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United Kingdom : Ramboll to present research findings on lightning protection at upcoming conference.

The phenomenon of lightning is not new to mankind; in fact it is likely that it was present on earth long before life evolved on our planet about three billion years ago. Lightning is now known to occur on average 44 ( 5) times a second over the entire Earth, making a total of about 1.4 billion flashes per year. New research has found global warming and climate change could result in 50% more lightning strikes by the end of the century.

The International Conference of Lightning Protection (ICLP) offers a platform for the exchange of scientific and technical information related to all topics of lightning phenomena and the study of lightning physics, including; characterization, protection of buildings, electric power systems, telecommunication and electronic systems, as well as methods for improving protection of people, animals and property against the effects of lightning.

Ramboll and Strathclyde University recently completed research that aimed to provide an outline of the lightning protection system strategy for the protection of life, livestock, sensitive equipment and property in open areas. The research paper, titled 'Lightning protection of a temporary structure in an open area', was submitted to the ICLP Scientific Committee this year. The paper was approved and chosen to be presented at the 33rd annual ICLP, September 25-30, Estoril, Portugal.

A number of fatalities due to lightning are reported every year globally which include fire, casualty, and loss of life and property. The common loss or casualties due to lightning occur in outdoor environments or temporary structures, whereas the fatalities seldom occur in permanent structures in urban areas. From 2008 to 2012, there was an average of 9,000 wildfires started by lightning in the USA only and these fires burned an average of 402 acres. And very recently on the 26th August 2016, 323 reindeers were reported killed by a single lightning stroke in Norway.

Although the lightning protection technique is well developed and widely deployed for permanent structures, the technique may be inadequate when applied to various open area situations. This may be especially true in open areas as the current standards do not offer guidance or procedures for lightning protection for temporary structures in open areas.

The paper set to be presented at ICLP 2016 researches a specific open area scenario with regards to temporary structures, aiming to provide a practical measure that reduces lightning hazard risks with minimum installation. This paper presents select real life situations in six open area scenarios and proceeds to analyse the nature of safety. The scope of this paper includes the proposed design philosophy, risk assessment and calculations carried out to complete the design and implementation. The findings of this research will be relevant and beneficial to a number of real life open area situations such as; temporary outdoor shelters in defence, sports, adventure, agriculture, transport, outdoor events and entertainment.

Satheesh Jacob comments; With the rapid growth in the cloud based digital technology and the internet of things the need for protection from lightning induced magnetic fields is snowballing to alarming proportions especially in open areas. Lightning protection cannot be limited to the built environment in fact sky is the limit.

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Publication:Mena Report
Article Type:Conference news
Date:Sep 27, 2016
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