What Do You Need To Know About Aireld Lightning Protection FIGURE  FIGURE  Lightning Overview Satellite data tells us that there are around  million lightning ashes per day throughout the world or ab
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What Do You Need To Know About Aireld Lightning Protection FIGURE FIGURE Lightning Overview Satellite data tells us that there are around million lightning ashes per day throughout the world or ab

Most of those discharges are cloudtocloud but about 30 end up as the cloudtoground discharge that we are most familiar with There are a number of websites that describe the atmospheric electrical discharge that we know of as lightning but the averag

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What Do You Need To Know About Aireld Lightning Protection FIGURE FIGURE Lightning Overview Satellite data tells us that there are around million lightning ashes per day throughout the world or ab




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Presentation on theme: "What Do You Need To Know About Aireld Lightning Protection FIGURE FIGURE Lightning Overview Satellite data tells us that there are around million lightning ashes per day throughout the world or ab"— Presentation transcript:


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What Do You Need To Know About Airfield Lightning Protection? FIGURE 2 FIGURE 1 Lightning Overview Satellite data tells us that there are around 3 million lightning flashes per day throughout the world, or about 30 flashes per second on average. Most of those discharges are cloud-to-cloud, but about 30% end up as the cloud-to-ground discharge that we are most familiar with. There are a number of websites that describe the atmospheric electrical discharge that we know of as lightning, but the average bolt carries 30 to 40 kilo amperes (kA) of current, at

millions of volts. Current can exceed 120 kA, and reach temperatures of 20,000 ˚C (36,000 ˚F), with a stroke lasting around 30 microseconds. In airfield applications, we are also very concerned with how far that current will travel in soil once a lightning bolt contacts the earth. The current will begin to dissipate as it travels from the contact point at a rate that varies depending on the soil conditions, but current can still radiate out 1-3 km (approx. 1 mile) from the strike. Some parts of the world are more prone to lightning than other parts. Figure 1 shows a map

provided by the NASA MSFC Lightning Image Sensor (LIS) Science Team from their satellite data for North and Central America. It shows that for North America, Florida has by far the highest density of lightning strikes, along with various Caribbean islands. A similar map for worldwide lightning density is shown in Figure 2, utilizing data collected by NASA satellites from April 1995 through February 2003. This map includes cloud-to-cloud activity, but still gives an impressive representation of lightning activity. It indicates that Central African countries generate the highest density of

lightning strikes in the world. ADB Airfield Solutions page 1 of 4 Airfield Lightning Protection By John Chapman ADB Airfield Solutions
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Airfield Lightning Protection Airfield Lightning Protection Specifications Most FAA Advisory Circulars dealing with airfield lighting equipment specify that the equipment must be protected against a lightning surge of anywhere between 3,000 and 20,000 Amps for a duration of 8/20 microseconds. This rating would indicate a 3-20 kA pulse rising to 90% of its peak amplitude in 8 microseconds, and decaying

to 50% of that value within 20 microseconds. FAA Engineering Brief 67 further states in par. 2.11 that an LED fixture shall be designed to withstand and/or include separate surge protection devices which have been tested against defined waveforms detailed in Table 4, Location Category C1 of ANSI/IEEE C62.41-1991 Recommended Practice on Surge Voltages in Low Power AC Power Circuits, namely 3,000 Amps, 8/20 microsecond – short circuit pulse and 6,000 Volt, 1.2/50 microsecond – open circuit voltage pulse. Category C1 is defined as Low Exposure–Systems in geographical areas known

for low lightning activity, with little load or capacitor switching activity. Because LED fixtures are in an exposed area on the airfield, and may be in a high lightning area, we believe that Category C2 is a more appropriate standard. Category C2 is defined as Medium Exposure–Systems in geographical areas known for medium to high lightning activity or with significant switching transients. Category C2 is 5,000 Amps, 8/20 microsecond - short circuit current pulse and 10,000 Volt, 1.2/50 micro second - open circuit voltage pulse. We have designed and internally tested

our LED fixtures to this higher standard. The latest version of IEEE C62.412002 no longer breaks down Category C into three groups (C1, C2 and C3), but defines Category C as either high exposure risk (high probability of strikes) and low exposure risk. These categories would define that devices be protected for a surge of: Note that these surge specifications are not designed to sustain a direct lightning hit, but are designed to protect against surges through the earth and other conductors, including arcing from other circuits. Counterpoise Lightning Protection System

FAA AC 150/5340-30 Design and Installation Details for Airport Visual Aids section 12.5 describes the use of a counterpoise or lightning protection system to provide a path of low resistance for the energy of a lightning strike to safely dissipate without causing damage to airfield equipment or injury to personnel. Note that the counterpoise is a separate system, and is not to be confused with an equipment safety ground that provides protection from electric shock hazards. The purpose of a safety ground is to protect personnel from possible contact with an energized light base or

mounting stake that may result from a shorted power cable or a primary to secondary short in the isolation transformer. Figure 3 is the section of Figure 116 in AC 150/5340-30 dealing with the counterpoise along the edge of the pavement. The counterpoise conductor is a bare #6 AWG solid copper wire connected to ground rods spaced a maximum of 500 feet (152m) apart. When the cable or conduit run is adjacent to pavement, such as along runway or taxiway edges, the counterpoise is installed 8 inches (203 cm) below grade and located half the distance from the edge of the payment to the cable or

conduit run. Note that the counterpoise is not connected to the base or mounting stake of any elevated fixture. Figure 4 is the section of Figure 116 in AC 150/5340-30 dealing with the counterpoise installations associated with in-pavement lighting. When cables or conduit runs are not adjacent to pavements, the counterpoise is installed 4 inches (102 cm) minimum above cable or conduit. Counterpoise connections are made to the exterior ground GROUND ROD COUNTERPOISE GROUNDED EVERY 500 POWER CABLE POWER CABLE AND COUNTERPOISE LOCATED IN THE SAME TRENCH (COUNTERPOISE ON TOP) UNDER RUNWAY

EACH EDGE BASE CAN CONNECTED TO GROUND ROD RUNWAY EDGE LIGHT BASE COUNTERPOISE BONDED TO THE BASE CAN (DAISY CHAINED) COUNTERPOISE RUNWAY CENTERLINE LIGHTS POWER CABLE RUNWAY C EACH RCL BASE CAN CONNECTED TO GROUND ROD FIGURE 4 CONTERPOISE GUIDANCE (UNDER PAVEMENT) RUNWAY CENTERLINE LIGHTS COUNTERPOISE POWER CABLE COUNTERPOISE GROUNDED EVERY 500 EACH RCL BASE CAN CONNECTED TO GROUND ROD RUNWAY C GROUND ROD RUNWAY EDGE LIGHT BASE COUNTERPOISE GROUNDED EVERY 500 2’ TO 10 COUNTERPOISE POWER CABLE EACH EDGE BASE CAN CONNECTED TO GROUND ROD 12” MINIMUM NOTE: PROVIDE THE SECOND TRENCH FOR THE

COUNTERPOISE, ROUTE THE COUNTERPOISE AROUND THE CAN A MINIMUM OF 12” TOWARDS THE RUNWAY PAVEMENT, TYPICALLY, ANY LIGHTING STRIKE WILL HIT THE CROWN OF THE PAVEMENT FIRST AND MIGRATE ACROSS THE PAVEMENT TOWARDS THE COUNTERPOISE. FIGURE 3 CONTERPOISE GUIDANCE (BETWEEN POWER CABLE AND EDGE OF PAVEMENT) EXPOSURE LEVEL LOW HIGH kV 1.2/50 s pulse 10 kA 8/20 s pulse 10 ADB Airfield Solutions page 2 of 4
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lug on in-pavement light fixtures. When non-metallic light bases are used, the counterpoise is not connected to the base and must be routed around it. The

intent of the counterpoise system is to intercept lightning strikes and dissipate lightning current in the ground without arcing to the airfield lighting system. There is continued debate within the industry on grounding of the counterpoise to the light fixtures, but data to support arguments either way is lacking at this time. See the Advisory Circular for specific recommendations on implementing a counterpoise lightning protection system. Protection from Lightning There are a number of electrical components that can be used to help provide electrical surge or lightning

protection, such as avalanche diodes or gas discharge tubes, but the primary protection device in use is the Metal Oxide Varistor, or MOV. The MOV represents the best compromise of response time to multiple surges, if applied properly. The MOV contains zinc oxide particles placed between two metal plates, with one plate usually attached to earth ground. The varistor has a sharp breakdown characteristic that enables it to provide surge suppression. When presented with a voltage transient, the impedance of the MOV changes from a near open circuit to a highly conductive level, clamping the

transient voltage to a safe level. The destructive force of the transient pulse is absorbed by the varistor, protecting the circuit from further damage. MOVs are rated by the voltage at which they become conductive (clamping voltage) and the amount of current they are able to handle. Use of MOVs in Airfield Lighting MOVs are the surge/lightning protection device of choice for airfield lighting applications. They guard incoming power to vault and field equipment, control wiring, series circuit outputs, and the electronics of any lighting equipment powered by a series circuit.

The key to any lightning protection of airfield equipment lies with proper earth grounding. Good grounding practices include total connectivity to assure a common potential for all equipment. It is critical that the manufacturers grounding recommendations be implemented, both to help dissipate lightning surges and to allow the protection devices a proper grounding path to operate against. MOV Failure MOVs have a large, but limited, capacity to absorb energy, and are subject to failure. The most common failure modes include: electrical puncture, thermal cracking, and thermal

runaway, all usually the result from non-uniform heating. Initial failure modes for an MOV include: short circuit, open circuit, or high resistance. A short circuit failure is caused by a large fault current fusing the zinc oxide material, usually resulting in a visible puncture outside the device. The MOV can also fail as an open circuit between the two plates. The good news with this failure is that it does not affect the operation of the electrical circuit. The bad news is that due to the nature of the failure, there is no indication that the MOV is no longer able to provide any surge

protection. This is the most common failure mode, but the most difficult to detect. The varistor can also begin to fail acting more as a resistor. The device will then begin to overheat, causing it to fail. Larger MOVs can actually become a fire hazard at this point. Degradation of MOVs MOVs experience degradation due to one or more surge impulses outside of their rated specifications: voltage, current, and length of the surge. This produces excess heat stress on the device, affecting the zinc oxide composition. This stress may not be enough to cause the MOV to fail, but will

result in degraded operation with the clamping voltage rising higher and higher until it will no longer conduct current in an overload. Identifying MOV Failure An MOV that has failed as a short circuit can usually be identified easily by placing an ohmmeter across the device, reading a very low resistance. As this will normally place a direct short to ground, the failure will be associated with unexplained fuse failures on the device. An open MOV failure can usually be tested only with specialized equipment designed to verify the clamping voltage at which the zinc oxide material becomes

conductive. For this reason, we recommend that larger MOVs, such as those found in CCRs, be replaced on a routine schedule, or after a nearby direct lightning strike. A visual inspection of all MOVs should be made on a yearly basis, looking for blackened material, punctures, or signs of excess heat generated. ADB Airfield Solutions page 3 of 4
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Series Circuit Field Lightning Arrestor To help reduce the susceptibility of airfield series circuits to lightning surges ADB has developed the Field Lightning Arrestor, which is designed to be inserted into the

airfield series circuit at 2,000 foot (600 meter) intervals. When properly grounded, the Field Lightning Arrestor will pro vide protection of 25,000 Amps (8/20 s waveform). It is designed to operate on both 6.6 and 20 Amp circuits with any size regulator. This article is designed to give a basic understanding of lightning protection of airfield lighting equipment. I have listed some additional references below that may provide more information. Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions. Author Profile: John Chapman is Product Manager for

Control and Power Solutions. Although he has only worked in airfield lighting for several years, he has more than 25 years of automation and control experience in various process industries. REFERENCES: [1] http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov (National Weather Service Lightning Safety web site) [2] http://thunder.mfsc.nasa.gov (Global Hydrology and Climate Center) [3] http://www.lightningsafety.com (National Lightning Safety Institute) [4] FAA STD-019e Lightning and Surge Protection, Grounding, Bonding and Shielding Requirements for Facilities and Electronic Equipment

(http://www.faa.gov) [5] IEEE C62.41 - IEEE Recommended Practice on Surge Voltages in Low-Voltage AC Power Circuits [6] FAA AC 150/5340-30 Design and Installation Details For Airport Visual Aids (http://www.faa.gov) [7] FAA Engineering Brief 67 – Light Sources Other Than Incandescent and Xenon for Airport and Obstruction Lighting Fixtures (http://www.faa.gov) [8] Rakov and Uman, Engineering Analysis of airfield Lighting System Lightning Protection (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida) January, 2006 ADB Airfield Solutions, LLC 977 Gahanna Parkway

Columbus, OH 43230 USA Tel: +1 (614) 861-1304 +1 (800) 545-4157 Fax: +1 (614) 864-2069 ADB Airfield Solutions, Ltd. 5500 North Service Road, Suite 1108 Burlington, Ontario L7L 6W6 Canada Tel: +1 (905) 331-6887 Fax: +1 (905) 331-9389 adb-sales.us@adb-air.com www.adb-airfieldsolutions.com ADB Airfield Solutions page 4 of 4 Airfield Lightning Protection