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.