Steel Static Shield - Transmission Line Overhead Ground Wire

Lightning strikes can damage electrical lines. Replacement can be costly as well as inconvenient for your team and electric consumers. A steel static shield is an overhead electrical wire that protects power and data transmission lines from lightning. Static shields prevent damage by directing current away from the transmission cables and sending that energy into the ground. A transmission line overhead ground wire can help extend the longevity of your transmission and distribution system.

Overhead Ground Wire for Lightning Protection

A transmission ground wire hangs above power and data transmission cables. These static shields are so valuable that most electrical transmission and distribution systems use two overhead ground wires instead of one. In addition, static shields have a steel core. Since they only carry energy when struck by lightning, steel is a great material for these wires.

When lightning strikes, it hits the overhead electrical wire instead of the transmission cables below. The energy enters the steel core of the static shield and travels along the wire. Like transmission lines, the ground wire stretches between utility poles and support towers. At each structure, the wire discharges energy through grounding. Safely directed into the ground, the lightning's energy cannot damage the power line.

Without a static shield, lightning strikes cause a surge in the amount of energy in the transmission cables. Those high voltages can create flashovers between support towers.

Overhead Ground Wire Specifications for Electric Utilities


At Bekaert, we manufacture overhead electrical wire products that meet your exact specifications. Our American manufacturing facilities are flexible, and we can produce your steel static shields in your region upon request. Bekaert has full control over our manufacturing process to ensure the quality of your custom strands. Specifications available for our steel transmission ground wires include:

  • Wires per strand
  • Minimum breaking strength

Coating Options

We offer several corrosion-resistant coating options for all Bekaert steel wire products. Many of our clients choose Class A and Class B zinc galvanization. We also provide Class C galvanization. For increased protection from corrosion, Bekaert developed Bezinal® — a zinc-aluminum alloy coating that performs well in these applications.

Benefits of Overhead Ground Wire Lightning Protection for Electric Utilities

Using ground wire for lightning protection of electric utility systems has several benefits. Static shield wire can act as a solution for special conditions. In addition, the steel cores increase their breaking strength, which makes overhead ground wires ideal for systems that experience ice loading and heavy winds. Ground wires also reduce line losses by preventing damage. If transmission cables avoid damage, they need fewer replacements and less maintenance. As a result, installing static shields can be a cost-effective, sustainable choice for your electrical system.

Why Choose Bekaert?

Experience the many advantages of partnering with Bekaert for your transmission ground wire. One of those benefits is our extensive experience in this industry. We've been in business for almost 140 years, and during that time, we've maintained full control over our manufacturing process. As a result, we have the flexibility to produce steel wire products in any shape or composition you request and always to your exact specifications. We can also manufacture your order locally.

In the event of damage, Bekaert offers exceptional storm response services. Our clients enjoy expert support for all of our transmission line products and solutions.

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