Static Shield - Overhead Ground Wire Lightning Protection

Static Shield, or overhead ground wire (OHGW), is a form of lightning protection for power and data transmission lines. Bekaert produces durable, high-quality OHGW. We offer several coatings for our strong steel cores. In addition to Class A, Class B and Class C galvanized coatings, we also offer Bezinal®, our own corrosion-resistant alloy.

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To understand why our manufacturing process is so important, it's crucial to explain how overhead ground wire works and its value.

How Overhead Ground Wire Works

Static shield is part of a grounding cable strung above the power and data lines. When lightning strikes, the overhead ground wires redirect that energy along their cores, then send the strike into the ground. This grounding method keeps the electricity from causing damage to the rest of the electrical equipment.

Overhead ground wires for protection of overhead power lines span the distance between support towers. They run above power and data transmission lines, and they are grounded at regular intervals. Current travels differently on static wire than it does through data and power lines. However, OHGW's primary purpose is intercepting lightning strikes before that electricity reaches the transmission lines below. Ground wire manufacturers use steel alloys to produce these elements, as static wires only carry current when struck by lightning. 

That interference protects the power and data lines. This protection is so important that most modern systems have two overhead ground wires instead of a single static wire. 

Once the current is traveling along the static wire, it looks for the nearest place it can discharge energy. The overhead ground wire carries the current to the next tower, where the grounding guides the lightning discharge energy into the earth.

Several factors can affect the way an overhead ground wire works. One of the most common complications is soil resistivity. When the footing resistance (between the tower foot and the earth) is high, the current cannot enter the ground. To discharge the building energy, the current completes a back flashover. Preventing back flashovers involves lowering tower foot resistance with counterpoises and driven rods.

Note that overhead shield wire has no impact on switching surges. 

Benefits of Overhead Ground Wire Lightning Protection

There are several benefits of using static shield to protect overhead lines:

  • Reduced line losses: A line loss is the amount of power and data lost during transmission. Static shield provides more insulation for the lower transmission lines. 
  • Solutions for special conditions: Steel overhead ground wires are less vulnerable to thermal sag and breaking. They also run a reduced risk of horizontal clearance violations.
  • Cost efficiency: Reinforced steel cores give static wires incredible durability and longevity. An investment in quality wires has great value for your company.

Why Choose Bekaert?

In this industry, the safety and quality of our products are standard. Bekaert stands apart from the competition because our U.S.-based manufacturing capabilities and dedicated support services exceed our clients' expectations every time. The advantages of choosing Bekaert as your overhead static shield wire supplier include:

  • Solid partnership: When you order steel wires from us, you join a partnership. Our clients enjoy our flexibility and capabilities as a manufacturer. Regardless of what shape or characteristic you request, our teams can meet your needs. 
  • Experience: We've been a manufacturer for more than 130 years, and we serve clients across North America. We understand the utility industry, and we work to make your operations safe, cost-effective and sustainable.
  • Expert advice and support: Our knowledgeable staff and comprehensive technical support services provide industry-leading customer service. We have the teams and solutions to help you get the most value out of your equipment.

Contact the professionals at Bekaert for additional information about static shield lightning protection.