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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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A Systematic Approach towards Lightning Protection

Due to the changing weather phenomenon, the number of lightning strikes has significantly increased.  All too often when lightning strikes an industrial plant, equipment is damaged and operations curtailed; there is an initial rush to get the plant operational again – A reasonable response. Once the plant is operational, the question of how to protect the plant against the next lightning strike comes.

With our 4 decades of experience we know that inevitably an ad hoc approach is taken. This results in installing a lightning protection system that does nothing new to protect the equipment that was originally damaged.

The best way forward is a systematic approach – applying to national and international standards, carrying out risk assessment and then acting upon its results to find a cost effective yet successful solutions.

A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH

  1. Risk Assessment

This study considers the following criteria to decide the probability of a lightning strike on that building and its consequent effects:

  • Use of structure (factory, school, hospital, etc)
  • Type of construction
  • Material / process vulnerable to fire
  • Degree of isolation of the building from nearby structures
  • Location of building – this decides the lightning strike density (number of thunderstorms/km3/year)
  1. Acting upon results

Lightning protection is required almost everywhere! Virtually all populated regions have varying incidences of lightning strikes. There is meaningful risk worldwide, also it minimize exposure to serious risk such as:

  • A fire outbreak
  • Fried electrical wiring
  • Damage to electronics and electrical items
  • Injured employees
  • Liability claims
  • Risky working environment

A Lightning protection system helps in preventing property damage from the effects of a lightning strike. It provides a means for controlling and preventing damages by providing a low resistance path for the discharge of lightning energy.

We, Lightning Eliminators, are a professional company that engineers, produces and distributes technology which provides reliable lightning protection solutions. We have successfully completed many projects using our patented products, in various industries, such as:

  • Towers and remote radio architectures in support of  of 4G and 5G networks, microwaves and others.
  • Electric supply lines wherein our patented LPS are deployed along multiple points to mitigate the risk of equipment damage due to lightning.

We have 14 US patents and have been successfully delivering lightning protection system product, design, installation and maintenance in the US and over 90 countries.

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Number 1 Reason Why Yearly Maintenance of Lightning Protection Design System is Important

It’s important to ensure that your facility’s lightning protection design system is in good condition and in proper working order. This means having regular maintenance and repair to help determine and identify potential problems. If these systems aren’t working as they should, they could cause hazards to health and safety for all occupants within the facility. A regular lightning protection, inspection and maintenance can help determine and identify potential threats or problems – deviations from the reference standards or anomalies in the installation caused by environmental conditions such as corrosion, incorrect handling such as sectioning or robberies, or other circumstances such as expansions of the building where the LPS is located.

Investing in a regular maintenance program can help maintain compliance with regulations, prevent untimely plant shutdowns, and help save money by addressing issues before they turn into expensive unplanned repairs.

Our services:

  • LEC’s fleet of inspection and testing engineers are fully competent in undertaking the detailed inspection and testing of all lightning protection design systems. We recommend yearly inspections, to take account of seasonal variations, ensuring that the entire system is effective at all times.
  • We also provide certificates of inspection detailing our findings, plus details of any repairs required to return systems to a serviceable condition.
  • All our repairs and maintenance works are carried out by our own expert engineers working to agreed methods and time scales; ensuring remedial work does not affect your staff or on-site operations
  • Upon completion of repairs and maintenance, your installation is fully re-tested. Certificates are then issued, detailing the test results and confirming the system's compliance to relevant standards.

Scope of inspection:

  • Visual Inspection of all materials used to conduct current
  • Inspection of lightning rod to ensure none are bent, cracked, broken or otherwise damaged.
  • Refastening and tightening of components and conductors where required.
  • Check for loose, damaged or cut cable connections
  • Continuity tests and measurement of system resistance and grounding electrodes

A special note:

LEC provides the only ‘No Strike’ Warranty in the industry on our DAS solutions. When installed, maintained and supervised by LEC, our DAS prevents direct strikes with a 99% success rate, minimizing the risks to facilities and operations. The benefits can be substantial, resulting in a healthier bottom line and increasing reliability and safety. However like every other lightning protection design product this too requires yearly maintenance.

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Lightning Protection Design Systems

Lightning is the natural electric discharge of static electricity in the atmosphere between clouds or between a cloud and the Earth.

Underwriters’ Laboratories Inc. states: “Each year, thousands of homes and other properties are damaged or destroyed by lightning… Lightning is responsible for more deaths and property loss than tornadoes, hurricanes and floods combined, but of these violent forces of nature, lightning is the only one we can economically afford to protect ourselves against.”

Frequent lightning events interrupt, degrade and destroy critical technology, life safety equipment and other essential systems in commercial settings. Full recovery can entail untold time lost and tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars expended. In worst cases, losses are irreplaceable. Professional lightning protection design system from Lightning Eliminators solves your lightning problems.

Traditional lightning protection design system principles consist in creating one or more preferred impact points for a lightning strike using low impedance, conductor elements. These then conduct and convey the lightning current into the ground. This coherent system enables the lightning to be captured and dissipated while providing protection to the structure. 

Our  patented and innovative Dissipation Array System is designed to delay streamers as compared to an air terminal. As a lightning downward leader is initiated and the electromagnetic field builds up, a static charge accumulation is experienced on the facility and on the lightning terminals installed on the facility. The lightning terminals react by generating upward streamers having the capability to intercept the downward leaders. DAS are manufactured using stainless steel ionization brushes that neutralize build-up of static charges and thus mitigate or delay streamer formation. These are the latest design in lightning dissipation technology. Science and experience show that DAS, and the structures on which they are installed, are less likely to experience a direct lightning strike than unprotected structures or structures with traditional lightning protection design system.

Look no further than our project to understand the trust placed in our professionals. Every project we facilitate is inspected and certified for quality and sustainability by trusted third-party validators.

Few commercial structures exist that are not driven in part, or significantly, by technology. Professional lightning protection design systems act as over watch, protecting the critical systems of the building and its tenants from disruption, or worse.

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Why is the Lightning Protection Design so Critical

The lightning threat to mankind is well known (even without considering economic losses) because, in every second there are at least 8 lightning strikes around the world.

Lightning protection design systems help shield the workforce from danger, assist in the protection of equipment from damage and safeguard assets from downtime. A well designed lightning protection system lessens the hazards associated with these risks.

There are three types of lightning risks that should be considered while considering a lightning protection design, these are:

  • An indirect strike which can be potentially lethal as it can strike the person with in the area, while the current dissipates into the earth
  • A direct strike that runs through a metallic object, which a person comes into contact with directly
  • A flashover, which can cause nearby or natural, objects to spill over into the surrounding area.

Thus a lightning protection design should have two parts. The first is the external lightning protection system, which intercepts, conducts and dissipates the lightning flash to the earth. Second, the internal system that prevents flash over within the structure. 

However, a system designed in compliance with industry standards does not guarantee 100% immunity from damage. Lightning protection is an issue of statistical probabilities and risk management. Lightning protection systems designed in compliance with standards should statistically reduce the risk below a pre-determined threshold.

LEC offers that go beyond the industry standards and include the following patented lightning protection design products, such as:

Dissipation Array System

Spline Ball ionizer

Spline Ball Terminal

Facility Guard

Transient Limiters

Hybrid Surge Protectors for Data and Telecom Applications 

Coaxial Line Protector

The option to install a lightning protection design system is a critical decision for the purposes of life safety, protection of property, insurance costs, and installation expense.  Armed with the right tools and an understanding of national and international standards, an engineering company like LEC can provide a critical evaluation of the potential risks. This evaluation can help the asset owner make the right decision for maximum protection within budget.

Lightning Eliminators & Consultants Inc. will be pleased to advise you on the proper type of lightning protection, minimizing loss and damage of any kind.

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Why install a Lightning Protection System - 5 Critical Risk Factors

Lightning can cause severe damage and destruction to the buildings that it strikes, leaving owners to pay massive amounts in repairs and damages. However, by getting a lightning protection system you can rest easy knowing that no lightning strike will increase your business risk.

Lightning Eliminators offers superior lightning protection systems to suit all types of commercial and industrial buildings.

5 critical factors to judge the risk of not installing a lightning protection system today

Personnel risk

Locations where personnel risk are high include mine sites, factories, schools, churches, sporting facilities, and hospitals. Here employers should recognize lightning as an occupational hazard and take lightning protection seriously.

Equipment and structural damage

Direct strikes cause serious damage to infrastructure, communications, air-conditioning and other exterior structures. Indirect damage can cause serious damage to electronics, equipment and data. In short, Lightning can cause severe electrical-related damage by fire, surge and shock wave damage.

Consequential problems of such failures

For a business such damage can be devastating; from costly repairs to downtime, loss of information and data, ability to service the client, production down time and the brands reputation to market.

And if it’s a public service business such as railroads, hospitals, airports, and public utilities, then they must look beyond their own initiatives to consider the public that would be affected by interruptions.

Fire is another major concern with lightning strikes. Even a side flash can be a cocktail for disaster in industries using highly flammable or explosive materials.

Revenue loss

Lightning protection systems can prevent detrimental, avoidable downtime and costly repairs. The investment associated with protecting an asset from lightning strike is a fraction as compared to the revenue loss incurred by not being prepared. Mining and manufacturing industries must consider LPS on priority.

Corona Phenomenon

This can create an audible noise that can interfere with communications and cause damage to conductors, transformers and other vital electronics.

Lightning is one of nature’s most powerful natural phenomena. A lightning strike to a structure can result in serious destructive damage, fires, explosions and risk of electric shock, which presents a significant risk to life, operations and electronic systems.

Lightning Eliminators provides coverage for all services relating to lightning protection, priding ourselves on a professional and prompt service to our clients.

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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.