lightning protection systems

The function of a lightning protection system is to protect structures from fire or mechanical destruction and persons in the buildings from injury or even death.

Components of a lightning protection system :

  • Air-termination systems
  • Down conductors systems
  • Earth-termination systems
  • separation distances
  • Lighining equipotential system

A lightning protection system consists of an external and an internal lightning protection system

The functions of the external lightning protection system are:

  • To intercept direct lightning strikes via an air-termination system
  • To safely conduct the lightning current to the ground via a down-conductor system
  • to distribute the lightning current in the ground via an earth-termination system

The function of the internal lightning protection system is :

To prevent dangerous sparking inside the structure. This is achieved by establishing equipotential bonding or maintaining a separation distance between the components of the lightning protection system and other electrically conductive elements inside the structure.

Air-termination systems

The function of the air-termination systems of a lightning protection system is to prevent that direct lightning strikes damage the volume to be protected. They must be designed to avoid uncontrolled lightning strikes to the building / structure
to be protected.

Air-termination systems can consist of the following components and can be combined with each other as required:

  • Rods
  • Spanned wires and cables
  • Meshed conductors

When determining the position of the air-termination systems of the lightning protection system, special attention must be paid to the protection of corners and edges of the structure to
be protected. This particularly applies to air-termination systems on the surfaces of roofs and the upper parts of façades. Most importantly, air-termination systems must be mounted at
corners and edges.

The following three methods can be used to determine the arrangement and the position of the air-termination systems

  • Rolling sphere method
  • Mesh method
  • Protective angle method

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