United StatesChange

3 Lightning-Related Problems for Telecommunication Towers in Very Dense Cities

Posted by Rohit Narayan on Apr 16, 2019 8:00:00 AM

This following is part of our telecom lightning protection series, which is based on our whitepaper “Earth Potential Rise in Public Spaces Near Telecommunications Facilities,” that presented at Intelec 2018.This paper is copyright of IEEE You can download the full whitepaper here.

Traditionally, telecommunication networks were housed in secure structures or locations, keeping them at an adequate distance from very dense populations.

Today, network densification is used to provide high data speeds. Some of the infrastructure—small cells, macro cells, street cabinets—will be located in densely populated metropolitan areas.

Lightning strikes to telecom facilities in these densely populated locations can cause headaches and costs for facility owners, including:

  • Dissatisfaction about the carrier from nearby network users
  • Concerns about personnel injury during lightning strikes
  • Costs, at times in the form of large compensations to neighbors

Historically, lightning protection and earthing system requirements for telecommunications facilities has been focused on protecting the facility and equipment.

While this method works for most facilities, in densely populated cities, attention must also be given to properties located close to the radio tower. The existing standards and design methods do not fully consider the effects a lightning strike to the tower may have on these nearby structures.

In this post, we assess the three problems this creates, and provide general solutions to those complications.

Read More

Topics: Lightning Protection

What Are the Basic Differences Between UL 96A, NFPA 780 and LPI 175?

Posted by Spencer Allemang on Apr 2, 2019 8:00:00 AM
For electrical engineers, contractors, installers, designers and other individuals whose jobs involve lightning protection systems and related equipment, understanding all the relevant standards can be a daunting task.

To learn and apply the intricate requirements outlined in a given code or standard, we recommend referring to the specific document first.

In this article, we will examine three of the most prominent U.S. lightning system design, installation and inspection documents. We answer the following questions to direct you to the right one:
  • Why does each standard and organization exist?
  • Where can I find the necessary information for a given situation?
  • When is each applicable and how is it regulated?

Read More

Topics: Lightning Protection

Why Electrical Inspections Are Delayed in Parts of the U.S. [Plus More Electrical Engineering Information]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Mar 19, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Inspections are an important and required aspect of the electrical field. They keep buildings up to code, uphold building safety and ultimately limit some liability for engineers and contractors.

Where is inspecting at today, and how will it evolve in the future? 

Read on to learn about why a drone may fly by your next jobsite, why your inspection requests may be delayed and how testing laboratories relate to inspectors in determining compliance.

Read More

Topics: Industry Trends

The Applications and Limitations of UL 1449 for Surge Protective Devices (SPDs)

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Mar 5, 2019 8:00:00 AM

In the U.S—with the exception of utility, telecommunications and rail industries—all AC power connected surge protective devices (SPDs) must be installed in accordance with National Electrical Code (NEC). 

The 2017 revision of the NEC includes three articles that address SPD application and expand its use outside for emergency power systems:

  • Article 620.51(E), Surge Protection for Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators, Moving Walks, Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts
  • Article 645.18, Surge Protection for Critical Operations Data Systems
  • Article 670.6, Surge Protection for Industrial Machinery

The NEC requires that a SPD be “listed” or recognized for such purpose and approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). One example of a NRTL listing service is Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL).

The broadening application of the NEC furthers the responsibility for NRTLs, like UL, to prioritize safety for facilities, electrical professionals and patrons. Read on to learn about the main UL standard that assesses SPD products for safety and provides basic ratings for determining applications.

Read More

Topics: Surge Protection

What is Soil Resistivity and How Does it Affect Grounding?

Posted by Kristen Sermersheim on Feb 19, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Proper grounding proves to be an important issue when designing and installing power and lightning protection systems. The goal of any grounding system is to provide a low-impedance path for fault and lightning-induced currents to enter the earth, ensuring maximum safety from electrical system faults and lightning. 

A properly installed grounding system not only helps protect buildings and equipment from damage caused by unintentional fault currents or lightning surges, but more importantly, it also protects people.

Grounding is a very complex subject. The proper installation of grounding systems requires knowledge of national and international standards, grounding conductor materials and compositions, and grounding connections and terminations.  However, designers and installers of grounding systems should not overlook another important factor—soil conditions.

Below, we explore what soil resistivity is, how it is determined and the ways in which grounding systems are affected by various soil resistivity.

Read More

Topics: Grounding & Bonding

The Most Influential 2019 Trends for Electrical Engineers and Contractors [Plus Other Expert Predictions]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Feb 5, 2019 8:02:00 AM

We may already be a few weeks into the new year, but there is still time to catch up on what many industry publications predict for 2019.

As an electrical engineer or contractor, trends can emerge slowly, but affect jobs quickly. Read on for our roundup of electrical engineering news and information focusing on trends, predictions and more for the electrical industry in 2019.  

Read More

Topics: Industry Trends

How Do Surge Protective Devices (SPDs) Work?

Posted by Chris Barcey on Jan 22, 2019 8:02:00 AM

A surge protective device (SPD) is designed to protect electrical systems and equipment from surge events by limiting transient voltages and diverting surge currents. 

Surges can originate externally, most intensely by lightning, or internally by the switching of electrical loads. The sources of these internal surges, which account for 65% of all transients, can include loads turning on and off, relays and/or breakers operating, heating systems, motors and office equipment. 

Without the appropriate SPD, transient events can harm electronic equipment and cause costly downtime. The importance of these devices in electrical protection is undeniable, but how do these devices actually work? And what components and factors are central to their performance?

Read More

Topics: Surge Protection

Grounding and Bonding Tips for Electric Signs, Isolated Equipment and Cabling [Advice from Electrical Engineering Experts]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jan 8, 2019 8:02:00 AM

When it comes it to electrical safety, grounding and bonding are integral. Across various industries, applications and facility types, grounding and bonding requirements may be different.

In this edition of electrical engineering news and information, we overview how to ground and bond in the following situations:

  • Electric signs and outline lighting
  • Cabling in industrial factories and other facilities integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • High-end media centers (or any isolated environment)
Read More

Topics: Industry Trends

How an Investment in Safety Saves You Money [Plus More Electrical Engineering Workplace Advice]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Dec 26, 2018 8:01:00 AM

The changing electrical workforce, and the skilled workforce as a whole, has been a hot topic over the past few years. Both attracting a new generation of skilled laborers, and increasing the safety of the existing workforce should be top of mind for electrical employers.

In this installment of curated industry news, we take a look at the oft-discussed millennial workforce, the cost of safety and health in the workplace and the most common OSHA violations of 2018.

Read More

Topics: Industry Trends

A Year in Review: 6 Top Electrical Engineering Posts from 2018

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Dec 11, 2018 8:01:00 AM

Is it just us, or has 2018 felt longer than 365 days? For instance, it may come as a surprise that less than 11 months ago the 2018 Winter Olympics were held in South Korea.

During this long year, the nVent ERICO team of engineering and product experts has published dozens of posts focusing on electrical safety, grounding, bonding and more. Before surging ahead into 2019, see which six posts were viewed the most this year.

Looking for another recap post? Check out top electrical engineering posts from 2017.

Read More

Topics: Industry Trends