Page last updated
|Front View||Inside View||User Interface||Remote Detector Unit||Block Diagram||Lightning Sequence & Detection||Technical Paper|
Click on thumbnail image above to enlarge
Intelligent Lightning Disconnect Controller
120Vac, single phase
Introducing a new controller for protecting valuable equipment from lightning damage. Rather than attempting to absorb the lightning surge after it has arrived at your critical equipment, this controller anticipates the lightning surge and disconnects your equipment before it arrives! This technology, which has been available to industry, government and the military, is now available to small businesses and homeowners. Perfect for protecting any vital and high-value equipment such as:
- routers & switches
- phone systems
- entertainment systems
- radio communications
- ethernet networks
It can also be used to isolate systems that are frequent targets of lightning such as irrigation systems and well pumps.
If the cost of down-time can exceed the replacement cost of damaged equipment this system is the solution.
Here at NoOutage.com LLC we had never seen any problems resulting from lightning. Then in the summer of 2010 we experienced the loss of computer equipment during a thunderstorm even though surge suppression was in place. There was no direct lightning strike. And it seemed that the lightning at the time was a safe distance away. Yet there was a bang in the office and several computers went blank, some remained functional but their Ethernet ports were fried, and the network router/switch and modem were damaged. After enduring the down-time and the painful process of repairing and replacing equipment we began designing a controller that would sense and automatically disconnect vital equipment during lightning storms. It was during that process that we found such a device had already been developed and patented. We worked with the manufacturer to come up with this new version of their controller. We now have device installed here in our office and it is operating successfully and are making it available to you, our customers.
Lightning rods, surge suppressors and good grounding are all important for protecting against fire and injury but they are not enough. This controller senses when a bolt of lightning is about to strike and temporarily disconnects vital, sensitive and high-value equipment from external connections. This isolates the equipment from the pathways that can carry the destructive lightning-induced surge. Two types of isolation are performed when lightning is eminent: (1) power circuits are disconnected for up to 16 minutes and transferred to a UPS system, (2) communication circuits are disconnected for 0.2-0.4 seconds. Equipment powered by the UPS continues to operate. And communications are not lost because the interruption is brief. Spare contacts are available for starting an optional standby generator or for remote monitoring and indication.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports during any single second lightning has struck somewhere in the U.S. six times.
Cloud-To-Ground lightning strikes occur about 20 million times per year in the U.S.
One in every Cloud-To-Ground strikes results in an insurance claim payout.
Estimated U.S. damages from lightning are $5 Billion per year.
Lightning strike claims paid in U.S. equal $820 million per year.
Lightning claims represent approximately 7.5% of all U.S. insurance company distributions.
Primary effects are due to direct strikes which result in fire, instant destruction of property, electrocution injury and death.
Secondary effects are due to
(a) direct energization of electrical cables, wires, fencing, railroad tracks, piping,
(b) near field coupling from the highly charged cloud which induces voltages in conductors, and
(c) ground potential rise near the point where a strike occurs which puts a high voltage on
ground wires. All these conductors can become pathways for introducing the high voltage
into vulnerable equipment.
The widespread use of sensitive microprocessors in more and more types of products increases the opportunity for lightning damage. Approximately 5% of digital failures are due to catastrophic causes such as lightning strikes.
Lightning is a major source of voltage spikes that can damage or destroy your investment. Don't risk the damage and outage time by not installing adequate protection!
click above to enlarge
Note that no device can guarantee protection from a direct hit of a lightning strike. But this product when used in conjunction with surge protection and proper system grounding will reduce consequences of such a strike. And it will virtually eliminate damage from other (non-direct) lightning strikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Won’t my properly installed and maintained electrical grounding protect my facility?
A1: Grounding meeting NEC Article 250 only addresses the danger of fire and personnel safety. It is not intended to maintain the reliability of equipment.
Q2: I have surge suppressors at the service panel and downstream where valuable equipment is used. Aren’t these effective against lightning?
A2: Probably not by themselves. They may not respond fast enough to prevent lightning damage. MOV type suppressors degrade over time. And if ground potential rise occurs these suppressors can actually become the pathway for damaging high voltage to enter sensitive equipment.
Q3: We have been operating for years with no apparent damage from lightning. Doesn’t that mean we are safe?
A3: No. It is estimated that 95% of all electronic system failures are due to repeated degradation from transients, many of which are caused by lightning.
Q4: My facility is insured against lightning damage. What incentive do I have to incur the cost of better lightning protection?
A4: Insurance usually covers only the direct costs of system repair or component replacement due to a catastrophic event. But 95% of electronic system failures are nearly impossible to positively attribute to lightning. The indirect costs of system down-time, staff overtime, lost data, and lost business may not be covered. And insurance premiums often increase with payouts.
** Response time is measured from completion of stepped leader EMP to when contacts open
|Control voltage||90-264VAC, 127-370Vdc|
|Battery Backup||12VDC, 7Ah SLA (provided by installer)|
|Power Switching Relay Contacts||(2) form C,
15A@120VAC 50/60Hz resistive
12A@277VAC 50/60Hz resistive
Response time: 20 msec**
(1 pair) RJ11 phone jacks - in & out
(1 pair) RJ45 ethernet jacks - in & out
(1 pair) F coax connectors - in & out
Response time: 8 msec**
|Control Interface||Backlit LCD
display, 4 lines x 20 characters
numeric key pad & function keys
resettable strike counter
- time delays 0-16 minutes
- time periods 0-16 minutes
delay before disconnect
Switching disconnect period
Background EMI indication
indicator - RDU failure
LED indicator - strike alarm active
LED indicator - UPS alarm active
LED indicator - backup battery/charge failure
audible strike alarm
audible UPS alarm
|Connections||barrier terminal block for
pigtails for plug-in connections (optional)
cable to Remote Detector Unit (optional)
|Sensor||Remote Detector Unit (RDU) with whip antenna 51" high|
indoor, gray finish
12”W x 18”H x 6”D
This product is designed and Made in USA
Customers who purchased this product also ordered:
(click underlined words to see product pages)
Surge arrester for service entrance panel such as the hardwired Delta Arresters at this link.
Extended run-time UPS system (>30 minute run-time recommended). This can be achieved by using a UPS with the capability of adding external battery packs such as the Eaton/Powerware series 5125, 5130, 9130 or Toshiba series 1000. Size will depend on your actual ac electrical load. Note that the cheap $100 UPS systems usually sold at local retailers have very limited battery run-time and do not have the capability for external battery packs.
Optional items can be provided by installer if hardwiring unit
Lightning Disconnect Controller with Remote Detector Unit -
internal terminal block for hardwired connections
optional Pigtails for power connections -
#14 ga 3/c SJ cord with plugs, connectors, cord grips and terminals, 25' total
optional Remote Detector Cable -
#18 ga 3/c shielded (order by the foot)
High Current Contactor - for switching power over 15 Amps (optional)