Content Spotlight – Get Grounded: Protecting Electrical Devices From Lightning Transients

For any outdoor radio installation where there is a coaxial cable or an antenna installed outdoors, lightning protection is critical to ensuring continued operation and a minimum of service interuptions. In addition to installing arrestors where appropriate, it is critical to ensure that all grounding and bonding be well-designed and properly installed. In fact, unless coaxial arrestors (and any other type of arrestor, such as those for AC or DC Power or Serial Communications) are installed as part of a well-bonded and grounded system, they will not operate properly…or potentially not operate at all!

Full Scale Lightning Testing

Bonding and Grounding are important when dealing with lightning because a Lightning Bolt contains so much energy that it is impossible to dissipate quickly enough. With up to 200,000 Amps of current discharged in a fraction of a second, it quickly becomes apparent that when it comes to grounding and bonding for lightning protection, more is better!

Example Tower Installation - Grounding Guide

The more robust, cross-connected, and low resistance the grounding system for a particular installation…The better and more effective the energy-splitting and current sharing, and the better and more effective any arrestors will operate because they work by re-directing surge energy to ground through this path.
For more information about Grounding and Bonding for Lightning Protection purposes, we are highlighting our “Get Grounded!” article which was published in AGL magazine in 2007.

Topics Included In This Article:

  • Lightning Strikes and their characteristics (Energy Levels, Frequency Content, Waveshape Characteristics)
  • Grounding/Bonding Wires and their characteristics (Conductor Size vs. Lifetime, Lorentz Forces) when conducting Lightning Energy.
  • General Grounding and Bonding Tips related to the overall system, and installation of Coaxial Lightning Protectors within a well-bonded system.

NexTek’s “GET GROUNDED” ARTICLE:

Article – NexTek Arrestors – GET GROUNDED: Protection of Electrical Equipment Against Lightning Transients [.PDF]

Other Links:

Technical Note – NexTek Arrestors – MOUNTING AND GROUNDING GUIDE [.PDF]

Education Center – Find more educational resources [Link]