Must lightning cause stoppage in production?

Sweden has been more or less spared from lightning during the years 2006 and 2007. But this summer was back to normal when it comes to weather changes and thunderstorms. This has caused daily registrations of disturbances for some of our customers in certain regions. From July 25 to the end of the month intense thunderstorms were common in Sweden. Last of July was an extreme lightning day with more than 30000 discharges.

Obviously, this kind of weather is damaging for industries with high demands on power supply. These disturbances cause problems for many companies, leading to simple disturbances or in worst case total stoppage in production.

What consequences would the disturbance in the picture (to the right) cause for your company?

It is a well-known fact that disturbances cause cost. Most companies would like to do something about this. A common problem is to know what to do and where to start.

We forwarded these questions to Gunnar Eneberg at Holmen industry group in Braviken. Gunnar has a long experience in proactive hindering of stoppage in production. He knows that thunderstorm seasons may cause problems to Holmen industry group. We asked Gunnar for recommendations to others before next thunderstorm?

– Knowledge is the key to everything. Holmen has been measuring power quality since 1990. Since then we have worked together with our power supplier to continuously improve the network. We have also calibrated our machinery to the actual quality of power delivered. We know the quality profile of our power input and therefore the latest thunderstorms only caused minor and manageable disturbances compared to when we started to measure. At that time we had no information whatsoever about what was going on.

Do you have any quick guidelines?

– One would be to start measuring now! In reality there are no shortcuts; it€™s more a question of where to measure to ensure correct analysis and proper actions. In order to achieve durable improvements, I recommend a dialogue with your power supplier.

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