This is the LIGHTNING SEASON, hence the term ‘BAK MAHA AKUNU’. Although the Phenomenon of Lightning has been under investigation since Benjamin Franklin’s discovery of electricity in 1749, today it is even a bigger threat to our electronic dominated society. Destruction caused by lightning can cost us tens of millions and even life. Loss of data/software caused by lightning surges could even be beyond repair or replacement. According to French expert P.G.Laurent, it is a phenomenon that “One cannot resist without danger, but which is easily lead if one lets it have its way. It possesses millions of volts, capable of shattering obstacles, but flows meekly through small-diameter conductors…”
Even as far as scientists are concerned, despite vast development in technology, lightning retains many of its mysteries and there is remarkable lack of knowledge on potential destruction, losses or proper protection among the public and even among some of the suppliers. Although, in expert hands, lightning flows meekly through a small conductor, in wrong hands (or without proper protection) it can devastate buildings, equipment, data and even life.
Although absolute protection is not attainable, a cost-effective protection can be designed according to the requirement of the organization or the individual. More comprehensive the Protection System become, better the protection cover you get and higher the initial cost. Therefore usually a middle ground is sought depending on your risk factor. Before making a decision you should take into account your budget and the cost of protectors compared to the cost of potential destruction which should also include cost of recovering data. At a glance it may not be an easy task but if you know where your risks are and what you need to protect, then making a decisions is not that difficult.
Therefore, if you need to protect your buildings equipments and data, not to mention the lives of your loved ones properly, do not leave it to ‘others’ learn about lightning yourself.
Cost of damages that you never knew you paid for;
Earthing of lightning current is as important as capturing it. The huge lightning current captured by the lightning rod must be discharged to ground through a safe media. If such a media is not available, lightning discharge can destroy anything in its’ way. Therefore, a good earthing system must be implemented along with the lightning rod.
Earthing mechanism comprises of the down conductor, test points and a suitable earthing system. Down conductor interconnects the lightning rod on the roof- top and the earthing system. Therefore it must be capable of repeated handling of thousands of Amperes for many years. Poor quality copper contains Oxygen (copper made out of recycled metal) that is liberated during a lightning discharge & promotes corrosion and decay of conductors used in earthing. That is the very reason, why a Copper conductor of a good brand must be selected.
There are 3 common types of earthing systems; In-line earthing systems, Crow-foot earthing system, Triangular Earthing system.
A suitable earthing system must be selected, considering the space, availability, cost etc.
If you have an expensive installation with high value equipment or irreplaceable data where your risk factor is high, you are well advised not to ‘do-it-yourself’ but to hire a ‘reliable company’ which has specialized in power protection systems to design and install a system to suit your needs. Most companies offer free proposals. A comprehensive solution will require several stages of protection that is defined in IEEE 62.4. It defines three protection zones A (Equipment level), B (Secondary level) and C (Primary level) and protectors should comply with the requirements of each type of zone.
However, if you are a user with few computers or electronics, you may prefer a straight forward economically easy to install (perhaps by yourself) solution.
If you need professional help contact us through www.clarionsrilanka.lk