Lightning and Surge Protection

Lightning over city

Typical consulting services provided by PhysElec Solutions in lightning and surge protection include:

  • Cost-effective lightning and surge protection designs for any structure, facility or site in all industries, following a proven, methodical approach based on the “lightning protection pyramid”.
  • Modelling and calculations of lightning strikes to structures, sites and/or facilities to assess voltage rise, equipment damage and lightning injury mechanisms (including step / touch voltage and side flash hazards), using CDEGS software package and rigorous methodology developed over many years.
  • Quantitative assessment of need for surge protection via calculations such as “earth/ground potential difference”.
  • Quantitative lightning risk studies for work sites.
  • Testing of lightning protection systems using current injection methods.

Other consulting services provided by PhysElec Solutions include:

  • Lightning risk assessment per national and international standards.
  • Lightning risk assessment first principles (common, since standards have a very limited scope). Having worked on many projects of this nature, PhysElec has gained a prominent reputation in this area, especially with quantitative risk-based studies for work sites (personnel).
  • Site evaluations (all industries) to assess lightning and surge protection requirements.
  • Evaluation of lightning incidents.
  • Comprehensive, professional seminars on lightning protection. Two current courses (each 2 days in length) include:
    – Lightning Protection of Overhead Lines and Substations (Click here for the next seminar date); and
    – Comprehensive Lightning Protection for Buildings, Structures and Mission Critical Facilities. (Click here for the next seminar date)
  • Product evaluation / testing and new product development (hardware and software).

Some of the lightning and surge protection consultancy projects PhysElec has delivered to clients include:

  • Quantitative lightning risk assessment and mitigations for all of Australia’s major mining companies, as well as for national and international oil and gas sites, airlines and the national electricity market.
  • Major study of lightning impact in underground mines for the Australian coal industry.
  • Gap analysis of lightning and surge protection measures for national and international facilities, such as oil and gas sites and waste-water treatment plants.
  • Lightning protection and surge studies for the National Broadband Network.
  • Lightning protection analysis and specifications for major telecommunications companies.
  • Improvement of the lightning performance of overhead lines supplying critical assets and functions.
  • Assessment of step and touch voltage hazards due to lightning on construction sites and in buildings.
  • Development of lightning safety guidelines on industrial construction sites.
  • Optimisation of worker safety and construction / operational uptime during thunderstorms on industrial sites and at major ship loading facilities.
  • Testing and certification of lightning protection systems installations at Department of Defence munitions storage facilities.
  • High-profile expert witness cases involving lightning (information withheld due to confidentiality requirements).
  • Lightning protection designs for high-profile high-rise building developments in Australia and overseas.
Lightning protection pyramid
Lightning over building

Interesting fact: On average, there are about 8 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes around the Earth every day. Click Here for a global map of recent lightning activity.