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New ABB lightning protection

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01 August 2012

ABB introduced two series of new devices for the external lightning protection on the Russian market: active lightning protection systems Pulsar and OPR which are manufactured in France.

The early streamer emission concept implemented in the Pulsar lightning conductor delivers a unique gain in efficiency: anticipating the natural formation of an upward leader, the Pulsar generates a leader that propagates rapidly to capture the lightning stroke and conduct it towards ground.

One of the main advantages of the ESE (Early Streamer Emission) systems in comparison to the Faraday Cage is the minimal amount of conductors required, this not only results with less aesthetic impact on the structure but also significant time savings with the installation. For the majority of structures this results in worth while costs savings over the traditional faraday cage system.

In many circumstances a correctly designed Pulsar lightning protection system offers comprehensive protection to a structure with only a single air terminal, with a ‘radius of protection’ offered extending beyond 100m.

Situations where the Helita Pulsar is especially effective are large sites with many smaller structures located close together, a single well placed air terminal could potentially protect all of these structures. Likewise in urban areas with limited ground space available to install earth electrodes the Helita Pulsar system has a significant advantage with a requirement for only one earth termination.

Peace of mind can be drawn from the fact the BSI, in accordance with the ESE standard NF C 17-102, have certified the Helita Pulsar. In addition before leaving the factory each Pulsar is tested and a copy of this test certificate will be provided within our commissioning documentation upon completion of installation.

Pulsar is an air terminal consisting of a blunt rod and cylindrical body (dimensions, weight etc listed in colour brochure) The Pulsar is part of a greater system comprising air terminal, down conductors and earths.  The pulsar firstly (and only) becomes activated by the rise in electric field that characteristic of a lightning strike.  The blunt rod collects this.  The atmospheric electric field on the ground, about 100V/m in fine weather, is reversed and reaches an absolute value or 15-20 Kv/m when a ground discharge is imminent (the lightning stroke)

The cylindrical body of the pulsar unit contains specialised capacitors that store energy from the natural build up in electric field (from 100V/m to 15-20Kv/m) and a patented ‘triggered device’ that emits the stored energy as a high voltage signal with a controlled frequency and amplitude.

It is the early formation of this high voltage signal combined with its continuous propagation to the approaching downward leader (lightning strike) that ensure the capture (and consequent earthing) of the lightning strike.  As the lightning strike is captured at a high altitude, the strike is less affected by local ground conditions and so ensures a more predictable striking environment (i.e. avoidance of side striking). Once the strike is collected, it is earthed via conventional down conductors.


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