- Proper earthing
This is arguably the most important point to consider with regards to lightning protection. If you’ve ever taken a high school science class, you should know that electricity always takes the shortest route to ground, and an unprotected gate motor may well provide a lightning bolt with the ground it seeks. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that youconnect your gate motor to a suitable earth point, such as the track that the gate runs on. Earthing can further be improved by installing an “earth spike”, which is essentially just a metal rod, next to the motor. It is far more likely that lightning will strike this rod, as the rod provides it with a more stable earth.
- Surge limiters
There are some very effective products on the market that can be connected to a gate motor’s power supply and provide it with a means of “clamping” the excessive voltages induced by lightning and power surges. Of course, these surge arresters will not prevent lightning from ever hitting your gate motor but it should at least minimise the amount of damage that it causes to the electronics.
- Built-in lightning protection
Gate automation companies are well-aware of the risk that lightning poses to electronic equipment, and as such much attention is given to the design and integration of onboard lightning protection. Nowadays, most gate motors come standard with gas arresters and other surge-limiting components to minimise the damage caused by lightning strikes. Again, the idea here is not to prevent lightning from targeting the motor (the person who invents such a means will be an instant millionaire!) but rather to protect the most vital components.
- Take preventative action
If the weatherman reports that a storm is on the way, it is always wise to unplug sensitive electronic devices. This may cause some short-term inconvenience, but will save you a lot of heartache (not to mention cash) in the long run.