Lightning Protection

¿Why protect?

At any one time there are about 5,000 thunderstorms around the world. Lightning density depends on the terrain and climate, which means it varies from one place to another and from one time of year to another. The effects of lightning pose a serious hazard to people, property, equipment and structures.

The phenomenon of lightning          

CPT-T-LIGHTNIN-PROTECTION-PHENOMENON

During the formation of a cumulonimbus, there is an increase of ionisation and a potential difference is generated between the thunder cloud and the ground, which gives rise to small discharges.

As the electric field gains in strength, the descending leader breaks up the dielectric field in the air.

Ultimately, this may break through the layers of dielectric field in the air and strike the surface via the upward propagating tracer from the surface.

Statistics 

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At any one time there are about 5,000 thunderstorms around the world. Lightning density depends on the terrain and climate, which means it varies from one place to another and from one time of year to another. In Spain, for example, some two million lightning strikes fall to earth, killing a dozen people and hundreds of animals. The average intensity of a lightning strike is estimated at around 20 - 30 kA.

Isokeraunic maps present historical strike density data on the ground (Ng) and tabulate it from low to high risk of strike. In Spain, for example, the isokeraunic level is relatively high, at 2-6 strikes per year per km2.

The destructive effects of lightning  

The effects of lightning pose a serious hazard to people, property, equipment and structures, and for this reason protection is essential.

  • Catastrophic consequences for people and animals (Electrocution and severe burns that might result in death)
  • Substantial financial losses:
    • Damage to buildings. A direct lightning strike causes damage to structures (e.g. buildings, antennae, telecommunications, manufacturing and photovoltaic arrays).
    • Fire
    • Destruction of equipment / service interruption. An indirect lightning strike generates voltage surges which damage equipment connected to the electrical network, telephone network, Ethernet, etc.

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