Lightning Protection

Page 2 of 3  

Travis Jordan wrote:

Over the years there have been a lot of new ideas for lightning protection. In the end it has always been the standard lightning rods that work best.
Now if it was tornados, I would suggest moving a trailer park up wind. :-)
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It\'s Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"The only house that I have even work on that had been hit was a total loss electrically. It had lightning rods, and surge protectors installed by the utility. They had an iron clad guarantee if you had this stuff installed. I was hired to rip out the drywall and completely rewire the home. All of the copper pipes were fused so the plumber was jack hammering up the concrete as well. All of the stucco had to be removed cause all of the staples holding the lath to the studs had dissolved and the outside looked like chicken pox. I am pretty sure that a bull dozer and starting over from scratch would not have been all that much more expensive. "
Oh no! I bet you're gonna hear a rant from w_tom on this one. Let me get you ready: This is a human failure! No proper earth ground! Can't happen if the protection was done right. On and on.
BTW, I believe you. Lightening rods and surge protectors are great and reduce risk a lot, but nothing is 100% effective.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Travis Jordan wrote:

IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine - January 01, 2000
I believe that this article covers the review. It was some time ago so I may be wrong. The NFPA has recently declined to include a project on lightning protection using these devices based on the standards council having not been presented with evidence by the proponents of the project that would demonstrate that there is a sound scientific basis for this new technology. Even it's proponents can not offer any clear evidence of superior performance in comparison to Faraday cage approaches. -- Tom H
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Those were interesting articles but they deal with minimizing the effect of an actual strike. I'm concerned with avoiding strikes in the first place by keeping charges from building up in the area. This is what lightning rods do and their effectiveness has been demonstrated for many years.
The reason that lightning rods work is as I said, the electric field is concentrated around sharp points -- all the equipotentials in the field are packed together. This means there is a large voltage difference in a short space. So, if there is a breakdown, this is where it will happen, but again, lightning rods are used to provide static protection. Prior to a breakdown, this will be the "path of least resistence".
If you doubt the fields being concentrated at sharp points, you could repeat hours of agony I suffered in an EE lab years ago. We had to plot fields around various shapes using "Teladeltos" (resistive)paper and silver paint for conductors. A pin connected to a volt meter allowed measuring the voltage at a point. Hundreds of readings were needed and lots of slide rule work to produce a graph paper plot of the equipotentials. I threw out my field theory books decades ago; otherwise, I would cite chapter and verse.
w_tom wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He is well known over in the electical engineering groups, as you probably know, for his long winded grounding explanations.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
w_tom wrote:

w_tom - You are confused.
I'm not recommending any device. The OP asked for comments about lightning protection, and I said - quoting now: "Whether you buy this technology or not, I'm sure seeing a lot of it installed on commercial and high-end residential housing in the Tampa Bay area."
I don't have a clue whether this technology is any good or not. I would be interested in any published information affirming or disputing the performance of this system. But please, no personal opinions. Let's see some published documentation by industry-recognized agencies or institutions.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William W. Plummer wrote:

Exactly. The purpose of lightning rods is to REPEL lightning, not attract it!
Sometimes things go wrong and the lightning does hit a lightning rod (the "Drunken Thor" hypothesis). That's why you want a big-ass conductor straight to earth, otherwise you could use #14 for the necessary static electricity charge.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wrong!
Lighting rods are not meant to repel lightning!
As the other poster siad, lightning rods are there to give it what it wants, a safe way to get to ground thats not through you or your house.
Some people thinik that if you also provide many many sharp points that will conduct a small current over a period of time, the discharge can be made to occur gradually instead of as a bolt. Maybe, maybe not. At BEST this MIGHT reduce the probability of a bolt but it sure isn't anything you can count on, so why bother.
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know about! They stick up in the air, all sharp and pointy. They do not look inviting!

:-P
later,
tom @ www.CarFleaMarket.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The concept of Early Streamer Emission devices to repel or avoid a lightning strike is again properly criticized with a gusto that the scam deserves.
The newsgroups rec.radio.amateur.antenna includes many whose professional experience is this topic. Posted in that newsgroup on 3 Mar 2005 in "lighting replusion?" is this from Jack Painter:

Now this question. If air terminals to repel lightning is so obviously based in snake oil, then why were so many here still avidly promoting that myth? At what point do people first seek facts before posting myths? That is the bottom line question that applies *topmost* to this particular thread. So many promoted a myth; doing so convincingly without any numbers and any basic facts. No numbers should have been enough for everyone to dispute their claims. How is it that such myth purveyors could promote this ESE lie and almost get away with it? This question is directed at the same people who also believed lies about 'weapons of mass destruction'. This topmost question asks why do so many people, as demonstrated in this thread, blindly believe lies that obviously have no scientific or logical basis?
For some, this question should be a wake up call. ESE devices - to repel lightning - is so wrong that some here should have major questions about their own personal credibility.
Mark wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You have plead your case well and I am still going to look into your recommendation on Monday. It is interesting how many posts there have been but only one recommendation....yours....thanks again...Ross
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dr Mousa in IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery of 4 Oct 1998 in "Applicability of Lightning Elimination Devices to Substations and Power Lines" wrote:

Travis Jordan wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Read the citations from nfpa.org with care. First, ESE claims even in those citations are completely rejected:

Second, no facts nor experimental evidence demonstrate that ESE devices accomplish anything. NFPA781 was roundly rejected. ESE is promoted only on myth as even an NFPA report notes. Elsewhere, one ESE device was even made using radioactive materials (Americanium) to *prevent* lightning. Then when lightning strikes that device (as it so often does in field studies), we now have a radioactive area? What kind of protection is that? Protection promoted only on myth that lighting can be eliminated.
That is about ESE myths. Now about standard protection as defined by NFPA 780. Those grossly overpriced and ineffective ESE devices are promoted very profitably using myths. They don't even bother to do any scientific research - as is repeatedly noted in the science community. Their purpose is only to enrich their manufacturers. Since their 'science' was roundly rejected, then ESE manufacturers are conducting war on all other 'valid' standards. Intent is to muddy the waters because their own products are nothing more than grossly overpriced lightning rods.
First, NFPA only questioned a revised NFPA 780 and not the existing standard:

Who is pushing motions to have NFPA 780 withdrawn? The ESE industry whose products were roundly rejected by the NFPA on scientific principle and who repeatedly voted to approve NFPA 780 before their product (NFPA 781) was rejected. NFPA 780 is being challenged because ESE manufacturers are muddying the waters - including a lawsuit whose only intent was to bankrupt the non-profit NFPA. Yes - selling these ESE devices without any scientific merit is that profitable.
To further muddy the waters, ESE promoters made accusations that the Council specifically responded to with this comment:

As a result of a request for further information, a well respected panel later confirmed:

More specifically, a request for facts from the NFPA found that:

Slam dunk - with nothing left to question. Read their report as cited by Travis at: http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/00-60LD.pdf
In short, one underlying theory in NFPA 780 was challenged - by people from an industry whose product has no credibility, as demonstrated by how quickly NFPA 781 was rejected. As a result of a Byran Report, but again, the science behind NFPA 780 was roundly endorsed. IOW a slap directly into the face of ESE promoters who attempt to sell their ineffective product by questioning other well proven technologies.
NFPA was working towards a better revision of NFPA 780 - that recommends Franklin air terminals. They are not rejecting the technology behind standard and well proven lightning protection. But they want a better NFPA 780. This is contrary to what was implied by Travis' post - that NFPA is rejecting or questioning Franklin lightning rod technology. That is not the case. Since ineffective ESE sales are so profitable, then Heary Bros, et al will do anything to even undermine good science. They will do anything to promote their well proven ineffective product including a lawsuit against the NFPA. Even in Travis's citation - ESE technology, in layman's terms, is a scam.
This is most important - the original point. ESE devices have zero credibility when science replaces myth. No personal opinions cited. That is well proven science. So well proven repeatedly that anyone who claims lightning protection to eliminate lightning should have either his personal credibility or his motives questioned. Yes, those who promote ESE technology will do anything to confuse the consumer. Promoting their myths and doing no science is that profitable.
Travis Jordan wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It is an outright lie - as demonstrated by the wholesale rejection of NFPA 781 - that repelling lightning is effective or accomplished. Even Travis's own citation eliminates any reason to say otherwise: http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/00-60LD.pdf
William Plummer mistakes near field analysis (around a sharp point) with far field analysis. As also demonstrated in analysis of antennas, parameters change significance as distances from that pointed rod increase. William Plummer has assumed that a field adjacent to a sharp point is also how the field works tens of meters or kilometers from that point. Above citation provided by Travis even notes this. Sharp rods do not work for lightning - far field analysis - as they do only inches from the point - near field analysis.
To eliminate lightning, that electromagnetic field one inch from the sharp point must be same tens of meters from that point. It is not. Lightning rods and ESE devices do not repel lightning.
As stated quite bluntly in an above IEEE paper from Dr Mousa:

Every citation in this discussion keeps returning to the same fact. A recommendation for ESE type devices - to eliminate air charges and therefore eliminate lightning - is bogus and not even supported by one responsible citation.

decisively, and scientifically rejected. Lightning rods provide a superior electric connection to earth. Lightning is going to occur. It cannot be avoided. Protection - as so many scientists repeatedly note and as so many scam artists try to confuse - is about connecting that lightning to earth so that it does not take other, destructive paths.
JerryMouse wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
True, nothing is 100% effective. Automobile brakes also fail. But how often does brake failure occur from anything other than human failure? For all practical purposes, automobile brakes fail due to human failure.
Utilities spend $thousands extra to massively expand their earthing systems so that even the rarest of lightning will not be destructive. A simple earthing system for less than $100 can make the building 98% effective. Some then spend $thousands more to make the earthing well over 99% effective. Most will never see a 200,000 amp lightning bolt in their lifetime. Therefore even a good earthing system would be a massive improvement in protection. But the best facilities are earthed so that even the 200,000 amp transient will not be destructive. Then when failure does happen, the human immediately looks for his mistakes - humans being the source of most failures.
snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
w_tom wrote:

You forgot to mention that NFPA rejected conventional lightning rod systems as well, since there has been no scientific or technical validation of them, either.
http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/700Minutes.pdf The Panel Report noted that detailed documentation of lightning
protection system operations or failures is lacking for lightning
protection systems of all types. It pointed to recent experiments
questioning the effectiveness of the primary type of air terminal
used on most NFPA 780 lightning protection systems (i.e., the
traditional pointed tipped Franklin rod). The Report concluded
as follows:
It appears to the Panel that the NFPA 780 document does not meet the
NFPA criteria for a standard since the recommended lightning
protection system has never been scientifically or technically validated
and the Franklin rod air terminals have not been validated in field
tests under thunder storm conditions (Bryan Panel Report at Page 28).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JerryMouse wrote:

Debate rages on this subject.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Travis Jordan wrote:

Following up... the NFPA later reissued NFPA 780 after being presented with industry evidence of the "value" of lightning rod systems. At the same time they added several of the features of ESE systems (such as the taller terminal) to the 2004 standard.
http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/00-60LD.pdf
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ross Mac wrote:

You're welcome. As I said earlier in the thread, I think the insurance offered by any of the reputable providers may be worth as much as the lightning protection itself. Have fun shopping!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.