Did you know we have an nVent blog dedicated to Rail solutions? In the latest blog series on the nVent Rail blog, nVent ERICO Railway Electrical Protection is highlighted to show how a coordinated approach to grounding, bonding, lightning protection and surge protection can prevent against damaging electrical events.
Severe weather, with heavy rain, hail, and dangerous cloud to ground lightning can occur anywhere in North America, creating a challenging environment for railways, especially during the summer months. A coordinated approach for protecting critical assets, specifically railway signaling and communications systems (C&S), is essential to providing safe, reliable service.
In this post, we will summarize the nVent Rail blog series that walks through the three main disciplines of a complete electrical protection system—lightning protection, grounding and bonding and surge protection.
nVent ERICO Six Point Plan of Protection
nVent ERICO is a leading provider of railway electrical protection with a product portfolio that includes direct strike lightning protection, grounding and bonding, as well surge protection devices for track circuits and wayside equipment. Installed in railway properties such as classification yards, and bungalows, these products strategically combine to form a comprehensive electrical protection approach called the nVent ERICO Six Point Plan of Protection.
The nVent ERICO Six Point Plan of Protection provides an approach to:
- Capture the lightning strike.
- Convey this energy to ground.
- Dissipate the energy into the grounding system.
- Bond all ground points together.
- Protect incoming AC power feeders.
- Protect low voltage wayside signaling equipment as well as data/telecommunication circuits.
Points 1 and 2: Lightning Protection
The first post in the series walks through the first two points of the Six Point Plan of Protection and highlights the risks associated with lightning strike damage in railway applications.
Direct or indirect lightning strikes can cause devastating damage to a facility. Besides the danger to people, it may cause expensive electronic equipment failure and costly business disruption. Lightning protection systems control the passage of a discharge in a manner that prevents personal injury or property damage since no known method of preventing a lightning discharge exists. For railways, a proper lightning protection system plays a key role in protecting critical railway C&S infrastructure.
Points 3 and 4: Grounding and Bonding
The second post in the series walks through points 3 and 4 to highlight the considerations for proper grounding and bonding in railway applications.
The foundation of an electrical protection system starts with the grounding and bonding system. Connecting equipment directly to earth will not protect equipment or personnel without also having bonding connections between them to create a complete equipotential bonding system. In addition to designing a system that performs and protects, it is critical to have a grounding and bonding system that is meant to last.
Points 5 and 6: Surge Protection
The third and final post in the series walks through the points 5 and 6 of the Six Point Plan of Protection that cover surge protection for both power and signaling applications as well as low voltage/data installations.
In rail, lightning strikes are a leading cause of transient events, however, transients can also occur during normal on/off switching or inductive load devices (i.e. Signal or track conditions due to equipment failures or maintenance activities). To ensure safe, reliable railway operations, sensitive railway signaling and communication components throughout the network should be equipped with the correct surge protection devices (SPDs) to limit transient voltages and divert stray current.
nVent ERICO Railway Electrical Protection Solutions
nVent ERICO is committed to meeting the current and future surge protection needs of the rail industry, and as next-generation rail technology ushers in increasing sensitive electronics, we will design SPD products that protect these mission-critical systems and equipment.
With a comprehensive line of grounding and bonding products, and the coordinated approach of the nVent ERICO Six Point Plan of Protection, nVent ERICO is an industry leader in railway electrical protection that provides essential safety for rail workers and the public.
Learn more about nVent Railway Electrical Protection by downloading our brochure to learn more about how nVent ERICO makes an important contribution to safe reliable networks.