Surge & Lightning Protection

Lighting is a dramatic and often wonderful spectacle and quite lovely to behold – but it could also prove to be lethal as well as extremely damaging to sensitive equipment if you don’t have the right lightning protection for all your expensive devices.

According to the South African weather services, lightning is responsible for killing no fewer than 260 people each year – so imagine what it could do to the delicate and expensive equipment you have invested in.

Lightning is discharged in an electrically-charged storm; the flashing bolt you see is an electrical discharge that occurs between regions of positive and negative electrical charges in the atmosphere.

Why you need lightning protection in South Africa

  • State-of-the-art surge technology has advanced to the point where it is possible to identify and avert surges and has now evolved into a precise science.
  • Furthermore, unsurprisingly, insurance service providers are insistent that consumers install surge protection against surges to avoid unnecessary damage to expensive computers as well as other sensitive equipment.

Even though direct lightning strikes are responsible for a very small percentage of actual damage incurred to electrical and other sensitive systems, the main damage is actually caused by inductive coupling and probable ground differences.

It is imperative that consumers pay special attention to earth installation and the fitting of surge protection and lighting protection devices in South Africa.

A brief history of lightning protection

  • Benjamin Franklin conducted the very first experiment using a kite and key in the early 1700’s.
  • As a result of that specific experiment, the lightning rod was born.
  • Today lightning rods are still being used as a form of lightning protection although much more scientifically-formulated methods are utilised to protect structures and property from destructive lightning strikes.
  • Take note that a lightning rod is no fool proof method of steering lightning away from structures.

Newer technologies including the CTS – otherwise known as the Charge Transfer System which has been created to prevent lightning from developing in an area of protection.

This new method averts the formation of lightning strikes in a designated area instead of the collection of them – this is particularly significant for producers of oil and gas where midstream storage tanks are warehoused.

Highly combustible areas, in particular, need sufficient lightning protection with the application of high-tech protection that will prevent huge costs and massive damage.