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Lightning Protection Systems

Harger Lightning & Grounding


2005

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


Lightning Protection Systems

I. What is Lightning/Lightning Protection?


II. Basic Principles of Lightning Protection
III. Risk Assessment
IV. Applicable Codes/Standards
V. Basic Components
VI. “ Typical ” Roof Top Detail

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


I. What is Lightning?

Consider Lightning a Gigantic Electrical Spark traveling between


Cloud to Cloud or Cloud to Earth containing an average Charge of
30 to 50 Million Volts and a Current of 18,000 Amps.

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


What is Lightning Protection?

NFPA 780 -

A Complete System of Air Terminals,


Conductors, Ground Terminals,
Interconnecting Conductors, Surge
Suppression Devices, and other Connectors or
Fittings required to complete the System.

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Lightning Damage Can Be
Traced To :
¾ Inadequate (or no) direct strike protection

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Risks Posed from a Direct Strike

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Risks Posed from an Indirect Strike

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What is not Lightning Protection?

¾Early Streamer Emission – ESE


ƒ Radioactive
ƒ Pulsed Voltage
ƒ Sparking – Controlled Leader Trigger (CLT)

¾Lightning Elimination
ƒ Dissipation Array Systems (DAS)
ƒ Charge Transfer Systems (CTS)

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What is not Lightning Protection?
ESE – Early Streamer Emission
z Manufacturers claim that the ESE launch an upward
streamer faster than conventional Franklin Rods or the
features on the structures to be protected.
z Claim streamer speeds of 106 m/s to provide this
advantage
z Actual field measures from multiple investigators have
documented streamer speeds ranging from
z McEachron - 5.2 x 104 to 6.4 x 105 m/s
z Yokoyama - 0.8 to 2.7 x 105 m/s
z Laboratory propagation speeds 104 m/s
z Striking distance directly proportional to Leader charge.
Reference: M.A. Uman & V.A Rakov (University of Florida)
American Meteorological Society Paper 2002

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What is not Lightning Protection?
ESE – Early Streamer Emission
z Heary Bros – Preventor
z Indelec - Prevectron
z Erico – Dynasphere
z Franklin France – Saint Elmo
z Ingesco
z Duval Messien – Satelit
z Helita
1999 Byran Report commissioned by
NFPA – found no technical basis for the
claims of enhanced performance

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


19mm Blunt
Prevectron Franklin Rod

Dynasphere

ƒ Seven year period - air terminals on 6 m masts


ƒ Neither ESE or Sharp Franklin Rods struck
ƒ 12 Blunt Franklin Rods were struck (12.7 to 25.4 mm)
Charles Moore - Principal Investigator - New Mexico Tech
Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005
French Made - Duval Messien Satelit Malaysia Apartment Building
ESE 30m from damaged wall
One of numerous such cases in
Malaysia where ESE have failed to
protect structures where the ESE
was located at a distance well
within the claimed radius of
protection.

Photos courtesy Hartono & Robiah


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High Voltage Lab Test

Mississippi State University


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Dynasphere Damaged

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ESE Lawsuit
¾ In connection with the NFPA’s rejection of ESE draft standard 781, three ESE
companies (Heary Bros. Lightning Protection Co., Inc., Lightning Preventor of America,
Inc., and the National Lightning Protection Corp., of which the two first mentioned have
merged) filed a law suit against the Lightning Protection Institute, Thompson Lightning
Protection Inc., and East Coast Lightning Equipment, Inc.

¾ The lawsuit, which was initiated in 1996, contained allegations of conspiracy, false
advertising and product defamation regarding the advertised improved efficiency of
ESE terminals compared to conventional Franklin rods.

¾ In October, 2003, the Federal District Court of Arizona dismissed the lawsuit.
¾ The dismissal was largely based on the fact that the ESE vendors presented no admissible
evidence at all to support their claims. Additionally, the Court granted a favorable ruling to a
counterclaim against the ESE vendors. The ESE vendors were convicted of falsely advertising
the claimed increase in efficiency of ESE rods in comparison to conventional Franklin rods.

¾ Significantly, the verdict rejected the ESE vendor’s claims that their ESE terminals’
compliance with various ESE standards justified the advertised expanded zones of
protection for ESE devices. The Court found that the conformance with foreign ESE
standards failed to prove claimed increased zones of protection for ESE rods. The
Court found that the ESE vendor’s claims are not supported by tests sufficiently reliable
to support those claims and are therefore in violation of American “truth-in-advertising”
laws.

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


What is not Lightning Protection?

Lightning Elimination

¾ According to proponents the charge released via corona


discharge at the sharp points will either:
1. Discharge the overhead thundercloud thereby eliminating any
possibility of lightning (Dissipation Array)
2. Discourage a downward-moving leader from attaching to the
array or structure by reducing the electric field near the array
and, hence, suppress the initiation of an upward streamer.

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


What is not Lightning Protection?

Dissipation / Charge Transfer System)


z Splineball
z Lightning Master
z LEC – Dissipation Array System DAS
z LEC – Charge Transfer System CTS
z Lightning Prevention Systems – ALS Static
Dissipater

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


What is not Lightning Protection?
Lightning Elimination
Devices have failed to perform as claimed by manufacturers.
¾ US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
• Banned after towers and DAS struck
¾ National Aeronautical Space Administration
• Banned after towers struck at Kennedy Space Center
¾ US Military
• Banned towers at military bases struck
¾ Japan - field test showed statistical distribution of peak
current unchanged. (Kuwabara et al.)
¾ Trees & grass often generate more corona discharge
than dissipation arrays without apparently inhibiting
lightning.
Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005
Non Conventional Lightning
Protection Systems

These systems are not allowed by:


z US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
z IEEE
z IEC
z US Military
z Underwriters Laboratory (UL)

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


II. Basic Principles of
Lightning Protection
• Intercept the Lightning Discharge
• Safely Conduct the Lightning Currents
• Minimize the Effects of Lightning Currents
• Dissipate the Lightning Currents in the Earth

Zone of Protection - space adjacent to LPS substantially


immune to direct lightning discharges. Determined using
Rolling Sphere Method.

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


III. Risk Assessment*
The Lightning Risk Assessment Methodology
is provided to assist the building owner or
architect/engineer in determining the risk of
damage due to lightning. The methodology
considers only the damage caused by a direct
strike to the structure.

* NFPA 780 revised in 2004

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Lightning Strike Probability
The probability that a structure will be
struck by lightning is the product of the
equivalent collection area of the
structure times the flash density for the
area that the structure is located.

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Risk Assessment Formula

If Nd > Nc Lightning Protection Should be Installed

Nd = The Yearly Lightning Strike Frequency

Nc = Tolerable Lightning Frequency

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Nd = The Yearly Lightning Strike Frequency

Nd = (Ng)(Ag)(C1)
Where:
Ng = The yearly average flash density in the
region where the structure is located.

Ag = The equivalent collective area of the


structure in km2.

C1 = The environmental coefficient.

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10-year Flash Density
)

0.1

Map - U.S. 0.5

Ng = The Yearly Average Flash Density 1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

6.0

8.0

10.0

12.0

Units: flashes/km2/yr 14.0

16.0
Lightning Density Map provided by Global Atmospherics, Inc. Tucson Arizona.
Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005
Ag = The Equivalent Collective Area

Refers to the ground area having the


same yearly direct lighting flash
probability as the structure. It is an
increase area for the structure that
includes the effect of the height and
location of the structure.
There are 3 models:

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Rectangular
Model
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Model 2

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Model 3
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C1 = The Environmental Coefficient

The Environmental Coefficient accounts


for the topography of the site of the
structure and any object located with
the distance 3H from the structure that
can affect the collection area.
They are as follows:

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C1 = The Environmental Coefficient

Relative Structure Location C1


Structure located within a space containing 0.25
structures or trees of the same height or taller
with a distance of 3H
Structure surrounded by smaller structures 0.5
within a distance of 3H
Isolated structure, no other structures located 1
with a distance of 3H
Isolated structure on a hilltop 2

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


Tolerable Lightning Frequency (Nc)

The Tolerable Lightning Frequency is a


measure of the damage risk to the
structure including factors affecting
risks to the structure, environment and
monetary loss.
It is calculated as follows:

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Tolerable Lightning Frequency (Nc)

Nc = 1.5 x 10-3
C
Where:
C = (C2)(C3)(C4)(C5)

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C2 – Structural Coefficient
Roof
Structure Metal Nonmetallic Flammable

Metal 0.5 1.0 2.0

Nonmetallic 1.0 1.0 2.5

Flammable 2.0 2.5 3.0

Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005


C3 – Structural Contents Coefficient
Structure Contents C3
Low value and nonflammable 0.5

Standard value and nonflammable 1.0

High value, moderate flammability 2.0

Exceptional value, flammable, computer or 3.0


electronics
Exceptional value, irreplaceable cultural items 4.0

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C4 – Structural Occupancy Coefficient

Structure Occupancy C4
Unoccupied 0.5
Normally occupied 1.0
Difficult to evacuate or risk of panic 3.0

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C5 – Lightning Consequence
Coefficient

Lightning Consequence C5
Continuity of facility service not required, no 1.0
environmental impact
Continuity of facility service required, no 5.0
environmental impact
Consequences to the environment 10.0

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Risk Assessment Formula

If Nd > Nc Lightning Protection Should be Installed

Nd = The Yearly Lightning Strike Frequency

Nc = Tolerable Lightning Frequency

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Lightning Risk Assessment for Rectangular Structure

Lightning Flash Density (Fig. H.2) …………………… Ng = 4

Relative Structure Location (Table H.4.3) …………… C1 = 2

Rectangular Structure Length (ft) : L= 80 ft


Width (ft) : W= 50 ft
Height (ft) : H= 30 ft

Rectangular
Equivalent Collective Area: Ae = 4.91E-03 km^2

Model
Lightning Strike Frequency: Nd = 3.93E-02

Structural Coefficients (Table H.5.a) ………………… C2 = 3


Structural Contents Coefficients (Table H.5.b) ……… C3 = 3
Structural Occupancy Coefficient (Table H.5.c) …… C4 = 1
Lightning Consequence Coefficient (Table H.5.d) …… C5 = 5

Tolerable Lightning Frequency: Nc = 3.33E-05


Example
Lightning Protection System Should Be Installed

Based on NFPA780-2000
Ouch!!
Harger Lightning & Grounding © 2005
IV. Applicable Codes/Standards

NFPA 780
UL 96A
UL 96

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NFPA 780

• Standard for the Installation of


Lightning Protection Systems (2004)
• Most Active Standard Available
• Not a Code, (not enforced)

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UL 96 & 96A

• 96A - Installation Standard


• “Master Label”
• Independent Third Party Testing
• 96 - Manufacturing Standard for Listed
LP Components

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UL Master Label Program

Must be UL Listed to be Eligible

Materials must be UL Listed

System will be subjected to Inspection


by UL

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VII. Basic Components
• Air Terminals
• Lightning Conductors
• Ground Terminals
• Connectors/Fittings
• Surge Suppression Devices

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Types of
Air Terminals
• Plain Air Terminals
• Safety Air Terminals
• Flexible Air Terminals

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New Mexico Tests
19mm (3/4”) blunt rod was most effective

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Types of Lightning Conductors

• UL Listed Lightning Conductors

• Copper
• Aluminum
• Class I
• Class II

• Structural Steel
Framework

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Types of Ground Terminals
• Ground Rods

• Plain/Sectional Copper-Clad Steel,


Copper, Galvanized Steel,
Stainless Steel

• Enhanced Ground Rods

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Types of Ground Terminals
Continued...
• Ground Plates
• Ground Mesh
• Concrete Encased
Electrodes
• Reinforcing Steel
• Copper Conductors

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Connectors/Fittings
Functions
• Bonds Conductors to Strike
Terminals and Ground
Terminals
• Bond Metal Bodies to Provide
a Path to Ground
• Alleviates Potential
Differences between System
and Metal Bodies
• Helps Prevent Flashover
Potentials

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Surge Suppression Devices
Helps Prevent Surge Currents from
Entering the Structure via
Electrical, Data, Phone, Cable
Lines, etc.

Integral Part of Total Protection


Package

UL96A & NFPA Surge Suppression


Requirements vague

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VIII.

Roof Top
Detail

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Details
Thank You

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