first strategy organizations can use to avoid power surge damage is by installing industrial-level surge protection systems at critical spots along the power transmission line. These devices or systems provide a critical buffer and instantly stop the power surge pathway when the excessive power breaches a certain point. The excess power is then quickly sent to the ground.

Surge protection devices are also called transient voltage surge suppressors or TVSS, and they work by diverting high-current power surges to the ground. They help bypass and secure your equipment to limit the power surge damage. Your industrial facility must have accurately sized surge protectors for optimal protection.

Considering that power surges originate both inside and outside your facility, be sure to place the SPDs strategically to provide total protection. For instance, you can place one SPD at the primary service entrance and then add others across all the distribution panels all over your facility. A final protection zone can include local SPDs for each of the critical equipment to minimize voltage exposure.

Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Power Surge Damage Device

When choosing a surge protection device for specific applications, there are a few considerations to keep in mind, including:

  • Application: Make sure the SPD you want to use is designed specifically to cover that protection zone. For instance, a service entrance SPD should handle the massive power surges linked to utility switching or lightning.
  • System configuration and voltage requirements: SPDs are made for specific circuit configurations and voltage levels. Ensure that your SPD is correctly sized.
  • Let-through voltage: The let-through voltage specifies with the specific voltage an SPD exposes the equipment to and for what period.
  • Power surge current: SPDs have different power surge current ratings that range from 1000 amps to over 400 kiloamperes.

Structural Lightning Protection

There are a couple of strategic lightning protection systems available to control power surge damage caused by lightning strikes. For lightning protection, you can use the ESE air terminal to direct lightning to specific attachment points. You can also reduce the likelihood attaching and adversely impacting a protected building by making use of streamer-delaying air terminals. Finally, the traditional lightning rod unit is ideal for intercepting lighting strikes. Lightning Master Corporation offers top-shelf lightning protection services including all these three lighting damage mitigation technologies for our clients.

Bonding and Grounding

The final way to reduce industrial power surge damage is by addressing bonding and grounding. Bonding reduces current flow across data and power conductors between equipment at varying potentials. Grounding is also critical to personnel and equipment safety as it ensures more effective surge protection.

In Conclusion

Proper sizing, installation, and coordination of power surge protection solutions will guarantee your industrial equipment are running smoothly and secure. Conductor lengths must also be as straight and short as possible to reduce resistance. Lightning Master Corporation has a dedicated team of industrial power surge experts ready to evaluate, recommend and install highly effective surge protection equipment. Contact us today at +1 (800) 749-6800 for more information.