Commissioning Testing does not get any more realistic than this!
This image was taken 6 days after the surge protection, designed by Rudds Consulting Engineers and installed by the electrical contractor Martin Donnelly Pty Ltd, was commissioned and tested at Telstra Tower, Black Mountain ACT. We reckon our testing was pretty good but there is no way we could simulate the event captured here!
Telstra Tower has always been fitted with lightning protection but in the past has suffered adverse impacts associated with lightning strikes. The new surge protection performed wonderfully during this strike and the Facilities Manager reported there were no failures or negative effects.
What is Lightning Protection?
Lightning Protection safeguards the building structure, and the occupants within, by providing a safe path for a lighting strike to go to earth. Buildings struck by lightning where no lightning protection has been installed, may suffer from fire, structural damage to steel and masonry or may experience considerable damage to electrical items.
What is Surge Protection?
When installed in addition to Lighting Protection, Surge Protection safeguards the electrical installation from over-voltages caused by the current pulse from lightning strikes. Lightning is an extremely powerful event and, even with lightning protection, some of the current from strikes to Telstra Tower will find a way into the electrical system. This can be quite damaging to electrical components and, as you can imagine, there are plenty of fragile components in Telstra Tower. In the past a strike such as this this might have resulted in a loss of mobile, TV, radio or other communications transmissions. The new Surge Diversion directs these current pulses via a separate path to keep the electrical system voltage levels below that which will damage the installed equipment.
Many thanks to Patrick Grahame for permission to use this image.