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Design and Project Management of

Lightning Protection Systems (LPS) based on IS requirements

Protecting a building against the direct and indirect effects of lightning is important for the safety of people and equipment in the building.

Rather it is a mandatory requirement in several countries for industrial/commercial and multi-storeyed residential buildings.

Direct lightning in an installation can create fire and explosion as well as cause severe damages to contents of the building.

The new Indian standard IS/IEC 62305 part 1 to 4 published 2015 is based on the international standard IEC 62305 and is a comprehensive standard for protecting building against lightning and its effects.

The standard recommends the users to seek the help of a lightning protection expert with good experience in EMI/EMC as well as civil and electrical construction practices.

LPCI's design services are based on the rich experience of the consultants and technical team members as well as the support form the rich knowledge base.

Knowledge about the local regulation as well as hands on experience of installation practices in several countries ensures even complicated design conditions are met.

LPCI had trained more than 1,000 engineers on EMI/EMC and lightning protection systems in several Asian countries during the last 10 years.

Our lightning protection designs can meet the requirements of Indian Standards and Regulations.

EMC compatible buildings for installation of Electronic Equipment.

The protecting electronic equipment in buildings against Electro Magnetic Pulses (EMP) has become important due to the increased use of sensitive electronic systems.

Improvement of construction techniques plays a major role in increasing the efficiency of a building against EMP, which is unfortunately not followed in most of the buildings due to the lack of awareness.

An EMP is a short burst of electro magnetic energy. Such a pulse may occur in the form of a radiated field or a conducted electric current depending on the source and may be natural or man-made.

EMP has become a known subject nowadays due to science fiction movies and is also one of the widely researched subject where modern military weapons with EMP emissions are developed that can destroy electronic systems in specific places.

Lightning is the largest natural EMP whose effects can destroy electronic equipment in a large area.

This is due to the induced transient voltage in long wires created due to the magnetic field of lightning.

Various studies proved that effects of Lightning Electro Magnetic Pulses (LEMP) can be felt as far up to 2 km radius from the point of lightning strike.

Modern electronic equipment are sensitive to Electrical and Electromagnetic disturbances in the installed environment.

Reducing the effects of LEMP by the way of shielding and bonding will protect this equipment.

Techniques adopted nowadays in most of the high raise buildings do not meet the requirement of LEMP protection measures, but invite additional problem.

LPCI's effective protective measures should start from the foundation to ensure that the building's steel installations are bonded together to create faraday cage protection against EMP.

This cost effective measure ensures maximum safety for today’s as well as tomorrow electronic equipment.

Earthing system for HV / EHV substations, Telecommunication installations, Signaling installations

Effective earthing is necessary for safety purpose as well as functional purpose.

The earthing system shall be designed and installed not only to reduce step and touch potential during a fault/ lightning/ transient condition, but shall meet EMI regulations also.Read More...

Foundation Earthing, Ring Earthing, Structural Earthing and Earth Mat

Building with electronic installations need either foundation earth or ring earth for the reliable operation of the installation as strongly recommended in IEC 62305-3.

Such an earthing system provides equipotentialisation and hence the effects of transients are reduced.

The belief of concrete encased foundation earth is often viewed with suspicion, due to the myth that "concrete is an insulator".

Concrete used for the foundations of buildings has certain conductivity and generally a large contact area with the soil.

Therefore bare metal electrodes completely embedded in concrete can be used for earthing purposes, unless the concrete is insulated from the soil by using insulating material against ingress of water.

Due to chemical and physical effects, bare or hot-dip galvanised steel and other metals embedded in concrete with a cover depth of more than 50 mm are highly protected against corrosion, normally for the whole life-time of the building.

Creation of a concrete-embedded foundation earth electrode during the erection of the building is an economical solution to obtain a good earth electrode with long life

  • it does not necessitate additional excavation works,

  • it is erected at a depth which is normally free from negative influences resulting from seasonal weather conditions,

  • it provides a good contact with the soil,

  • it extends over practically all of the building’s foundation surface and results in the minimum earth electrode impedance which can be obtained with this surface,

  • it provides an optimal earthing arrangement for lightning protection system purposes, and

  • from the beginning of the erection of the building, it can be used as an earth electrode for the electrical installation of the construction site.

In addition, the concrete-embedded foundation earth electrode provides a good basis for the main protective bonding.

Several customers find LPCI’s expertise in this field as rare and precious. Read More...

Internal Lightning Protection, Shielding measures for buildings to protect electronic installations,
Bonding of metal installations in building, Shielding and Screening of cables / wires

The internal LPS avoids the occurrence of dangerous flashover inside the structure due to transient current flow on the conductive parts of the structure.

The LPS protects the electrical and electronic systems from lightning electromagnetic impulse due to conducted and induced surges transmitted to equipment via connecting wires as well as protect the equipment against the effects of radiated electromagnetic field.

LPCI's design include SPM for protection of electronic equipment against lightning and EM interferences, protection measures for the electrical, data, signaling and instrumentation systems as well as SPD installations. Read More...

SPM for protection of electronic equipments against Lightning and EM Interferences

SPM consisting of spatial shields and/or shielded lines, combined with shielded equipment enclosures ensures protection of sensitive equipment against conducted and radiated EM effects Coordinated SPD is also a part of SPM.

These measures are not just selecting few components from a manufacturer's catalogue and installing it, but SPM has much more to do with routing of different cables in a system, terminating different lines to an equipment etc too.

LPCI's expertise in the field of EMI/EMC ensures a perfectly designed SPM. SPM measures are highly required for:

  • Hospitals where malfunctioning of a life saving equipment can be risky for the patient

  • Data centres where millions are users are connected always. Any disturbance in an equipment creates huge financial loss to the operator

  • Airports and Navigation system controlling several critical operations

  • Satellite communication and space research centres

  • Control rooms of power plants and large power generation stations

  • Railways signaling control stations

  • Defence and Military application

Protection measures for the Electrical / Data / Signaling / Instrumentation systems

Sensitive electronic equipment often fail predominantly due to steady state error or transient error.

Harmonics belongs to steady state error and surges are due to transient errors (lightning and switching surges). Read More...

SPD Installations

SPD's are voltage operated devices and the installation procedures are different from that of MCBs.

Most of the electrical engineers and technicians are familiar with the MCB installation and hence use the same procedure to install the SPD's.

Other services

Evaluation of Internal and External Lightning protection system for Insurance companies

Equipment failures in industries as well as commercial establishments are quite common due to various reasons including lightning. Due to the high impact of failures during a lightning, it is always considered as a permanent threat to industry.

It is also mandatory as per standard to check and record the effectiveness of various components used in LPS. Metal components used in LPS used to corrode after some time due to environmental effects. A corroded part in an LPS is highly dangerous during a lightning strike and can create fire and life threat to the entire building.

LPCI’s evaluation service find out the effectiveness of existing LPS and recommend the modifications required to protect the building form Lightning. Modern electronic installations need enhanced protection from time to time. Installation of electronic equipment (such as cameras, computers, TV etc) in old and existing building need a through study and planning to avoid failures.

LPCI's evaluation services are used in

  • Different kind of Industries
  • Hospitals while installing new and expensive equipment as well as routine evaluation as per the standard
  • Schools and educational institutions

LPCI’s evaluation service covers inspection of physical building, Risk assessment calculation and finding out the EM threats in the building, Soil resistivity check, Inspection of air terminal, down conductor and earthing. Contact resistivity check of each metallic connections, Checking of the feasibility of Common Bonding Network, Spatial shielding calculations, Safety and separation distance calculations, Checking the effectiveness of Screening and Coordinated SPD’s, Resistivity of all earth pits, advising corrosion resistance measures and so on.

Compatibility and Conformity check of Electronic Installation and Equipment for various IEC / EN / CISPER Standards

Electronic equipment manufacturers often find difficulties for their equipment in meeting the mandatory EM emission and susceptibility requirements. Now a day it is mandatory in various countries that the EM emission form electronic equipment must be controlled. Even high quality electronic equipment finds difficulty in passing a comprehensive EMI test.

Design engineers of Electronic equipment need special skills and knowledge to ensure their equipment meet EMI / EMC regulations. A wire connecting 2 PCB’s some time acts as an antenna and emits EM signals. Several occasion, these signals create malfunction to a near by electronic device or component. Shielding of the lines some time may not do the required job

LPCI support and guidance services are used by several industries to achieve compliance measures.

Lightning Risk Assessment and Management as per IS IEC 62305-2

Before proceeding with the detailed design of a lightning protecting system, it is essential to find out whether the structure needs protection or not, if required at what level. Close liaison between the architect, the builder, the lightning protective system engineer, and the appropriate authorities are required to ensure proper design of Lightning Protection.

Structures with inherent explosive risks; for example, explosives factories, stores and dumps and fuel tanks : usually need the highest possible class of lightning protective system.

In many cases, the need for protection may be self evident, for example:

  • Where large numbers of people congregate:

  • Where essential public services are concerned;

  • Where the area is one in which lightning strokes are prevalent;

  • Where there are very tall or isolated structures; and

  • Where there are structures of historic or cultural importance.

An assessment can be made taking account of the exposure risk and the following factors:

  • Use to which the structure is put,

  • Nature of its construction,

  • Value of its contents or consequential effects,

  • The location of the structure, and

  • The height of the structure

The probability of a structure or building being struck by lightning in any one year is the product of the ‘lightning flash density’ and the ‘effective collection area’ of the structure. The lightning flash density, Ng is the number of [flash to ground ] per km2 per year, which can be calculated from the average number of thunder storm days in a given area. Read More...

Failure Analysis of Industrial Electronic Installations

In Industries there is a myth that, lightning protection & SPD's are meant only for Electrical departments. On the other hand, the truth is that, sensitive electronic equipment- DCS/PLC/SCADA/RTU/Router/Switches/Server/VHF & UHF receivers, modems, Convertors (RS 232 to RS 485 & vice versa) are more vulnerable to surges.

Failure of closed loop controllers in DCS leads to undesirable manual interventions/operations which affects the tight control required & surges in Emergency Shut down systems lead to automatic plant shut down which results in heavy production loss to industries.

Only way to protect them against this ever increasing surges is to conduct a proper survey & installation of properly selected SPD's as oer standards.

Studies of and Implementing Design Guidelines up to PCB level
Electrical Safety Audits
Energy Audits

  • Training classes on LPS / EMI / EMC / Signal Integrity (short term / one day / two days and five days classes)
  • Training classes on best civil and electrical installation practices for an EM compatible building – 1 day
  • Special courses on protection of sensitive signaling and telecom equipment

Turnkey solutions to Lightning, EMI and other transient related failures in

  • Oil Refineries
  • Oil wells both on-shore and off-shore
  • Railway systems
  • Thermal and nuclear power plants
  • Power distribution systems
  • Military storage systems
  • On ground and underground explosive stores
  • Petrochemical industry
  • Radar systems
  • Cement industry
  • Hospitals & Hotels
  • Airport, Aviation, Shipyards
  • Naval crafts
  • Wind farms
  • Communication towers
  • Stadiums and sports complexes
  • Residential and commercial complexes
  • Petroleum & Gas retail outlets
  • Mines
  • Control Systems (DCS/PLC/SCADA/RTU) of all types of plants

Equipotential Bonding Network in a Building with using Steel Reinforcement

Equipotential Bonding Network (EBN) consists of a low impedance bonding network to avoid dangerous potential differences between all equipment inside the building. Moreover, such a bonding network also reduces the magnetic field, thereby reduces the radiated surges inside the building and provides more protection for electronic equipment

EBN can be realised by a meshed bonding network integrating conductive parts of the structure, parts of the equipment in an installation and by bonding metal parts or conductive services at the boundary of each Zone of Protection directly or by using suitable SPD's.

LPCI's EBN design connects all Conductive parts (e.g. cabinets, enclosures, racks) and the Protective Earth-conductor (PE) of the internal systems to the bonding network and reduces potential differences between metals in a building. EBN is necessary for modern buildings such a data centre and industrial installations to protect sensitive electronics against EM effects. Read More...

Training classes on LPS / EMI / EMC / Signal Integrity (short term / one day / two days and five day classes)

Training classes on Civil and Electrical installation practices for an EM compatible building – 1 day Dependency on electronic equipment are increasing day by day due to installation of more building automation systems, Security and surveillance systems , HVAC, Energy Management etc, Installation of electronic equipments are given less importance while designing and constructing a building in India.

By the time electrical and data network is finalised, the structure would have been completed. Implementing protection measures against EMI for these sensitive electronic equipment becomes difficult in such cases. In almost all buildings connection to the steel reinforcement is impossible due to the completed or existing structure.

Sufficient and required space for routing cables are not available resulting in compromising the screening and spacing needs of different kind of data and signal wires. Almost every building in India, such complexities exist. 100’s of data cables routed parallel and close is a normal situation India. In office premises this is not noticed since these are always above false sealing or under floor.

Compromises in the installation practice result in malfunctioning of the equipment as well as problems such as program corruption in a controller. In several cases sensitive surveillance systems are by-passed to avoid unwanted disturbance.

LPCI’s training program on EM compatible building explains and provides complete data for the designers the need of protecting a sensitive data or signal cable against external EM influences. Theoretical and practical calculations provided in the training sessions ensure proper designing of the network resulting in long life of electronic system.

Special courses on protection of sensitive signaling and telecom equipment.

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L P Consultants International Pvt. Ltd.
No.O-37, Bharathidasan Street,Thiru Nagar,
Jafferkhanpet,Chennai (TN) - 600 083,
 Tel: 044- 4380 6348
 E-mail: india@lpci.in

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