So how exactly does lightning protection in hydrostatic level sensors work

Many customer wonder why hydrostatic level sensors fail due to lightning strikes, even if they ordered a level sensor with integrated lightning protection. Understanding how the lightning protection works and how lightning strikes affect hydrostatic level sensors is essential in resolving this confusion.
When submersible pressure sensors, a special kind of hydrostatic level sensors, were first installed into reservoirs and lakes to monitor level, the sensor would become burned or destroyed following a lightning storm or bad weather periods. This prompted much research into the effect of lightning storms on the instrumentation in reservoirs and the cabling to and from the site.
What lightning protection really means
The first thing to comprehend is that the result of a lightning strike is considerably different based on how near to the pressure sensor the lightning strikes into the ground or installation. It is fair to state that no level sensor will survive a primary or very close nearby lightning strike, where usually the whole cabin including all installed electronics will undoubtedly be incinerated by direct hits.
However, more distant hits is only going to raise the Voltage differential by for instance 1500 Volts. If a local lightning strike raises the electric potential of a reservoir, the particular level sensor might provide the shortest method for the raised voltage and current to earth. Just Arrived will then dissipate into the ground via the particular level probe and thus destroy or damage its electronics. This may equally function as case when overhead wires have a hit.
So how exactly does lightning protection in level sensors work?
However, sensors can be protected from these lightning strikes by installing or integrating a transient voltage protection in to the hydrostatic level sensor. As a result of short nature of the voltage pulse, a component may be fitted to or integrated into the sensor that acts on rising differences in voltage potential. If the voltage goes above say 50 Volts, this lightning protection can short-circuit the electronic circuit to ground, allowing a path to ground for the surge and protecting the electronics around the utmost specified voltage potential.
Speedy would normally operate in a non-conductive state, but will be conductive for a voltage transient, allowing the voltage spike to flow harmlessly to ground. If the bond to earth isn’t good enough or no lightning protection is integrated within the hydrostatic level sensor, then your electronics will take the entire amount of energy of the voltage pulse and fail.Therefore the protection is only as good as the earth grounding supplied by the user.
In outdoor applications, where submersible pressure transmitters are commonly used, WIKA provides an optionally integrated lightning protection inside the level sensors. The sensor electronics will then be protected from local power surges and transient high voltage. Lightning protection is a combination of protection within the instrument and an excellent low impedance earth grounding.
Take a look at the profiles of WIKAs submersible pressure transmitters LH-20 and LH-10.
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