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Data Center Lightning Protection Design Systems

Data Center - A boon in improved communication, data storage, and business efficiency. But, it has also introduced a new area of vulnerability. There are potentially expensive concerns to consider where it relates to lightning strikes. The equipment and infrastructure in such a facility, which includes delicate and costly state-of-the-art hardware, internal circuitry and other system architecture, is susceptible to more than simply being taken off-line in the short term.

A good lightning protection design must consider these 6 interdependent protection points:

1. Capture the lightning strike. 

2. Convey the energy to ground. 

3. Dissipate the energy into the grounding system. 

4. Bond all ground points together to create a single point ground plane. 

5. Protect incoming AC feeders. 

6. Protect low-voltage data/telecommunication circuits.  

A tremendous amount of damage can be done if you do not consider all the areas that need protection; lightning strike protection, proper grounding with appropriate surge protection.

Lightning protection design by LEC

There is an assertion that it is nearly impossible to protect completely against lightning strikes is commonly taken as fact, but lightning strikes are currently being prevented in areas of concern at countless locations in more than 70 countries thanks to the solutions provided by Lightning Eliminators & Consultants.

Our 40-year-old technology has enjoyed a 99.87% success rate with eliminating direct strikes at the sites we protect. Rather than collecting lightning and directing it to the ground, as a traditional lightning rod does, our design and protection systems prevent the formation of lightning within a protected area.

In addition, our lightning protection design includes a surge protection system design:

Lightning can infiltrate your power infrastructure and sensitive electromechanical systems in many ways. Direct lightning strikes to your facility or assets pose an obvious hazard, but nearby strikes can be equally damaging, particularly if lightning signals are strongly coupled into power and other utilities that enter your facilities. The function of a surge protection device is to sense and limit the transient over voltages to levels which the connected equipment can withstand safely.

Nothing beats the expertise of an experienced professional to design and specify a protection system to ensure the safety of the building and everything in it, including personnel.  

Lightning Eliminators can provide the needed design and installation requirements in order to keep your facility safe from direct lightning strikes as well as stray transient voltages from both, above and below your facility.

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State-of-the-art Lightning Protection Products by LEC

In the last few years, the rate, frequency, and strength of lightning strike along with storms are increasing, making lightning protection products a necessity across the industry, all over the world.

At Lightning Eliminators & Consultant Inc., we are passionate about delivering the best quality solution, especially when it comes to lightning safety and protection.

To help protect industries from a lightning strike, we manufacture the most innovative lightning protection products and our ‘no strike’ warranty ensures complete protection on all our installations.

Most notably is our patented Dissipation Array System which is engineered to prevent a lightning strike.

Dissipation Array System (DAS)

“DAS uses a naturally occurring scientific phenomenon called point discharge to retard the collection of lightning within a finite protection zone.”

It works on the principles of Charge Transfer Systems. These lightning protection products lower the static field long enough for the lightning to terminate or strike outside the protected area.

Other patented lightning protection products by LEC includes:

Spline Ball Ionizer – this modular lightning prevention system is ideal for structures requiring lightweight protection with a low wind profile. These patented lightning protection products lowers the risk of direct strikes similar to the Dissipation Array System. The stainless steel construction prevents most lightning strikes thereby minimizing damage.

Spline Ball Terminal – this product works under the phenomenon of charge transfer. It has the capabilities of decreasing the risk of a direct lightning strike and if prevention is not possible, it safely collects the strikes and eliminates it to the ground. The SBT is an off-the-shelf lightning protection product; the perfect replacement for standard air terminals.

Chem-Rod - Our patented Chem-Rod grounding rod has been proven to be the best grounding (earthing) solution of all the electrodes available. The Chem-rod or Ground Enhancement Material (GEM) is so efficient that even one such rod can replace up to ten standard ground rods.

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

Ground Augmentation Fill (GAF) – is a lightning protection product that is specially formulated to help create low resistance earth interface, making it easier and less expensive to prevent lightning damage.

We understand that an industrial facility’s lightning protection design has to be unique, with immense capabilities to protect your entire facility from damage. Rest assured our lightning protection products incorporate physics and state-of-the-art engineering principles to provide successful and cost-effective protection.

Contact our team and get protected today!

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Copper Bonded Grounding Rod For the Wind Energy Industry

Wind turbines provide us with renewable energy that relies on nature, rather than fossil fuels, to reap the benefits. Yet, due to the height of the structures and location, wind turbines can attract lightning that result in fires, downtime and damaged electronics.

In order to fully gain the rewards of renewable energy produced by wind turbines, engineers must consider a Lightning protection system to ward off hazards.

LEC offers a full line of lightning protection systems and solutions to help protect wind turbines. Our products include air terminal, down connectors, grounding rod, and surge protection products.

Here we discuss grounding solutions for wind turbines

A well designed grounding system serves to:

  • Establish an effective reference to earth potential for normal operation of - electrical & communication equipment - controls - protective devices (circuit breakers, fuses)
  • Limit voltage differences to values that will not cause undue hazards to personnel and equipment
  • Protect the wind turbine against lightning damage
  • Limit galvanic corrosion due to dissimilar metals

Our grounding products include exothermically welded connections (LECWELD), clamps, ground/earth testers (Smart Ground), Ground Enhancement Material (GAF) and grounding rod (Chem-Rod).

  • LECWELD

The LECWELD molecular bonding process is superior in performance to any known mechanical or compression-type surface-to-surface contact connector.

  • Smart Ground

The ground testers are ideal for determining soil resistivity prior to designing the wind turbine foundation ground system

  • GAF

GAF is a low-resistance carbon concrete that improves grounding effectiveness in areas of poor conductivity

  • Chem-Rod

LEC is the world’s largest manufacturer of copper-bonded grounding rod and offers a wide range of accessories

Site location is critical to capture the wind and often involves areas of high soil resistivity. The increasing height of newer wind turbines enhances the threat of lightning strikes. Proper design and integrity of a grounding grid facilitates long-term safety and operation of any wind turbine site during both lightning and fault current events. Our brand of grounding rod for wind turbine blades are designed and manufactured to meet or exceed OEM specifications. Our application engineering team can analyse and provide grounding system design, solution and products for tower and power substation grounding. 

Years of experience in the fields of grounding and bonding, lightning protection, combined with global manufacturing capabilities, allow LEC to provide comprehensive solutions for the wind energy industry.

Get a quote today!

Everything You Need To Know About The Perfect Grounding Rod

A grounding system’s job is to connect the electrical system of a facility to the ground underneath. It helps carry unexpected electrical charges safely to the ground without harming any other source. For example, grounding system limits the potentials of lightning to create havoc on the property, electrical equipment, and human life.

A grounding rod is an essential part of every ground and electrical system, connected to the physical earth, diminishing the powers of lightning.

Why do we need a grounding rod?

By installing a grounding rod you know that it will protect people from electrical shock, help safeguard expensive electronic equipment, limit neutral to ground voltage and satisfy NEC regulations along the way.

However installing a conventional system requires more real estate and electrodes to meet the required resistance.

LEC’s patented Chem-Rod Grounding Electrode is the latest electrode used worldwide. It provides a low surge impedance as well as low resistance earth contact. The ground augmentation fill is the key component that makes this Chem-Rod maintenance free, giving a longer performance, and ensuring best grounding connection possible.  It has a large conductive surface but takes up far less land mass and can easily replace multiple conventional grounding rods.

They are most useful in areas with limited earth for grounding and are very cost effective for reaching target resistance. Chem-Rod by LEC has been solving problems posed by conventional grounding rods for over 30 years.

Soil PH is another important criterion to be considered. A soil PH at par or below 4 is particularly harmful. Being highly acidic in nature it can reduce the life reliability of the entire grounding system. A well-aerated soil with neutral PH is likely to cause limited corrosion of the grounding rod electrode.

Check out the Smart Ground Testing services from Lightning Eliminators & Consultants, Inc. The results of the ground audit are highly accurate and the engineers give a very practical solution to improve the grounding system.

LEC enjoys a worldwide reputation as a foremost specialist in lightning protection products and services, and we have also proven our commitment to research and development. We are devoted to offering a truly effective system and design, providing the highest level of safety and effectiveness in grounding rod.  

No. 1 Fuel Tank Lightning Protection Solution

Lightning strikes are far more common than many realise and with the changes in the global climate and changing weather patterns, they are well and truly on the increase. 

Petrochemical storage tanks at Oil & Gas Production and Disposal facilities are particularly susceptible to lightning strikes and/or build-up of static electricity. Given the often natural volatility of the contents in fuel tanks within these facilities, a subsequent explosion and fire caused by lightning or static build-up can have absolutely catastrophic effects. 

Do you know, about a third of all tank fires are believed to have been started by a lightning strike which makes fuel tank lightning protection system a necessity.

Challenge

There are 15 to 20 tank fires per year, and over half of them involve Floating Roof Tanks. These fuel tanks require protection against being ignited by a direct or nearby lightning strike. Lightning strike causes electrical currents to flow across the tank shell and roof. When these lightning currents arc across the roof/shell interface, they can ignite any flammable vapours that may be present. It’s therefore necessary to bond the roof and shell to prevent arcing at the roof-shell interface.

Earlier chemical manufacturers and oil and gas exploration and production companies had been using metal strips called “shunts” that electrically bond the shell and roof of the tank in multiple locations. Unfortunately, the bond that these shunts establish is unreliable and creates a greater risk of sustained arcs.

Solution

Substantially reducing the risk of sustained arcs requires a reliable, full-time, low impedance and low resistance connection between the tank shell and roof. Additionally, the connection must operate regardless of the tank wall’s condition.

The RGA (Retractable Grounding Assembly) grounding/earthing equipment for lightning protection is not affected by the condition of the tank because the RGA and cable are bolted and sealed to optimal locations on the tank shell and floating roof

This equipment is designed and manufactured by our expert LEC team in Colorado for fuel tank lightning protection and has proven its reliability and effectiveness with more than 3,000 successfully operating installations around the world.  

RGA is a retractable conductor wound onto a spring-loaded reel – which is mounted directly on the tank wall or a suitably positioned mounting bracket – that is designed to electrically bond the floating roof and shell on floating roof storage tanks.

Our RGA fuel tank lightning protection solution can be installed in both new-build or retro-fitted to existing tanks and requires little regular testing, inspection or maintenance other than visual inspection of all moving parts, the removal of dirt and debris, lubrication of the bearings, and the tightening of all mechanical fixings. 

If your company requires comprehensive lightning protection services contact LEC today – we take a closer look.

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Commercial Lightning Protection for Railways

Lightning is a natural phenomenon that can have a significant impact on railway facilities. Electricity is a major part of railway system operations and the multitude of parts and components it takes to build the railroads across the world are numerous.

A train is a metallic structure, equivalent to a conductive mesh, and therefore a direct lightning strike does not cause damages to the vehicle structure.

However, this does not avoid the direct strike and overvoltage to the electric lines – the overhead traction structure literally forms a huge lightning antenna, which if struck by lightning can damage or even disable the internal equipment, stopping the train and disabling communications. That’s why lightning protection of railway facilities is a vital part of its safe, reliable operations.

As the electrical and electronic equipment in the railway industry has become more complex and integral to the modern design and operation, protection against lightning strikes becomes ever more critical. 

Many complications can arise from a lightning strike, such as:

  1. Safety risks to personnel
  2. Damage to critical equipment
  3. Data corruption
  4. Operational downtime

To protect your railways from the dangers of a direct lightning strike, LEC offers patented lightning elimination product called the Dissipation Array System (DAS).

Unlike lightning rod systems, our DAS completely isolates facilities from a direct lightning strike by bleeding off the induced charge on the protected area during the course of a thunderstorm, reducing it to a much lower level in relationship to the surrounding environment. This suppresses the formation of an upward rising streamer, one of the required elements of the strike process, thus avoiding the strike. It is the only such system where the lightning impulse is not encouraged, but discouraged. In fact, DAS technology has proven to be more than 99.87% effective in eliminating all strikes to protected areas.

In addition to the increased uptime, your railway system will achieve a significant savings in repair costs.

To conclude, Lightning is always a threat to facilities with critical operations and businesses, not limited to only the railway system. Any traffic system that depends on smooth operations and minimal downtime needs to get their facilities well-protected from any unforeseen weather conditions. With our lightning protection solutions (including the DAS technology), we are very keen to contribute and ensure business continuity for our customers.

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Lightning Protection System – not an Artefact, but a Necessity

While lightning rods are often seen as an artefact, a lightning protection system is a necessity for every business.

Your business faces many risks if you have not installed a lightning protection system on your premises. If lightning strikes a business without a clear path to ground, the current can cause serious damage both to the building structure and its electrical components. It can even start a fire.

Specifically a lightning strike can:

  1. Start a fire outbreak – as lightning heats up the air around it, the furniture and cabinets can easily ignite. Also lightning can cause an electrical malfunction which can trigger an electrical fire
  2. Fry electrical wiring – an electricity overload can heat up conductors and damage insulations. While some electricity may be forced to flow through unintended paths causing further damage.
  3. Damage electrical and electronic assets – just like electrical wiring, the electricity may overload plugged electrical and electronic assets damaging them too
  4. Injure your employees – your employees can be seriously injured if you don’t have lightning protection system installed on your premises. They can get trampled in a stampede after a lightning strike, get injured by malfunctioning appliances, or suffer burns by lightning induced fires.
  5. Trigger liability claims – a lightning strike can trigger liability claims by a client who did not receive your service because your business suffered from a lightning strike, or a lightning strike injured your client who was on the premise at that time
  6. Uncomfortable working environment – a lightning strike can knock off the premise cooling or heating system and even damage the plumbing system, thus making the working environment very uncomfortable

The good news is that you don’t have to expose your business to these risks. With Lightning Eliminator’s lightning protection system in place you need not worry about lightning strikes.

We offer complete, integrated lightning protection solutions to every industry through our patented Dissipation Array System.

This system can prevent or eliminate a lightning strike. As a storm approaches, a high voltage electric field is built up. Our system slowly dissipates this energy by ionising the air molecules above it thus the voltage needed for lightning is never attained.

Find out more by contacting us.

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Prevent Lightning Damage to Your Power Plant and Keep Powering Society

From operating house hold appliances to connecting global business, electricity is pivotal to modern society. Large power plants have been built to supply energy and they are often required to operate round the clock to fulfil energy demands.

Power generation plants face many challenges to meet the power demands of a growing and urbanising population. The challenges posed by lightning have proven to be especially trying. This unplanned event can damage facilities and equipment, disrupt work and even cause injury or death. A prolonged service outage from lightning strike can cost the plant thousands of dollars from lost revenue and the cost of repairs.

Safeguard your power plant assets from lightning damage just like Brown Ferry’s nuclear plant – due to frequent and intense storms, the challenges posed by lightning strikes to their off-gas stack were hampering reliability of service. Lightning damage had become a routine.

Take another example of the Auburndale Power Partners 150 MW cogeneration plant. With up to six lightning related outages per year, the plant’s sensitive control equipments invariably suffered lightning damage and cost the plant up to $25,000 from lost revenue.

Both power plants decided to install the LEC Dissipation Array System – our innovative, patented and lightning protection system. Unlike lightning rods, which attract lightning, the DAS system is designed to prevent lightning related damage.

After implementing the lightning prevention system, reduced lightning strikes have saved the plants thousands of dollars and the cost savings experienced in the first year of operations have paid for the systems.

Due to the ever changing climate and rising temperature lightning strikes are becoming more and more frequent. The risk is nearly universal: lightning does not discriminate, nor can it be accurately predicted to a great degree of certainty.

The best way to minimize lightning damage and its impact is to be prepared. A growing number of power generating utilities have successfully reduced cost and lowered liability by choosing an engineered lightning protection system to avoid lightning damage. LEC’s charge transfer device, the Dissipation Array System is custom engineered to interface with almost any structure.

Prevent lightning damage from negatively impacting your power generation capabilities with help from Lightning Eliminators. We have you covered.

Give us a call to learn more about our power plant specific services.

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Making Data Centers More Reliable with Our Grounding Rod

Data centers need to achieve unprecedented level of uptime to keep pace with modern business demands. To achieve this goal, data centers need to pay increased attention to facility infrastructure issues, including grounding systems.

A grounding system is not just an insurance policy against lightning strike. It’s an active, functioning system that provides protections to personnel and equipment and is essential for efficient network performance.

A properly designed grounding system is one that is intentional, visually verifiable, adequately sized to handle unexpected currents safely, and one that directs potentially damaging currents away from sensitive communication equipments.

Most professionals don’t realise the communication industry have some very unique and specific requirements for grounding, grounding rod and bonding. While there are similarities, what is fine in one field doesn’t always do the job in another.

As an expert in lightning elimination, let us explain the many effects of improper grounding.

  • When a surge form direct or indirect lightning or transient, is not properly dissipated by the grounding system, electrical noise is introduced. This causes faulty data signals, decreasing the overall efficiency of your network.
  • According to many surveys, improper grounding rod leads to millions of dollars per year of damage to property and equipment due to lightning.
  • International agencies state that grounding is the most important factor for a reliable network performance
  • Personal injury from electrical shock caused by improper grounding can cause immeasurable human suffering  and significant expense
  • Potential fire hazards exist when heat is generated from electrical surges that find a high resistance path to ground

As more services move to the cloud and devises join the network, the risk of damaging surge migration to other parts of a facility increases. When all devices are networked across systems, a surge could move from a surveillance camera, for example through a digital network of a device on another system. Putting proper grounding, grounding rod and bonding in place can help prevent surges and lightning strikes from spreading across a network and damaging or destroying multiple devices or systems.

From the award winning Dissipation Array System to the patented Chem-Rod, LEC offers the best of products along with a full line of SMART ground testing services and more, ensuring a solution tailored just for your needs.

Contact us and transform your data centre’s grounding system into a high performance ground.

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Lightning Safety Tips That Every Employer Should Know

With the changing weather pattern worldwide, the monsoon rains in many regions too have changed, with lightning and thunder often accompanying them. Unlike in the recent past when the rains often just fell silently.

Lightning is one of the leading causes of injury and death from weather-related hazards. While most lightning victims survive, the effects of a lightning strike can be lifelong.

Some lightning safety tips:

  • Plan your evacuation and safety measures in advance
  • When thunder roars, go indoors
  • No place outdoors is safe during a thunderstorm; seek shelter in a sturdy building or a hard-topped vehicle with the windows rolled up.
  • As a last resort, find a low spot or depression and crouch down as low as possible, but don't lie down on the ground.
  • Avoid proximity to other people. If you can, stay at least 15 feet apart from other people.
  • Once inside, avoid using landline phones, televisions, and other appliances that conduct electricity and stay away from water bodies.
  • After it’s over stay inside for 30 minutes after you last see lightning or hear thunder.
  • If a co-worker gets struck by lightning, administer first aid immediately and seek medical assistance. It is entirely safe to touch them.
  • Know your emergency telephone numbers. 
  • Seek customized lightning safety solutions from Lightning Eliminators and Consultants Inc.

Next time you are in the path of a thunderstorm remember the above measures and watch out for your and your co-worker’s safety.

Most manufacturing units are replete with items such as tall metal towers, scaffolding, metal pipes, phone lines, fences that carry electric current and water, which are more likely to be struck by lightning. With hundreds and millions of dollars in assets on the line, companies should protect these massive investments from every risk possible.

Each of our services is aimed towards providing a productive workplace free from the devastating dangers of lightning strikes through our lightning safety tips and measures.

Business can now receive industrial lightning safety tips in form of lightning and surge protection products, solutions and services from us. We make your workplace more productive and cost-effective.

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About Us

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.