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ROKSNA is an international full - service company specializing in customized design & engineering solutions for grounding/earthing & bonding, surge/transient protection, lightnining protection and Solar Power . We offer decades of knowledge and experience to our customers, advising of the best methods for risk mitigation, and ultimately applying those evaluations as comprehensively engineered solutions for today’s infrastructure challenges.

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SOLAR

Grid-tied, on-grid, utility-interactive, grid intertie and grid backfeeding are all terms used to describe the same concept...

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EARTHING

It is a GJ or Electlyts Copper or Copped Clouded Earthing Electrode which is to be installed into the ground near the electrical...

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SAFETY

Electrical hazards continue to threaten safety of people and property in the form of shocks, burns, injury, fire and explosion...

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Lightning Protection

Lightning Protection A lightning strike can pass over 200,000 Amps depending on the severity and strength of the storm. In Britain a majority of strikes are around 2,000 to 20,000 amp, however this varies over the United Kingdom, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands. Scotland experiences less thunderstorms than the South of England. The function of a lightning protection system is to offer a safe low resistance path for the enormous currents caused by a lightning strike to travel to ground along. With a lightning protection system the immense energy is offered a safe alternative path away from the materials of the structure or building being protected. This current is then safely discharged under ground, preventing damage to property and equipment that is normally associated with the dispersal of radial energy from a lightning strike. An Example of Lightning Protection Most churches are fitted with a single conductor being BSCP 326 (BSCP – Building Standards Codes of Practice). This provides a zone of increased safety referred to as a cone of protection. It exists from the highest point of the conductor to the ground at an angle of 45 degrees in all directions. Producing a coned area with the point of the conductor being the top peak of the cone, and the ground the base of the cone. For a spire that is 40 metres in height, the cone of protection is roughly 40 metres out from the centre of base of the spire in all directions up to the top of the spire at a 45 degree angle. Where a church is fitted with a Faraday Cage as part of the lightning protection system and complying to BSCP 6651, it will have a system fitted to all parts of the structure and bonded to any extrinsic metals to avoid flashovers, these systems have down conductors spaced at approx 20 metres or shorter, with roof and down tapes all linked to form the faraday cage. The latest standard BSEN 62305 was introduced in August 2008. However lightning protection systems compliant to British Standards BS 326 & BS 6651 can still be maintained, tested, certificated the same as previously. Installing A Standards Compliant Lightning Protection System (LPS) All our recommendations for any installation are designed in accordance with the relevant British Standard. It is very important that lightning protection systems are designed and installed correctly. All our operatives are DEHN trained. DEHN are the fore-bearers of the BS EN 62305 standard and the leading providers of BS EN 62305 compliant lightning protection and safety products in Europe. All BS & EN Standards recommends that lightning protection systems should be inspected and tested at fixed intervals, preferably not exceeding a 12 month period. Do not let a lightning strike affect you, contact us today to find out how we can assist you with the installation and maintenance of a lightning protection system. Providing you with peace of mind, a safer environment and better protection during the next lightning storm. Lightning Safety Lightning is to be respected. If you find yourself in the presence of a lightning storm follow the 30/30 rule and seek cover in a building, preferably one fitted with a lightning protection system, or a car enclosed with a metal body work. Avoid touching or standing near anything that may conduct electricity from a lightning strike. eg. like heating radiators, taps. Do not stand under any tall or isolated trees. See our safety page for more information and tips.

Facts and Figures about Lightning

The important facts of lightning are: – It must be respected at all times, not just during the peak periods of a thunderstorm. – It is the result of high voltage currents. – It is unpredictable. This makes researching natural organic strikes very hard. – Most characteristics of lightning are intelligent estimates of typical values formed from other data. – A properly installed lightning protection system will help to protect a property or structure from lightning damage. The Empire State Building is proof of this. There is estimated to be around 2,000 lightning storm active around the global at one time creating over 100 strikes per second. These thunderstorms generate a potential difference of 200,000 to 500,000 volts between the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere, with a fair weather current of about 2×10-12 amperes/meter2.
Approximately 300,000 lightning strikes hit the ground in Britain each year with 30 percent of reported lightning strikes causing severe damage. Each year 30 to 60 people are recorded as being struck by lightning, 3 of whom, on average, die (14 in 1984 compared to 2 in 2005). In the USA around a 100 residents are killed by lightning every year. These figures are dropping with time as working practices change and we become more aware of the dangers of lightning and how to protect ourselves to reduce its risks. Using a lightning protection system is a good way to protect buildings and structures from the damaging effects of a lightning strike. As global warming makes lightning storms more prevalent the necessity to have lightning protection will rise. A majority of lightning occurs in the storm cloud itself and only 10 to 20 percent of all lightning reaches the ground.

WHAT IS A LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEM (LPS)

A Lightning Protection System (LPS) is designed to protect a structure or building and contents from damage caused by the intensely high voltage currents of a lightning strike (often exceeding a 1,000,000,000 Volt Amps). Lightning protection systems act like a Faraday Cage for buildings. Protecting the building and its contents from external electric fields by migrating that energy around the cage instead of through its contents. A lightning protection system offers a lightning strike a low resistance path to ground where the enormous energy is then safely dispersed. A typical lightning protection system includes lightning rods, metal conductors and ground electrodes designed to offer a low resistance path to ground and to take any high voltage currents from a lightning strike away from the structure of the building. The low resistant path offered by a lightning protection system is very important as high voltage currents from a lightning strike will always take a path of least resistance to ground.
Without lightning protection any grounded object that provides a path to earth will emit fingers of electrical charge called positive streamers upwards into the sky. These positive streamers intercept the downward negative leaders from a thunder storm so creating a channel of plasma air for the giant voltage currents of a lightning strike to travel along. If the grounded object is a building the high voltage currents will then travel along any low resistant paths within that building’s structure causing heat damage. Lightning energy may even jump through the air to reach a better conductive path.
With a lightning protection system, lightning rods or air terminals are strategically sited on a structure to increase the chances of intercepting a lightning strike before it hits the property being protected. The highly conductive lightning rods of a lightning protection system are normally made of copper or aluminium and are designed to emit positive streamers into the air instead of the structure they are protecting. These positive streamers from the rods intercept the negative leaders of a lightning strike drawing the high voltage currents safely into the lightning protection system and away from the building’s structure. A lightning protection system significantly increases a building safekeeping from the damage caused by lightning and not its probability of being struck. Lightning can be unpredictable and a well designed lightning protection system will take this into consideration. It will be designed so even if lightning does strike the building’s structure first, its large voltage currents will be drawn into the lightning protection system before any serious damage or harm can be done. It will be designed to draw the huge energy away from parts of the building not able to safely carry such large current loads, while at the same time safely utilising other parts that can. Some buildings require a large re-enforced metal framework in their construction. If suitable additional grounding can be provided at its base so it can be utilised as a low resistance conductor able to carry large currents safely to earth.

WHY ARE LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS (LPS) REQUIRED?

Cloud to ground strikes are the most dangerous form of lightning for property and more importantly human life. Lightning Protection Systems increase the safety of properties, structures and surrounding areas by offering the energy from a lightning strike an easy path to ground, where it is safely dispersed.
Each year in the USA lightning is recorded as the cause of injury or death for hundreds of people. While over 10% are killed by lightning, 70% are seriously injured. Those that survive are often left with lifelong severe medical problems. Lightning strikes from thunderstorms on average cause more deaths in the USA than hurricanes and tornadoes combined.
It is estimated that every year, lightning is responsible for millions of pounds (sterling) of damage in the UK alone and nearly ½ billion dollars (US) worth of damage worldwide. This figure is believed to be growing as IT systems and communication networks become more important to business and their usage expands.
The immense current caused by a lightning strike generates a large amount of heat, less heat is generated when this current travels along a conductive material with low electrical resistance. Air is not a good conductor compared to other materials like copper so as the massive lightning currents travel through it, it becomes super heated to temperatures 3.5 times hotter than the surface of the sun. This burst of enormous heat produces an intense flash of light and causes a shock wave of thundering sound.
If lightning does this to air, imagine what it can do to the unprotected structure of your property. The electrical charge in lightning is always seeking the path of least resistance to ground. If lightning strikes a property the intense charge will search for the easiest route to ground no matter what it is; metal plumbing, pipes, radiators and taps, the wiring of a communications network and telephone system, metal railings on a stair well or the wiring carrying the mains electric that is not designed to carry such enormous loads. Anything touching or connecting to these objects is also highly likely to be injured or damaged. If the material carrying the current has too high an internal resistance the huge passing current, even though brief, will generate large amounts of heat causing primary damage by melting, igniting the conducting material or violently exploding it by rapidly expanding any air or moisture contained within. Secondary damage may also be caused by any resulting fire within the property, devastating contents within the building directly or from smoke damage.
With a lightning protection system properly installed the potentially dangerous current from a lightning strike is offered an easy and safe route to ground.
UK Businesses A Harfield lightning protection maintenance van Workplaces in the Britain have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their staff under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Section 2(1). Events must be thoroughly risk assessed, and if there is a risk of being struck by lightning this must be investigated and control measures like a lightning safety plan put in place. This may include the installation of building or regional lightning protection systems to create lightning protected areas.
The UK requires structural lightning protection to comply with BS6651:1999. This standard focuses on the protection of the building structure only from lightning strikes – something which is also required by most insurance companies.

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