Lightning protection system for generating station



This article establishes guidelines for designing a lightning protection system to minimise the risk of injury to people and damage to property at a generating station. Since lightning is a natural phenomenon, total elimination of risk is not possible but the mitigation of risk is achievable.



Some definitions pertaining to lightning

LPC: Lightning Protection Code, NFPA-78.

Protected structure: A building or structure that has been provided with a lightning protection system or that, by its construction and grounding, is self-protecting.

Station ground: The generating station, station ground system.

Catenary lightning protection system: A lightning protection system consisting of one or more overhead ground wires.

Sideflash: An electrical spark, caused by differences of potential, that occurs between conductive metal bodies or between conductive metal bodies and a component of a lightning protection system or ground

Lightning flash to earth. Electrical discharge of atmospheric origin between cloud and earth consisting of one or more strokes.


Take note

  • You cannot eliminate the risk associated with lightning.
  • The risk of damage or injury, due to lightning, can be managed.
  • Various standards and guidelines exist and these must be studied carefully in order to make the best design decisions


Published as:

Designing a lightning protection system for a generating station

By O Bekker, Fluor

Electricity+Control, September 2012 (pgs 22 – 30)