Protect Your Investment!
It is unfortunate, but a fact of life, that computers, computer related products and process control equipment found in premises data communications environments can be damaged by high-voltage surges and spikes.
Such power surges and spikes are most often caused by lightning strikes. However, there are occasions when the surges and spikes result from any one of a variety of other causes. These causes may include direct contact with power/lightning circuits, static buildup on cables and components, high energy transients coupled into equipment from cables in close proximity, potential differences between grounds to which different equipment’s are connected, mis-wired systems and even human equipment users who have accumulated large static electricity charge build-ups on their clothing. In fact, electrostatic discharges from a person can produce peak Voltages up to 15 kV with currents of tens of Amperes in less than 10 microseconds.
Lightning Protection for LAN Equipment
A manufacturing environment is particularly susceptible to such surges because of the presence of motors and other high voltage equipment. The essential point to remember is, the effects of surges due to these other sources are no different than those due to lightning. Hence, protection from one will also protect from the other.
We recommend using off the shelf local electronics or computer store surge and lightning protection power strips. Some common brands are Belkin, APC, Black Box, Tripplite, etc. We also would recommend the use of a lightning rod or air terminal with grounding for areas that are prone to severe lightning strikes. If you are looking for protection beyond these recommendations, we do offer the following Lightning Surge Protection products.
Lightning rod, or air terminals, have been the front line of defense against lightning. Its basic concept is to provide a preferential terminal for lightning that would have otherwise hit a vulnerable part of the structure. An air terminal only will protect a portion of a building, so most structures will have several lightning terminals. The spacing and position of air terminals has been well understood for many years and the proper configuration and installation of air terminals is detailed in well-known standards, such as NFPA 780 (National Fire Protection Association). Basic direct-effects protection also includes a system of down conductors connecting the air terminals to the grounding system.
Lightning Protection Kits
The configuration of the grounding system is very important and depends upon soil conditions, building construction and the presence of other underground conductors. Grounding systems can be created with driven ground rods, plates and possibly a counterpoise, which is a buried cable encircling the site. A counterpoise adds greatly to the protection from earth voltage rises that may injure people standing on the ground.
Please keep in mind that nothing is 100% fool proof and the best, and cheapest, way to protect your computer, or any electronic gear is to unplug all power, telephone, cable, (modem), and antenna connections during a lightning and thunderstorm.