Category Archives: News

Quickfill – QF25

nVent ERICO Quickfill is a no-mix ground-enhancing backfill that reduces resistance to ground and enables convenient installations. Quickfill is designed to minimize dust and eliminate mixing. It is the ideal material to use in areas of poor conductivity such as rocky ground, mountain tops, and sandy soil. Once installed, Quickfill is maintenance-free, not requiring periodic charging. Dry ground enhancement materials are more sensitive to seasonal variability than cement-based materials.

QF25b QF25 QF25a


  • Lowers system resistance to ground
  • Low-dust formulation
  • Water not needed to install or perform
  • Fast installation with no mixing or cure time required
  • Can be installed in below-freezing temperatures
  • Does not dissolve, decompose, or leach out with time
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Sulfur content below 2% per IEC 62561-7
  • Easy-to-handle 25 lb (11.3 kg) bags
  • Requires only one person to install
  • Resistance measurements can be taken immediately after installation
  • Complies to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), EPA test method 1311
  • Complies to EN 12457-2 Characterization of Waste Leaching Procedure, ENV 12506 and ENV 13370

Compared to the traditional GEM25A (Ground Enhancing Material), here are a couple of comparison points:


  • No water needed (saves on carting water to remote sites, cost, and time).
  • Minimises dust significantly.


  • Cost slightly more, but savings in time and carting water to site may offset this additional cost of product.
  • QF25’s resistivity factor is rated less than 25 Ohms-cm (while not as good as GEM, still complies and improves conductivity significantly compared to other products on the market). GEM25A’s resistivity factor is less than 2 ohm-cm.

Request for a sample today by contacting WAPP 

Practical Application of the AMSC D-VAR® VVO STATCOM

The AMSC D-VAR® VVO STATCOM is a dynamically adjustable resource for injecting or absorbing reactive current on distribution feeders. This provides a new tool for distribution planners to meet a variety of objectives related to feeder optimization:


1) Voltage Management:

  1. Maintain a flat voltage profile across the feeder
  2. Avoid rapid voltage changes
  3. Stay within appropriate voltage range

2) Maximize the useful life of existing assets:

  1. Reduce LTC/Regulator operations
  2. Reduce Switched capacitor operations
  3. Defer or avoid large capital projects for voltage management
    • VVO in lieu of reconductoring long circuits
    • VVO in lieu of Substation relocation

3) Meet efficiency, power quality and renewable energy objectives:

  1. Reduce reactive demand at distribution substations
  2. Enable Conservation Voltage Reduction Schemes
  3. Enable use of circuit ties constrained by voltage stiffness
  4. Replace harmonically resonating capacitors
  5. Increase Distributed Energy Resource (DER) hosting capacity

In general, feeders that are not meeting voltage management objectives are candidates for the VVO. The following are some identifiers:

  • 11kV Distribution circuits supplied from weak 22kV or 33kV sub-transmission or small power transformers
  • Long feeders, particularly those with more than two stages of regulation or low ampacity conductor
  • Feeders with load growth concentrated near the end of the main line
  • Feeders with high penetration of variable renewables like wind and solar
  • Regulators experiencing maximum boost or boost or excessive tap changes
  • Problems managing average power factor on the circuit using only discrete capacitor sizes

The VVO placement strategies can be summarized as follows:

1) Consider placing a VVO approximately 2/3rds of the way into a regulator’s regulation zone (replacing or supplementing capacitors located nearby)

2) If more than two regulators are in series, consider replacing any additional downstream regulators with VVOs.

3) Rather than focusing on conductor types, evaluate fault power to identify VVO locations. In general, VVOs can have a meaningful impact on voltage where fault power is below 50 MVA (refer to Figure 3).

4) Design the total capacitor and VVO capacity to roughly equal the maximum reactive power demand on the circuit. For instance, a circuit that peaks at 12,000 kVA @ 94% PF will require approximately 4,000 kVAR in compensation which can be provided from two 900 kVAR capacitors and two three-phase VVO units distributed across the feeder.

5) Consider placing a VVO near any variable generation that is causing increased regulator or capacitor switching or persistent high voltage.

Click here to download the Distribution Planner’s Guide, or contact WAPP for more information.

System3000 Dynasphere Lightning Protection

The nVent ERICO Dynasphere air terminal provides a preferred point for lightning discharges which would otherwise strike and damage an unprotected structure and/or its contents.

The key takeaways from the pictochart below are:

  1. Overall installed cost can be lowered by as much as 30% compared to a conventional system;
  2. WAPP is the leader in supply/install of these systems;
  3. The system is widely used in many critical industries, Australia wide.

(Click on picture below to expand)

lightning-protection pictograph



We are pleased to announce the launch of a dedicated CADWELD site, a one-stop-shop for specifying engineers and contractors to discover everything they need to know about exothermic welding. Find catalogs, download specifications, watch installation videos and much more at!

They are extremely versatile as there are literally hundreds of different connections that can be made. If you are still unsure, WAPP is ever ready to assist you with advising what equipment you need for your job. The minimum information that you’ll need to provide to us is what connection you’re trying to achieve, and the dimensions of the items to be connected. For instance, a 120mm2 copper earth cable to cable Horizontal Tee connection. Or a 70mm2 copper earth cable to 19mm ground rod and so forth.


nVent ERICO CADWELD connections are specified and used extensively in the big four mining companies in Western Australia, namely BHP, Rio Tinto, Roy Hill and FMG for their superior connections that will never loosen, break, or corrode.

Did you know that WAPP also offers hands-on public CADWELD training every quarter, or as an in-house training for our valued clients? A certificate of completion is issued to all attendees at the end of each training to ensure that your personnel are job-ready to perform these welds.

CADWELD Training at WAPPCADWELD Training at WAPP

We are the best-stocked nVent ERICO distributor in Western Australia with a variety of molds and charges. Contact us today for all your CADWELD needs.

WAGO Splicing Connectors

WAPP is now stockists for WAGO in WA. We are launching these new series of products with WAGO’s Splicing Connectors.

WAGO, headquartered in Germany, develops reliable solutions for many sectors and industries, offering Electrical Interconnections, Automation Technology and Interface Electronic.

WAGO’s 221 Series Splicing Connector connects solid, stranded and fine-stranded conductors easily, quickly and safely. It takes conductor cross-sections from 0.14 to 6 mm² (24–10 AWG). From intercom system wiring to electrical ovens: Connecting different conductor types is quick and easy with WAGO’s compact 221 Series Splicing Connector.

Pull the lever up, insert a conductor and push the lever back down. Easier than A, B, C.

  • Connect all conductor types with minimal preparation
  • Combine any conductor types and sizes
  • Easy-to-use operating lever for tool-free terminations
  • High current carrying capacity up to 41A
  • Perfect for distribution applications thanks to mounting carrier

SpliceConnector_ 221            SpliceConnector_ 221a

You can perform testing from two different sides with the new 221 Series – even when installed. The new 221 Series connectors carry two test slots: one in the conductor entry direction and one opposite of this. These easy-to-access test slots provide extremely convenient testing conditions – even after installation within widely varying applications. They also provide good contact for all standard test probes.

SpliceConnector_ 221-Testing

Benefits of using WAGO’s 221 Series Splicing Connectors

• Shorter wiring times to reduce your labor costs. Eliminate time-consuming preparation – no ferrules or crimping required.
• Faster commissioning reduces upfront costs, maintenance-free connections provide long-term savings (reduces service costs, leading to greater system uptime and reliability).
• Rest assured with a secure connection regardless of the operator’s skill.

Contact WAPP today to find out specials on offer* for this new series, or any other WAGO products.

SpliceConnector_ 221-Kit* Free Delivery applies as per WAPP’s standard Ts & Cs 

New Generation of ERICO RTB

nVent ERICO Introduces RTBN – The Next Generation Rail Data and Signal Protection. For many years railroads, have relied on nVent ERICO Rail Transient Barrier (RTB) products for protection against damaging voltage surges and transient events.

Building on this legacy, nVent ERICO is pleased to introduce RTBN, the next generation in railway data and signal protection. With its high surge rating, RTBN delivers the same outstanding performance that industry has come to expect. RTBN also brings advanced new features to meet the needs of modern railways.

Watch the video here.


Contact us today to for a data sheet or book an appointment for us to provide a technical showcase.


AMSC has now patented its 1MVAR VVO Statcom, which is a 22kV direct connect Statcom. This is a very suitable and cost effective solution for some smaller solar, wind farm and mine connections.


AMSC’s D-VAR VVO is a 15kV distribution class shunt compensation systems that provides utilities & projected developers with a purpose-built tool to address applications that demand fast and precise volt/VAR compensation, such as those driven by increased DER penetration. D-VAR VVO builds upon over 15 years of experience in manufacturing and deployment of D-VAR® dynamic reactive power solutions in utility networks. Featuring continuous control of reactive current, these power electronic compensators can be used to solve dynamic response limitations and costly mechanical wear issues associated with conventional switched cap banks and tap changing regulators.VVO

VVO can dynamically inject or absorb reactive power to balance per phase voltage or VARs
– Mitigate voltage flicker
– Decrease time required for motor starts
– Reduce likelihood of regulator max boost or buck
– 130% overload capability for 1 minute to combat persistent sags such as motor starts
– Local voltage measurements and recordings for ongoing monitoring

• Cost-effective upgrade for feeders with high solar PV or DG growth
• Quickly solve customer issues due to power quality or voltage flicker
• Enhance distribution feeder capacity or efficiency
•  Feeder-ready shunt power electronics
• Absorbs and supplies reactive power
• Precise & continuous control of volt/VAR (single or three phase)
• Addresses limitations of mechanical equipment (e.g. cap banks, VR’s)

For further technical specifications, please contact for information slide packs and data sheets.

Earthing, Lightning & Surge Protection Conference

WAPP is proud to be a sponsor at the upcoming Earthing, Lightning & Surge Protection conference in Perth on the 9th and 10th of April.

WIN FREE Passes:

Simply write us a  Google review (hopefully a positive one), displaying your name & company name by 15th March 2019 to be in the running. Simply email with the subject title “Conference Competition” once you’ve left a review so that we have your details to contact you should you be one of the chosen winners.


The usual marketing line of, “Great line up of speakers” is often overused and misused. However, in this case, the last time Phil Jones (Principal Engineer, ERICO) presented recently at the Engineers Australia auditorium in Perth, it was to a pack audience who stayed back for more discussions long after the presentation ended.

Few topics generate as much controversy and debate as that of earthing and the associated topics of surge protection, shielding and lightning protection of electrical and electronic systems. Poor earthing practices can be the cause of continual and intermittent difficult-to-diagnose problems in a facility. This seminar will explore these issues from a fresh yet practical perspective to help delegates reduce expensive downtime in their plant and/or equipment by identifying the correct application of these principles. Based on reported fatalities on a long-term average basis, lightning is often considered the second most dangerous of all natural phenomena (the first being flash floods).

Lightning can cause extensive damage when it strikes buildings and facilities. Electrical systems are exposed frequently to lightning induced surges and the effects may be felt in locations that are several miles away from the actual point of strike. The aim of this seminar is to demystify the subject of earthing, lightning and surge protection and present the subject in a clear, straightforward manner. Earthing as a subject has been underrepresented over the years and this event will attempt to remedy the gaps in technical knowledge and improve practices in the industry.

Click here to download the e-brochure.

Register here as we hope to see you there.


New Range of Bridgold’s Flexible Conductors

WAPP has teamed up with Bridgold to proudly release a new range of flexible conductors to the Australian market. They have over 30 years of experience in researching, developing and manufacturing braided and stranded copper connectors, thus making Bridgold’s Flexible Conductors top-shelf quality. These products have the ability to be completely customised to suit your needs with very quick turnaround times.

Bridgold is also proud to say that their products are certified and approved by bodies such as CTI and RoHS. This ensures that you receive excellence and nothing less. They have supplied to over 2500 enterprises including Toshiba, Schneider Electric and Siemens. QQ图片20180625224050


WAPP’s new products are:

  1. Flexible Copper Stranded Connectors
  2. Copper Braided Connectors with Ferrules
  3. Flexible Copper Braided Wire
  4. Laminated Copper Conductors


Copper Braided Wire and Copper Braided Wire with Lugs

The flexible copper braided wires can be used for:

  • a Flexible conduction
  • Grounding connection of electrical installation
  • Switchgear
  • Electrical furnace
  • Storage battery


You are able to customise the wires:

  • Length of Wire (L)
  • Wire Finish
    • Bare
    • Tinned Plated
    • Nickel Plated
    • Silver Plated
  • Single Wire Diameter
  • Cross-sectional Area (Wire with Lugs)
  • The length Between holes (Wire with Lugs)
  • Lug type (Wire with Lugs)
  • Hole Diameter (Wire with Lugs)

Copper Braided Connectors with Ferrules

WAPP offers a variety of Copper Braided Connectors that can be used for:

    • Thermal straps
    • Transformers
    • Switchgear
    • Generators
    • Busbar


You are able to customise the Connectors:

  • Type of Connector
  • Cross-sectional Area
  • Length (L)
  • Ferrule  Type
  • Hole Type and Diameter
  • Single Wire Diameter

Flexible Copper Stranded Connectors

This Flexible  Copper Stranded Connector can be used for:

    • Flexible connection of a motor
    • Electrical apparatus
    • Instrument wiring
    •  AC currents or High-Frequency currents

You are able to customise the Connectors:

  • Length (L)
  • Single Wire Diameter
  • Finish of Wire
    • Bare
    • Tinned Plated

Laminated Copper Connectors

WAPP offers a variety of Laminated Connectors that can be used for:

  • Switchgear & control equipment
  • Power generation
  • Circuit breaker
  • Expansion Joints






You are able to customise the Connectors:

  • The type of Laminated Connector
  • The Insulation Material
 K  H2

Call us on (08) 9353 5300 or email for a FREE no obligation consultation and quote.

Earthing Bonds, Braids, Boss & Straps for Bonding

Did you know that WAPP can customise any earth bonds, braids, boss and straps used for bonding purposes? The industry uses the terms loosely. For clarification, this is the best terminology to use for each of these products with a brief description of each one.

Earth Bonds






Earth bonds (sometimes referred to as earth bridges) are assemblies made from a high-quality conductive earthpoint (connecting terminal) and various types of conductors. The nVent ERICO Cadweld exothermic connection process is used to combine them together, forming a highly corrosion resistant and long-lasting assembly.

They come in 1-hole, 2-hole and 4-hole variants. They can also come with different sized cables (70mm2-120mm2), cable lengths, and with or without a bar at the end. The standard is a 1m length 70mm2 cable with a bar at the end. Otherwise, WAPP can customise to your requirements.

Earth BraidsFTCB-300-M10

Grounding and Bonding Braids are a reliable and convenient grounding solution for applications that require flexibility and durability. They are sometimes referred to as flexible braids (for instance, FTCB – flat tinned copper braids) and come in a variety of material (copper, tinned copper, stainless steel, aluminium) and dimensions.


Earth Boss

Earth Bosses provide preferential equipotential bonding connection point. Comes in a variety of steel grades (Mild Steel, SS304, SS316) and sizes.



Earth Straps


Earth straps are simply copper earth cables with lugs on the ends that lug onto earth connection points (e.g. ground plates on earth bonds or earth bosses) to provide equipotential bonding for metallic objects in the surrounding area. Again, these come in a variety of cable sizes and lengths which WAPP can customise to suit.


In general, when specifying products, these are the key information to keep in mind:

  1. Number of holes (for Earth Bonds)
  2. Size of holes (e.g. for earth boss, lugs)
  3. Dimensions (e.g. size/length of cables, earth boss sizes)
  4. Material (e.g. tinned copper, mild steel, SS316)

Lightning Protection designs

Quite some time ago, we had featured an article on the various lightning protection solutions that WAPP offers.

Did you know that WAPP also provides design and technical support for your lightning protection scope of works? We can assist with GA (General Arrangement) drawings as well as Detailed drawings. Additionally, we also offer any other design services (e.g. structural), training and advice for installations.

Here are some examples of the designs that we can offer.


Conventional System2000 Air Terminals compliant with AS1768


Dynasphere System3000 


ISODC system

Types of Lightning Protection Systems (LPS)

Lightning protection systems for buildings and installations may be divided into three principal types:

  1. LPS for Protection for buildings and installations against direct strike by lightning,
  2. LPS for Protection against overvoltage on incoming conductors and conductor systems,
  3. LPS for Protection against the electromagnetic pulse of the lightning.

Each system’s design requires:

  • The strike termination device must be positioned at the highest point on the structure.
  • The lightning protection system must be solidly and permanently grounded.
This type of Lightning Protection Systems can be divided into:LP3

Conventional lightning protection system (Also known as “Passive or Traditional)

  1. Franklin Rod LPS  A lightning rod, air terminal or a single mast will help prevent lightning from striking in the immediate vicinity. The lightning rod is a metallic capture tip placed at the top of the building. It is earthed by one or more conductors.
  2. The lightning rod with taut wires – These wires are stretched above the protectedLP4 structure. They are used to protect special structures: rocket launching areas, military applications and protection of high-voltage overhead lines
  3. Franklin/Faraday Cage LPS  This protection involves placing numerous down LP5conductors/tapes symmetrically all around the building. This type of lightning protection system is used for highly exposed buildings housing very sensitive installations such as computer rooms.



Non-Conventional lightning protection system – All ERITECH Isolated Downconductor system components meet the requirements of IEC 62305 series and appropriate products are tested in compliance with EN50164-1 and EN 50164-2.

  1. Dynasphere S3000 insulated system – The ERICO Dynasphere air terminal providesLP6optimal lightning capture to a preferred point for lightning discharges which would otherwise strike and damage an unprotected structure and/or its contents. Also known as an active system as it has a Dynamic response to the approach of a lightning down-leader
  2. ISODC Communications insulated system – The ERITECH isolated system providesLP7a traditional air terminal fitted to an isolated fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) mast. The isolated downconductor internally connects to the air terminal inside the FRP. The FRP mast has natural isolation properties, high strength for windy sites and low weight to minimize mast loading.



There are various lightning protection systems fit for purpose that can offer:

  • More cost effective in supply and installation
  • Less variables of installation and ease of application
  • Greater protection and performance
  • Minimal effects on visual and structure

West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) are the industry experts in Lightning, Surge and Grounding Protection.

WAPP will provide you direction for the best performance and most cost-effective solution that suits your project requirements.

Call us on (08) 9353 5300 or email for a FREE no obligation consultation and quote.

Roy Hill Lightning Protection System finalist in Safety Excellence awards

Congratulations Roy Hill Iron Ore for being shortlisted in the Engineering category of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s (DMIRS) Safety and Health Resources Sector Awards.


Credit: Roy Hill

Utilising a combination of ERICO’s System3000 Dynaspheres, aluminium lightning protection air terminals and catenary wires,  WAPP is proud to be a part of the successful delivery of this project.

“The Lightning Protection System (LPS) is an innovative, unique and long-term solution to a frequent hazard in the mining industry.

The LPS benefits people by allowing them to safely move around facilities during lightning red alerts, by capturing lightning strikes at preferred points then redirecting the energy to a grounding system.”

For more information, please click on the below links.

  1. Lightning proofing for increased personnel safety and productivity at Roy Hill
  2. Roy Hill LinkedIn post 
  3. Spotlight on safety innovation award finalists

WAPP can provide a range of innovative solutions for your projects. Please contact us should you require further information on how we can assist you.

ProtExpo 2018

This year’s event had a collective over 100 years of electrical engineering experience from the ERICO representatives. We had the privilege of having Phil Jones present on the new technological advances in ERICO’s surge protection devices. Phil is the Chairman of Standards Australia’s Surge Arrester Committee EL007-03 and is the Australian representative on the International IEC SC37A Surge Protection committee.


Many of those who attended commented that they gained new knowledge of products and solutions which they will consider in implementing in their projects. At WAPP, we have at numerous times come across specifications of products that are not typically used in Australia which causes grief with availability and lead times, not to mention, increased costs to source them. By showcasing the right solutions for the right applications, hopefully this will help our clients select more cost-effective designs for their projects and jobs on site.


The event was also an excellent opportunity for attendees to network, as among those in attendance were engineers working on some of the major projects in WA (e.g. FMG, Roy Hill, Forrestfield Airport Link) who represented a good range of industries.


For those who missed out, or if anyone who attended would like more information regarding any particular area, please feel free to contact us.

QUICK GUIDE: Earth Pit Selection

Earth Pit enclosures are positioned where ground rods are located and where access is needed to perform maintenance on equipment. Earth rods and equipment often traverse through various urban environment and careless Earth Pit selection can potentially ensue injury through accidental contact, not to mention theft. Therefore, selection of appropriate Earth Pits can mitigate the possible costs and minimise potential harm to by passers that can occur from incorrect selection of Earth Pits.

WAPP (West Australian Power Protection) offers a range of Earth Pit solutions to prevent the exposure to ground rods and equipment to unwanted external access. Coming in all types of sizes and materials, these products are designed to be used in several urban environments, attending to design considerations specific to that location.

Things to consider when choosing an Earth Pit:


Earth Pits can be used in many applications ranging data/ communication fibre-optic cables to earth/ground rod enclosures. With each application, cable management would vary and would ultimately vary the size required. Therefore, consideration of the layout of varying application needs to be reviewed to select the correct width, length and depth of enclosure.

Traffic & Loading

Each Earth Pit type is designed to handle a specific load and the choice of enclosure is usually determined by the types of loads it would have to endure. Whether these are situated in vehicular or non vehicular areas and whether the possibility of non-deliberate traffic in non-vehicular areas exists, different types of Earth Pits would be more suited than others.

Load standards are a tool to enable an objective comparison of products by providing an independent measurement scale.


Safety and Security

Earth rod enclosures must not only endure by passers and vehicles, but also protect the surroundings such as livestock against the exposure to live electrical components through accidental contact and unauthorised access. Earth Pits comes in many forms that adhere to different levels of security, depending on whether its placed in a populated area or just surrounded by livestock. Some come with locks and the appropriate labelling.


  • High Impact Polypropylene

Suitable for lighter load rating applications, these inspection housings are best suited for pedestrian and non-vehicular traffic areas. ERICO’s PIT03 design offers a high level of protection for critical grounding terminations through the use of its lockable lid. Its lightweight design allows easy handling, storage and transportation, and is suitable for both paving and hot tar applications.

PIT03 Inspection Housing from ERICO:


  • Polycrete

Short for Poly Concrete, Polycrete Earth Pits have excellent insulating properties, high load capacity, chemical resistance and zero water absorption, allowing them to act as ideal electrical and communications enclosures. Most commonly used in areas exposed to heavy wear and high loadings, Polycrete are best suited for carparks, roadways and industrial areas.

T416D Inspection Housing from ERICO:


  • Concrete

Concrete Earth Pits are suited for most types of enclosures needs. With a load rating to about 4500kg, concrete is like Polycrete and would be best suited for carparks, roadways and industrial areas.

IPO900C Inspection Housing from ERICO:


Ease of workability

When selecting an Earth Pit in terms of ease of workability, Polycrete would come on top. In comparison, Polycrete comes in around 14kg, whilst concrete weighs around 26 kg. Therefore, Polycrete is lighter and therefore less cumbersome than traditional concrete pits.

The National Code of Practice for Manual Handling recommends a maximum unassisted lifting weight of 55kg. However, from 16-55kg, the percentage of people that can carry the weight decreases. Weight identification is therefore important when considering the ease of workability when dealing with Earth Pits.

When considering Earth Pits, it is advisable to consider the many types of enclosures available in the market. As mentioned above, it is important to select the correct one to ultimately minimise both harm and inconvenience.

For technical support on specifying the right Earth Pit and installation advice, please feel free to contact us today.



Anti-theft conductors

Copper cable theft is more prevalent than we think. Just doing a Google search on “copper cable theft australia” returns a multitude of results, showing just how dangerous and costly it can get for all involved, which is why, anti-theft conductors is a highly recommended solution to consider when specifying conductors in engineering designs.

ERICO has a number of some anti-theft conductors that can alleviate copper theft and prevent costly replacements, downtime, but most of all, prevent hazardous risks. Below are 2 range of products that ERICO offers in terms of anti-theft conductors.



Theft-deterrent composite cables are conductors that function as copper conductors, but appear to be non-copper conductors and are difficult to cut and steal. These conductors are ideal for exposed electrical distribution grounding leads where copper theft may occur. Theft deterrent conductors are difficult to cut with hand tools and the outer steel stranding is magnetic, which further deters thieves looking for copper.

Theft-deterrent cables conductors are either bare or insulated concentric stranded conductors that consist of outer galvanized steel strands that protect and conceal internal tinned copper strands.

The insulated conductors are well suited for power and grounding connections to rail tracks. Smaller diameter conductors such as a #4 AWG equivalent are ideal for transmission tower, distribution pole and streetlight grounding applications. Larger sizes such as the conductor equivalents to either 2/0 or 4/0 copper conductors are suitable for a wide range of grounding applications.

When specifying conductors, it is worthwhile to consider the various anti-theft conductors to prevent theft. As mentioned, the cost of replacement and downtime is expensive. The hazardous risk it presents to employees after the theft can be fatal. For technical support on specifying the right conductors, please feel free to contact us today.

Mechanical Earth Connectors

Whilst CADWELD connections (ERICO’s patented exothermic welding) is the best connection you can achieve in terms of bonding, permanency and conductivity, there are various other mechanical earth connectors that are highly effective. Here, we review why mechanical earth connectors (such as u-bolts, rebar clamps, fence clamps, etc) are used in place of CADWELD connections.

Several reasons why mechanical earth connectors are used instead can be due to:

Ability to disconnect – Where connections need to be disconnected from time to time, for  instance, to carry out earth resistance testing on individual ground rods or sections of the earthing grid, u-bolt ground rod clamps such as ERICO’s RTC1626, REC16120, REP16120L or GC065TH clamps are more suitable.

Ground_rod_copper_tape_clamp Ground_Rod_U-bolt Ground_Rod_Clamp

Ground_Rod_Clamp_applicationPracticality – During peak summer periods, clamps are preferred over welding which will require hot work permits or not allowed altogether during total fire ban periods.

Constraints – In real life, we all know that even with the most meticulous planning, things don’t always go according to plans. Long lead times in getting required tools/products for a job may require alternative methods. For instance, connections of earthing points to rebars in concrete can be made by ERICO’s rebar clamps RC70 or RC100 clamps. These meet NEC®* standard requirement for bonding to rebar into the grounding system. To offer this connection another level of protection would be to cover them securely using a wrap around such as Denso tape.

                  Rebar_Clamps                                                      Rebar_Clamp_application

Above Ground connections – For above ground connections, it is acceptable to use these mechanical earth clamps. Examples include water/gas pipe ground clamps (e.g. CWP series) and fence clamps (FC series).

                 Water_Pipe_Clamps                                                       Fence_Clamps

ERICO’s mechanical clamps are both practical and tested and approved by UL (Universal Laboratories) to the highest standards. Whatever the connection may be, WAPP has a huge range of clamps we can offer for your needs. They are effective substitutes to CADWELDing, and in some circumstances explained above, are the preferred method of connections.

* NEC is a registered trademark of, and National Electrical Code (NEC) standard is a copyright of the National Fire Protection Association, Inc.

AMSC D-VAR STATCOM Australian case studies

Listed on the NYSE, AMSC (American Superconductor) offers smart grid solutions from generation to end use. In particular, their Dynamic Volt-Amp Reactive (D-VAR STATCOM) Compensation solution offers enhanced grid performance and efficiency, connects renewable energy safely and reliably to the grid and offers power quality improvement.

To learn more about what AMSC can do for you and how the system works, please read their Australian Case Study Highlights 2016. It covers a couple of notable WA projects, namely the Collgar Wind Farm and Karara Mine.


AMSC® D-VAR® STATCOM Applications:

AMSC® solutions are powering gigawatts of renewable energy and enhancing the performance and reliability in power networks in more than a dozen countries. The list below shows the benefits they bring to each particular industry.


•Delivery of more power on existing transmission & distribution assets
•Postpone investments
•Improvement of power stability, availability, quality and reliability


•Eliminate voltage disturbances to ensure high power quality for semiconductor fabs, mining operations and other industrial processes.


•Enables renewable power to “act like” power from a conventional source so it can be smoothly integrated into the power grid in compliance with local grid codes

Features & Benefits of AMSC’s D-VAR STATCOMS include:

• Improves grid reliability by regulating and stabilizing voltage
• Delivers superior transient response
• Generates and absorbs VARs dynamically for smooth power regulation
• Modular construction allows quick deployment and future flexibility
• More compact and less costly to install than competing devices
• Low power losses compared with competing devices
• D-VAR systems are modular and compact and accommodate areas with restricted space  availability
• Capable of suppling steady state negative sequence current injection to mitigate voltage unbalance

AMSC offers the following support capability for Systems Engineering:
–Steady-state load flow (power flow) studies
–Dynamic and stability analysis
–Harmonics and resonance scans
–Power transfer capability studies

For any modeling, analysis, sizing, quote or simply general enquiries on AMSC’s D-VAR STATCOM, please email

ERICO’s new generation Surge Protection

Although lightning is the most critical external source of surge generation, there are other internal sources which may cause serious damage to the system. These include switching of power circuits, the operation of electrical equipment by neighbouring industries, the operation of power factor correction devices, and the switching and clearing of faults on transmission lines. All these may generate transient – a momentary variation in voltage impairing the system. It is estimated that 70 – 85% of all transients are generated internally. Fortunately, this can be prevented by implementing the patented Transient Discriminating (TD) technology embedded surge protection device that ERICO has developed.

Generally in the traditional technology, the surge protection device just disconnects safely during a temporary over-voltage event (such as lightning) and needs to be replaced immediately or else the surges can harm the system. However, with the TD technology, the patented Quick-Switch allows robust protection to limit the incoming transient and helps providing safe and reliable transient protection even after a temporary over-voltage condition has occurred. Unlike the traditional technology, the TD technology allows a continuous protection from multiple surges and also provides the surge protection device to have a much longer operational life. Though ERICO provides both options for traditional or TD technology, the latter is the better option.

With the modern industry being highly dependant on electronic equipment and automation to increase productivity and safety, using TD technology will be able to prevent these from disruptions and replacements, therefore preventing downtime of the system and maintenance work. It is recommended that the cost of protection should approximately be 10% of the cost of the facility’s economic risk.

There are different classes of surge protection devices, Class I, II and III. Class I protective devices are used at points of high exposure, where it might be hit by lightning directly or at the point of entry to a building fitted with a lightning protection system. Class II protective devices are used at the building’s main power entry in a non-exposed location (such as locations next to taller buildings) or at sub panels within the building. Class III are installed at the equipment themselves, they only protect them from the remaining voltage surge after Class I or II.DT2

The transient surge filter from ERICO has replaceable surge modules, which reduces the downtime and unprotected time during maintenance with its compact, space saving design.

Surge Reduction FilterThe surge reduction filters from ERICO reduce let-through voltages and rate-of-voltage rise and helps provide optimum protection for electronic equipment. Both the surge protection device and surge filter use the TD technology, providing increased service life.

Read more about ERICO’s new products in DINRail mounted or non-DINRail mounted Surge Protection Devices.

Components to an effective grounding system

An effective grounding system is one of the most important aspects of ensuring lightning protection. The purpose of this system is to provide a pathway for the lightning energy to safely flow to earth, as if this is not effective the extreme current -given the conditions- can find alternate pathways. If the current does deviate, the damage can range from electromagnetic interference on sensitive equipment and overloading circuits to electrical fires, arc flash and electrocution. For this reason, it is crucial to consult professionals when implementing one of these systems.

Grounding System Components


  1. Earthing network conductor. Conductor must have the current carrying capacity for the maximum fault current for the total clearing time of the fault. Copper or copper-bonded steel conductors are characteristically used for this purpose. WAPP offers various types of conductors for earth grids and bonding ranging from flat copper tape, various copper earth cables to proprietary ERICO Smoothweave cables.
  2. Interconnecting Joints. Connections between grounding conductors are essential to the functionality and reliability of the system, this is how the elements of the grounding system tie together. Exothermically welding the connections, by use of CADWELD provides a superior bond on a molecular level ensuring that it will never corrode or loosen which would otherwise damage the integrity of the electrical continuity. A more economical and procedurally simple alternative are mechanical connectors, these are of bolted, wedge and crimp type which, rely on the physical surface contact to maintain electrical connection. For above ground connections (e.g. fence clamps), this is an acceptable way of bonding.
  3. Grounding Electrode. The grounding electrode (or sometimes referred to as rod/stake) provides electrical connection to the ground and acts to dissipate current to it. Electrodes can be categorised as either “natural” or “made”. A natural ERICO_Ground_rods.jpgelectrode is intrinsic to the structure this could be metal underground water piping, effectively grounded metal framework of the facility, and/or the steel in reinforced concrete foundations. An electrode is considered made when it is implemented for the express function of improving the performance a grounding system this includes buried metal plates, buried mesh conductor and rods or pipes driven into the ground. The ground rod is the single most used, efficient and effective grounding device in the practice today. ERICO has developed bonded ground rods impervious to many issues common in cheaper ground rods, further information see copper ground rods.
  4. Soil Composition. The soil resistivity rating, a measure of ohm-meters, has a large impact on the performance of a grounding system and is to be known prior to GEM25Aengineering a proper grounding system. Based off the soil resistivity the design engineer will locate the area of the most conductive soil and from this, determine the depth the electrodes required to be placed accordingly. The best solution to improving earth composition can be altered to decrease its resistivity through the use of the cost effective Ground Enhancing Material (GEM). The optimal solution is the effective implementation of GEM to reach the desired resistance. There are other solutions such as bentonite which perform the same task however, are deemed inferior, for more information on this see GEM vs Bentonite.
  5. Electrode to Earth Resistivity. Rod surface area and earth composition are the main contributing factors. Doubling radius of the driven rod will reduce resistance by merely 10% and is not a cost-effective option. Doubling the rod length however, will theoretically reduce resistance by 40%. Placement of numerous rods that are driven to a predetermined depth in low resistivity soil.

Western Australian Power Protection (WAPP) offers obligation free consultation and quotation for grounding systems. To speak to a professional to address your specific needs find our contact information on our ‘Contact Us’ page

Stop Telling and Start Selling

ListeningAs an electrical wholesaler, sales representative or manager, if during your sales presentations you are hearing your voice more so than your client. Then you are probably telling them what they want, without finding out what their key triggers are to make a buying decision.

What you may perceive as value or benefit, your electrical prospect may see as an objection. Therefore, talking less and listening more is a key strategy that will not only change the way you deliver your presentation, but the outcome by increasing your ability to close more sales.

Our mouth is what usually gets us into trouble. Make a conscious effort to speak less and listen more. To put it into perspective. Let your prospect talk 80% of the time to your 20%, by asking questions and following up at the end with your solution and close.80 20 Rule 1

Why ask Questions?

  1. To qualify your prospect to see if your solution suits their requirement and if they are in a position to buy
  2. It allows us to gather intelligence. It helps us to identify their triggers to buy, and fine-tune your solution to close.
  3. It establishes a rapport as a solutions partners that is interested in solving rather than selling and builds a relationship of trust. Questions 1
  4. It allows you to pre-empt and avoid objections
  5. Allows you to better control the direction of the sale and the final outcome

 There are 7 types of questions

  1. Rapport Building Questions– Create and establish a trusting relationship.
  2. Need Questions–Identifies the problem that your prospect is trying to solve
  3. Uniqueness Questions– Tell us if the prospect has tried a solution in the past
  4. Budget Questions– To see what their financial ability and expectation is.
  5. Influence Questions– Confirm the prospects authority as the decision maker.
  6. Timeline Questions – Identify the urgency of the solution
  7. Confirmation Questions– Used to reinforce the solution to the problem. They can also be used to draw out the prospects real objections.

Examples of these type of questions are:

  1. Rapport Building Questions
  • How long have you been with the company? Questions
  • Tell me a little about what you do?
  1. Need Question:
    • What are you finding most challenging right now?
    • How is this problem affecting you?
  2. Uniqueness Question:
    • Have you tried to solve this problem in the past?
    • Are you evaluating other solutions?
  3. Budget Question:
    • Have you set aside a budget for this?
    • What are you expecting to invest in the solution?
  4. Influence Question:
    • Who else needs to be involved in making this decision?
    • Who else needs to approve this decision?
  5. Timeline Question:
    • What kind of deadline are we working with?
    • What timeframe are we looking at?
  6. Confirmation Question:
    • What are your thoughts so far?
    • Do you have any concerns so far?

 Here are 7 additional tips:

  1. Ask open ended questions
  2. Assume nothing, question everythingSolve me something
  3. Listen carefully
  4. Do not interrupt
  5. Write down key intelligence to use as part of your solution
  6. Add value to your solution that is relevant to your prospect

By focusing on strategic questions that gather intelligence, you are not just selling, but solving. Your electrical contractor or prospect will appreciate the opportunity to be heard and understood when querying earthing, grounding, surge, lightning protection etc… They will feel more comfortable in having a trusted solutions partner who is interested in their current problems and requirements. Making the difficult buying decision, easy!

For tips and support to win more sales contact Emmanuel Lardis from West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) on (08) 9353 5300 or email for a FREE no obligation consultation.

Protect Telecommunication Towers from Lightning Strikes

Communication Tower 2There is little argument that Lightning poses an enormous threat to telecommunication, radio and TV towers. These towers are constructed of steel and designed to be the highest structures in the surrounding area in order to supply communication with no interruptions.

There is a higher probability of Lightning hitting the sharpest and tallest object in an area. Furthermore, lightning current reaches the ground by following the shortest and most conductive way. That is why a telecommunication tower which is a tall metal structure becomes the primary target for lightning strikes.

When lightning strikes the top edge of a tower, the current flows downward to the ground and damages all electronic equipment like radomes, radios, antennas, dishes, cameras, etc… On the way to the ground, lightning current can leak and jump into nearby structures and shelters that result in permanent damage to sensitive electronic devices and equipment.

Lightning arresters endeavour to attract lightning in order to divert lightning energy to earth. There are a number of different scientifically proven solutions but typically they are installed on the highest points of the structure and connected to a downconductor cable which is bonded to a grounding system and then to earth. The purpose is to attract lightning before it reaches any other object and allow the lightning current to flow down to the ground and dissipate the energy through the earth.

The system at a telecommunications facility is divided into 5 components.

ERICO Telco Products-page-002

  1. Indoor Bonding Arrangement

Correct bonding for all lightning protection system elements is essential or the system will be totally ineffective against lightning strikes. Bonding of all metallic conductors assures everything is at equal potential, so if there is a strike you are protected.





  1. Outdoor Grounding LayoutERICO Telco Products-page-003

Low-resistance grounding provides an efficient destination for lightning current. Some soils are composed of sand or rock, that are highly resistant and not conductive. If surrounding soils are clays or dirt with moisture present, they likely are conductive There are local distributors that can provide the support and materials to ensure you achieve effective earthing and protection. 




ERICO Telco Products-page-005

  1. Surge Protection for Power Lines

Surge protection devices (SPDs) function either by absorbing the transient energy as heat or crowbarring the transient energy to ground (some in combination). They should be installed at main panel entries, at critical branch or secondary panels, and at plug-in outlets where low-voltage transformers convert AC power to DC current and voltage. SPDs should also be installed at signal and data line building entry points for critical electronic equipment.

  1. Surge Protection for Telephone Lines coaxial

Included here are Cat. 5/6, coaxial lines, and twin lead and other copper wire circuits. Telephone punch blocks should be SPD-protected. 


ERICO Telco Products-page-006

  1. Direct Strike Lightning Protection

Lightning usually terminates on grounded objects sticking up in the air. Franklin rods, Dynaspheres and ISODC are air terminals. Benjamin Franklin designs developed in 1752, divert lightning from rods in the air via conductors to rods in the ground, protecting important assets. This part of a lightning protection system (LPS) is based upon the principles of Path of Least Impedance.



Generally, there are two main systems of lightning protection:

  • Isolated Systems– These are commonly specified to protect metallic assets from potential lightning hazards. Partial discharges on bare conductors may form on the cable surface during immediate voltages, which can cause thermalization or breakdown. This can potentially adversely affect sensitive tower equipment.
  • Non-Isolated Systems – These are mostly recommended for communication towers as they contain the lightning energy and minimise the effects and interference to sensitive equipment caused by side flash.

IsoPH1621glated systems like ERICO’s (West Australian Power Protection) Isolated Downconductor (ISODC) and Dynasphere have a multi-layered insulation and semi-conductive outer sheath.

An isolated down conductor system provides the same materials and cross-sectional area as other IEC standards compliant down conductor with the benefit of having highly insulated coverings.

Commonly these isolated lightning protection systems are mounted on a tall support mast. An air terminal is mounted on the top of the mast, which provides required protection using the international IEC 62305 design standard.ISODC 1

The protection from lightning strike on radio, telecommunications and other towers sites can be protected using the right method and system.

West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) are the industry experts in Lightning, Surge and Grounding Protection.

We will provide you direction for the best performance and most cost-effective solution that suits your project requirements.

Call WAPP on (08) 9353 5300 or email for a FREE no obligation consultation and quote.

Lightning proofing for increased personnel safety and productivity at Roy Hill

Towards the end of 2016, Roy Hill Iron Ore (RHIO) identified that lightning storms during the lightning season posed a risk to personnel safety which in turn affected productivity with constant work stoppages during red alerts.

RHIO commenced discussions with West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) to work out a way to mitigate these risks. In mid-2017, RHIO gained support from management to proceed with the project.

Risks and Measures Identified

Camps – there is a safety issue with human nature and personnel transiting during red Dynasphere3alert grade conditions. Management have instructed that all corridors are to be made safe for personnel during red alert conditions. Bus shelters and car parks are also to be made safe for on load / offloading from vehicles.

Mine site – it must be safe to on load / offload from vehicles and near structures where maintenance is to be carried out during red alerts.  It must also be safe to repair electrical and controls equipment at the top of the main structures and deal with blockages.

Port area – it must also be safe to on load / offload from vehicles at the workshops and near structures where maintenance is to be carried out during red alerts.  It must also be safe to repair electrical and controls equipment at the top of the main structures and deal with blockages. In addition, special lightning arrest measures must be installed along the wharf areas.

Rail – the rail workshop to be made safe for all work to continue during red alerts, including dealing with the possibility if a lightning strike up rail and down rail from the workshop. All other measures around buildings and car-parks to be the same as for Mine, Port and Camps.

Upgraded lightning protection across the business will also reduce equipment damage due to unguided lightning strikes that hit anywhere and often travel along control and instrument wiring, causing equipment damage in the process.


With the lightning season officially starting on November 1st, time was of essence. ERICO’s proprietary System3000 Dynasphere Lightning Protection System (LPS) was Dynasphere Air Terminal, MKIVchosen to be installed in most areas for its technically advanced system. These were mounted on poles ranging from 8m-25m tall, some on buildings whilst others on 40m towers.

The main benefits include:

  1. Offer a larger radius of coverage, thus reducing installation costs (i.e. fewer poles are required to be erected);
  2. Offer a more controlled capture of the lightning strike to a preferred point by producing a lightning upleader; &
  3. the ERICORE insulated down conductor cable is purpose designed, which acts to eliminate side flashing of the lightning energy to the structure or nearby equipment ensuring its safe conduction to earth. A low impedance designed insulated down conductor ensures the lightning energy can be safely contained within the conductor over greater lengths.


Where poles and catenary wires are employed as part of the lightning protection system design, all poles were fitted with ERICO’s Aluminium Air Terminals (Franklin Rods) which are very cost-effective.



WAPP worked very closely with ERICO and Powerlines Plus (main contractors on the project) to design, procure and install the LPS in a very tight timeframe to ensure that the bulk of critical locations would be completed before the lightning season. From day one, all parties collaborated very closely at RHIO’s offices and WAPP/ERICO proactively offered training to key staff on installation. Products were flown in ahead of schedule to avoid any delays in delivery to site.

With the tight timeframe, made more challenging with the bulk quantity of specialised products required, some with long lead time, through close coordination and strong communication between all parties, the project was completed according to schedule.

This LPS for RHIO could be used as a model for other mine sites or any facility to ensure thehighest standards of personnel protection from lightning strikes at all times. Not only are risks of injury to personnel mitigated, but productivity of the facility can improve significantly with superior LPS in place.


10 Questions to Assess Your Need for Lightning Protection

Most people are unaware that lightning strikes are one of the leading weather-related Lightning Protection 5causes of death in the world. Lightning can warm the air by 27,700 degrees, five times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Did you know you can get struck by lightning 16 km’s away, even when there is not a cloud in the sky? There are approximately 100 lightning strikes each second (6000 per minute) that occurs throughout the world, each carrying up to 30,000 amps of current. Each year in Australia, more than 100 people are injured, with an average of 10 fatalities due to lightning strikes. No one can predict the exact location of each will strike or when it will occur.

We can control the implementation of lightning protection systems where necessary. A good system like the one determined by Erico’s 6 Point plan captures the lightning strikes and transfers the energy to a dependable path to earth. The energy then dissipates in the earth to prevent harm to structures or individuals.

It is possible to use broad guidelines to develop protection required by assessing the known risks of lightning and determine the level of lightning protection (LP) needed for these unexpected strikes.

10 Fundamentally Critical Factors to Assess your Need for LP
1. What is the risk to personnel? 

The odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime is about 1 in 12,000

Precautions should be taken to prevent worker exposure to lightning. Employers recognise lightning as an occupational hazard and take lightning safety seriously. Locations where personnel risk are high include mine sites, factories, schools, churches, sporting facilities, and hospitals.

2. What is the risk of equipment or structural damage? 

Direct or indirect strikes from Lightning can cause severe electrical-related damage by fire, surge and shock wave damage. Direct strikes cause serious damage to framework, communications, air-conditioning and other exterior structures. Indirect damage is caused by the current traveling by electric grids or through utility lines and resulting in serious damage to electronics, equipment and data.

3. What are the consequential problems of such failure? 

For a business the level of damage caused through direct or indirect strikes can be devastating. It is not only the costly repairs that need to be considered but the downtime, loss of information and data, ability to service the client, production down time and the brands reputation to market.

4. Is the equipment associated with an essential or public service? 

A vital consideration is assets associated with an essential or high-risk service. Services such as railroads, hospitals, airports, and public utilities, must look beyond their own initiatives to consider the public that would be affected by interruptions.

5. What is the potential revenue loss in the time required to restore services? 

Lightning protection systems can prevent detrimental, avoidable downtime and costly repairs. Industries such as mining, manufacturing and essential services could have an immense cost associated to downtime. The investment associated with protecting an asset from lightning strike is a fraction of the potential direct and indirect revenue loss incurred by not being prepared.

6. Does the structure have historical value? 

The historical value of a structure can be priceless depending on the significance of theLightning Protection structure. The possibility of a lightning strike to the structure of a building is around 1:500. Damage is caused by the explosive expansion of air heated to around 30,000ºC, by the ignition of dust, and by flying debris. Electrical circuits may also be damaged by the electro-magnetic field generated.

7. What are the legal implications of providing inadequate protection?

Some industries or assets in some geographical locations, are legally required to provide a certain level of lightning protection. Mining, aviation and essential services have strict lightning protection guidelines. This is a major factor to considering liabilities associated with duty of care.

8. Does the structure or building contain explosive or flammable environments?

Many industries use highly flammable or explosive materials. Fire is a major concern with lightning strikes, adding unstable material to a direct strike or side flashing can be a cocktail for disaster.

9. Can side flashing cause damage to essential electronics?

Electronics are inherently susceptible to lightning strikes in the form of indirect damage. Lightning Strikes Man 1Be aware of electronics that are important and/or vulnerable to damage. A companies file server, for example, is a focal point of most business’ everyday operations. When the file server is incapacitated due to a lightning strike, the operations of an entire company may go down.

10. Will the discharge result in the corona phenomena causing disastrous power surges?

The corona phenomena is an electrical discharge brought on by the ionisation of a fluid such as air surrounding a conductor that is electrically charged.  Corona can create an audible noise that can interfere with communications and cause damage to conductors, transformers and other vital electronics.

Judge the Risks of Lightning-Associated Damage

We have all heard that prevention is better than the cure. The investment in lightning protection is only a fraction of the expense, cost and inconvenience of being unprepared.

Determining the level of lightning protection appropriate for each situation is not always simple. Consider the safety issues, costs and potential damage associated with lightning if you do not have a proper protection system.

These ten questions should help you get started evaluating your potential need for lightning protection.

To help you with direction and advice on lightning protection, refer to WAPP lightning protection experts. They will guide you through the potential need for lightning protection, risk, and more.

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

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

Top International Resource for Electrical Engineers

As an electrical expert or engineer, you need to be informed of international innovations International resourcesand changes to practices that could be of benefit.

At WAPP, our team strives to keep you up to date with everything relating to lightning, earthing, bonding and surge protection. Overseas publications and announcements help us to remain current on product advances, innovations and international standards. This ensures we serve and provide our clients the best solution that complies with standards and specifications.

There are many local resources out there that we trust and know, but we have looked outside Australian borders to provide insight in what is happening in the rest of the world. We have listed 6 top international resources electrical engineers and experts should bookmark for future reference in design and method validation.

5 Top International Resources for Electrical Engineers

(Listed in alphabetical order.)

  1. Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M)

EC&M is an internationally recognised resource for electrical design, construction, International resources 2operations and maintenance for relevant industries. You will find comprehensive technical articles, overseas market forecasts, detailed surveys and reports, and the latest electrical industry broadcasts. EC&M provides a comprehensive look at what electrical engineers are most interested in.

  1. EEWeb

EEWeb is an online community dedicated to interactive communications between electrical engineers. It is packed with news articles, an open forum to ask and answer questions with industry peers, videos, free engineering tools and a range of industry specialised magazines.

  1. IEEE

IEEE is the world’s largest technical organisation devoted to engineering and science. Central to profoundly respected, publications, conferences, technology standards and knowledgeable enterprise. Reference IEEE for blogs, podcasts, news stories, product features, videos and infographics.

  1. In Compliance Magazine

Designed specifically for electric engineering professionals, In Compliance delivers the latest overseas news, standards updates, technical explanations and guidance.

  1. MIT Libraries

This online library containing information and intellectual capital available to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are at your fingertips. Research books, documents, journals and articles from publications across the globe related to everything from electrical engineering guides earthing, grounding, surge and lightning protection.

Start with the Guide for Electrical Engineers to get started.

Local Resources for Electrical Engineers

Looking for even more information, knowledge or guidance on latest innovations for earthing, bonding, rail, surge or lightning protection? West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) are your industry experts.

Also, remember we do provide complimentary* training and product demonstrations designed to suit your needs. We can customise the duration and content of the seminars to maximise the return on your time.

Call us on (08) 9353 5300 or email for a FREE no obligation consultation to find the best solution to your challenge.

GEM vs BENTONITE Comparison

GEM in GroundWhen most hear about ground enhancement material they think of bentonite. The term Bentonite was first used for a clay found in about 1890 in Montana USA. Extracted bentonite is distinctly solid, even with a moisture content of approximately 30%. Bentonite is subsequently dried to reach a moisture content of approximately 15% and used in granular form or milled into powder and super fine powder form.

It is often impossible to achieve the desired reduction in ground resistance by adding more grid conductors or ground rods. An alternate solution is to effectively increase the Gem bentonitediameter of the electrode by modifying the soil surrounding the electrode. With the price of copper on the rise, usually the most cost-effective solution is to include a ground enhancement material such as bentonite.

The main issues with using bentonite for backfill around the earthing anode (ground rod, copper tape, cable etc…) during installation is:

  • Swelling of up to 25% occurs when wetted from dry state,
  • Shrinkage occurs during drying from wet state
  • Formation of a number of voids and small cracks
  • Potential lack of contact with earthing anode = BAD earth

As great a product as it has been there is a superior option for Ground enhancement material that many are aware but most are not. Erico’s Ground Enhancement Material is considered one of the best enhanced options available on the market.

GEMGEM has a resistivity of less than 0.12 Ω·m (about 5% of the resistivity of Bentonite). It typically placed around the rod in an augured hole or around earthing conductors in a trench in the same fashion as bentonite, in either a dry form or premixed in a slurry. GEM is a permanent material and will not leach any chemicals into the ground.

GEM from ERICO is a conductive material that improves grounding effectiveness, especially in areas of poor conductivity-rocky ground, areas of moisture variation, sandy soils. It is a preferred option for mining, government and private construction works, especially in locations with dry conditions and poor soil.

  • 20 times lower resistivity than Bentonite clay
  • Can dramatically lower the earth resistance and impedance measures
  • Maintains constant resistance for the life of the earthing system
  • Does not dissolve, decompose, leach out or require replacement or maintenance
  • Does not require continuous presence of water to maintain its conductivity
  • Exceeds IEC® 62561-7 which sets the benchmark
  • Can be installed using trench or ground rod backfill methods
  • Does not dissolve, decompose, or leach out with time
  • Is non-corrosive and protects against corrosion to extend life of component
  • Short and long-term cost and performance benefits

The table below is a comparison chart showing tests conducted that prove GEM (“IEEE 80-2000 14.5 Soil treatment to lower Resistivity) is a superior and preferred option as a ground enhancement material to bentonite.





Material Form % Water Content by Weight Resistivity (ohm-cm)

% Reduction from


1 Bentonite Slurry 300% 266 0%
2 GEM25A Loose-Powder 0 236 11%
3 GEM25A Packed-Powder 0 116 56%
4 GEM25A Slurry (Initial Measurement) 40% 126 53%
4 GEM25A Cured 3 days Cured 16.4 94%
4 GEM25A Cured 75 days Cured 6.9 97%

For more information on Earthing, Grounding and Bonding solutions click HERE or please call us on (08) 9353 5300 or email

Need to Know Lightning Protection Systems

What is the Lightning Protection Systems LPS?

A Lighting Protection System (LPS) is the system that provides a means by which a LP1      lightning discharge may enter or leave earth without passing through and damaging personnel, electrical equipment, and structures such as buildings.

A Lightning Protection System does not prevent lightning from striking. It provides a means for controlling energy and prevents damage by providing a low resistance path for the lightning.

A reliable Lightning Protection System LPS must encompass both structural and transient overvoltage (Surge Protection) protection.

Optimal Lightning Protection System

The Six Point Plan of Protection is designed to minimize the risk of damage to facilities through:

  • Direct Strike Protection
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Surge and Over-voltage Transient Protection

The Six Point Plan of Protection from is designed by ERICO to:

  • Capture the lightning strike to a preferred attachment point
  • Convey this energy to ground via a downconductor.
  • Dissipate energy into a low impedance grounding system
  • Bond all ground points to eliminate ground loops and create an equipotential plane
  • Protect equipment from surges and transients on incoming power lines
  • Protect equipment from surges and transients on incoming telecommunications
Why Use the Lightning Protection Systems LPS?

Lightning protection is essential for the protection of humans, structures, and electrical equipment by controlling a variety of risks resulting from thermal, mechanical, and electrical hazards of the lightning flash current. These risks can be categorised as follows:

  1. Risk to persons,
    1. Direct flash,
    2. Step potential,
    3. Touch potential,
    4. Side flash.
  2. Risk to structures & internal equipment.
    1. Fire and/or explosion triggered by heat of lightning flash
    2. Fire and/or explosion triggered by ohmic heating of conductors
    3. Punctures of structure roofing due to lightning point of strike,
    4. Failure of internal electrical and electronic systems,
    5. Mechanical damage including dislodged materials at point of strike.
What is an Effective Lightning Protection System?

The effective lightning protection system which eliminates risks must be designed to:

  • Intercept lightning flash (i.e. create a preferred point of strike),
  • Conduct the strike to ground safely through purpose designed down conductors,
  • Dissipate the lightning energy into the ground with minimum rise in ground potential,
  • Eliminate ground loops and hazardous potential differentials
  • Protect equipment from surges and transients on incoming power lines
  • Protect equipment from surges and transients on incoming telecommunications
  • Not cause thermal or mechanical damage to the structure,
  • Not cause sparking which may cause fire or explosion,
  • Limit step and touch voltages to control the risk of injury to occupants.
Standards for Lightning Protection System

The lightning protection standard is usually developed by a technical committee comprising of academics, experts and industry practitioners who areLP2 knowledgeable in the field and are responsible for ensuring that the LPS to are scientifically validated and proven.

The existing lightning protection standard in:

  • Australia/NZ is the AS/NZS 1768,
  • International is the IEC-61024, BS6651 (United Kingdom),
  • NFPA780 (USA),
  • CP33 (Singapore).
Types of Lightning Protection Systems (LPS)

Lightning protection systems for buildings and installations may be divided into three principal types:

  1. LPS for Protection for buildings and installations against direct strike by lightning,
  2. LPS for Protection against overvoltage on incoming conductors and conductor systems,
  3. LPS for Protection against the electromagnetic pulse of the lightning.

Each system’s design requires:

  • The strike termination device must be positioned at the highest point on the structure.
  • The lightning protection system must be solidly and permanently grounded.
This type of Lightning Protection Systems can be divided into:LP3

Conventional lightning protection system (Also known as “Passive or Traditional)

  1. Franklin Rod LPS A lightning rod, air terminal or a single mast will help prevent lightning from striking in the immediate vicinity. The lightning rod is a metallic capture tip placed at the top of the building. It is earthed by one or more conductors.
  2. The lightning rod with taut wires These wires are stretched above the protectedLP4 structure. They are used to protect special structures: rocket launching areas, military applications and protection of high-voltage overhead lines
  3. Franklin/Faraday Cage LPS This protection involves placing numerous down LP5conductors/tapes symmetrically all around the building. This type of lightning protection system is used for highly exposed buildings housing very sensitive installations such as computer rooms.



Non-Conventional lightning protection system – All ERITECH Isolated Downconductor system components meet the requirements of IEC 62305 series and appropriate products are tested in compliance with EN50164-1 and EN 50164-2.

  1. Dynasphere S3000 insulated system The ERICO Dynasphere air terminal providesLP6 optimal lightning capture to a preferred point for lightning discharges which would otherwise strike and damage an unprotected structure and/or its contents. Also known as an active system as it has a Dynamic response to the approach of a lightning down-leader
  2. ISODC Communications insulated system The ERITECH isolated system providesLP7 a traditional air terminal fitted to an isolated fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) mast. The isolated downconductor internally connects to the air terminal inside the FRP. The FRP mast has natural isolation properties, high strength for windy sites and low weight to minimize mast loading.



There are various lightning protection systems fit for purpose that can offer:

  • More cost effective in supply and installation
  • Less variables of installation and ease of application
  • Greater protection and performance
  • Minimal effects on visual and structure

West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) are the industry experts in Lightning, Surge and Grounding Protection.

WAPP will provide you direction for the best performance and most cost-effective solution that suits your project requirements.

Call us on (08) 9451 2199 or email for a FREE no obligation consultation and quote.

How to Create a Good Earth


The primary purpose of earthing is to avoid or minimize the danger of:

  1. Electrocution
  2. Fire due to earth leakage of current
  3. Damage to people, equipment and assets

When the metallic part of electrical appliances comes in contact with a live wire, the metal becomes charged and static charge accumulates. If a person touches such a charged metal, the result could be catastrophic.

To avoid such instances, the power supply systems and parts of appliances have to be earthed so as to transfer the charge directly to ground.

Why have Earthing?

  • Protect human lives
  • Provide safety to electrical devices and appliances
  • To keep voltage as constant in the healthy phase
  • To protect electrical system and buildings from lightning.
  • To avoid the risk of fire

Basic Terms used in Electrical Earthing Earth_Electrode

  • Earth: The proper connection between electrical installation systems via conductor to the earth.
  • Earthed: Connection to the earth through earth electrode.
  • Solidly Earthed: When an electric device, appliance or electrical installation is connected to the earth electrode without a fuse, circuit breaker or resistance/Impedance.
  • Earth Electrode: When a conductor buried in the earth for electrical earthing system. They are available in different shapes E.g. conductive plate, rod or mesh.
  • Earthing Lead: The conductor wire, strip or tape connected between Earth electrode and Electrical installation system and devices.
  • Earth Continuity Conductor: The conductor wire, which is connected among different electrical devices and appliances like, distribution board, different plugs and appliances.
  • Sub Main Earthing Conductor: A wire connected the switch board and distribution board
  • Earth Resistance: Is the total resistance between earth electrode and earth in Ω (Ohms).


Earthing is done according to AS, IE and IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) regulations:

  • 3-pin lighting plug sockets should be permanently earthed.
  • All metallic coverings containing or protecting any electric supply line or apparatus should be earthed.
  • The frame of generators, stationary motors and metallic parts of all transformers used for controlling energy should be earthed by two separate connections with the earth.
  • In a dc 3-wire system, the middle conductors should be earthed at the generating station.
  • Overhead lines should be earthed by connecting at least one strand to the earth wires.

Components of Earthing SystemEarthing_System

A complete electrical earthing system consists on the following basic components.

  1. Earth Continuity Conductor
  2. Earthing Lead
  3. Earth Electrode

Earth Continuity Conductor or Earth Wire

That part of the earthing system which interconnects the overall metallic parts of electrical installation e.g. conduit, ducts, distribution boards, fuses etc… and components installed are known as earth wire or earth continuity conductor as shown in the above fig.

Size of Earth Continuity Conductor

The cross-sectional area of the earth continuity conductor should not be less than the half of the cross-sectional area of the thickest wire used in the electrical wiring installation.

Earthing Electrode or Earth Plate

A metallic electrode or plate which is buried in the earth and connected with earthing lead.

A metallic plate, pipe or rode can be used as an earth electrode which has very low resistance and carry the fault current safely towards ground (earth).

Earthing Ground Enhancement MaterialGEM

It is recommended to bury the earth electrode in the moisture earth. If it is not possible, then it is recommended to use a ground enhancement material such as gypsum bentonite or even better GEM

 Methods of Earthing | Types of Earthing

Earthing can be done in many ways. The various methods employed in earthing are:Earth_mat

  1. Plate Earthing: In plate earthing system, a plate made up of copper (preferable) or galvanized iron (GI) is buried vertical in the earth (earth pit) which should not be less than 3m (10ft) from the ground level.
  2. Rod Earthing: It is the same method as pipe earthing. A copper Ground_rodsrod of min. 16mm diameter by 3m length are buried upright in the earth manually or with the help of a pneumatic hammer. The length of embedded electrodes in the soil reduces earth resistance to a desired value.Copper_tape
  3. Tape or Wire Earthing: Typically tape electrodes of 25mm x 3mm cross-section is buried in a horizontal trench of a minimum depth of 0.5m.

If all round conductors are used, their cross-section area should not be too small, say less than 6.0mm2 if it’s a galvanized iron or steel. The length of the conductor buried in the ground would give a sufficient earth resistance.

Specification for Earthing

Various earthing recommendations are given below;

  • An earthing electrode should not be situated (installed) close to the building whose installation system is being earthed at least more than 1.5m away.
  • The earth resistance should be low enough to cause the flow of current sufficient to operate the protective relays or blow fuses. Its value is not constant as it varies with weather because it depends on moisture (but should not be less than 1 Ohm).
  • The earth wire and earth electrode will be the same material.
  • The earthing electrode should be placed in a vertical position inside the earth or pit so that it may be in contact with all the different earth layers.

Dangers of Not Earthing a Supply System

If excessive current is not earthed, appliances will be damaged without the help of a fuse. Excessive current is earthed at their generating stations which is why earth wires carry very little or no current at all.

In our electrical appliances, if excessive currents are not earthed, we would experience severe shock. Earthing takes place in electrical appliances only when there is a problem to save us from danger.

If you happen to touch a metallic part when charged or static charges you will be electrocuted. But if the metallic part of the appliance is earthed, the charge will be transferred to earth instead of accumulating on the metallic part of the appliance.

Earthing is essential and mandatory. It’s an electrical connection between the exposed metallic parts of an electrical appliance or installation and the earth, regarded to have zero potential. Competent earthing provides an alternative and easy path for leakage or faulty current to flow that could save your life, equipment and asset.

For more information on Earthing, Grounding and Bonding solutions click HERE or please call us on (08) 9451 2199 or email

PROTExpo – WAPP’s annual open day

West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) was proud to present our annual open day event. Dubbed the PROTExpo, we had a series of live demonstrations lined up showcasing products in Lightning Protection installation, Earthing, CADWELDing, Soil Testing and innovative products in Surge Protection.

The main objective of the event was to provide our customers a better understanding of multiple solutions that WAPP and ERICO can offer, and also to encourage our customers to use us as a solutions provider resource for technical support, design, estimating, installation, testing and commissioning.

Lightning Protection Earthing CADWELDing SoilTesting SurgeProtection


It was a great turn out with over 40 attendees from various industries and blue-chip companies which made for a great networking opportunity.

The feedback we received from everyone was that they thoroughly enjoyed the event and found benefit in attending, drawing from the experience from our experts. Despite standing for over an hour during the demonstrations, many stayed till the very end, still riveted. There were numerous requests for follow up visits from those who attended which we shall be doing so in the coming weeks.

Once again, thank you to all those who attended and to our partner companies, ERICO and Aptus Power for their time today.


Exothermic welding is also known as exothermic bonding, thermite welding or CADWELD. It was invented around 1895 by Hans Goldschmidt and refined later by Dr Charles Cadwell. It was first used to weld signal bonds to railroad tracks.

CADWELD electrical connections have become recognised as the ultimate connection for rail, cathodic, power and grounding applications.


The CADWELD process can create permanent bond between copper/copper, copper/galvanized or plain steel, copper/copper clad steel, copper/bronze/brass/stainless steel, steel/steel, molecular bonds with no external or heat source The shape of the mold, its dimension, and the size of the welding material, are all dependent on the items to be welded. In this process, conductors are prepared, placed in a purpose-designed graphite mold, and exothermically welded to produce a permanent electrical connection.

CADWELD connections


The CAD weld have four different features Integrated Weld Metal Package, Colour Coded Weld Metal, Electronic Control Unit, Six Foot Control Unit Lead

Benefits of CADWELD V’s other Connection Types

CADWELD Welded Connections Offer the Following Benefits:

  • Low labor costs and ease of application.
  • Inexpensive, lightweight equipment — saves time and money
  • Current carrying (fusing) capacity equal to that of the conductor.
  • Will not deteriorate with age.
  • Permanent molecular bond that cannot loosen or corrode.CADWELD rebar
  • Will withstand repeated faults.
  • No special skills required.
  • No external power or heat required.
  • Can be checked for quality by visual inspection.
  • Portable system.
  • Exceeds IEEEC 837-2014 Grounding Standard

CADWELD V’s Mechanical Connections

CADWELD Weld Mechanical Crimped Connection
 CADWELD diagram

Mechanical connection diagram

Mechanical connection diagram2

Actual Contact Surface

The CADWELD bonded connection provides permanent conductivity over the whole of the section due to a molecular bonding between the metal surfaces.

IEEEC837 2014 Compliant

The mechanical connection presents a significant difference between the apparent contact surface and the actual surface.

IEEEC837 2014 Failed Compliance

IEEEC 837-2014 Standard Compliance (ERICO CADWELD) exothermically welded connections are engineered to create a permanent bond that withstands repeated fault currents and will not loosen, deteriorate or increase in resistance. The connections are designed to maintain for the life of the conductor and/or installation. It also has a high current – carrying capacity equal to that of the conductor. The melting temperature of CADWELD connection is higher than the melting temperature of copper (1082°C).

Once application has been completed, installers can clearly ensure quality assurance by visual inspection of the new connection.

CADWELD connections2

Where is CADWELD used CADWELD has been the preferred method across many industries but predominantly used for:

  • Rail
  • Grounding and EarthingCADWELD connections3
  • Connecting of cables and tapes/strips
  • Connecting to rebar
  • Connecting to fence posts, pipes and flat steel surfaces
  • Connecting to ground rods and earth grids and much more..
  • Lightning Protection
  • Communications
  • Cathodic Protection

There are hundreds of molds and solutions available off the shelf and custom made. At West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) we can provide the right solution to get the job done right the first time.

For more information call (08) 98451 2199 or email

Essential Things to Know For Earthing Design and Testing

Essential Things to Know For Earthing Design and Testing

Earthing and Grounding

Why Is Earthing Important?

The fundamental purpose of an earthing system is to provide a safe return path for fault currents. When an earth fault strikes on a high voltage system, the fault current generates a voltage at the source of the fault. This voltage can reach dangerous levels, which can pose a hazard to personnel as well as to members of the public in the vicinity of the asset.

Earthing System Design

Earthing system designs require careful consideration and a thorough understanding of factors that can influence the performance of an earthing system under fault conditions.

Considerations for a performance based design requires understanding of project geographical constraints and restrictions, as well as local and international safety standards (IEEE 80 and AS 2067).

Initial requirements are:

  • Conduct soil resistivity testing, modelling and analysis
  • Review fault data and protection documentation
  • Review civil and site layout
  • Analyse multilayer soil structure
  • Review client specific design specifications
  • Review equipment, system configuration and documentation

Earthing System TestingEarthing Testing Gent

The earthing system is designed and engineered to perform safely during earth fault conditions. However, it is also critical that commissioning and routine earthing testing is undertaken to validate and ensure that the earthing system performs safely.

The following activities should be conducted as part of an earthing and lightning protection review:

  • Touch, step and transferred voltage hazard measurements
  • Determination of individual and overall earthing system impedance
  • Determination of lightning protection earthing impedance and physical integrity
  • Determination of earth potential rise (EPR) contours
  • Soil resistivity testing
  • Continuity of equipment earth connections
  • Visual inspections
  • Current distribution measurements
  • Determination of earth grid conductor sizing suitability Assessment of switchyard surfacing
  • Testing Methods Injection Testing

The concept of injection testing is to simulate a system earth fault at a much smaller scale. This is performed by injecting an off-frequency current into the earth grid which in turn causes the earthing system to rise in voltage. The purpose of injecting an off-frequency current (typically 58 Hz), is to ensure that the earthing system is isolated from any interference, including the 50 Hz system frequency and harmonics.

The following parameters are able to be measured during an injection test:

  1. Earthing system impedance
  2. Touch, step and transferred voltages
  3. Location of Earth Potential Rise (EPR) contours d) Earth Grid Voltage Rise (EGVR)

Soil Resistivity TestingWenner Array Testing Method

The soil resistivity structure is the biggest contributing factor in the performance of the earth grid. The soil structure governs the way the voltage dissipates from the earthing system during an earth fault event and the susceptibility of the change in earth resistance in relation to the amount of earth grid conductor added.

The most accepted and accurate method in measuring the average resistivity of large volumes of undisturbed earth is the Wenner Array method. The Wenner Array method uses four electrodes spaced at equal distances apart to create the test circuit. The two outer electrodes create the current circuit and the two inner electrodes measure the voltage on the earth’s surface in relation to the current electrodes.

Fall of Potential (FOP) TestingFall of Potential Method

The fall of potential (FOP) method is used to determine the resistance of a small earthing system. This test is typically used to measure the earthing resistance of lightning protection systems and small kiosk/pole mounted substations. This test only gives a resistance value and does not confirm safety with respect to touch and step voltages.

Continuity Testing

Continuity tests are conducted to check the connections of primary pieces of plant are adequately bonded to the earth grid. The resistance between a primary piece of plant and reference point is measured using a micro-ohmmeter. This method allows the user to determine the resistance between a path and to identify defects which otherwise cannot be visually inspected.

Design and ManagementEarthing System

Electrical systems comprise of various individual components that need to work effectively with each other in order to achieve the system objective. A design process involves selecting such components according to technical, regulatory and safety requirements. A proper design methodology ensures that the design outcome achieves the desired technical objectives as well as regulatory and safety compliance.

It is also crucial to correctly configure the individual components such as protection relays according to the design outcome as well as assess and manage the system to ensure that objectives are met. Design solutions include:

  • Earthing System Design
  • Lightning Protection Design
  • System Configuration and Assessment
  • Commissioning Management
  • Protection, Control and Metering
  • Testing and Commissioning

Electrical systems are designed to fulfil specified functions as well as comply with technical and regulatory standards. Before any electrical installation is put into service, it is vital to verify that the specified functions are being fulfilled, that the installation complies with relevant technical & regulatory standards and that the installation is safe for use.

Effective verification can only be achieved through a well planned and executed testing and commissioning regime.

For more information on West Australian Power Protections Earthing and Lightning Protection Design, Audit and Maintenance Services please call us on (08) 9451 2199 or email

10++ Ways To Overcome Price Objection


The prospect loves the product and is convinced of its advantages. They are excited to work with your team on execution. Everything’s going along just as it should, until … you give them a quote.

The price is what?!

Most people in sales agree that overcoming price objections is about conveying value. If a prospect is balking at the cost, it is likely we did not sufficiently sell the advantage of their product or service.

Here are 24 suggestions sourced from top salespeople, along with an explanation of why they work. 

How to Respond to the Sales Objection “Price or It’s too Expensive”

1) “Is there something you are comparing it to?”

“Expensive” is a broad term. If you can find out what the client is comparing your product or service to, you can more targeted differentiate your value.

2) “Can you please explain why you think this is so?”

This prompts the prospect to break down their reasoning. When a salesperson have a better understanding of the specific concerns , they are more likely to address them easier.

3) “How much will it cost you if you don’t go ahead?”

Get the client to think about the bigger picture. Show the hidden costs in the status quo. 

4) “What did you budget for?”

This question is really whether they are asking for a discount (budget) or payment terms (cash flow). When the salesperson categorises the objection, they can negotiate more effectively. 

5) ” If we pretend that money was not an object. Would this product/service help to solve your problem?”

A fast track back to value. 

6) “Is price the only thing that is keeping us from moving forward?”

This will allow you to draw out any other objections the salesperson needs to address and well as re-evaluate the client’s understanding of the benefits of your proposition.

7) “Okay. So which part do you want to leave out?”

What you are telling the client is that price is linked to value, obviously. So if a buyer does not want to pay the full price, they will not be able to get the full value of the product. This question might prompt them to reconsider. 

8) “Will the price keep you away from getting what you need?”

You are not supposed to call them cheap outright, but you are making them reconsider the question in their minds. And no one likes to be cheap, especially when their business is on the line. Or actually, this will reveal if your product or service is not the ideal solution for their problem.

9) “Setting price aside, do we have the product/service you want to buy?”

If the client respond with a yes, then you can follow up on #8. If they respond with a no, then consider if it will make sense to go back to value or abandon the deal.

10) “What is the ROI (return on investment) you are looking for?”

This steers them away from thinking in terms of “expensive” or “cheap,” and make them think about the long-term value for their business and this product.

11) “So you say that our prices are high in relation to our competitors’?”

So, if our price actually is higher than the competition’s, this question opens the door for the salesperson to differentiate the product by value.

12) Did you have a figure in mind?

This will tell you what their expected spend was; if they have approached a competitor, or if their expectations are real for you to then resell value.

13) “Did you ever purchase a similar product or service before?”

Another possible thing is that the client has an imprecise idea of what this type of product or service actually is worth and costs — maybe because they have never purchased it before. With this question, you can clear up their misconception.

The objection of price can be a buying signal or hides other objections. Use this opportunity to draw out hidden objections; add value to your proposition that is relevant to your prospect; and to trial close.

The most important way of overcoming this objection is to prevent it from occurring throughout your presentation by adding value to you, your business and the product or service in how it is going to benefit your prospect.

If the return on investment (benefits and advantages) is much greater than the initial cost then it is worth paying for!

How to Design Lightning Protection to a Budget

How to Design Lightning Protection to a Budget 

Lightning Protection

Lightning protection systems are the outcome of the innovation pioneered by Benjamin Franklin: the lightning rod. Lightning protection systems are used today on many buildings such as, homes, communication towers, high rise buildings, and mobile structures.

We will look into why lightning protection is essential and what the systems are able to do, that include:
– Components of a lightning protection system
– Lightning protection systems
– What they do and do not do
– How a lightning protection system works
– Lightning and Surge Protectors / UPS Devices
– Lightning dissipation / elimination myths

Components of a lightning protection system

Lightningprotection2Lightning rods or ‘air terminals’ are only a tiny part of a complete lightning protection system. Actually, the rods may play the minor role in a system installation. A lightning protection system is collected of three main components:

1. Rods or ‘Air Terminals’ – The small, vertical rods are made to behave as the ‘terminal’ for a lightning discharge. Rods are designed in different shapes, sizes from long poles to Erico’s Dynaspheres.

2. Conductor Cables – Cables carry the lightning from the rods to the ground. Interconnected cables are set along the tops and around the edges of roofs, then down the building to the ground rod(s) that form the earthing part of the system.

3. Ground Rods – Long, thick, heavy rods are buried down into the ground around a protected structure. The conductor cables are connected to these rods to finish a safe path for a lightning discharge around a structure.

The conductor cables and ground rods are the most consequential components of a lightning protection system, completing the main objective of diverting lightning current safely past a structure.

What does Lightning protection systems do?

The purpose of a lightning protection is to improve and ensure the safety to a building, equipment and its occupants if lightning happens to strike.

A well-designed system will:

  • Attract lightning to a planned point (Lightning rod)
  • Dissipate or prevent lightning by ‘draining’ a storm of its charge
  • Offer surge protection for sensitive electronics
  • Offer fire and structural damage protection by preventing a hot, explosive lightning channel from passing through building materials

Without a designed path to reach ground, a lightning strike is able to utilize any conductor available inside any type of building. This may include the phone, cable, or other electrical lines, the water and gas pipes, or if a steel-framed building, the structure itself.

It is normal that lightning follows one of these paths to the ground, sometimes jumping through the air via a side flash to reach a better-grounded conductor. Therefore, lightning presents several hazards to any type of building:

  • Fire can start anywhere the exposed lightning channel contacts, penetrates or comes near flammable material (wood, paper, gas pipes, etc) in a building. When lightning follows electrical conduits, it will often overheat or even vaporize the wires, creating a fire hazard anywhere along affected circuits.
  • Side flashes – Side flashes jump across rooms, and can also ignite materials.
  • Damage to building materials – The explosive shock wave that comes from a lightning discharge is able to blow out sections of walls, fragment concrete, plaster and make nearby glass shatter.
  • Damage to appliances – Computers, mechanical, electrical equipment, in general anything plugged are vulnerable to be damaged beyond repair.

Adding a protection system does not prevent a strike, but gives it a better, safer path to ground. The air terminals, cables and ground rods work together to hold the immense currents away from the structure, avoiding fire and most appliance damage:

Lightning and Surge Protectors / UPS Devices

Surge protectors and UPS units are not decent lightning protection devices. These appliances offer protection from voltage spikes from everyday power surges and distant lightning strikes.

A normal surge protector cannot have any effect on the violent burst of current from a very close or direct lightning strike. Direct lightning current is simply too big to protect.

Even ‘disconnects’, or devices that physically switch off power to a device by activating a set of contacts, will not guarantee protection. A small air gap will not stop a lightning bolt that has already jumped across miles of air.

For any lightning protection system to provide protection, it must divert the lightning current from a direct strike.

Ohm’s Law states that for a set of resistances connected in parallel, the current will be distributed across ALL resistances, at levels inversely proportional to the different values of resistance.

A structure or building is nothing more than a set of resistors ‘connected’ in parallel- the electrical wiring, plumbing, phone lines, steel framework, etc. (Even though plumbing and electrical wiring, for instance, may not be physically connected, lightning will use side flashes across air gaps to effectively connect them). In a direct lightning strike, the current will not follow only one path- it will distribute itself across all paths to ground depending on each path’s resistance.

Lightning current often peaks at 100,000 or more Amperes. With that in mind, consider if you have a lightning protection system installed, and your building is hit directly by lightning. If the protection system takes even 99.9% of the current, then your electrical wiring may take the remaining 0.1%. 0.1% of 100,000 Amperes is a 100 Amp surge through your lines- which may be enough to take out your computer or other equipment.

It is common for ‘side flashes’ to occur, where all or a part of the lightning will jump across an entire room to reach ground- such as from the electrical wiring system to well-grounded water pipes.

All this means, you should use a surge protector or a full-fledged lightning rod system.

Lightning protection facts

  • An effective lightning protection systems can intercept a lightning strike.
  • Protection systems prevent lightning damage and electrical discharge to earth
  • Lightning protection systems (including placement of rods, cables, and groundings) are custom-designed for individual structures and require complex engineering to function properly. They should only be installed by qualified contractors using quality products such as the Erico range from West Australian Power Protection (WAPP).

For more information please contact us on Ph: (08) 9451 2199

How to Protect Your Business Against the Effects of Nature

Regardless of the location of your business natural disasters are real. And when your hard-earned business investment is smack bang in the middle of it, then keeping your assets and staff safe is paramount. Despite most business owners insulating themselves from the everyday corporate risks (both internal and external); natural risks like hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and lightning are often overlooked. Even more frequently these class of risks are uninsured too – but they’re possible in nearly every corner of the continent.

Causing billions of dollars in related losses for businesses each year, the effects of nature can be devastating. And if you’re unprepared as a business owner, the level of vulnerability won’t be apparent until disaster has hit. Don’t get left picking up the financial pieces after nature strikes – protect your business with these tips:

1. Invest in Business Interruption Insurance

Every smart business owner will have a high level of insurance on their business, but how much of it covers against natural disasters? Insurance policies should be reviewed on a yearly basis and it’s essential you know you’re protected from the risks in your specific location. Whilst you want to have direct coverage for physical loss and property damage, investing in business interruption insurance will give you better support during downtime.

BII is designed to cover the income loss due to a disaster-related incident after the business is closed down due to rebuilding. This period of restoration can be costly for businesses and generally won’t be covered under a standard business insurance policy. To get BII underway you’ll need to add it to your existing insurance policy. In addition to loss of income, it’ll also cover operating expenses like electricity, that will keep continuing despite business being on halt.

2. Consider Lightning Protection

Lightning is one of the most common natural disasters. And with up to 100 million volts of electricity coming down, its power has the potential to rip through roofs, ignite deadly and out-of-control fires and explode even the toughest of walls. Without a reliable protection system in place, the cost of damages to businesses from lightning storms can be extreme.

Lightning protection systems are the most effective way to eliminate the nasty impact of these natural occurrences.  When a lighting protection strategy is in place, a new discharge means is provided for the lightening to enter and leave through without passing into any damaging non-conductive parts of a structure. Whist the strategy won’t prevent the lightning strike from happening, it will ensure its better controlled and prevent damage to structures around it.

3. Create a Contingency Plan

Having an established contingency plan in place will help to determine the best outcome in the event of an emergency. This should be created well in advance of a potential natural disaster and include an evacuation plan, employee contacts, document backups if required and any additional office or business preparation. The blueprint should include a clear communication plan to avoid a chaotic mess during the disaster too.

To create a plan that’s effective, all your business operations will need to be reviewed with potential risks clearly identified. Assign managers within the corporation to set tasks and determine ways to minimise panic as much as possible. All staff should have a disaster training session at least once a year to be aware of what to do should nature strike.

4. Know the Risks in Your Location and Weather Trends

Creating a contingency plan will help to determine what risks are apparent in your business location. Knowledge is power when it comes to providing adequate protection so check weather updates and risks prone to the area. Flood maps are on offer which shows locations and whether you’re in a high-risk, moderate-risk or low-risk area and there’s Smartphone apps to offer immediate updates and advice.

Consider the highest risks for your area – whether they be hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornados or potentially harmful lightning storms. Once you’re familiar with the risks it’s up to you as the owner to manage and keep your finger on the pulse with weather changes to act accordingly.

5. Have Backup Power with UPS

Implementing a UPS is a vital part of any organisation’s data centre. When power becomes interrupted from a natural disaster, UPS systems will offer a window of opportunity – a pocket of time – to get systems back into working order. Opt for a higher efficiency USP to really reap the rewards. Whilst it can be more expensive to fork out initially, higher efficiency UPS’s will save costs and energy in the long run and provide assurance against loosing critical data which can jeopardise the business.

Preventing the devastating effects of natural disasters is imperative. And with the right tools, business insurance and systems in place; you can put your business investment, staff and hard work in a safer position to survive.


Soil Resistivity Testing

Three purposes of soil resistivity testing

Soil resistivity is a measure of how much the soil resists the flow of electricity. The resulting soil resistivity is expressed in ohm-meter or ohm-centimeter.

Soil resistivity was conducted mainly for the following purposes:

  • Sub-survey geophysical surveys: use to identify ore locations, depth of bedrock and other geological phenomena
  • Level of Corrosion: soil resistivity has a high impact on the degree of corrosion in underground pipelines. A lower soil resistively means increase of corrosion activity. The soil corrosiveness is classified based on soil electrical resistivity by the British Standard BS-1377
  • Designing a grounding system: It is advisable to locate the area of lowest soil resistivity in order to achieve the most economical grounding installation

Conditions influencing soil resistivity

Several factors, such as soil composition, temperature, moisture content, and salts level determine soil resistivity.

  • Soil composition: soil with a high organic contents are usually good conductors in comparison with sandy soils which drain fasters because of higher moisture levels and have a higher electrolyte level
  • Moisture contents: Moisture content has the largest influence on soil resistivity. Moisture retention can be influenced by local climate conditions and electrolytic mechanisms such as mineral content, soil ionization, consistent grain size, even distribution and packing density
  • Temperature: High temperatures and drought, or temperatures below freezing and deep frosts, can cause high resistivity in soils that have much lower values in the preceding months
Soil Type Averages Min Max
Fills – Ashes, cinders, brine, wastes 2,370 590 7,000
Clay, shale, gumbo, loam 4,060 340 16,300
Clay, shale gumbo, loam with varying proportions of sand and gravel 15,800 1,020 135,000
Gravel, sand, stones with little clay or loam 94,000 59,000 458,000

Source: U.S. Bureau of Standards Technical Report 108

In Western Australia, soil type was typically dry and lacking of moisture contents resulting to a high soil resistivity. However, there are products such as Ground Enhancement Material (GEM) which dramatically reduces earth resistance and impedance measurements. It is the ideal material to use in areas of poor conductivity, such as rocky ground, mountain tops and sandy soil.

Conducting a Wenner 4-point soil resistivity test

There are two test methods, the Wenner and the Schlumberger. The Wenner method is more popular and easier to use for testing soil resistivity for a grounding electrode system. Below are the steps to conduct the test:


  1. Four test stakes are positioned in a straight line an equal distance apart and are hammered into the ground to be surveyed to a depth of not more than 1/20 the distance between the adjacent stakes
  2. An earth resistance tester is connected to these four stakes as shown in Figure 1
  3. The DC test option on the tester is then selected and performed, and the resistance figure “R” recorded
  4. The soil resistivity level “r” (in ohms/cm) is then calculated using the formula: r = 2 ρaR where:

R = the resistance figure (in ohms)

a = the separation of the test stakes, in meters

ρ =capture


A = distance between the electrodes in centimeters

B = electrode depth in centimeters

If A > 20 B, the formula becomes:

Ρ =  (with A in cm)

Ρ = 191.5 AR (with A in feet)

Ρ = Soil resistivity (ohm-cm)

This value is average resistivity of the ground at a depth equivalent to the distance “A” between two electrodes

Want more information on grounding and bonding products which suits Australian conditions? Want to learn about how our products and services can benefit you? Get in touch with our team today on (08) 9451 2199 or send us an enquiry.

Top 10 Myths About Lightning

We’ve all heard the saying ‘lightning never strikes the same place twice,’ right? This age old saying, along with other myths and old wives tales surrounding lightning, is not only misleading but could be dangerous as well. Let’s have a look at the top 10 myths about lightning and dispel those that are incorrect so you are best placed to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

1. Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Truth: This is probably the most well-known myth, and it is not true! Lightning can strike the same place twice. The Empire State Building can vouch for that – it is struck by lightning around 25 times a year – some say it’s more like 100 times a year.

2. Myth: If you touch someone who has been struck by lightning, you will get an electric shock.

Truth: This is false – the human body does not store electricity and it is perfectly safe – and essential – to give first aid to someone who has been struck by lightning.

3. Myth: You’re safe in a car because it has rubber tyres.

Truth: In fact, it’s the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, not the rubber tyres. For this reason, you are not safe in a convertible car, a farm or construction vehicle with an open cockpit, or a bicycle.

4. Myth: Jewellery attracts lightning.

Truth: Metal does not attract lightning, but it does conduct it. Don’t worry too much about your watch or smartphone in the event of a lightning storm, but do not touch or take shelter next to long metal objects such as railings, fences, or vehicles. The metal can conduct the electricity and electrocute you.

5. Myth: A train is made of metal; therefore it can conduct electricity and the passengers will be electrocuted by a lightning strike.

Truth: No need to worry – trains are extremely well grounded in the electrical sense, so a large current of electricity from lightning will usually flow through the train to the tracks and into the earth below. In addition, there are products such as rail transient barriers (RTB) and Triggered Spark Gap Surge Reduction Filters (TSG-SRF) which divert surges of high-energy to protect electrical systems and equipment.

6. Myth: If lightning strikes a train’s signal line, it could be dangerous for passengers.

Truth: Again, you are safe. Rail transient barrier products protect signalling equipment from surges and they are designed to ensure they do not pose a safety threat in the event of failure.

7. Myth: If there are no clouds, you won’t be hit by lightning.

Truth: Even if the rain clouds haven’t reached you, the lightning still can. Lightning can strike more than three miles away from the centre of the thunderstorm, so if there is lightning about, then seek shelter immediately.

8. Myth: You can shelter under a tree for protection in a storm.

Truth: Never shelter from lightning underneath a tree, no matter how wet you get from the rain. Tall, isolated objects are more likely to be struck by lightning. You can still be struck by lightning when you are beneath a tree. Also, the electricity can spread along the surface of the ground and reach you even if you are some distance away from it. You are much safer indoors.

9. Myth: You are completely safe if you are inside a house.

Truth: Being indoors is good when there is lightning, but you must also stay in an inside room, away from windows, and avoid touching anything that could conduct electricity. This includes electrical appliances, telephones with cords, plumbing, and window frames.

10. Myth: If you are caught in a lightning storm and have no way to find shelter, lie flat on the ground.

Truth: Remember that you are never safe outside in a thunderstorm. As a last resort, some say it is best to crouch on the ground rather than lie flat. Squat down as low as you can and tuck your head in – you are aiming to make yourself as low to the ground as possible and have the minimum amount of your body touching the ground.

Crucially though, remember distance from objects and proper shelter inside a house are the best things in a lightning storm.

Copper Ground Rods

When it comes to choosing ground rods for an effective grounding system, you should know your facts and their application.

For a grounding system to operate effectively it is dependent on the ground rods. It is important that when you choose which ground rod to use, you consider many factors including their quality, resistance to corrosion, serviceable life and material costs. So, the decision should be based on these factors to make sure that the lightning protection systems and surge protection devices that rely on these aspects perform efficiently.

The condition of the ground where the ground rods are going to be driven into should also be taken into consideration in order to maximise the life and value of the grounding system.

Ground rods

There are different types of ground rods in use including copper-bonded, galvanized steel and stainless steel rods depending on the specific requirements.

The most commonly used ground rods are copper-bonded and galvanized steel rods. They both have a carbon steel core. The difference between these two rods is mainly due to their costs, service life (resistance to corrosion) and the materials used for / thickness of coating. ERICO’s copper-bonded rods are electrolytic coated with copper over a layer of nickel. Therefore they are known for better conductivity and high resistance to corrosion. Galvanized steel rods are coated with zinc which is prone to corrosion.

According to a study conducted by the National Electrical Grounding Research Project (NEGRP), the results showed that galvanized rods which were excavated after 8 to 12 years were a lot more corroded than copper-bonded rods. (As shown in the following photos).

Use of stainless steel rods are generally limited since they are very expensive compared to the rest by a large amount.  galvanized-ground-rods ground-rods

ground-rods_2Costs vs Benefits

Stainless steel is the most expensive one of all rods while copper-bonded are the least expensive. Stainless steel rods have the highest service life expectancy by a margin of 5 years compared to the copper-bonded rods whereas the margin of cost is much larger.

Copper-bonded rods have a longer serviceable life and a lower annual cost than galvanized rods.  Galvanized rods have a lower purchase price. But they can be more expensive than copper-bonded rods in the long term and their service life expectancy is also the shortest of all in comparison.  So, copper-bonded rods provide better value with longer service life.

Galvanized rods can be more beneficial in short term structures’ grounding systems that are stable.

But in certain cases, the ground rods to be used depend on their application and where they are going to be installed. This is because certain types of soils (highly corrosive soil) and land fill areas may not be well-suited with copper. Or in some cases where structures might be near an array of ground electrodes, stainless steel might be the best option. In these cases, we may have to go for the stainless steel rods but due to their high costs generally they are not widely used.

A technical report prepared by Chris Rempe (ERICO’s Grounding Products Manager) recommends that “galvanized ground rods are better suited for short-term, non-critical installations. For the majority of installations, copper-bonded and stainless steel rods provide better protection for people and equipment due to their longer service life.” (Rempe 2003).

Another report by Chris Rempe comparing copper and galvanized ground rods also suggests the same.

So, overall copper-bonded rods are more cost effective than galvanized rods and stainless steel rods also considering their longer serviceable life expectancy. (As shown in the graphs below).

ground-rod-annual-cost ground-rod-life-expectancy

Types of Ground Rods Costs Comparison Serviceable Life Expectancy Advantages Disadvantages Applications
ERICO’s Copper-bonded Higher purchase price than galvanized steel rods but less expensive than galvanized steel rods in the long term Lower service life expectancy in comparison to the stainless steel rods but only by 5 years Resistance to corrosion,Withstands repeated faults and surge currentLong service life Suitable for most driving / deep driving applications
Galvanized Steel Low purchase price, but more expensive than copper-bonded rods in the long term Lowest service life expectancy Lower initial cost /purchase price Vulnerable to corrosionShort service life Suitable for or non-critical, temporary,  short-term structures which may require shorter service life
Stainless Steel Most expensive of all Highest service life expectancy Longest service life High cost Better alternative for certain soils and land fill areas which are not compatible with copper


ERICO’s copper-bonded rods vs Inferior copper-cladded rods

ERICO’s copper-bonded ground rods have an electrolytic coating of copper over them. So, the molecular bond between the steel core and the copper coating is much stronger. Inferior rods are copper cladded which means they are just simply covered with a thin sheet of copper coating.

Under a certain pressure load, ERICO’s copper bonded rods will start to bend but they will not crack and the copper coating will not tear or slip when driven. Copper-cladded inferior rods can easily crack and crease to the outer cover while bending subjected to the same pressure load. This will damage the copper cladding when driven into the soil meaning it can put the whole grounding system at risk and considerably further decrease its serviceable life expectancy.

A document prepared by ERICO about maximising grounding system is available for you to read through this link:

If you have any more queries on ground rods or need assistance in choosing the right ground rods for your use, please contact us on (08)9451 2199.

If you need more information on the different ground rods available, please go to the Ground Rods (or Earth Rods) page on our website.

New developments in ERICO Surge Protection

TSF – Surge filters with replaceable surge modules.

The ERICO CRITEC Transient Surge Filter (TSF) product family is a UL registered, IEC compliant, compact, serviceable solution for protection of PLC controllers, SCADA systems, motor control centers and other process control systems.


  • Compact, space saving design
  • Replaceable surge module reduces down time and unprotected time during maintenance
  • Compliance to the latest UL 1449 Edition 4 and IEC 61643-11 surge standards and UL 1283 Electromagnetic Interference Filters (EMI) standard
  • Low let-through voltages on the critical line to neutral mode
  • Transient Discriminating (TD) Technology provides increased service life

tsfinstalled-1 tsfdinrail-1 tsf-1

SES40P – Surge protection in a waterproof enclosure

The ERICO SES40P Series of Surge Protective Devices (SPD) provide economical protection against damaging transients and surge events. These Type 1 devices are UL® Listed to UL 1449 Edition 4 and cUL® Listed to CAN/CSA C233.1. This allows installations on the line or load side (Type 1 or Type 2) of the service panel in accordance with the NEC® 2014 or CAN/CSA C233.1 without the requirement for additional circuit breakers or fuses.

Primary applications are service entrance, branch, commercial, industrial, and residential. Other applications include OEM panels, solar combiner boxes, UL 96A lightning protection installations and light pole applications. The housing is constructed of UV-stabilized thermoplastic and meets the UL 50 Type 4x rating (IP 65 rated), making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications. All of the models have a 20kA nominal discharge current rating, the highest level recognized under the UL 1449 Edition 4 standard.


  • Compact design can be directly mounted to panel or installed in a small space
  • Front-facing design eases installation and performance monitoring
  • 40 kA 8/20 μs maximum surge rating per mode
  • UL 50 Type 4X (IP 65 rated)
  • Optional Flush Mounting Plate

ses40p-1 ses40pinstalled-1

Six Steps for Coordinated Lightning Protection

Cloud to Ground Lightning can happen anywhere at any time. It is important to note that lighting does not need to directly strike a power line for such damage to occur; a strike several hundred meters away can induce large damaging transients, even to underground cable. Recently, Google says data has been wiped from discs at one of its data centres in Belgium – after the local power grid was struck by lightning four times.

Cost from inadequate lighting protection system can range for degradation of electrical or electronic systems to data loss, equipment destruction or injury. Some of these costs can appear relatively minor but the loss of an essential service or revenues associated with a facility or plant shut down can be enormous.

So, what can be done to minimize the damage cause by lightning strike? Below is the six point plan of lightning protection:

Step 1: Capture the lightning strike

Capture the lighting strike to a known and preferred attachment point using a purpose-designed air terminal system

Step 2: Convey this energy to ground

Conduct the energy to the ground via a purpose-designed down conductor

Step 3: Dissipate the energy into the grounding system

Dissipate the energy into a low impedance grounding system

Step 4: Bond all ground points together

Bond all ground points to eliminate ground loops and create an equipotential plane

Step 5: Protect incoming AC power feeders

Protect equipment from surges and transients on incoming power lines to prevent equipment damage and costly operational downtime

Step 6: Protect low voltage data/telecommunication circuits

Protect equipment from surges and transients on incoming telecommunications and signal lines to prevent equipment damage and costly operational downtime

Coordinated Lightning Protection

As a guide, the cost of protection should be approximately 10% of the cost of facility’s economic risk. Modern industry which highly reliant on electronic equipment and automation as well as data centres requires more lightning protection than most other buildings.

See how WAPP can assist you in designing and implementing coordinated lightning protection.

Climate change will make lightning strike more

A US study in 2014 forecasts that global warming will significantly increase the frequency of lightning strikes. “For every two lightning strikes in 2000, there will be three lightning strikes in 2100,” said David Romps, at the University of California, Berkeley.


By now, the consensus is that Climate Change is accepted to be real. If that is true, then this study should make everyone pay attention even more.

The study shows a new method of working out the relationship between temperature and lightning storms, by estimating the heat energy available to “fuel” storm clouds.

“As the planet warms, there will be more of this fuel around, so when thunderstorms get triggered, they will be more energetic,” said Prof Romps. It is calculated that every 1 degree Celsius rise in global temperature would lead to an increase in the frequency of lightning strikes by 12%.

If the study is accurate, it certainly is alarming and it makes it even more critical to protect your assets as lightning strikes increase in number and intensity due to climate change.

Close to home in very recent times, we have seen the devastating effects on nature as well as man-made structures which supports the study:
1) Supercell thunderstorm threatens to batter Queensland/Eastern States
2) Yarloop fire was sparked by lightning
3)  WA homes struck by lightning 

The cost of installing an effective Lightning Protection System with quality and tested products is very small relative to the cost of potential damage without one for businesses, or even homes.

See how WAPP can assist you to protect your asset effectively.

Surge Protection: Everything You Need to Know to Protect your Business

You’ve probably heard it all before when it comes to power surges. They’re highly dangerous to you and all your valuable electronic devices in your business. You need to protect yourself to ensure no damage occurs to your equipment.

While you probably know the basics, there’s much more to power surges than you might realise. Have a look at our guide to learn all about power surges (including how they work and how to best protect your place of work). You’ll definitely be glad you get protected should your business ever experience any type of voltage transient.

The Basics of Power Surges

To put it simply, power surges are the sudden occurrence of voltage transients – rapid changes or spikes in voltage within your buildings power. These types of changes in power can have serious effects on the wiring in your property – all the way up to the electronic devices themselves. Even worse, an incident like a lightning strike could lead to an electrocution if you, or a staff member, is touching something which is connected to the power!

Power surges can come from a variety of sources:

Problems with the buildings wiring: If your wiring isn’t up-to-par, you may have issues that could cause power surges to specific outlets. Be careful in these scenarios – issues within your wiring could quickly become a highly dangerous fire hazard.

Lightning Storms: One of the more common sources of surges, a lightning strike can cause a dangerous spike in electricity. If a strike hits a building and makes contact with wiring or other sources of electricity, you could face both an electrocution and a fire hazard if you’re unprotected.

Equipment Protector Options

Fortunately, there are all sorts of devices designed to prevent voltage transients in your electronics. A few of the most popular include the following:

Surge Protectors

TDS350 - TDS Surge DiverterSurge protectors are typically what we all see as power strips. They’re grounded plugs that allow you to connect multiple electronic devices. And they’re built to better withstand sudden voltage transients to keep all the devices plugged into them protected.

Remember, not all power strips and protectors are created equal. There’s a reason why the prices can range from a few dollars to several hundred (or more) for protection. Generally you’ll want to look for the following characteristics when choosing the right power strip for your business:

Check Warranty Information: Many protectors will offer you a significant financial guarantee for equipment plugged into them. In most cases, better electronics protection will offer you a higher financial warranty (and usually a higher buying price).

Lifespan: The protection offered by these installations is not permanent, so make sure that your choice offers an indicator as to when you lose protection. In most cases, an indicator light will alert you as to when you’re protected or unprotected.

Surge Arrestors

Surge arrestors work similarly to surge protectors – they put a stop to the transmission of voltage spikes. Arrestors are typically used for more major installations, businesses and other purposes.

You may need an arrestor if your business uses lots of expensive electronic equipment.

Surge Diverters

DINLINE Surge DiverterSurge diverters do exactly what the claim: they divert excess voltages from spikes back to earth and away from your electronics. These are typically installed on a primary switchboard to provide protection to your place of work.

While these devices may not offer full protection against something like lightning, they’ll give a good amount of general protection for everything you have plugged in. It’s generally recommended to still use surge protectors even with a diverter installed.

Keep You & Your Electronics Safe

As you can see, the dangers and risks associated with lightning and other electrical problems can prove very serious for your business. Even installing a few safety precautions could mitigate this risk from major financial loss to a simple tripped switch on your circuit breaker.

Take the time to ensure that your equipment is protected. That way, you won’t have to worry even when a lightning storm passes through your area.


CADWELD – Product Information



Connections are the weak point of all electrical circuits especially earthing circuits subjected to aging and corrosion. The capacity of an earthing circuit to protect personnel safety depends on the quality of the connections made.

WAPP is proud to recommend ERICO CADWELD, a revolutionary system that simplifies the process for exothermically welded connections. ERICO is the recognized leader in grounding and bonding and its CADWELD system consistently performs the best in independent IEE 837 tests.


CADWELD – Technical Advantages

  • ERICO CADWELD exothermically welded connections are engineered to create a permanent bond that withstands repeated fault currents and will not loosen, deteriorate or increase in resistance. The connections are designed to maintain for the life of the conductor and/or installation
  • It also has a high current – carrying capacity equal to that of the conductor. The melting temperature of CADWELD connection is higher than the melting temperature of copper (1082°C). For this reason, in the event of abnormal heating due to a high fault current, the conductor is destroyed before the connection
  • Very reliable as molecular bond eliminates the concept of surface contact, and electrolyte cannot penetrate between the conductors and cause oxidation and deterioration in the course of time. This is especially important when CADWELD application is on humid or chemical environments or for bonds directly buried in the ground
  • Easy to use – four simple steps to permanently welded electrical connections. All you need is a CADWELD mould and a CADWELD control unit
  • Once completed, installers can clearly ensure quality assurance by visual inspection of the new connection
  • Consistently performs the best in independent IEE 837 2014 EMF test

CADWELD – The Molecular Bond

  • The CADWELD process can create permanent bond between copper/copper, copper/galvanized or plain steel, copper/copper clad steel, copper/bronze/brass/stainless steel, steel/steel, molecular bonds with no external or heat source
  • The shape of the mould, its dimension, and the size of the welding material, are all dependent on the items to be welded

WAPP offers CADWELD training to ensure that they are used correctly, safely and effectively. For more information about CADWELD, please do not hesitate to send us an email at or call us on (08) 9451 2199.

WAPP is hiring

WAPP is seeking a highly motivated Business Development Manager. We are hungry to grow the business with new products, services and new markets, hence there will be a huge opportunity to contribute with a big impact.

You will need to have a strong background in sales development coupled with strong technical skills in the electrical sector to undertake this role effectively.

Full training will be provided. Remuneration will be commensurate with experience and will include a car allowance.

** Please send us your CV by 24th October 2015 **

For more information, please go to SEEK

ERICO Rail special guest trainer


We were privileged to have John Henry, ERICO Regional Rail Manager from Sydney (2nd from right) conduct the CADWELD training last week. John has over 25 years of ERICO rail experience behind him.

Among the attendees were senior signalling personnel from Brookfield Rail who has been a long-time customer of West Australian Power Protection (WAPP). Brookfield Rail is the manager and operator of West Australia’s 5,500 kilometre open access, multi-user rail freight network extending throughout the southern half of WA. With managing such critical infrastructure, Brookfield Rail can only rely on top quality products and a very reliable supplier which is why WAPP is proud to be supporting Brookfield Rail.

Insights and knowledge that John was able to share from his wealth of experience with the participants were invaluable.

CADWELD rail training

We had another full house for our quarterly CADWELD training. This time, we welcomed staff from ANSALDO who are the rail specialists on the major mining projects in WA, namely Rio Tinto and Roy Hill.

Various moulds, handle clamps and CADWELD connections were demonstrated and practised on. As the participants were from the rail industry, we simulated the CADWELD rail bonding welds on a piece of rail. This enabled participants to apply it to a real-life situation.

CADWELD Rail Bonding

Safety and basic procedures for CADWELDING

CADWELD Rail grinding

Cleaning the rail surface for a good weld

Bonding Stud Connections with CADWELD

Bonding Stud Connections with CADWELD

Once again, the participants were impressed by the ease and effectiveness of CADWELD. There are a number of good ERICO CADWELD videos that you can view on YouTube. For future WAPP Training, please click here.


Unseasonal lightning storms in Perth wreaking havoc

Perth has been experiencing unseasonal lightning thunderstorms this past week. When I first checked the weather forecast last week, it showed an entire week of “Possible Thunderstorms”. I thought to myself, either the weather bureau is going to be rather inaccurate, or we are in fact going to get some wild weather. The latter was true.  There has been some spectacular photos captured (courtesy of the West Australian).

Lightning_WA_Jan15c    Lightning_WA_Jan15b Lightning_WA_Jan15a    Lightning_WA_Jan15d

Unfortunately, the lightning we have been experiencing has also caused widespread destruction, notably sparking a damaging bushfire in Northcliffe, South of Perth (for more information: bushfire-threatens-was-Northcliffe).

Four people have also been struck in the past week, although fortunately, no serious injuries were reported (lightning-strikes-four-in-perth-storm). However, just this morning, unfortunately, tragedy struck in a local shopping mall where 2 people were killed and 2 others were seriously injured reportedly from a transformer explosion thought to be caused by a lightning strike (explosion-near-morley-galleria).

Trains and power to homes were also affected throughout Perth. This goes to show how severe lightning thunderstorms can be, and if no proper lightning protection systems are in place, it could be devastating. For some safety tips on severe thunderstorms and lightning protection, please refer to Stay safe.

Key events for Engineering professionals in November

This November will see 2 key events which alternates between the East and West Coasts coincide in Perth. The DTEC (Down To Earth Conference) starts the month off and will provide an invaluable opportunity for earthing engineers to catch up with industry developments in the area of design, installation and commissioning. It also provides an opportunity to network with colleagues in the same field and equipment suppliers who provide the tools needed to realise a design. For more information, visit their website at

Following this, Ausrail will return to Perth, where industry leaders, rail manufacturers and operators from the Australasian region and beyond, will meet and discuss the latest industry development, and enjoy the invaluable networking opportunities that the two-day conference and exhibition provides. More information can be found on their website at

WAPP and ERICO representatives will be attending both events and hope to see you there.