Functions and how lightning rods work and how to install them

Lightning Rod – The thunderous sound and flash of lightning is often the first sign of rain. Apart from being aware of flooding, you also need to be aware of the danger of lightning strikes. Did you know that lightning contains a very large electric voltage. If not controlled properly, lightning strikes can threaten human life and damage the environment. This is the reason you need a lightning rod for housing.

If in the past lightning rods were hard to come by for reasons of cost, not anymore. Antidotes are increasingly affordable and installation is even easier. If you are planning to install this device, first know the concept of a lightning rod, how it works, the type of rod, the price of the rod, and the installation of a conventional rod.

Come on, listen to the discussion in the following points!

What is a Lightning Arrester?

A lightning rod is a simple device consisting of a pointed metal rod and wire. There are 3 main component parts of this device, namely the splitzen or rod, conductor wire, and grounding or grounding place.

This circuit is a path for electric current from lightning to be forwarded directly to the earth’s surface. It is not surprising that lightning rods are often found in skyscrapers because high-rise buildings are relatively close to the sky, so they are very vulnerable to lightning strikes.

1. Lightning Protection Function

The main function of the lightning rod is as a medium for conducting electricity from lightning strikes which are forwarded to other media such as the ground. In addition, lightning rods can also reduce the harmful effects of lightning strikes. An antidote can prevent short circuits from occurring during bad weather and lots of lightning.

2. How Lightning Arrester Works

The function of this device is actually not to prevent lightning from striking objects under the clouds. This tool actually captures the attraction of electric charges originating from the lightning to be channeled into the ground.

At the time of lightning, with enough negative electric charge under the cloud, the positive electric charge on the ground will immediately be pulled up. The electric charge rises through the conductor cable to the end of the lightning rod. When the negative electric charge is close enough on the roof, the attraction between the two gets stronger. The positive charges at the ends of the rod are attracted towards the negative charges.

The meeting of these two charges produces an electric current. The electric current will flow into the ground, through the conductor cable, so that lightning strikes do not directly hit the building. However, lightning strikes can still occur through the electrical network wires and damage electronic equipment in buildings that are connected to the electricity network. It may also cause fire or explosion.

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To prevent major damage due to electrical grids that are struck by lightning, buildings are usually equipped with surge arresters or electric current stabilizers.

3. Lightning Protection Type

When you want to install a lightning rod, of course you have to know the appropriate type. There are three types of lightning rods, namely conventional arresters and electrostatic arrestors. Here’s an explanation.

a. Conventional Lightning Arrester

A simple device that usually only waits for lightning to strike the tip of the rod. The working principle is to catch lightning passively. Shaped like a pole and requires a conductor cable. Because it is passive, buildings with a large area often use several antidotes at the top of the roof. Can be installed and applied anywhere.

More ideal for buildings with narrow areas, such as homes. Lightning arresters are used worldwide as a lightning protection system and are mounted on tops and heights.

b. Electrostatic Lightning Arrester

Using the ESE ( Early Streamer Emission ) system which is more active in capturing lightning. This device has one additional element, namely the head terminal which contains a static electric charge at the finial end (splitzen). Head can store positive ions in large quantities that come from within the earth. Like a magnet, this head will attract negative ions in the cloud before these ions produce powerful lightning.

The appliance mounts high to protect a larger area and requires no cables. The higher the terminal head is installed, the wider the area that can be protected. Can be installed and applied anywhere. More ideal for buildings with large areas, such as multi-storey houses, skyscrapers, industrial areas and plantations, because they can reach a radius of more than 50-150 m.

c. Radioactive Lightning Arrester

This type of radioactive lightning rod is prohibited based on international agreements against the use of radioactive substances that can disturb living things and cause disaster from the substances used. Well, how does this lightning rod work with ion neutralization reactions that use active radio station materials.

This tool inhibits the ionization system by using radioactive substances such as Radiun 226 and Amersium 241. It is able to neutralize the cloud’s electric charge. This type is not recommended for use.

Considerations of Having a Lightning Rod for the Home

Many homeowners lack knowledge about the importance of electrical protection at home. In fact, Indonesia is a country that has the potential to be affected by the La Nina climate anomaly every year. When weather conditions worsen lightning is often the cause of disaster. Do not underestimate the danger of being struck by lightning which can harm the occupants of the house.

Statistically, lightning is the most frequently experienced weather hazard. If you live in a very tall house, are surrounded by taller trees than your house which are less than 10 feet from the building structure, or live in an area with high lightning strikes then it is highly recommended to install lightning rods. Congested areas with tall skyscrapers are prone to large lightning strikes.

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Electrical Protection Parts

Before deciding to buy and install a lightning rod, it’s good for you to get to know the parts. You need to know it so you can check the completeness of the components or parts when buying. The following are the important parts of an electrical rod:

1. Air Terminal (Head)

Air terminal or head is at the top end. In conventional antidotes, the shape resembles the tip of a spear. Meanwhile, in electrostatic antidotes, the head tends to be larger and wider in the shape of an umbrella. The function of the terminal air is to become a target for lightning strikes.

2. Conductor

The conductor is a cable that functions to transmit power captured by the terminal water to grounding.

3. Grounding

Grounding is part of the antidote that is in the ground. Making and placing grounding should not be too close to the house building.

Conventional Lightning Protection Installation

Compared to the electrostatic type, conventional antidotes are relatively easy to install and can even be done alone. But before installation, you should first consult with the seller of the tool and read the correct installation guide.

Here are the installation steps:

  • Prepare a grounding system in advance, by looking at the layout and structure of the land you have. Plant the ground rod until it reaches the depth of the groundwater so that the lightning can be channeled into the ground.
  • Make a lightning path connection with a conductor cable that connects between grounding and Avoid installing curved cables or forming sharp corners so that there is no jump in electric charge during lightning.
  • Determine the splitzen position on the highest part of the building, namely the roof.
  • Make sure the entire device network is properly installed.

Lightning Protection Prices

The price of a lightning protection device and its installation costs can vary greatly, depending on individual needs. You can buy lightning rods at shops that sell electrical equipment or order them through the installation service provider.

To build a home lightning rod installation, of course, requires a lot of money, especially if you choose a more practical type of electrostatic rod because it doesn’t require a lot of splitzens and a network of conductor cables to be installed. The cheapest electrostatic protection installation packages are sold at a price range of around 8-9 million Rupiah for a radius of up to 150 meters.

For small-scale needs, you can buy and install ordinary or conventional antidotes yourself at a lower cost. Packages of conventional type deterrence devices are sold starting at 2-3 million Rupiah including installation costs.