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Home » Special Report » Enhanced electrical safety through advanced earthing and lightning protection systems

Enhanced electrical safety through advanced earthing and lightning protection systems

June 25, 2024 6:21 pm

Enhanced electrical safety through advanced earthing and lightning protection systems
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Addressing earthing and lightning protection system complexities through regional strategies and digital innovation.

Spokesperson: Dr. K. Janakiraman, Member IEC Committee (TC81 committee), Head, Market Development, OBO Bettermann India Pvt. Ltd.

Earthing and lightning protection systems play pivotal roles in ensuring electrical safety and infrastructure integrity, yet they confront various challenges in design and implementation. Issues such as soil resistivity variability and material durability necessitate tailored regional strategies. Advancements in measurement technologies and digital tools have revolutionised system assessment and design accuracy. Regulatory frameworks like IEC and IS standards provide essential guidelines, ensuring installation safety and compliance. Understanding these complexities underscores the critical need for meticulous planning and adherence to robust standards in safeguarding electrical systems globally.

What are the challenges in earthing and lightning protection systems and strategies for their mitigation?

Despite being traditional methods used for decades, earthing systems and lightning protection systems encounter numerous challenges during their design and implementation. Improper implementation can result in system failures, safety compromises, and fire hazards. To mitigate these issues, it is crucial to select technically qualified products that meet test requirements, adhere to the latest relevant design and test standards, and follow good practices recommended by National Building Codes.

How can one take robust protection measures across diverse regions?

A regional understanding of the earth system is crucial for determining the behaviour of an installed earthing system. It is essential to consider the nature of the soil and its resistance levels. For instance, any system installation should be evaluated for suitability and longevity, particularly regarding the corrosive nature of the soil or environment, before selecting materials. Additionally, the soil’s resistivity significantly influences the resistance output of an installed earthing system.

What are the trends and prospects for the adoption of new technology? What has digitalisation contributed to?

Significant advancements have been made in the measurement techniques for earthing and lightning protection systems, rendering obsolete the manual methods of the past. The traditional use of a crank handle on a megger has given way to a more straightforward one-touch button, reflecting enhanced ease and efficiency in testing procedures. Furthermore, the advent of specialised software enables the digitalisation of design processes, marking a profound evolution in the capabilities and precision of these systems.

Please talk about the regulatory frameworks that exist to prioritise safety and compliance.

Standards, codes, and regulations such as IEC, IS, and the Indian Electricity Act constitute a detailed regulatory framework prioritising safety and compliance. They define specific processes, methodologies, and guidelines essential for ensuring the integrity of electrical installations. Notably, standards like IS 3043, IEC 62305, IEC 62561, and IEC 60364 provide comprehensive requirements for designing, installing, and maintaining earthing and lightning protection systems. These standards ensure thorough implementation and adherence to safety protocols across electrical installations.

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