The various types of LPS
- External lightning protection systems (external LPS)
The lightning conductor or rod is the best known external lightning protection system. However, there are other solutions for protecting a site or building from the direct effects of lightning strike (primary protection). For example, the structure of metal industrial buildings can be used to capture and convey the electric current to the ground (Faraday cage or meshed shield). This technique presents the advantage of significantly reducing the electromagnetic effects of lightning strikes.
- Internal lightning protection systems (internal LPS)
The installation of lightning conductors on equipment inside buildings is the second level of protection against the effects of lightning (secondary protection). Lightning conductors are installed upstream from sensitive systems at an industrial site: electrical panels and circuitry, IT equipment, anti-intrusion systems, fail-safe controllers, etc. They can be equipped with contacts and interlocked with supervision systems or connected apparatus.
- Thunderstorm detectors
Lightning risk prevention also involves the installation of thunderstorm detectors at the sites to be protected. They contribute to decision-making and provide advance warning about whether to evacuate people from a site or surrounding area. External thunderstorm detector systems can be linked to an internal alarm (siren, colour-coded warning lights, etc.). By interlocking this system to the customer’s industrial process, the latter can be automatically shut down when a pre-set criticality threshold is reached.