Lightning Protection Systems are vital for commercial, government, and industrial facilities as lightning is the leading cause of fire in the United States with a single bolt carrying more than 30 million volts of electricity. The financial consequences of this raw power are being felt as lightning is causing billions in losses annually in terms of destruction of property, business interruption, and injury. PS&C’s Field Service Division offers a wide range of Service Capabilities.
Power Systems & Controls has the experience to help protect your critical facility from lightning strikes utilizing the lastest industry codes and standards, including: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), IEC, IEEE, and FAA. Many of our competitors reference codes and standards that are incomplete, which is why we only follow the most stringent federal regulations that are supported by background engineering and proven experience.
A properly installed Lightning Protection System will provide an enhanced grounding network for lightning’s destructive electricity as it is directed safely into the ground, leaving the building, occupants and contents unharmed. Not all systems are the same; however, they all will utilize the same layered approach to protection and consist of four key components: Air Terminals, Conductors/Bonding, Grounding, and Transient/Surge Protection.
Termination and Conductors:
Air Terminals, also known as "lightning rods", are the top portion of the protection system. This is where the lightning first makes initial contact with your facility. There are different views on the type of air terminal used (blunt/sharp or copper/aluminum). Regardless, in the end their purpose is to absorb the initial impact and redirect the energy.
Conductors conduct the lighting strike safely from the air terminals to the ground. Bonding assures that all the metals utilized are at the same electrical potential. A single point grounding system is the most vital part of a lightning protection system. It is achieved when all equipment in a facility are connected to a master bus bar. This in turn is bonded to the external grounding system at one point only. This approach to grounding is utilized because it reduces AC impedance and DC resistance.
The final component of a lightning protection system is the transient/surge protection. This consists of incorporating surge protection devices on all incoming services. Which will shunt over-voltage safely to ground when a lightning strike occurs. Only a protection system with a layered approach will work against lightning's massive power and intense heat.