/images/PowerCableUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgAdvanced Shielding Guards Airport Revenue from Lighting!AdvancedShieldingGuardsAirportRevenueFromLighting.htmSouthwire Lightning Retardant Cable helps protect revenue and cuts maintenance costs.
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Advanced Shielding Guards Airport Revenue from Lighting!

Southwire Lightning Retardant Cable helps protect revenue and cuts maintenance costs

Airports only make money when planes can land. That makes it expensive to shut down a runway because lightning has damaged a lighting circuit. Lightning Retardant Cable (LRC) available from Southwire helps protect airport revenue by guarding buried cable runs against lightning damage.

“Lightning Retardant Cable uses an advanced shielding system to dramatically reduce the susceptibility of buried 5kV circuits to lightning strikes,” says Brian Sides, industrial sales manager for Southwire’s Southeast Region. “LRC cuts cable maintenance costs in high-lightning areas, and it also reduces day-to-day radiated electromagnetic interference from SCR-controlled lighting circuits.”

Direct hits and near misses are all costly

Buried conductors around a runway – or in any open space – can be attractive targets for lightning. Individual airports in a high-lightning areas report as many as 40 strikes in one week, and one direct hit can take out an entire circuit. Even near misses generate energy peaks that can leave thousands of pinholes in the insulation of traditionally shielded cable. The pinholes let in conductive ground water that eventually causes outages – and expensive cable replacement operations.

High-impedance ground path yields high reliability

“Lightning Retardant Cable from Southwire uses a unique shielding system that boosts reliability by limiting lightning-induced current flow,” says Sides.

In LRC, a helically wrapped metallic tape shield with insulation between the layers creates a high-inductance ground circuit. The tape offers a high-impedance path to ground for short rise-time lighting surges, but still protects the cable from fault currents. The result is higher reliability and dramatically reduced maintenance costs in lighting systems for taxiways and runways. The LRC design meets FAA L-824C specifications for these applications.

“In three years of FAA-sanctioned field tests in Tampa, Florida – site of the highest lightning density in the U.S. – Lightning Retardant Cable delivered 100-percent reliability,” says Sides. “There was no runway downtime due to cable failure.”

Shielding reduces radiated EMI

Constant-current regulators used in airport lighting circuits are possible sources of high-frequency EMI that can interfere with sensitive navigational systems. The unique shielding system on Lightning Retardant Cable also helps to suppress radiated EMI in the cable system.

“LRC is another example of Southwire’s response to customer needs in industrial power cable,” Sides says. “And solutions to specialized needs often find broader applications in the market.”