Modern technologies

How do lightning rods work?

1. How do lightning rods work? Why is it worth investing in lightning protection systems?
2. Why is it worth investing in lightning protection systems?
3. How do lightning rods work?
4. How is the lightning protection system built?

How do lightning rods work? Why is it worth investing in lightning protection systems?

We don’t need to be experts to know what the role of a lightning rod is. Especially that we often encounter an identical concept: the lightning protection system. It is, in a way, the definition of the device in question. How do lightning rods work? Few of us can answer this question unambiguously. In this article, we will try to describe how the lightning rod works and we will suggest whether it is worth investing in lightning protection systems.

Why is it worth investing in lightning protection systems?

We are well aware of the tragic consequences of electrical discharges that occur during a storm. It is known that human health and life is a priority and this issue is our first concern when talking about atmospheric discharges. However, let’s not forget that the electrical installation inside the building, together with household appliances and audio / video devices (if connected to it), is exposed to complete destruction during a storm. In addition, a lightning strike to an unsecured electrical installation may even result in fire! Investing in a lightning protection system is the only way to minimize the above-mentioned effects of lightning discharges in our households or workplaces. It is true that the best way to avoid a tragedy is to immediately disconnect the equipment from the electrical system during a storm, but it is difficult to do, even in our absence.

How do lightning rods work?

Lightning strikes during an average storm can reach levels of over ten thousand amperes. No wonder that it is a very dangerous phenomenon and it is worth strengthening the feeling of security by installing lightning protection systems. Their functioning is not complicated. We need to install a metal rod at the highest point of our building. The cables connected to it, through which we wrap the building, will connect to the ground, which will give us the grounding effect. During the lightning discharge and the lightning strike against the lightning rod, the entire load is taken over by the feint (we will focus on it in the next paragraph). Later, the current is taken over by the circuit (we will also discuss its construction) to finally get to the ground through the discharge wire. Then the electric charge is safely discharged.

How is the lightning protection system built?

So let’s get to know the construction of a classic lightning rod. It consists of the elements listed below.

  • Air leak – that is, a cable made of corrosion-resistant steel, subjected to the process of spray metallization. We install such a cable at a certain distance from the roof. This distance depends on whether our roof is fireproof or not. For the former, the mounting distance is about 2 cm, while for the latter, the distance will be much longer. Remember to connect the flight deck also with other metal elements on the roof. It is about a chimney and ventilators.
  • Ground conductor – which is designed to connect the discharge conductor to ground.
  • Discharge conductor – its task is to connect the air terminal and the ground conductor. Today we usually use two cables that should be placed on two opposite corners of the building.
  • Test connector – is the clamp that connects the above wires. Our task is to mount it at a height of 30 cm to 180 cm above the ground
  • Earth electrode – these are metal elements that must be placed just below the earth’s surface. It is important that these elements conduct electricity.

It is worth taking care of installing such a lightning protection system in our households and workplaces, because both its elements and its installation are relatively inexpensive compared to the benefits it gives us.

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