What a lightning rod is?
It is a capture system that is intended to intercept the atmospheric electric discharge to land. Any capture system (lightining rod) should meet the standards or laws that are apply to it, both national and international. (mainly standards UNE 21.186, NFC 17.102, Technical Building Code SUA8, Series IEC/EN 62.305 and IEC/EN 62.561).
How to install a lightining rod?
The lightning rod, in order to fulfil its function, must always be installed above the highest part of the building or structure to be protected, thereby will capture the lightning’s electrical discharge and will allow a safe path to the earthing.
What elements make up a lightning protection system?
The components for a lightning protection system are:
- Trapping system (ESE Ligthning air terminals or Franklin tips and meshes).
- Two or more down-conductors
- An earth termination system
- A suitable surge protection installation
- Other measures minimizing the destructive effects of lightning (equipotential bonding, screening etc.)
Why should I install a lightning rod?
The objetive of a lightning protection system system is:
1) To capture the lightning
2) To conduct lightning current safely to earth
3) To dissipate the lightning current in the ground
4) To provide protection against the secondary effects of lightning
In a world where buildings and equipment are more complex every day, lightning is a constant hazard. One discharge can damage buildings and cause failures in electronic equipment. It can even provoke fire and lead to serious financial losses.
Which are the effects of being struck by lightning and why do we use a lightning rod?
- Electrical effects: equipment destruction. Increases in ground voltage and surges can damage the equipment connected to the electrical network.
- Electrodynamic effects: damage to buildings. Deformations and breakages in the structure due to the force generated by the high magnetic field produced.
- Thermal effects: fires. Sparks and heat dissipation by the Joule effect can even cause fires.
- Effects on people and animals: electrocutions and burns. Current of a certain intensity passing throught the body for a short period of time is enough to cause the risk of electrocution due to cardiac or respiratory arrest. The risk of burns can also be added to the list.
- Inductive effects: Within a variable electromagnetic field, induced currents appear in every conductor. If these conductors reach computers or other electronic equipment, irreversible damage may be produced.
What types of lightning exist?
Aplicaciones Tecnologicas, manufacturer specialised in protection systems againts atmospheric electrics discharges, puts at your disposal both passive systems and PDCs (ESE Lightning air terminals ). Here, we explain how each one works:
ESE Lightning air terminals base their operation on the electric characteristics of lightning formation. Lightning initiates with a downward leafer, propagating in any direction. Once it approaches the objects placed on the ground, any of them can be struck. ESE Lightning air terminals are characterized by emitting the continuous upward leader before any other object within their radius of protection. The lightning rod must be the controlled point of impact of the discharge, so that it provides the lightning current with a way to ground without damaging the structure. The main standards governing this type of lightning protection systems are: NFC 17-102, UNE 21186, NP 4426.
- Franklin rods and meshed conductors ( Passive systems)
Lightning protection using Franklin rods and meshed conductors is used to share and dissipate the lightning current through a network of down-conductors and earth terminations. Sections and materials must meet the requirements of the standards that define this type of system (IEC/EN 62305 series, IEC/EN 62561 series).
How to know if I should install a lightning rod
If you have any doubt about if you should or not install a lightning rod, from Aplicaciones Tecnológicas we will do a customize study in base to the standards and your specific needs. You can contact our technicians by clicking here.