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Effective Communication Tower Grounding Design

Downtime for telecommunication services can be incredibly costly in terms of lost profits and negatively impact a service’s reputation in the eyes of inconvenienced customers. One of the most common sources of downtime for telecommunications is damage due to improper surge protection on equipment. Power surges, in the form of lightning energy or faults from the incoming power supply, can easily damage sensitive equipment. However, adding surge protection devices alone is not sufficient. The solution is a properly engineered grounding system that can successfully dissipate energy surges while mitigating the risk to equipment in order to minimize downtime.

SAE Inc designs telecommunication tower grounding systems that meet or exceed industry standards.  A grounding system designed with both resistance and impedance in mind will successfully mitigate the risk of equipment damage and will meet requirements of the Electrical Service Authority (ESA) for Ground Potential Rise (GPR). GPR occurs when a lightning strike or other energy anomaly currents go to ground, causing a potential rise in the surrounding soil. If there is personnel within this area, a voltage difference between their feet may be created, potentially causing harm. Properly engineering grounding systems will dissipate this dangerous energy before injury is caused.

To design an effective telecommunication tower grounding system, SAE utilizes high sensitivity ground resistivity meters, CDEGS modeling software, patented SAE products such as ConduCrete, ConduFlow and ConduForm, and years of experience designing grounding systems.

For more information on a recent communications tower project completed by SAE, click here.