Protecting your Wavelets from lightning damage is critical if they are deployed in areas that are prone to lightning strikes. Lightning can cause damage by traveling through the ground and into buried sensors or cables.
Protecting your devices from lightning damage is critical if they are deployed in areas that are prone to lightning strikes. Even if the lightning does not directly strike the equipment, it can cause damage by traveling through the ground and into buried sensors or cables. Proper planning for such events can help reduce the risk of lost data or expensive equipment replacement and site downtime.
How it Happens
Within a thundercloud, many small frozen raindrops collide with each other as they move in the air, and thus create an electric charge. The cloud fills up with electrical charges - positive charges at the top of the cloud and negative charges at the bottom.
Since opposites attract, a positive charge builds up on the ground below the cloud. The ground’s electrical charge is focused on anything that sticks up, such as your mounted device, antenna, solar panel, camera, power source, and so forth. The charge coming up from these points eventually connects with a charge reaching down from the clouds and lightning strikes your equipment.
What a Lightning Strike Costs You
In a lightning strike, the physical connectivity between the device and its components permits excess electrical flow. Consequently, high currents and high voltage will create physical damage to electrical equipment that might result in permanent damage. In such cases, the equipment needs to be repaired or replaced, and the equipment is offline for further data sampling. Thus, you incur a double loss: financial and data.
How You Can Protect Your Equipment
No system can be made completely resistant to all lightning strikes. Nevertheless, there are measures that can provide greater protection, thus maximizing the chance of equipment survival and minimizing the amount of lost data.
Determine if you are in a lightning-prone area. Check the lightning detection maps for your country.
Redirect the lightning away from the equipment to the ground. Lightning rods are good for this purpose.
Protect the equipment as much as possible. Install any protective gear around the equipment. The Wavelet devices have internal protection mechanisms to block high-voltage surges. Nevertheless, a direct lightning strike might still damage the device.
Reduce the length of exposed cable to a minimum.