ORBITAL E.S.E Lightning Terminals
The main function of the lightning strike protection system installed on the existing building is to capture a lightning stroke and then conduct flow current safety to the earth. In some situations, however the active lightning system is the only possible method to protect from direct lightning strokes. Due to the discussions mentioned above, we suggest our customers to use the active lightning strike protection whenever the conventional solution becomes inconvenient or when the former is more preferable to the others, as in the situation of the efficient protection of buildings and structures.
The lightning flow is initiated by so called down conductor which creates an ionised air path (downwards or upwards) between the cloud and the earth for the necessary flow of any lightning currents.
ORBITAL lightning terminal is formed by two armatures. One of them is connected to earth, while the other remains at atmospheric potential. The great magnitude of the electric field during the thunderstorm produces that, although armatures are separated by a very short distance, the difference of potential between them during lightning approaching becomes considerable.
This difference of potential is the power supply of the lightning terminal internal device. The internal device is located in the body of ORBITAL and is called Variable Impedance Unit . So, the device working is regulated by the atmospheric field. The advantages of these characteristics are, on one side, that in normal situations the device is not working, avoiding then unnecessary stress to the components. In the other side, while thunderstorms the device detects when a proper electric area exists, and when the downward conductor is approaching, because it provokes a strong and rapid increase of the atmospheric electric field.
During normal atmospheric situations, the charge is also neutral in every area (also at the air), and the internal device is not working.
The first difference with a conventional lightning rods begins already when storm clouds appear. Inside the components of the internal device, equi-potential lines become very close together, causing the necessity of a strong concentration of charges at the armature surface. The device is designed in such a way that the transitory current does not get lost, but remains as electromagnetic fields in the components of the electrical device. The electric field value, able to ionise the air around the tip, is reached earlier than with a simple rod, because the internal device makes the voltage increase over earth level. Then, air charges become also a part of the internal current. So, the ionised area is growing much faster than with a simple rod.
The previous phase to the formation of the upward conductor is the formation of corona flows (streamers) that propagate towards the downward conductor. One of these streamers will become the upward conductor, which will propagate continuously to the downward conductor, forming then the lightning flow path.
Inside the lightning terminal, the downward conductor approaching and the strong increase of the electric field caused by it are the factors that activate the mean function of the internal device .When the voltage between the components surpasses a certain value which the circuit is designed for, then the internal trigger start to work, using the accumulated energy for directing to designed for, then the internal trigger works, using the accumulated energy for directing to inside the ionised area. Hard and sudden concentration of positive impulses cause repellent forces in the ionised area, which break the existing limits. The device has provoked then a streamer effect, avoiding the ‘’glow regime” that was lowering the effectiveness of a simple lightning rod.
The streamer emission under these situations favours the upward conductor formation, which will progress continuously till reaching the downward conductor, forming then the flow path. Then, as the ORBITAL is the point where the upward conductor was formed. Well this will be the receiver and conducting part of the lightning strike to the earth.