Tag Archives: lightning

How Climate Change is Affecting Lightning

Climate change has been a controversial topic for government, scientists and economistGlobal warmings globally. Whilst there is speculation on its existence, there is evidence that the world’s climate is changing. The more data we gather about a warming climate, we begin to see alarming changes in our earth that cannot be ignored:

  • Rising sea levels
  • Increase in global temperatures
  • Warming ocean temperatures
  • Regressing ice sheets

One major implication caused by climate change is the increased rate of lightning strikes. Scientific studies recently released suggest lightning strikes are anticipated to increase by at least 12% for every one degree Celsius rise in temperature.

What Does Increased Lightning Mean for Safety?

Cloud to ground lightning strikes are more common than most would think, with about 100 strikes occurring every single second worldwide. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.

The annual global death toll is 6,000. According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric), over the last 20 years. This puts lightning strikes in second place, just behind floods for the deadliest weather condition.

Engineers and asset owners must also consider facility protection to safeguard infrastructure and capital, such as building structures and valuable electronic equipment.

This natural anomaly causes many other concerns:

  • Company downtime
  • Damage to electrical and sensitive equipment
  • Loss in revenue and resources
  • Data and intellectual property loss

Facility Protection with an Integrated Approach

It’s recommended that engineers take an integrated and collaborative approach to lightning protection to ensure safety for personnel and assets. Pentair (formally Erico) have created the ERICO Six-Point Plan of Protection for facilities.

The six steps include:

  • Capture the lightning strike using an air terminal system.Shield
  • Convey the energy to the ground through a downconductor.
  • Dissipate energy into a low impedance grounding system.
  • Bond all ground points together to create an equipotential plane.
  • Protect incoming AC power feeders from surges and transients
  • Protect low voltage data / telecommunications circuits

Following the 6-step method above will protect your facility and personnel now and in the future from lightning strikes.

Did you know there are other several lightning protection methods that provide full facility protection? Click Here for more details

For more information on innovations and current lightning protection products, systems and design support click Here or please call (West Australian Power Protection) WAPP on (08) 9353 5300 or email wapp1@wapp.com.au