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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.


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.


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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