LEC is a fully integrated lightning protection solution provider. We will provide you direction for the best performance and most cost-effective solution that suits your project requirements.
Lightning is a constant risk.
A single direct strike can result in physical damage to buildings and cause catastrophic failure of sensitive electronic equipment. Telecommunications facilities are particularly at risk of direct lightning strikes—and the electrical surges that ensue. Lightning protection avoids many failures and deterioration of electronic components, thus prolonging life of the installation and equipment.
Telecommunication towers are made of steel to remain stable for years and are constructed as the highest structures around in order to supply uninterrupted communications.
There is a higher probability of lightning hitting the sharpest and tallest object in an area. Furthermore, lightning current reaches the ground by following the shortest and most conductive way. That is why a telecommunication tower which is a tall metal structure becomes the primary target for lightning strikes.
When lightning strikes the top edge of a tower, the current flows downward to the ground and damages all electronic equipment along the way.
Determining the Level of Protection
Lightning protection has become even more necessary for the telecommunications industry as a growing number of sophisticated electronic equipment are mounted on towers, which are more susceptible to direct strikes.
Determining the level of protection that makes business sense requires considering factors that can reduce the probability for lightning strikes and decrease the level of protection; in turn, lower the overall cost of tower mounted systems.
Tower Mounted Electronics
Certain factors will help evaluate the level of protection required.
• Lightning frequency and probability
• Structure height
• Installation landscape
• Structure grounding
• Equipment placement
Lightning energy seeks the lowest impedance to ground. Since this energy can induce surges upwards of 3000 amps and 60,000 volts, it’s preferable to control the energy. This provides several advantages, such as:
• It removes the risk of single point failure. This technology is based on producing positive space charges in the region around the DAS which reduces near-surface, electric field strength to levels below which lightning streamer formation is likely. With no streamer formation, the likelihood of a lightning strike is eliminated.
• By taking advantage of the surface movement of electrons and less current in the path, solutions can be cost effective by using wider, smaller gauge conductors (braids) instead of thick heavy gauge ones.
• Point discharge becomes more efficient when the points are connected to a low-impedance grounding system and more ions can be transferred with a greater number of points.
For more information on lightning protection to telecommunication towers you can consult our technical specialist at LEC.