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Fuel Tank Lightning Protection - Vital Protection for Oil Depots

Lightning strikes cause direct lightning damage, indirect lightning damage and lightning wave intrusion hazards. There are many causes of damage to a fuel tank or floating roof tank, and the damage can cause harm from multiple sources.

How fuel tanks or floating roof tanks are damaged by lightning:

Sparking

Because the content of a floating roof tank is crude oil, the tank contains flammable vapor.   Oxygen is readily available in the environment and at a potential of about 3KV/mm the flammable air vapor (acting as a di-electric) will break down and conduct electricity in the form of a spark (arc). This completes the fire triangle resulting in a lightning induced floating roof tank fire.

Roof Surface Charging

Prior to an eventual lightning strike, electric charges will accumulate in the sky, e.g. for a negative cloud to ground lightning, by induction positive charge will be induced on the surface of the shell and the roof of the tank. This will ultimately create a difference in potential between the roof and the shell which can result in transient currents.

Heating due to lightning strike

The flow of high energy lightning current can cause erosion and melting of thin metal sheets and this can generate incendiary particles even around the shell-roof gap. However tanks with a thickness greater than 5mm cannot be melted by lightning. The continuing current with over 200C of charge will only melt a little over 1mm. Usually FRT tank shells are thicker than 5mm.

Solution

The RGA 750 retractable earthing assembly eliminates the most common causes of fires due to lightning strikes on tanks fitted with floating roofs.

  • The RGA 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. When properly applied, multiple RGAs on each tank provide low-impedance pathways to safely discharge lightning currents.
  • The RGA conforms to both API 545 and NFPA 780 recommendations and meets the API 545 requirements for a bypass conductor.

Society increasingly depends on petroleum products, so storage management of crude oil and its products has become particularly important. Lightning protection is an indispensable part of the oil depot safety system.

It is easy to see how Lightning Eliminators and Consultant Inc. can offer you the best fuel tank lightning protection. We believe in providing you with a comprehensive plan to reduce the chances of your fuel storage tanks from being struck by lightning.

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Can Lightning Surge Protection Devices Solve All Surge Problems?

Electrical charges generated in a thunderstorm discharge to the ground with a current of approximately 150 kA. Lightning-induced surge occurs in the cable and instantly applies high energy to the equipment connected to both ends of the cable. These are also called spikes or transients. The duration of these transients is typically measured in microseconds.

Without adequate lightning surge protection devices, the greatest consequence is the risk to human life.  Secondly there is the potential downtime in production and the cost of replacing valuable and sensitive equipment, insurance claims, and increased insurance premiums.

A lightning surge protection device, also known as an SPD, is a shield against surges or transient voltage flowing from the power supply. In other words, it blocks or redirects surge current to the ground instead of passing through the equipment.

Technically, most lightning surge protection devices operate with the help of a Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV). This is basically the link between the SPD’s hot wire and its grounding wire. With a variable electrical resistance, the varistor can adjust the incoming voltage that is either too low or too high.

For example, when it’s too high, the MOV redirects the excess voltage into the grounding wire, letting it dissipate safely.

Then, a normal level of voltage continues to flow through.  The MOV essentially acts as a pressure-sensitive valve that only opens when there is too much pressure.

The SPD ensures uninterrupted use of your electrical and electronic equipments while protecting them from overcurrent degradation.

Incorporating the latest technology, our manufactured lightning surge protection devices divert the surge current directly to the ground and limit the overvoltage to expensive equipment.


 

Each of our products solves a particular challenge:

Our AC power surge protectors such as facility guard, transient limiters, power DIN, and Pro-line are designed for industrial and commercial purposes. Our single line and DC power protection such as coaxial line protectors, transient eliminators, and transient limiters will interface between network equipment and data/signal/telephone lines.
 

Some of the Patented SPDs of Lightning Eliminators & Consultant Inc include:

  • Facility guard
  • Transient Limiters (TLX100 & TLX50)
  • DC surge protector (TLX 50-DC)
  • Hybrid Surge Protectors for Data and Telecom application (TE500)
  • Data line protector (DLP)
  • Coaxial Line Protector (CLP)

For maximum safety and protection, all surge protection devices should only be installed by a licensed professional that is familiar with the equipment and its use.

No matter the weather, connect with our Lightning Eliminator Surge Specialist and get the best possible solution for your facility.

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Best Lightning Protection Products

While lightning rods help protect a structure from a direct strike, a complete lightning protection system, including proper grounding, bonding, lightning dissipation and surge protection will help prevent harmful electrical surges and possible fires caused by lightning.

A lightning protection system includes the following five parts: dissipation systems , air terminals (lightning rods), conductors, ground connections (electrodes), bonding, and lightning arrestors.

Let us have a look at some of best lightning protection products available that form an integral part of a lightning protection system.

Dissipation Array System

The Dissipation Array System prevents direct lightning strikes within the area of protection against lightning damage, including fires, destroyed electronics, and downtime. Engineered to integrate with any building, tower, tank, stack or other structure our DAS technology has been in use since 1971, protecting thousands of sites worldwide. Our “No-Strike” warranty ensures complete protection on all LEC supervised installations.

Streamer Delaying Air Terminal (SDAT)

The SDAT from Lightning Eliminators offers an inexpensive alternative to standard air terminals for new or existing lightning protection systems. Unlike traditional lightning rods which are designed only to collect strikes, the SDAT is designed to delay upward streamer generation, reduce the risk of direct strikes, and function as a highly efficient air terminal.

CONDUCTORS

Conductors are an integral component of a lightning protection system in that they carry the lightning discharge safely to the ground (by providing a low impedance path from the air termination system to the earth system).

GROUND CONNECTIONS (electrodes)

Standards for complete lightning protection systems are based on the principle of providing a direct or quasi-direct, low resistance, low impedance path for lightning current to follow safely to the earth. Achieving low impedance requires suitable handling of both the resistance and reactance (capacitance and inductance) of the system. Our patented lightning protection products are:

Chem-Rod

The Chem-Rod solves problems found with conventional ground rods by requiring less real estate and fewer electrodes to meet specified resistance. Each Chem-Rod creates an optimal electrical connection to earth with a large conductive surface. The earth/electrode interface is further enhanced by conductive backfill and electrolytic salts, ensuring a consistent path to ground.

BONDING

Equipotential bonding does not substitute conduits or service lines for the lightning protection system ground. Neither does it put these systems at any greater risk. Instead, it allows charges to be routed away from the systems via a common ground potential, which also reduces the risk of side-flash, arcing, and exposure of people to lethal touch potentials resulting from a lightning strike.

LIGHTNING ARRESTORS

These are electrical devices installed in or on a building's electrical components and designed to protect electrical equipment from the electrical surge that occurs when lightning strikes a nearby power line. There are a variety of lightning protection products, such as:

FG-200/400

The Facility Guard surge protectors from Lightning Eliminators provide state-of-the-art protection for all your subpanel and service entrance applications (IEEE Class B & C).

LEC provides the best in class, patented lightning protection products and services in the market, built on US and International standards.

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5 Steps to a Complete Lightning Protection Design

For superior lightning protection, a design is the first thing you will need.

From technical review to an extensive site survey; an LEC engineer will be able to help you determine the most effective protection system for your facility. Our process for lightning protection design is as follows:

  • Consulting

A no cost technical review and risk assessment is conducted. Potentially based on photos, drawings and building plans provided by the client, this provides basic lightning protection recommendations which will enable an initial design of what your facility will need.

  • Determining the need for protection as per risk assessment 

After performing the risk assessment, providing accurate data, you should have several options for lightning protection resources.

Here are few possibilities:

  1. The building or structure is already safe and its calculated values are below tolerable levels and therefore no protection is required
  2. The  building or structure needs external protection, that is its LPS
  3. The the building or structure needs internal protection, which are its SPDs
  4. The building or structure needs internal and external protection
  • Design Study
    • Specify the level of protection for each zone.
    • Provide general diagrams for the Surge Protection Devices (SPD) in different Lightning Protection Zones.
    • If there are any three-dimensional types of bonding networks required to provide shielding effects against electromagnetic interference.
    • All the above-stated factors shall be specified in accordance with industry standard guidelines and requirements.

 

  • Site Survey & Smart Ground Testing

These require a lightning safety engineer. It is the final stage in designing a solution tailored to your lightning protection requirements and includes all aspects of risk analysis and lightning protection design to produce detailed engineering drawings and system specifications in addition to providing a hands-on approach in the installation process. Smart Ground Testing is an advanced lightning protection ground audit system that produces highly accurate results, even on energized systems. Unlike traditional tests, Smart Ground utilizes sophisticated computer modelling, includes a complete professional analysis to IEEE/IEC standards, and provides practical recommendations to improve your grounding system and lightning safety.

After the lightning protection design is finalised, the full installation service is done with applicable warranties.

Being a leading OEM, Lightning Eliminators are manufacturing all the components required for the installation as per national and international standards with customised solutions.

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Compelling Grounding Rod Facts

A functioning grounding system is an integral part of the electrical installations in all buildings. It forms an important basis for ensuring safety and functionality in buildings from direct and indirect lightning strikes.

To ensure proper protection and safe operation, these installations must meet special requirements as specified in the regulations for the relevant systems. Special attention must be paid to the design and installation of the foundation earth electrodes also known as grounding rods.

Grounding is a term that is used to represent the connection of a conductive metallic object (which may include an electrical conductor) to ground.

The Grounding of a lightning protection system provides a low impedance conductive path for the energy of a lightning discharge (attracted by the lightning air terminals) to the ground. The ground (soil) thus acts as an infinite sink for the discharge and prevents excessive voltages from appearing along the conducting path. Such voltages may be impressed upon the occupants of a facility as touch, step or transferred voltages.

A grounding system must terminate to a grounding rod which is in direct contact with the soil mass. It directs the lightning energy captured by air terminals and conducted by the down conductors to the ground mass. 

Grounding rods facts

  • When lightning strikes an object, it is looking for the path of least resistance, or more specifically, the path of least impedance.
  • A grounding system, which is made up of a grounding rod and wires, provides a low-impedance path to the ground.
  • This low-impedance path is installed to encourage the lightning to travel through it instead of through expensive electronic equipment.
  • Grounding rods and wires are also used to create what is referred to as a common ground.
  • One way of creating a common ground is to drive a copper rod into the ground and connect your electrical and electronic equipment to this rod by using wires or straps (grounding wires).
  • The grounding rod should be at least 6 feet long and should be fully driven into the ground, leaving enough of the rod accessible to attach the ground wires to it.
  • By creating a common ground, you have created a path of least impedance for lightning strikes.

LEC enjoys a worldwide reputation as a foremost specialist in lightning protection and we have also proven our commitment to research and development. We are devoted to offering  effective lightning protection systems and designing solutions that provide the highest level of safety and effectiveness for lightning protection.  

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What To Look For In A Lightning Rod Protection Company?

If you want a lightning rod protection system installed on your building, it’s best to hire a company to do this for you. This ensures the job will be done properly and securely.

The lightning rod protection installation should be done by an industry professional who willing to explain what they’re doing.

The company should have years of experience installing this type of system and should be able to recommend the right lightning prevention system for your needs.

The more experience the company has, the better off you’ll be. However, it’s important that you start looking now, because the longer you wait, the more time there is for lightning to strike.

Remember that even if it strikes nearby, you can still suffer the after-effects.

As one of the best lightning rod protection companies in the industry, Lightning Eliminators and Consultant Inc., provides lightning protection systems, grounding systems, and surge protection systems for commercial and industrial structures internationally.

Our success is centered on identifying our client’s problems, objectives and developing a comprehensive solution. One that is well balanced with performance and competitive pricing.

Our team of engineering and design veterans are available to solve your most challenging lightning and earthing related problems.

 

We offer these tailored services internationally and specific to your national or international technical standards.

What’s our approach to lightning rod protection?

  • Identify current risk from local and regional lightning activity as it relates to your facility.
  • Develop a comprehensive assessment of the current condition of existing system.
  • Create a total solution design that achieves the desired results to protect critical facilities and assets.
  • Provide a safe working environment to prevent human injuries, reduce the risk of downtime, lost revenue, and productivity.
  • Create an on-going, annual inspection program that protects our client’s investment.

With our expertise, quality service, adequate stocking and short decision-making process, we are well placed to cater to your needs on Lightning protection system requirements.

Contact our LEC experts today to begin the process of developing a solution for your Lightning rod protection requirements.

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A Proactive 4 Point lightning Protection Design Plan for Telecommunication Industry

Lightning happens! While it can be a spectacular phenomenon to witness, it can also cause damage to property, structures, and even be fatal to human life. Without a doubt, expenses from lightning damage can be substantial—especially for companies whose equipment is installed on tall structures.

LEC engineers can help protect telecom facilities from the dangers associated with lightning strikes using a four point lightning protection design plan.

Step 1

Dissipate the Lightning Strike 

The Dissipation Array System (DAS), generically known as a charge transfer system (CTS), is the only lightning strike prevention system. That is, the system prevents the termination of lightning strikes within any area defined as “protected”. Since the objective of DAS is to prevent lightning strikes to a protected area, the system design accomplishes three sub-objectives. These are (1) preventing any protected site or structure from generating an upward moving leader, (2) delay progress of the descending lightning leaders into the protected area, and (3) suppressing any upward rising streamers from the protected site or structure.

Step 2

Down Conductors 

The function of the down conductor is to collect the charge induced on the area or facility to be protected, conduct the collected charge to the ionizer, providing a low surge impedance path in the process. Finally to transfer the collected charge to the adjacent air molecules via a principle known as “point discharge.” The resulting ions make up what is known as “space charge”, a mixture of charged and uncharged particles. This space charge forms a buffer between the protected site and the storm cell. The result of this buffering effect is a reduction of the electrostatic field at and below the DAS.

Step 3

Grounding system

For telecommunication sites our patented Chem-Rod grounding rod has been proven to be the best grounding (earthing) solution of all the electrodes available. The Chem-rod is so efficient that even one such rod can replace up to ten standard ground rods.
Also available is LECWELD – it’s an easy and efficient field welding system, requiring no outside power source or equipment for lightning safety installations.
Additionally, our Ground Augmentation Fill (GAF) is a specially formulated to help create low resistance earth interface, making lightning protection design plan easier and less expensive.

Step 4

Protect incoming AC and DC power feeders from surges and transients

 

Grounding controls many safety and noise considerations at a telecommunications facility. However, grounding alone does not fully prevent a transient or surge to the facility from outside. Surge protection devices are needed to mostly alleviate this concern. LEC has UL listed products like Facility Guard, Transient Limiters, DC surge protectors, etc. ​There are also low voltage data lines and telecommunication protection products like TE500, DLP, and CLP.

Lightning is unpredictable. Implementing our proactive 4 Step lightning protection design plan can lessen the risks that lightning pose to your telecommunications facility.

Contact us to learn more.

Chem Grounding Rod – The Earth Electrode Your Facility Requires!

The chance that your facility will be hit by lightning varies on a number of factors such as location, structure height, temperature, and humidity.

Lightning is nature’s attempt to equalize the voltage between storm clouds and the earth. In order for lightning to strike, it must connect to upward streamers, which reach up from earth-bound objects when the electrical field is strong enough. DAS, our patented lightning protection system, 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. Point discharge becomes more efficient when the points are connected to a low-impedance grounding system, and more ions can be transferred with a greater number of points.

Proper grounding is critical to personnel safety and uninterrupted operations, and serves as the foundation for complete lightning protection systems.

Grounding rod is a type of earth electrode.

An earth electrode is a conducting element buried directly in the ground, facilitating the flow of fault currents towards the ground. This means that earth electrodes are metallic and, since they have to be buried for long periods of time, they need to be resistant to corrosion as well. Earth electrodes can come in a variety of materials, shapes, sizes, and arrangements including pipes, plates, a ring around the structure (known as Type B Earthing), or as an Earth Rod (grounding rod).

Outperforming competition, our ultra-efficient Chem-Rod (LEC’s manufactured and patented grounding rod) has been used to replace as many as 10 conventional rods.

Chem-Rod Grounding Electrode: The patented Chem-Rod creates the optimal earth connection with a large conductive surface, electrolytic salts, and specially formulated backfill. Available in a variety of configurations, Chem-Rods help achieve your target resistance using fewer electrodes and less real estate.

In addition to our specialised products and services, we offer standard ground testing services, as well as, a full line of ground resistance meters and grounding components available for purchase.

A special mention:

Smart Ground Testing: It’s an advanced ground audit system that produces highly accurate results, even on energized systems. Unlike traditional tests, smart ground utilizes sophisticated computer modelling, includes a complete professional analysis to IEEE/IEC standards, and provides practical recommendations to improve your grounding system.

Many industries are benefitting from our Chem grounding rods. We are a full service firm aligned to solve your most complex challenges in lightning protection, grounding, and surge suppression. Our integrated approach weighs all of the factors affecting your exposure and ensures a solution tailored to your needs and acceptable level of risk.

We are just a call away!

What is the Simplest Method to Prevent Lightning Damage?

How can you stop lightning damage? The fact is, you can’t actually stop lightning, but you can redirect it. This we have discussed in our other blogs. Today we are here to tell you the different type of damage, how to identify them and protect your facility, personnel and other assets.

A lightning strike can cause significant structural damage to a building. It can lead to damaged machinery and equipment, both inside and outside the building and may result in harm to people.

There are four basic types of lightning damage: physical damage, secondary effect damage, electromagnetic effect damage, and damage caused by changes in ground reference potential.

Ground reference potential

The lightning current that falls on a lightning conductor causes an increase in the earth potential of an installation, which will cause an overvoltage between the earthing system and the internal lines within the installation. This overvoltage spreads to neighbouring installations via the distribution network. When a lightning strike hits the ground or an item near the building (prominence, tree, post, etc.) directly, there is a similar increase in the earth potential causing over voltages in installations near the strike, via their earthing electrodes.

Lightning damage by electromagnetic effect

The lightning discharge current, whether by direct strike or carried by a lightning down conductor, generates a field whose electrical and magnetic components reach considerable voltage. This electromagnetic field can induce electrical currents in nearby conductors, including wires and electrical equipment. The current induced by electromagnetic effect can easily be sufficient to cause damage.

Secondary effect damage

Indirect effects can also be damaging. For example if lightning strikes a building transient, over voltages maybe caused through resistive, inductive and capacitive coupling. If it takes place:

  • Within a flammable material, it can cause a fire or explosion.
  • Within a bearing, such as in a pump in a treatment plant, it can scar the bearing and cause premature wear.
  • On a circuit board, it can damage the circuit board.

 

Here are some things that can be done to minimize lightning damage

One of the simplest methods to prevent lightning damage is to install a lightning protection system.

Lightning will strike whatever it desires, buildings, trees, mountains, cars, etc. so it’s important to be aware of both direct and indirect lightning strikes and the damages that they can create.

For more information regarding preventing lightning strikes and its consequent damages by installing DAS lightning protection system, contact our lightning eliminator engineers today!

How LEC implements lightning protection design to communication towers in 6 Steps

Protection against direct strikes on structures such as telecommunication relay towers and other towers require the installations of an air terminal near the tip or on top of the tower and an installation of an efficient earthing connector to the ground.

How LEC implements lightning protection design to communication towers

To design an effective communication tower lightning protection system, LEC utilizes highly sensitive Smart Ground Testing audit system, advanced modelling software, patented products and years of experience.

A design study specific to DAS includes our lightning protection engineering team visiting the site. It provides a more detailed and scientific evaluation of your site’s lightning safety exposure and options for lightning protection. You will receive a formal report, a lightning strike probability analysis and a transient analysis, as well as risk assessment as per IEC and IEEE. Sometimes this report will include site specific drawings of recommended design.

Continue reading below to learn more about our 6 steps to lightning protection design system

Site Survey

This can be conducted after a purchase is made or in advance and requires a lightning safety engineer. This stage determines a design solution tailored to your lightning protection requirements and includes all aspects of risk analysis to produce a detailed engineering drawings and system specifications.

Smart Ground Testing 

It’s an advanced lightning protection ground audit system that produces highly accurate results, even on energized systems. It analyses the in-situ grounding environment and compares actual measurements to an electro-geometric computer model of the system being tested. The results are highly-accurate measurements and practical recommendations to help you make informed decisions.

Installation

We offer supervisory support or full installation services, dependent on the project. Should your company opt to engage a subcontractor or do it yourself, LEC will train the crew while directing installation and certifying applicable warranties.

System Recertification

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

The 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.

Lightning Eliminators specializes in providing integrated lightning protection and prevention products, solutions and services by utilizing innovative patented charge transfer technology, grounding systems engineering, surge protection design, and providing comprehensive consulting services based on physics and state of the art engineering principles.

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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.