Lightning Protection System for Building: What It Is and Why You Need It

Lightning Protection System for building

Lighting has been one of the greatest hazards for building owners. Lighting has been a huge reason behind the injuries every year. Many properties and their occupants are at risk because of the lightning strikes and the electric power supply. 

An intense lightning strike can exceed up to 100 million Volt-Amps. The highest volts from the lightning strikes always take the path with the least resistance to the ground. Grounded objects that provide a path to the earth will release the ‘positive streamers’ upwards or fingers to the electrical charge.

A lightning protection system has been an essential factor to protect the buildings from the damage that usually happens with powerful lightning strikes. A potential lightning strike can be a matter of worry for the building owners. 

The owners and the landlords need to install the protection system.

What is Lighting Protection System? 

The lightning protection system is a system that includes a network of air terminals, ground electrodes, and bonding conductors that are installed to protect from mechanical destruction. All systems are designed to provide a low impedance path to the ground for possible potential strikes.

Lighting protection systems are an overall structure installed in the buildings for the protection of the internal as well as the external components of the buildings. It usually comes in the form of a lightning conductor, generally a metal rod mounted on the building for protection from lightning strikes. 

The overall lightning protection consists of internal lightning protection ( surge protection) and an external lightning protection system (earthing/lightning protection). Most lightning protection systems consist of various elements such as down conductor, air termination, lightning equipotential bonding, etc.


Working Principle of Lighting Protection System 

Lighting protection system functions to lessen the lightning strike damage to the buildings.

A lightning rod is the most vital component in the lightning protection system. It is the single component in its entire system. The lightning rod that has been used needs to connect properly to the earth to perform appropriately.

It comes in various forms, including hollow, pointed, solid, rounded, flat strips, and many more. One of the main characteristics common in every lightning rod is that it is made of conductive materials such as aluminum and copper. Copper and its alloys are among the most common components used in lightning protection. 

The lightning protection system will directly intercept the lighting strike if it tends to hit the building. The lightning rod will be hit first, which causes the strike to be connected through the wire and pass down to the ground safely. 

Due to the high energy and the current level associated with lightning strikes, it can never guarantee a completely safe outcome from the effects of lightning. In the overall protection system, the current that has been divided to follow every conductive path to the ground can also cause some damage. 

The secondary side flashes can blow apart the bricks, stones, and concrete or can also cause fire sometimes. 


However, different new lighting protection systems may work differently. 

1. Lightning prevention system

Lightning prevention systems are lightning protection systems that attempt the opposite feats. Such systems actively prevent lightning from striking in a particular area. 

Two types of lighting prevention systems 

  • Charge Transfer System (CTS)

  • Dissipation Array System (DTS)

The charge dissipation terminal releases the static energy from the building up near the ground during thunderstorms. Without having that charge, the steamer can’t be formed. The whole space is an unappealing target for the lightning strikes, making it strike anywhere far away from the outside range of the system where it can meet a steamer.


 2. Lightning attraction system

A lightning attraction system is another type of lightning protection system. These systems actively attract the lighting into the specific area while the interception systems will passively collect the lighting that was about to strike in that area. 

The lightning attraction system consists of a single rod which requires less time to install and fewer materials. Such a system is often used in situations where the making of the whole net of the cables is challenging to design and install and is cost-prohibited. 

Two main types of Lightning Attraction systems

  • Electronically Activated Streamer Emission (EASE)

  • Early Streamer Emission (ESE)

Both types of lightning attraction systems build up electric charge before the startup of the storm. Then it sends out a stream of that same charge before anything else in that area. 


Why do I need the lightning protection system? 

Being a business holder, the safety of your properties and employees comes first. You need to ensure that everything, including your building, has the perfect safety measures. Knowing the risk of lightning strikes and still not having a protection system can be a massive risk in the upcoming days.

Some building has more chances of getting struck by lightning than others. Building with tall heights can be more at risk in such cases. Small buildings have fewer chances to get struck compared to taller ones because of having an area with less density. 

Whether there are fewer chances for strikes, the high buildings must have installed the proper lightning protection system. It is a necessity and helps to secure the safety of your property. 

Damage caused by lightning can be challenging because of the replacements costs. Applying precautions before the damage can help you a lot. The protection methods secure the protection of the building as the primary function of such a protection system is to secure the safety of your building. 

Thank you for reading till the end. I hope it somehow cleared your queries regarding the Lightning Protection System. You can contact the nearby technician and electrician if you want to install such a protection system in your building to ensure its safety.