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Lightning Protection Design System – An Essential for Data Centers

Lightning strikes are not an uncommon event today and any electronic device that stands in its path would be damaged beyond use.  And unfortunately there is no exception for heavy duty IT infrastructure such as data centers.

Protecting your servers and staff from lightning strikes and electrical surges is crucial.

LEC has the experience and equipment to ensure that your data center is safe from the dangers of lightning.

  • Our lightning protection design system keeps your data and all equipments safe from catastrophic failures due to lightning strikes
  • Structural damage is prevented, ensuring a safe environment for your server racks
  • With our lightning protection design system in place your employees will be safe  and secured against the dangers of a lightning strike

What is a lightning protection design system?

Traditional method

Copper and aluminium conductors are used to outline the structure with lightning rods and are connected to grounding rods around the building. These grounding rods are driven into the ground and joined by a welded or mechanical connection. When lightning strikes, the lightning rod takes a hit first and carries the strike safely to the ground where it dissipates directly into the earth.

Lightning Eliminator’s method

The Dissipation Array lightning protection design system prevents the formation of streamers on ground based objects. LEC's Charge Transfer System (patented as the Dissipation Array System or DAS) uses a naturally occurring, scientific phenomenon called point discharge to retard the collection of lightning within a finite protection zone. LEC does not attract the lightning. LEC's system lowers the static field in the protected area long enough for the lightning strike to terminate outside the protected area. DAS is engineered to the specific application or site.

Of course, our lightning protection design system and proper facility grounding can take away the lightning impact from the spot thereby preventing big damages. But it’s not just the heavy lightning strikes that make your facility vulnerable; it’s the small power surges as well. Thus surge protection is equally important. It delivers the right level of electrical absorption to handle regular spikes and surges.

Keeping data available, safe and uncorrupted is the paramount mission statement of a data center. Lightning and surge events can easily disrupt this essential functionality and create liability issues, corrupt data, or even damage the servers themselves. Installing a lightning protection design system with surge protection device can help to ensure the consistent protection of the facility and its contents.

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Enlighten Your Self on Lightning Protection

Lightning is a flash of light that accompanies a high-tension natural electric discharge in the atmosphere. Lightning strikes the ground over 300,000 times a year. Without proper protection, facilities are at risk from structural damage and production downtime. More importantly, their users are at risk of injury. A regulation-compliant lightning conductor system provides the vital protection needed.

Most lightning protection systems do not attract or repel a lightning strike. Rather, they provide specified pathways on which lightning can travel, carrying the destructive power of the lightning strike safely into the ground. Thus, a protection system leaves the structure, its contents, and its occupants unharmed.

The world has change drastically with the rapid progression of technology but lightning protection for such advancement has not changed since Benjamin Franklin’s invention in 1750 up until DAS technology was introduced by Lightning Eliminators in 1971.

The DAS Lightning protection System effectively lowers the likelihood of a direct lightning strike within a given area to virtually zero. It does this by continuously transferring charges from the surface of the earth up to the Ionizer, dissipating these charges into the air to create space charges above the protected facility. The result is that any asset within the zone no longer presents itself as a path of least resistance to lightning. If a thundercloud overhead discharges lightning, it will strike outside the zone of protection.

DAS lightning protection principle:

Lightning is an electric discharge that attempts to equalize voltage between storm clouds and the earth. The difference in polarity between the bottom of the cloud and the ground is the charge differential. When this charge differential is high, the cloud begins to form downward leaders and objects on the ground begin to form upward streamers. A leader then connects with a streamer giving lightning the path it needs to exchange charge between the earth and the cloud, reducing the charge differential. DAS interrupts the formation of these upward streamers through point discharge, a phenomenon where a well-grounded point exchanges ions between the air and the ground.

For over 45 years, LEC has been providing advanced lightning protection systems worldwide. The systems LEC designs, manufactures and applies not only provide the traditional lightning protection schemes but in especially important or volatile areas it can completely avoid the strike, not collect it.

With over 35,000 system-years of actual in field operation and proven success in minimizing the effects of lightning, LEC is the smart risk reduction choice for critical systems lightning protection.

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Why Lightning Safety is Important at Jobsites

Thunderstorms can be intense weather systems that make strong winds, heavy rain, lightning, and thunder. Powerful lightning strikes can hit trees, bodies of water, vehicles, and even buildings. Lightning can cause power outages, damage to structures, and possibly serious injury. Thus lightning safety measures should be incorporated by every industry.

Some of the most common measures that can be adopted are:

  • Have a weather alert radio with battery back-up nearby in the event lightning knocks out electricity.
  • Seek shelter, as it greatly reduces the risk of being struck by lightning.
  • If outdoors find cover; even hard metal cars can provide adequate lightning safety
  • Stay away from conductors such as water, trees, wires, or high altitude
  • Keep your guard up to 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder

Understanding the risk, characteristics and precautions play a crucial part in keeping your people safe in the event of severe weather. Lightning is unpredictable and can strike outside the heaviest rainfall areas or even up to 10 miles from any rainfall. Many lightning victims are caught outside during a storm because they didn’t act promptly to get to a safe place, or they went back outdoors too soon. If signs of approaching thunderstorm occur, workers should not begin any tasks they cannot quickly stop. Proper planning and safe practices is the only way to increase lightning safety at your work place.

On a lighter note, did you know these bolts of electricity are also beneficial to our planet?

  • It helps the earth to maintain electrical balance as it transfers the negative charge back into the earth
  • Lightning strikes liberate nitrates that fertilize the soil. The heat and pressure from a lightning turns nitrogen and other gases in the air into useful compounds. These compounds act as natural fertilisers.
  • Lightning also produces ozone, a vital gas in our atmosphere that helps shield the planet from harmful ultraviolet sunlight.
  • They serve to cool the earth – create rainfall and remove pollution from the air.

Preparedness reduces lightning risks. Know what to do and how to stay safe when severe weather is in the forecast.  But, next time your area endures a thunderstorm, check on your yard a few days later – you’ll notice a difference!

And we, Lightning Eliminators have a revolutionised technology called Dissipation Array System. It’s simple, reliable, inexpensive and very effective in eliminating a lightning strike with the protected area.

Contact us to know more.

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Importance of Recertification of Lightning Protection Systems

One thing people struggle with is deciding how often to check their lightning protection systems. In many cases, they feel that because there has been no bad weather there is no need for a test. However, this is a bad decision. While it may not have been used, the components in the system can still be exposed to wear and tear. The effectiveness of Lightning protection systems may become compromised over time as a result of general conditions such as physical damage, adverse weather conditions, corrosion, or because of additions or alterations to the building. Periodic tests and inspections will highlight any maintenance procedures (if any) that are required.

When it comes to viable lightning protection solutions, the first rule is, you must have it to ensure  the equipment is in good working order to be effective. Like any other technology or equipment, it needs to be installed properly, inspected and maintained.

Good maintenance means you must inspect the system, which includes direct strike protection as well as grounding and surge solutions. 

With LEC’s unique combination of experienced consultants, engineers and integrated services, you can rely on expert advice backed by over 45 years of experience.

Yearly recertification is needed to maintain the terms of the no-strike warranty issued with every Dissipation Array® System (DAS®).

Our Dissipation Array System (DAS) lightning protection products comes with a one (1) year Limited Warranty. The Limited Warranty can be extended for additional 12 month periods upon completion of an inspection and any required repairs.

Our recertification includes:

  • Inspection of lightning protection systems and grounding connections
  • Minor repairs as needed
  • Inspection and refill of Chem-Rod
  • Inspection and verification of Surge protection systems
  • A report is submitted to the customer on Lightning safety findings and its recommended corrective actions.
  • Warranty certificate is reinstated

Also its important to note that damaged lightning protection systems is as dangerous as having no lightning protection at all. LEC is a member of many safety organizations now required by industry.

For lightning protection systems to function as designed in the event of a lightning strike, it is essential that the lightning conductor system is maintained and kept in good order, ensuring maximum protection to the facility and its occupants.

The annual testing and inspections are crucial to safeguard the structure, its contents and the lives of everyone who uses the building.

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Lightning Protection is Economical, Practical and Prudent

A lightning protection system is designed to protect a structure from damage due to lightning strikes by intercepting such strikes. It safely passes their extremely high currents to ground.  

It is impossible to determine when or where lightning will strike, but the risk remains. Of the violent forces of nature, lightning causes more deaths and property damage than any other. In the United States alone, lightning accounts for more than one billion dollars in property damages annually. Luckily, lightning is one force of nature economically viable from which to protect. At approximately less than 1% of the total new project cost, lightning protection is economical, practical and prudent.

A typical lightning protection system includes a network of air terminals, bonding conductors, and ground electrodes that are designed to provide a low impedance path to ground for potential strikes. They are used to prevent or lessen lightning strike damage to structures.

LEC’s dissipation array terminals have its unique method of effectively protecting systems from lightning damages:

Dissipation Array Terminal incorporate electrodes that break down into corona before streamers can form; these terminals lower accumulated static charges, consequently mitigating or delaying upward streamer generation.

We are proud to offer a complete technology solutions platform that compliments and supports the products we sell. With today’s complex, technologically advanced products; providing you with the right products and services to solve and address complicated natural disaster, is paramount for success. We are a rarity in the industry being one of the few manufacturers uniquely positioned to deliver complex and user defined applications.

We bring years of real-world experience and a scientific engineering process to design lightning protection systems. With many lightning protection designs completed, our team provides unmatched expertise in all aspects of lightning protection for your site and facility. We have provided a customized site and facility lightning protection designs for virtually all industries.

Leading the industry with our comprehensive total site & facility protection systems and solutions, LEC continues to heighten the industry standard with our innovative products and lightning protection engineering services.

With the proper lightning protection system you can rest assured that your systems, investments, and personnel will be protected.

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An Alternate Lightning Protection System

With the construction of higher structures in lightning prone areas, there has been a significant progress in the quest to improve the protection of these structures against lightning.

lightning protection system protects a structure from a direct lightning strike.

To do this, an air terminal (or system of air terminals) is placed in the most probable position to capture the direct strike, based on the structure’s architectural design and roof equipment. The rest of the system is designed to safely convey that electrical energy from the lightning strike to ground as efficiently and safely as possible

These are:

Down conductors- They provide the most direct path possible to move the electrical energy towards the ground.

Grounding system – it provides a path for the current to dissipate into the ground and out of harm’s way.

Bonding – this is meant to reduce the possibility of voltage differences that are a safety risk.

Lightning Eliminators highly recommends Surge protection device as additional mandatory equipment to ensure complete protection from direct and indirect lightning.

A Surge protection device is designed to protect electrical systems and equipment from surge and transient events by limiting transient voltages and diverting surge currents.

Did you know there is an alternative way to protect your facility from lightning?

Lightning protection systems have come a long way since their initial invention in 1752. Thanks to new technological advances, modern building structures and evolving standards, today’s lightning protection systems effectively guard our structures from hazardous or deadly lightning strikes. 

Lightning Protection for the digital age includes our patented product Dissipation Array System that works on the principles of Charge Transfer Technology.  See Video (https://youtu.be/Jl0BdC6FFJs)

An unprecedented field study of the DAS sheds powerful insights on its efficiency level. DAS is an advanced lightning protection system that is specially designed to prevent lightning strikes within a given protected zone.

LEC provides a suite of lightning protection products with options to protect your facility from lightning strikes and damage. Lightning protection systems help to control the passage of lightning and discharge it to minimize risk, injury, and fire or equipment downtime.

Contact Lightning Eliminators to know more.

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Lightning Rod Protection – The Right Choice

Grounding and bonding are an integral part of any modern lightning protection system design. This is because lightning currents inherently want to ground. A lightning strike, which is intercepted by an air terminal, must have its current transferred to the earth safely and seamlessly. 

Thus proper grounding proves to be an important issue when designing and installing lightning protection systems. The goal of any grounding system is to provide a low-impedance path for fault and lightning-induced currents to enter the earth, ensuring maximum safety from electrical system faults. 

Lightning rod protection not only helps protect buildings and equipment from damage caused by unintentional fault currents or lightning surges, but more importantly, it also protects people and ensures their safety.

While selecting the perfect lightning rod for protection, consider the relationship between expected service life and cost in order to receive the best value from your ground rod.

LEC offers the best range of long-lasting and cost-effective products available.

Our ChemRod will sustain extreme conditions which will significantly increase its serviceable life and maintain the integrity of the entire electrode as opposed to conventional lightning rods. To enhance the soil conductivity in areas where soil resistivity is high, LEC’s GAF (Grounding Augmentation Fill) is a superior product. Once in its set form, maintains constant resistance for the life of the ground system. It performs in all soil conditions even during dry spells and does not dissolve, shrink, decompose or leach out with time.

Additionally as they require less real estate and fewer electrodes to meet specified resistance the overall cost of getting lightning rod protection is reduced.

Besides this LEC also offers other products such as:

Smart Ground Testing Service – designed to provide an advanced ground audit system that produces highly accurate results, even on energized systems. 

LECWELD – It’s an easy and efficient field welding system, requiring no outside power source or equipment for lightning safety installations.

Lightning Eliminators provides all services to the highest standards, even in the most challenging ground conditions. Our team has a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide superior lightning rod protection for our clients.

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Simple Lightning Protection Solution for Every Industry

The powerful force of lightning can ignite fires in buildings, damage electrical equipment and electrocute humans and animals. Typically, lightning enters a building by striking a metal object on the roof, directly striking the building, hitting a nearby tree or structure (for example, a silo) that causes the strike to jump to a nearby building, or by striking a power line or wire fence that provides a path into the structure. You can protect your facility or structures by installing a lightning protection system, which will direct a strike away from your buildings and dissipate the strike in a safe manner.

The lightning protection system designed and manufactured by Lightning Eliminators is called a Dissipation Array System (DAS) that works on charge transfer technology.

LEC’s solution utilizes basic principles of physics in which the zone of protection is created from the highest point of a facility down to the earth. Protection against lightning involves three parts – direct strike protection, surge protection and grounding. We pride ourselves on being able to provide consulting, design, and implementation services for lightning protection.

Some lightning protection products patented by LEC:

The Spline Ball Ionizer (SBI) is multi-point ionizers that can be deployed with dissipation array system to function in prevention mode or without DAS to function in collection mode. None the less, it acts as the first line of defense for the structure that requires lightweight protection with a low wind profile.

In the prevention mode, the SBI lowers the risk of direct strikes by utilizing Charge transfer technology, making the protected site less likely to experience direct strikes.

Under the collection mode, mainly in intense storm conditions, it functions as a highly effective air terminal and safely collects any strike it cannot prevent.

Spline Ball terminal or SBT offer a superior alternative to standard air terminals for new or existing lightning protection system. Unlike traditional lightning rods like the Franklin rod, SBT is engineered to both reduce the risk of direct strikes and function as a highly efficient air terminal.

The SBT advantage is that this stainless steel construction offers hybrid protection and is very easy to install. Additionally, it minimizes the risk to property and personnel and is UL listed replacement for standard air terminals.

Lightning can be a very destructive force, but effective steps can be taken to protect property and personnel.

A small investment in lightning protection system can go a long way in protecting facilities from lightning devastations.

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Debunk the Myth Around Lightning Surge Protection Devices

Choosing the right lightning and surge protection is a lifelong investment, just like purchasing a good comprehensive life insurance policy. Without proper planning and consideration, your business may be inadequately prepared and most importantly your people and investment will be at risk.

Because transients can originate from both external sources (like lightning) and internal sources, facilities ought to have both lightning protection system and surge protection installed.

In this article we will talk about lightning surge protection devices and its benefits.

Let’s debunk some myth

  • Surge Protection Devices are not an accessory – when working with valuable equipment or data, it is vital to have it protected by an SPD.
  • Surges are fairly common – according to a survey, surges cause equipment damage on a monthly basis with a frequency of 69% in healthcare centers, 76% in industrial facilities, and 80% in IT sectors.
  • SPDs are not overcurrent devices – these are designed to handle fast transients or surges, rather than excess voltage. While some Type 1 SPDs like Facility Guard are equipped with external overcurrent protection, but not all SPDs have the same functions.
  • SPDs are not lightning protection systems – on a basic level, the LPS protects the facility from direct strikes, while SPDs protect electrical equipment and systems against surges and transients.
  • Point-of-use SPD VS SPDs – most consumers are typically aware and use point-of-use SPD for computers and printers. But this is just temporary protection. Type 1 and Type 2 lightning surge protection devices provide permanent protection from surges. These devices are either hardwired to the service equipment, the service transformer, or the service equipment overcurrent protection device.

While planning a surge protection, consider our patented products

  • Facility Guards
  • Transient Limiters
  • DC Surge Protector
  • Hybrid Surge Protector for Data and telecom application
  • Data Line Protector
  • Coaxial Line Protector

A power surge can enter your facility through several pathways – electrical service lines, incoming telephone lines, and even through satellite dish cable. And smaller, repeated power surges slowly destroy the electrical equipment, sometimes beyond repair.

The best protection is to install a lightning surge protection device combined with a good grounding system. They can protect a particular machine, a floating tank or your entire facility; depending on the approach you take. Every SPD from LEC, big or small, will stand ready to divert the surge safely through the grounding path and away from the equipment.

Lightning Surge protection devices from Lightning Eliminators offers surge protection devices, installation and maintenance, helping you protect your investments at all times.

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Lightning Rod Protection for Smart Industries

Measures to prevent lightning strikes on various industries have never been more sophisticated.

The days of relying only on conventional lightning rod protection from the lightning fires are gone. Complex operations are now been deployed with advanced options to limit downtime from a lightning strike.

Modern problems need smart solution

The most recently developed technology eliminates the strike from hitting protected facilities and potentially avoids the risk completely. It combines dissipation array technology with earthen and surge suppression to create an isolation zone that inhibits directs strikes to the protected site and limits the impact of any nearby strikes.

This innovation and one of the kind lightning rod protection have been installed in some of the most lightning prone environments and are credited with a success rate of more than 99% in lightning strike prevention.  The system is protecting petrochemical sites, data and telecommunication centers, transit and logistics facilities and power generation sectors, among others.

Here, we are talking about the Dissipation Array System that works on the Charge transfer technology.

These systems prevent strikes by continually lowering the voltage differential between the ground and the charged cloud to well below the lightning potential. It also reduces the risk of electrical impulses on electrical service lines and control lines. Our dissipation array system is available in a different configuration to provide optimal protection from lightning in any industry.

In addition we provide the best lightning rod protection against lightning damage.

The problem with the conventional lightning rod protection is that it is designed to collect and channel the force of a strike to ground. This 200-year-old concept was never intended for the protection of modern hi-tech automated facilities.  In fact, during a research, this conventional system was not found to be scientifically or technically when field tested under natural lightning conditions. DAS, on the other hand, prevents the accumulation of charge thereby preventing a lightning strike.

DAS primary features are:

  • Strike prevention, not collection
  • Maintenance free system
  • Customized design
  • Guarenteed protection

Apart from our patented products, Lightning Eliminators & Consultant Inc., have the advantage of the unique market-leading experience, knowledge, and expertise.  Our team members have recognized experts in the field of lightning control and prevention and the technical development superiority, consulting services, and lightning prevention solutions are customized for each client.

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Lightning Protectors

Lightning Eliminators & Consultants, Inc. (LEC) serves its clients by installing and maintaining lightning protection systems (LPS), and prevention solutions. Equipped with over four decades of experience, LEC has provided successful support to over 90 countries and throughout the United States.