Lightning Protection

What is lightning?

Lightning is formed during thunderstorms when liquid particles with in the clouds collide. Gradually these interactions build up large separated electrical fields in the clouds and once these electric fields become powerful enough to overcome the resistance of the air, a giant "spark" occurs between them (as with static electricity) reducing the charge separation. Bolts can occur between clouds, but more pertinently between a cloud and the ground. Lightning strikes to earth follow this sequence:

1. Downward “leaders” from a thundercloud travel towards earth seeking out active electrical ground targets. These charges are negative 95% of the time.

2. Ground-based objects (fences, trees, blades of grass, corners of buildings, people, lightning rods et cetera) emit varying degrees of electric activity during this event. Upward Streamers are launched from some of these objects.

3. When a leader near the storm’s epicenter connects with a downward streamer the circuit is closed, the current flows and we see lightning.

Why lightning protection needed?

Lightning Protection, more specifically lightning surge protection and earthing systems, are required to prevent loss of human life and to prevent damage due to fire and destruction of property. Proper protection allows you to be more competitive on a commercial level and be more comfortable on a domestic level. The electrical systems including IT infrastructure are at high risk and a complete system is required to mitigate this risk. Lightning damage can be direct and indirect.

Direct effects are from resistive (ohmic) heating and burning. Indirect effects include capacitive, inductive and magnetic behavior. Our systems do not prevent lightning from striking but serve as a means for controlling and preventing damage by providing a low resistance path for the discharge of lightning energy. Lightning protection systems control electrical discharges by directing them through a low-resistance path to the ground, avoiding passage through parts of a structure and reducing risk of fire or other damage.

Our Services

Lightning Protection Maintenance

Maintenance is imperative to ensure all systems remain in full working order. It is now a legal and insurance requirement for systems to undergo regular testing a minimum of once a year and system maintenance goes hand in hand with the testing process. Our highly trained installers and contractors will perform any maintenance work required once all phases of testing are completed.

Lightning Protection Testing

Commercial property owners are legally obliged to ensure any lightning protection installation is rigorously tested on a regular basis. This is also an insurance stipulation. The frequency of testing depends on the type and level of system in use. It is recommended that this is conducted a minimum of once a year. The process of testing and certification includes.

  • Test points and earth network
  • Down conductors testing
  • Air termination Network Testing

Click here for more information about this service.

Lightning Protection Contractors

Rainey & Co. Ltd. employ only the most skilled installers and contractors, who are fully trained in and conform rigidly to the most up to date codes and standards. They use cutting edge state of the art technologies, to risk assess, determine the optimum level of protection required and efficiently install systems that keep your property and its occupants safe at all times. They are also on hand to test and maintain systems whenever required.

Lightning Protection Installers / Installation

We at Rainey & Co. Ltd. have been fitting lightning protection systems for nearly half a century. The specifications have changed a great deal in this time and are now tailored to individual cases and cater for the internal workings of the business occupying the structures. Our software allows us to accurately risk assess a building and make recommendations on how best we can achieve a satisfactory level of protection. Our combination of years of experience in the design and installation of systems for the country’s leading engineers and businesses combined with new skills and practices from the latest code of practice ISEN 62305 makes us best placed to deliver full turnkey solutions in this highly specialized area.

ISEN 62305

Our Installers comply strictly with the Irish Standard ISEN 62305 series. ISEN 62305 consists of four distinctive parts. These four parts constitute a far more comprehensive solution on protection against lightning than the previous standard BS6651.

Part 1: General Principles

This is an introduction to the other parts of the standard and essentially describes how to design a Lightning Protection System (LPS) in accordance with the accompanying parts of the standard.

Part 2: Risk management

IS EN 62305-2 (part 2) risk management approach does not concentrate so much on the physical damage to the structure caused by a lightning discharge, but more on the risk of loss of human life (including permanent injury), loss of service to the public, loss of cultural heritage and economic loss.

Part 3: Physical damage to structures and life hazard

IS EN 62305-3 (part 3) relates directly to the main part of BS6651. It differs from BS6651 in as much as it has four classes of lightning protection system (LPS) levels as opposed to the basic two ordinary and high-risk levels in BS6651.

Part 4: Electrical and electronic systems within structures

IS EN 62305-4 (part 4) covers the protection of electrical and electronic systems housed within structures. This part essentially embodies what annex C in BS6651 conveyed, but with a new zonal approach referred to as Lightning Protection Zones (LPZs). It provides information for the design, installation maintenance and testing of Surge Protection Measures (SPM) for electrical / electronic systems within a structure.