Posted September 24, 2002 Atlanta
The time-honored technique for protecting computers and other electronic devices from lightning damage has been to simply unplug them until the threatening weather passes. Now, a Savannah company known as Storm Shelter Electronics Corporation has developed a better way.
Using a nationwide lightning detection system, satellite-based messaging network and a small device that plugs into a wall outlet, Storm Shelter automatically disconnects sensitive electronic equipment from AC current, phone lines and cable connections whenever a thunderstorm approaches. After the threat passes, the same system reconnects the equipment.
An add-on uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can allow the equipment to keep going while disconnected from the AC current. And the system includes standard surge suppression technology for handling less serious electrical threats.
Storm Shelter is the first member company of the Advanced Technology Development Center's (ATDC) new Savannah program, which was established earlier this year as a collaborative effort of coastal area organizations, the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism's CyberGeorgia initiative, and the ATDC. The Savannah operation is part of Georgia Tech's growing presence in the coastal area.
"Storm Shelter has identified a serious problem in lightning protection and has developed an elegantly simple solution that can be easily afforded and readily adopted for consumer electronics and small office environments," said Bruce Jacobs, the company's CEO. "For the first time, we can provide real protection against the devastating effects to consumer electronics of direct lightning strikes."