Tag Archives: Lightning protection

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


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 ray.loh@wapp.com.au 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.


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 wapp1@wapp.com.au 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.

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 wapp1@wapp.com.au for a FREE no obligation consultation and quote.

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 wapp1@wapp.com.au