Why lightning & surge protection is vital to your business

Your home & office is full of electronics & appliances that have electronic components. These devices have become an integral part of our daily lives, and let's face it, we would be completely lost without it. Yet somehow, most of these devices stay plugged in and powered though our incredible South African lightning storms.

The summer months in South Africa are a glorious blend of scorching hot sunny days and breathless downpours, but along with this rain, comes any electronic systems worst nightmare - lightning. Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs during a thunderstorm. An average bolt of lightning, striking from cloud to ground, contains roughly one billion (1,000,000,000) joules of energy. This is no small amount, enough to power a 60-watt lightbulb for six months plus a forgotten open door refrigerator for a day.

This discharge can occur on power lines or sub stations, causing a huge influx / surge to occur in households and offices, which can of course cause irreparable damage to your appliances and electronics. This is where protection is becoming a vital part in the longevity of these devices. 

We have partnered up with Clearline - the leader in surge protection - to bring you easy, manageable and affordable surge & lightning protection solutions. These units can be anything from a simple multi-plug to ethernet and network protection all the way to full building protection, installed into your buildings power grid.*

How lightning affects your electronics and appliances

Galvanically coupled surge voltages:

Lightning can strike the air conductors directly and surge voltages, even from kilometers away, can enter into your installation. This surge voltage is then passed to ground through your equipment which can lead to damage or complete destruction of your equipment.

galvanically coupled surge voltage

 

Induced surge voltages:

When lightning strikes an object, (a building, tree or pole etc.) high currents at fast wave fronts occur causing large electromagnetic fields which are then induced into your electrical and data communication cabling. Equalisation then occurs which could cause damage to your equipment.

induced surge voltage

 

Earth potential differences

When lightning strikes a structure, (a building, tree or pole etc.) a high voltage potential exists for the duration of the strike at the point of contact of the structure to the ground. Due to resistivity of the earth, decreasing voltage potentials will be experienced along the current paths moving away from this point. Should you have electronic equipment referenced to different earth systems while connected to each other via copper cables, equalisation will tend to occur via the copper cables resulting in equipment damage.

earthing potential difference

 

External Protection

External or structural protection should always be considered as an integral part of a correctly designed protection system. As the name implies, external or structural protection will only protect the structure and not the equipment located inside the structure. When lightning current is passed into the ground, high electromagnetic fields are generated which will be induced into cabling and wiring causing equipment damage.

 

*Some solutions that require an installation on a buildings power network required a licensed electrician, and thus BahatiGroup will not be able to perform the installation.

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