Lightning events are on a rise and are predicted to strike with more frequency, more often and more forcefully all over the world.
Offshore drilling companies are not immune to the potentially devastating effects. As a common misconception, offshore rigs are thought to be grounded to the ocean, therefore not in danger from lightning. Even though lightning is less likely to strike over the open and deep water, the risk affecting a rig or platform is still great – and growing.
However, the truth is that the environment and even the design of the facility itself may lead to a compromise in bonding with rust and oil deposits that impede the energy’s path to ground. This leaves the advanced electrical and electronic systems and personnel susceptible to severe damage from direct strikes and from the dangerous secondary surge effects from lightning.
Due to increased instances of bad weather, many companies are turning to Lightning Eliminators & Consultants (LEC) for the solution.
Attracting lightning is not ideal for facilities that have flammables and other sensitive materials, were using an attractor carries the risk of ignition or damage to electronic systems. Fortunately, there is an alternative – Lightning Eliminator’s dissipation array system (DAS), working on charge transfer technology to prevent direct lightning strikes within the protected area.
The DAS system is usually installed on the top of a structure to be protected. This technology is based on producing positive space charges in the region around the DAS which reduces near-surface, electric field strength to levels below which lightning streamer formation is likely. With no streamer formation, the likelihood of a lightning strike is eliminated.
Brown Ferry Nuclear Plant’s historical strike data (with traditional lightning protection system in place) showed that lightning was repeatedly striking the off-gas stack and equipment on the stack and around its base was routinely damaged.
Post DAS installation, the data for the strike showed that although lightning frequency increased nearly 65% around the stack, in the three years after DAS implementation an 80% reduction in lightning strikes was realized within the protected area.
Protecting a vessel from lightning strikes also protects the systems that would otherwise have lost a considerable part of their life span. With the uncertainty of the world economy, many companies like Transocean, Chevron, Texaco, and ExxonMobil look to LEC for its cost-effective lightning protection as a way to extend the lives of older vessels and become more risk averse with new constructions.
Lightning Eliminators & Consultants, Inc. (LEC) serves its clients by installing and maintaining lightning protection systems (LPS), and prevention solutions. Equipped with over four decades of experience, LEC has provided successful support to over 90 countries and throughout the United States.