How a Lightning
Protection System Works
Lightning Rods DO NOT attract
lightning, but . . . if lightning is going to hit your house, it will hit the Rods.
HOW IT WORKS
||A lightning strike consists of opposite charges of
electrical energy. A negative charge or build-up occurs in the bottom part of the cloud
closest to earth and a positive charge of energy occurs directly underneath in the ground.
Separating these two opposite charges is the non-conducting dry air belt separating cloud
and earth. As the two opposite charges continue to build up and the dry air belt becomes
moist, lightning starts dovn toward earth in 150 foot jagged steps or intervals. The
positive ground charge is attracted upward, utilizing the lightning protection system on
the building as an outlet.
||As the negative leader stroke from the cloud
continues toward earth, the positive ground charge travels up through the Lightning Rod
System and when the negative leader stroke is about 150 feet above the top of the
protected building, the positive ground charge starts upward to meet and neutralize the
downward leader stroke.
||In Figure 3, the two opposite charges are
neutralized emptying the negative charges from the cloud and dissapating the ground
charge. This all occurs in about one five thousandths of a second.
||In Figure 4, the discharge has been completed
and the negative cloud charge and the positive ground charge becomes zero.
Note: If the residence had not been equipped with a
lightning protection system, the positive ground charge would have accumulated under or
within the house. The negative cloud charge would not have been neutralized 150 feet above
the residence and would have entered the building, causing possible fire, destruction,
side flashes within the building or even injury or death.