WHO IS ERICO?


ERICO is dedicated to providing the best lightning-protection solution for any given application, whether this involves the use of the standards compliant ERITECH SYSTEM 2000, the ERITECH SYSTEM 3000 or a hybrid design utilizing a combination of both system types.

ERICO manufactures lightning protection systems in full accordance with more than twelve National and international standards, as well as non-conventional systems based on enhanced air terminals and insulated conductors for applications where these provide an advantageous solution for the customer.

ERICO’s approach is solutions driven. The aim is to provide the best solution for a given application. Some structures are more suited to the traditional conventional lightning protection – designs that require protection via complete building structure bonding. Other structures are more suited to a method that utilizes protection via isolation. Whatever the application or protection problem presented, ERICO offers a solution.

What is the ERITECH® SYSTEM 3000?
The ERITECHR SYSTEM 3000 is a technically advanced lightning protection system. The unique features of this system allow the achievement of reliable lightning capture and control.

The ERITECHR DYNASPHERE air terminal provides a preferred point for lightning discharges which would otherwise strike and damage an unprotected structure and/or its contents. The ERITECHR DYNASPHERE is optimally connected to an ERITECHR ERICORE down conductor and low impedance grounding system in such a way as to provide a totally integrated system.

ERITECH SYSTEM 3000 includes the following elements:

• ERITECH DYNASPHERE air terminal

• ERITECH ERICORE down conductor

• Lightning event counter

• Purpose designed low impedance grounding system.

These components form an integral part of the ERICO Six Point Plan of Protection.

Each component must be considered independently and ultimately integrated together to form the complete lightning protection system. Without such integration there is limited protection.

While it is possible to implement a hybrid system using other components, it is important to realize that inefficiencies in any substitute represent inefficiency in the protection system as a whole.

1. The Air Terminal

The primary function of an air terminal, or air termination system, is to capture the lightning strike to a preferred point, so that the discharge current can be directed via the down conductor(s) to the grounding system.

2. The Down conductor

The function of a down conductor is to provide a low impedance path from the air termination to the ground system so that the lightning current can be conducted to earth, without the development of excessively large voltages. In order to reduce the possibility of dangerous sparking (side-flashing), the down conductor route(s) should be as direct as possible with no sharp bends or stress points where the inductance, and hence impedance, is increased under impulse conditions.

3. The Grounding System

The grounding system must have a low impedance to disperse the energy of the lightning strike. Because the lightning discharge consists of high frequency components, we are particularly concerned with the frequency-dependent electrical parameter of a grounding system – impedance – as well as low resistance grounding. Grounding systems are highly variable from site to site due to geographical considerations. The grounding grid should minimize the ground voltage potential rise and minimize the risk of injury to personnel or damage to equipment.

ERICO has conducted two unprecedented, long-term field-validation studies of the Collection Volume Method of lightning protection with the ERITECH SYSTEM 3000 lightning-protection system. The Collection Volume Method (CVM), also known as Eriksson’s Attractive Radius Model, defines the lightning “capture volume” of potential strike points on a structure. CVM considers the physical criteria for air breakdown together with knowledge of the electric field intensification created by different points on a structure.

The first study, conducted from 1988 through 1996 in Hong Kong, demonstrated that it is possible to dimension the interception efficiency or performance of a lightning protection system using real field data. This method circumvents the problems associated with laboratory testing, where scale-size issues are difficult to resolve and faithful replication of the electric field wave fronts observed in nature can be troublesome.

The number of strikes to the protection system of the structures in this study were obtained from “lightning event counters” (LEC) placed around the lightning current down conductor cable. Overall, estimates of the strike “yield” demonstrate that the interception rate predicted by the CVM is in excellent agreement with the observed capture frequency. This means that the lightning-interception rate is at least as high as the claimed protection levels, which lie in the 85 – 98% range.

The second study, conducted from 1990 through 2000 in Malaysia, quantified interception efficiency. The study consisted of a statistically valid sample of buildings mainly in the Klang Valley region of Kuala Lumpur. The 47 sites had between 1 and 5 buildings per site with a mean structure height of 58 m (190 ft). The mean actual protection level was 78%, confirming that up to 22% of low-intensity flashes less than 10 kA could bypass the lightning protection system (LPS). Mitigating factors such as budget constraints and subsequent changes to the structures (e.g. the addition of antennas and extensions) impacted the initial design and prevented the protection level from being higher. At the end of the study, the actual interception efficiency was 86%, ten percent better than predicted.

Both of these long-term field studies are now published in independently peer-reviewed scientific journal publications.

The ERITECH® DYNASPHERE Enhanced Air Terminal
The patented ERITECH DYNASPHERE is an enhanced air terminal.

Features include:

• Non-radioactive technology

• No external power required

• No moving parts

• Selection of tip radii and variable impedance to adjust for optimum performance at

Different installation heights • Dynamic response to the approach of a lightning downloader

The ERITECH ERICORE Down conductor

As an integral part of the ERITECHR SYSTEM 3000, the screened, insulated ERITECH ERICORER down conductor conveys the lightning discharge current to ground with minimal danger of side flashing. A unique semi-conductive outer sheath allows electrostatic bonding of the building through cable securing saddles.

The ERITECH ERICORE down conductor evolved after extensive studies of potential voltage rise in structures due to lightning injection. This cable is comprised of carefully selected dielectric materials, which create capacitive balance and help ensure insulation integrity under high impulse conditions.

The unique ability of ERITECH ERICORE to confine a discharge current and simultaneously support electrical bonding helps ensure minimal risk to building, occupants and sensitive electronics.