1 Useful links and documents
The Basis of Conventional Lightning Protection Technology
Lightning Rod Improvement Studies
Lightning Protection Systems Background for the AMS Statement on Lightning Protection Systems
A Critical View on the Lightning Protection International Standard
2 Non conventional lightning protections
There are many interesting documents on non conventional lightning protections.
If you are interested in them, read the documents carefully. Collect information from the vendors and
study them. Send your technical questions to the manufacturers and evaluate their answers.
I corresponded with some ESE vendor some years ago. Every time, they replied me with very polite
e-mail. However, there was no technical explanations what I wanted to know.
Decide to apply one of these non conventional lightning protection systems, after you have understood
all the technical details and be able to explain why and how such system works. If you do not
understand it, it is always better to follow IEC, BS or NFPA.
You may read some in the next group " Anti-non-conventional lightning protection documents for your
Erico system 3000
Erico system 1000
Lightning Preventor of America
Lightning Strike Protection
An Analysis of Advanced Lightning Protection Collection Technology
A Hybrid Lightning Strike Protection System
Patent Coax down conductor
Patent Lightning Air Terminals and Method of Design and Application
Patent Non-Contaminating Lightning Protection System
Patent Lightning Dissipation Assembly
Prevent Lightning Strikes with Charge Transfer Systems
What Clients Say
Reaction towards Mr Abdul Mousa statements
NFC 17-102 July 1995
Erico system 3000 introduced in a book
3 Anti-non-conventional lightning protection documents
In Jakarta, many high-rise buildings are equipped with unconventional lighting rods. The following
documents are useful to evaluate them.
JGC Indonesia, where I am working at, will not supply non-conventional lightning protection systems.
Its corporate values include Compliance, Integrity and Reliable. Non-conventional lightning protection
systems are against the corporate value, since supplying such systems is, it considers, unethical.
Thus it will not supply such products to the clients. When non-conventional type lightning protection is
specified by the clients, we persuade clients to revise the specifications so that we can supply
conventional type lightning protection systems.
There is no magic in Lightning Protection
War of the Lightning Rods
WARNING! Of the ICLP Scientific Committee
A Critical view on th Lightning Protection International Standard
BS6651 Section 16
ESE and Other NonConventional LP Systems
A Critical Review of Non conventional approaches of Lightning Protection
Conventional and Un-conventional Lightning Air Terminals: An Overview
Conventional and Un-conventional Lightning Air Terminals: An Update
Validity of the DVM/FIM for the Placement of Lightning Rods on Buildings
Validity of the Lightning Elimination Claim
Lightning Protection Systems / Harger Lightning & Grounding
Experimental Validation of Conventional and Non-Conventional Lightning Protection systems
A long Term Study on the Performance of Early Streamer Emission Air Terminal in a High Keraunic
Inefficacy of Radioactive Terminals and Early Streamer Emission Terminals
Scientists Oppose Early Streamer Air Terminals / NLSI
Struck by the lightning bug
Lightning Protection Industry Lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of Arizona
Performance of Non-Standard Lightning Air Terminals: Revisited
When I first saw a coaxial cable used as a down conductor, I simply believed how nice it was. There will
be no magnet flux outside the screen, just like a communications cables used for ratio frequency
signals. No magnet flux outside the screen means less inductance of the cable. Less inductance
means less voltage induction. It should be a nice idea to use a coax as a down conductor. The vendor
said in the catalog, that their coax inductance is some tens of nano-Henry per meter, while single
conductor has some micro-Henry per meter. How nice it was, to use a coax for a down conductor!
May be the cost of the coax is much higher than the single conductor, but it must be worthwhile if the
inductance is somewhat one hundredth of the single conductor.
I had a simple question, what is a difference between communication and lightning protection when a
coax is used. In communication use, the current in a center conductor has a screen as a return path,
the current in the screen has opposite direction of the center conductor.
Thus total current looked from outside of the screen is zero. Thus there is no magnet flux outside the
screen. Thus linked flux in a coax exists only between the center conductor and screen. Thus the
inductance of coax is some tens of nano-Henry per meter.
When a single conductor is used as a lightning protection, the lightning current flow in the conductor
and the current induce magnet flux around the conductor. There is no current to reduce this flux, the
inductance of the down conductor is some miro-Henry per meter.
If a coaxial cable is used as a down conductor, the lightning current flows only in the center conductor
and there will be no current in the screen. There will be no reducing the inductance. So the inductance
must be some micro-Henry per meter, just same as a single conductor is used as a down conductor.
The vendor catalog said their inductance is around tens of nano-Henry per meter. This means there
should be some other reasons to reduce the inductance to nano-Henry per meter, which I really needed
to know to use a coax as a down conductor.
The vendor who sold (still selling) the coaxial cable send me their documents in a CD on my request. I
studied their documents. I found their calculation is something strange, so, I asked a question to them.
They replied me with a very polite sentences, that I overlooked some other thing. I asked again to that
overlooked point. They replied me with another point which I overlooked. I did not receive any direct
answers to my questions, but I received some other points which I did not know. They send me two
test data of coaxial cables measured by some institute including one in Tokyo. I found the measured
data of the inductance is same nano-Henry in both test report. However, the for the test the screen was
used as a current return pass. Of course the test result is nano-Henry per meter, because the screen
was used as the current return pass.
I explained this to the vendor, only to receive " we have been working on a computer simulation and still
working on it." This was really enough for me, and I did not continue asking them.
For several weeks, I asked questions to them and I never receive any technical answers but "still
studying". I never claim that the vendor was cheating me, but at least something is not correct.
In many projects, I handled in Jakarta, I encounter proposals with unconventional lightning protection
systems. The marketing of such vendors are so professional. One of them is supported by a lightning
protection lecturer in an Indonesian University.
If a lecturer of a university recommends a particular type of unconventional lightning protection system,
who can doubt the system performance? Do you think that you know lightning protection better than a
university lecturer of this field? When I met such a person to receive information on a newest lighting
protection systems, I admired and thanked him for giving me such information without charge. Many
electrical engineers may have been invited to free seminars and experienced the same, to admit
unconventional lightning protection systems. But wait for a while before you accept them.
As long as using IEC, BS or NFPA, you are safe, because you follow well proven standards prepared by
thousands of engineers. But to accept a new unconventional system, you will have the responsibility to
accept it. Such system may be developed by only a few genius scientists. So you must study very hard to
understand what the scientists say.
Many of the Jakarta's sky scrapers are equipped with unconventional lightning protection systems. It
looks like a show room for new advanced lightning protection systems. This may be a show room for
electrical engineers of the quality in Jakarta.
If you have an opinion, whether pro or con, please let me know.
A Coax cable as a down conductor
Coax cable inductance