Wherever computers and other electronic equipment are connected to a power or service supply they are at risk from transient overvoltages caused by electrical switching or secondary effect of lightning strikes, exposing them to :-
- Data loss and or service disruption
- Component damage
- Costly systems downtime
Surge protective devices (SPDs) are primarily designed to safeguard these electrical systems and personnel from the danger of transient overvoltages.
In addition to the structural Lightning Protection System, SPDs are a fundamental requirement in the overall solution and for compliance with BSEN 62305:2012.
To satisfy BSEN62305 R1 risk, “loss of life”, all services entering or leaving a structure and from any roof mounted equipment, must be provided with suitable SPDs. Typically this involves fitting SPD’s to the main incoming electrical supply, telephone and data cables, any CCTV, solar panels, external lighting, or signage etc, that are fed separately from the main distribution board.
Risk R2 “loss of service to the public” dictates the need for further SPD’s in the form of coordinated surge protection. This is generally protection of the individual services within different zones or areas of a building or structure. An example could be a protecting the sub distribution board feeding the communications room in an Ambulance, Police or Fire Station, or installing individual SPD’s to critical computers and electronic equipment within an NHS Trust or Private Hospital.
In summary the danger from Lightning exists not only from a direct strike to a structure or building, but also indirect strikes that can cause havoc to internal systems, the unnecessary loss of service or production, and associated downtime costs and insurance claims.