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Lightning Protection Systems - FAQS

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FAQs - Grounding Systems

1. Is there any need for protection against direct lightning strikes?

The research done and data published by reputed International Agencies like NASA, National Geographic etc,, have conclusively proved that there is an Enormous increase in the lightning activity all round the World due to various phenomena like Global Warning, etc. This has resulted in our building and other assets being more vulnerable to damage due to lightning than ever before. Besides the prevailing regulations mandate the provision of reliable lightning protection system for all structures and buildings of 12 Mts and above. Hence, it is important that all buildings and structures be protected by using a reliable Lightning Protection System.

2. What are the different methods of lightning protection and their merits/demerits?

Presently, there are 2 methods of Lightning Protection System being adopted in India. These are:

1) Conventional Mesh/Franklin Rod System:
In this method, a large number of Franklin rods and or GI strips are to be installed on the terrace and connected to the earth for the purpose of lightning protection.

2) Early Streamer Emission System:
In this method, generally one ESE lightning rod will be installed on the terrace and connected to the earth for the purpose of Lightning Protection. The conventional method involving Franklin rods and GI strips is a passive system. Hence a large number of the Franklin rods/GI Strips have to be used (for a given area) for providing even a moderate degree of protection. In most cases the installation of such large numbers of Franklin  rods/GI strips may be impractical or render the terrace unusable for any other activity. In comparison, the ESE lightning rods are active systems. Here, either one or a very small number of lightning rods to be used (for the same area) to provide the highest degree of protection A detailed comparison between conventional systems and ESE systems can be furnished on request.

3. What is the standard applicable for the lightning rods working on the ESE principle?

The accepted standard worldwide (more than 100 countries all over the world) for the lightning rods working on ESE principle is the French standard NFC 17102 and the Spanish standard UNE 21186.

4. Are all ESE lightning rods the same?

The Nimbus has a built in electronic circuit which detects an on coming lightning strike, stores a part of energy naturally induced by this lightning strike, amplifies it and emits these amplified charges at the right instant to capture the lightning strike and safely route it to the ground there by protecting the building/structure.

5. Briefly explain the High Voltage Pulse Emission Technology of the Nimbus Lightning Rod?

The Nimbus has a built in electronic circuit which detects an on coming lightning strike, stores a part of energy naturally induced by this lightning strike, amplifies it and emits these amplified charges at the right instant to capture the lightning strike and safely route it to the ground there by protecting the building/structure.

6. What is the main advantage of the Nimbus lightning rod ESE?

The lightning rods based on the early stream emission principle enable efficient capture of an impending lightning strike and thus cover a very large area with a single lightning rod as compared to conventional Franklin .Rods. Also, the relative degree of safety against direct lightning strikes improves greatly with a Nimbus ESE Lightning Rod.

7. Does the Nimbus require any form of external power supply for working?

No. The Nimbus does not require any form of external power supply like external DC/AC supply or battery for its working. The Nimbus is a self powered device which captures the energy induced naturally by the impending lightning strike, stores it and generates the up streamer using the stored energy.

8. Am I unnecessarily attracting all lightning strikes from the surrounding areas by installing the Nimbus?

No, the Nimbus does not unnecessarily attract the lightning strikes from surrounding areas. The Nimbus is designed to capture all lightning strikes within the area to be protected only and not from the surrounding areas.

9. Will the Nimbus lightning rod emit charged pulses continuously or whenever there is a cloud?

The Nimbus will NOT emit the charged pulses continuously or whenever there is a cloud formation above it. Nimbus lightning rod emits the charged pulses only for a few micro seconds when there is an actual risk of a lightning strike in the protected area.

10. Will installing the Nimbus lightning rod cause any interference to the other electronics/electrical equipment in the vicinity?

Since the Nimbus lightning rod emits the charged pulses only for a few micro seconds, there is practical no interference with the other electronics/electrical equipments located in the vicinity.

11. Can the Nimbus lightning rod alone protect all equipments housed in my structure from damages due to lightning strikes?

The Nimbus lightning rod can only protect the structure and the people from the direct impact to the light strike. The damage to equipment housed inside the structure occurs because of the transient voltage surges caused by a lightning strike. The Nimbus lightning rod does not offer any protection against these surges. The equipment housed inside the structure will have to be protected by installing a separate Surge Protection System.

12. Is the Nimbus lightning rod tested at any recognized third party laboratory?

The Nimbus lightning rod has been tested at various reputed third party laboratories in various countries across the World. Some of these laboratories include LCOE (Spain), KERI (Korea), APCI (South America), CPRI (India).

13. How can I know if the Nimbus has actually captured a lightning strike?

A lightning discharge counter (supplied optionally) will record all the instances of lightning strikes captured by the NIMBUS Lightning Rod. Hence, by installing a lightning discharger counter, the exact number of lightning strikes captured by the Nimbus can be known

14. How do I ensure that the Nimbus lightning rod is in working condition?

The Nimbus lightning rod comes with a very unique feature among all other ESE lightning rods. The Nimbus lightning rod can be tested at site using a specially designed Nimbus tester. The tester verifies the integrity of the electronic circuit of the Nimbus and displays the results on the LCD screen. In this way the user can be sure that the Nimbus lightning rod is in proper working condition.

15. Will the Nimbus lightning rod provide 100% security on my installation from all lightning strikes?

The Nimbus lightning rod or any other form of lightning system CANNOT offer 100% security from lightning strikes. The Nimbus lightning rod (when designed and installed in Level-1 protection) can capture all lightning strikes of 2.8 KA (2800 Amps) and above only. There is no technology known to man as of now which can capture lightning currents of less than 2.8 KA. The conventional lightning protection systems in the manner in which they are designed and installed commonly in India, can capture lightning currents of approx.23 KA and above only. By using the Nimbus lightning rod the system can be made

16. How do I design the proper lightning protection system for my system?

At Jef Techno Solutions, we can help you design the appropriate LPS for your structure according to the guidelines laid down by the governing standards. This activity will include a detailed risk analysis of your structure, coverage drawings, modules of lightning rods required to be installed etc. We also take up supply and installation of the Lightning Protection System wherever the client so desires. More details on this can be made available on request. If you require any assistance, please write us at marketing@jeftechno.com.

17. Would the electronics inside the Nimbus lightning rod be damaged when the lightning strikes the Nimbus Lightning Rod?

The electronics inside the Nimbus will not be damaged by a lightning strike. The Nimbus lightning rod is so designed that the lightning current will flow through the metallic body of the lightning rod without affecting the electronic circuit housed inside.

18. What is the life time of the Nimbus lightning rod?

All the components used in the Nimbus lightning rod have a design life of approx. 65 years. The design life of the Nimbus lightning rod as guaranteed by the manufacturer is 25 years. However, the commercial guarantee is 18 months from the date of supply.

19. Is the Nimbus capable of working in corrosive atmosphere or high temperature areas?

The body of the Nimbus is made of AISI 316 grade stainless steel which is highly resistant of corrosion. Further, the electronics are encapsulated in an epoxy mould. Epoxy material being resistant to temperature and also a very bad conductor of heat, the outside temperature will not reflect on the electronic components housed inside. Hence, the Nimbus is fully capable of working in corrosive atmosphere and high temperature and high temperature areas upto 120 ˚C

20. Can the Nimbus be installed directly at Chimney or Vent?

The Nimbus is not recommended to be installed at top of the chimney or vent. Specially, incase of a vent which is emitting flammable or explosive gases, it is recommended to install the Nimbus on a nearby structure which is taller than the vent to be protected and a safe distance away from the vent.

21.  What is the best way to protect a tall chimney or vent?

Since the tall Chimneys  or vents are always structures with a narrow base, the conventional Franklyn Rods are ideally suited for protecting them. The   conventional rods are also not  affected by the temperature of the flue gases / other emissions of the chimney.  However, it is to be noted that the    conventional rods only protect these chimneys / vents and not the structures around them. This is because, as the height of mounting of the Franklyn rod increases, its ample of coverage reduces drastically.

22. At what height should the Nimbus lightning rod to be mounted on a building/structure?

The Nimbus lightning rod should ideally be mounted such that the tip of the Nimbus is 5 Mts above the highest and farthest plane on the structure to be protected. However, the Nimbus lightning rod should be at least 2 Mts above any other point on the structure to be protected (like Antenna, Cooling Systems of Air Conditioners, etc)

23. What is the area covered by each Nimbus lightning rod?

The area covered by each Nimbus lightning rod varies depending on the level of protection and height of mounting. Please refer to our catalogue to know the exact radius of protection offered by different models of the Nimbus lightning rod for different levels of protection and heights of mounting.

24. Is it safe to touch the Nimbus lightning rod during rains or thunder storms?

No, the Nimbus lightning rod should not be touched during rains or thunder storms. To be in contact with the Nimbus lightning rod during the rains or thunder storm can seriously endanger the life of human beings.

25. Can the Nimbus lightning rod be repaired at site in the event of a failure?

The Nimbus lightning rod cannot be repaired at site in the event of a failure. Since the electronic circuit is permanently sealed in epoxy mould, the individual components cannot be accessed and hence no repair can be carried out at site.

26. Does the Nimbus lightning rod need any special insulated high voltage cable for its working?

The Nimbus lightning rod does not require any special high voltage cable to be used as down conductor for its working. In fact, the governing standards for the ESE lightning rods, (The NFC-17-102), have specifically forbidden the use of such down conductors.

27. Is the Nimbus lightning rod compatible with the existing GI Strip down conductors and normal earth terminations?

The Nimbus lightning rod is fully compatible with the GI strip down conductors and normal earth terminations. However, the resistance of the earth termination shall be less than 10 Ohms and the GI strip down conductor have at least 150 Sq.mm cross section area.

28. How many down conductors should be used for a given installation?

As per the standards one down conductor shall be used where the building height is less than 28 Mts and 2 down conductors for building height more than 28 Mts. Also, of the width of the building is more than 2 times its height, then 2 down conductors are to be installed. However, from the point of view of safety it is recommended to have at least 2 down conductors for every installation irrespective of the height of the structure.

29. What is the cross section of Down Conductor that should be used?

Minimum Cross sectional area of the conductor is 50 Sq.mm irrespective of material (Except Aluminum Tape – 70Sq.mm)

30. What is the profile of the Down Conductor to be used?

Always round conductor is preferable rather than Flat conductors, we can avoid the No. of Joints & sharp edges in Round conductors.

31. Is there any system to repel or avoid lightning strikes in a particular area?

Though some systems claim that they can repel or avoid lightning strikes in a particular area, there is no concrete test or field data available to prove this theory. Further, in our opinion the principle of repelling or avoiding lightning strikes goes against basic law of Physics. We can provide more details on this on request. Primarily, since the lightning strike will involve a huge amount of energy (either positive or negative polarity) and this energy is transferred to earth in a matter of a few micro seconds, one will have to generate the same quantum of energy and of the same polarity in a matter of a few micro seconds be able to repel the lightning strike. This is very difficult to achieve in a reliable manner and hence this theory is suspect.

Company Info

Corporate office

No. 1073 K R Square (2nd and 3rd floor) 15th Cross, 30th Main, Banashankari 2nd Stage Bengaluru - 560070 - INDIA

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JEF Techno Solutions Pvt Ltd, No.2, First Floor,8th Street,Nandanam Extension,Chennai - 600035.

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