S1.10 Survey on ESE Lightning Protection

13/03/2014
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S1.10 Survey on ESE Lightning Protection

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Survey on ESE Lightning Protection Elysabeth Benali Gerard Serrie Yannick Henaff Arnaud Lefort GIMELEC D842 Paris-FRANCE Abstract— Several member constructors of Gimélec1 using ESE lightning conductor technology wished to gain feedback and asked OP Marketing, to conduct an in-depth survey of users of ESE lightning conductors under the ethical control of Gimélec 2 . This survey has shown that:  Of 200 sites with 1580 ESE lightning conductors installed, 320 received lightning strikes with no capture failures.  Reliability and efficacy are two of the strong points of ESE lightning conductors. Their high protection levels are a significant benefit, a point of view which is shared by current clients. This runs contrary to certain unwarranted controversies.  The attractive price of ESE lightning conductors, while well-known by most customers, is deemed less important than their effectiveness.  The fact that many customers are unaware of ESE lightning conductor technology means that it is often only installed when mandatory. 1 Gimélec unites some 200 companies that supply electrical and automation solutions for the energy, construction, industry, data center and infrastructure sectors. Gimélec companies employ some 70,000 people in France and generate an annual turnover of around 12.7 billion Euros, 60% of which comes from the export market. To meet the ambitious energy-saving and CO2 emissions reduction targets set for Europe and France, the member companies of Gimélec have implemented an ecological sustainability policy. 2 This document is the property of the GIMELEC D84 division members and must be used in its entirety. Thus it cannot be modified with additional text, logo or note . It cannot be copied entirely or by part in the name of the companies or a third party. Lighting causes considerable losses each year throughout the entire world. No place is spared, however, the probability of occurrence varies significantly depending on the location, and especially proximity to the equator. Over eight million lightning ground strikes per day have been counted, or more than 100 every second. However, effective protection methods have been developed to combat the worst effects. The best known of these is the lightning conductor. A single mast can capture lightning threatening a location. This will be connected to a suitable earth spike by a cable which conducts very high currents to the ground. This technique has been proven to effectively reduce the nefarious effects of this natural phenomenon. A more recent technology, in use for over 20 years now, requires the installation of an active device which anticipates the creation of the upward leader preceding the discharge. These devices are called ESE (Early Streamer Emission) lightning conductors and improve safety by covering a wider area than a simple metal mast. Constructors using ESE lightning conductor technology wished to gain feedback and have asked OP Marketing, to conduct an in-depth survey of users of ESE lightning conductors under the ethical control of Gimélec. A total of 1580 ESE lightning conductors at 200 sites were surveyed. The survey also measured user satisfaction and determined the perception people have of them and their advantages, it was also used to identify areas for improvement of the offer. Two basic methods are used to collect the data. The first involves interviewing a panel of site managers by phone (direct contact) and in the second, information is collected by means of a digitally- generated multi-lingual questionnaire. It includes twenty two questions about the installation, including the number of strikes recorded, the reliability of the protection system and awareness about the technology. Of the 204 sites surveyed, 7 stated that ESE lightning conductors were not installed. They had been taken down before 2010. These sites were therefore not included in the survey, bringing the number of surveyed sites to 197. A survey of the makes of ESE lighting conductor in use reveals that there are four manufacturers3 which supply them. In general we only find products from a single manufacturer at one site. Only in 5% of cases did users state that they had several makes of equipment installed at a single site. It is interesting to note that the four manufacturers each make a roughly equal number of lightning conductors (around fifty each). Manufacturer of the ESE lightning conductor(s) installed at the sites The models you have or had are made by which manufacturer(s)? NB % obs. Manufacturer 1 40 20% Manufacturer 2 53 27% Manufacturer 3 54 27% Manufacturer 4 54 27% Other manufacturers 6 3 % Total 197 The installations surveyed are fairly recent, 64% within the last five years. Most sites are equipped with several ESE lightning conductors. An average of eight are installed at each site 3 ABB France, France Paratonnerres, Franklin France and Indelec 2 Number of ESE lightning conductors at the site If yes, how many ESE lightning conductors are currently installed at the site? NB % 84 %1 to 5 165 84% 84 % 6 to 10 22 11% 11% 11 to 20 5 3 % 3% 21 to 75 3 2 % 2 % More than 75 2 1 % 1 % Total 197 100% There is a large disparity between the sites, 42% are only equipped with a single ESE lightning conductor. One manufacturer has equipped two major installations with an average of 19. Lightning strikes at sites: Of the sites surveyed, forty had suffered lightning strikes4 , or around 20%. Further analysis reveals that 320 ESE lightning conductors received strikes. In the majority of cases these were unique events in the context of an ESE Lightning conductor and a building, which is representative of the sites surveyed. Having identified the number of lightning strikes we then asked about damage to the installations. The survey distinguishes between material losses, loss of earnings and no consequences. The results show that 88% of lightning strikes have no consequences whatsoever. No loss of earnings is reported. Five sites suffered material losses associated with strikes on the ESE lightning conductors protecting buildings and their surrounding areas against the direct effects of lightning. At two sites the lightning struck areas outside of the area protected by lightning conductors and at the other three sites the damaged materials were not protected by surge arresters (additional protection measures against the indirect effects of lightning strikes are essential). 4 According to declarations made by site managers. Consequences of lightning strikes What were the consequences of the lightning strike? NB % 0 % 13 % Work stoppages 0 0 % Material losses 5 13% No consequences 35 88% 88 % Total 40 100% Equipment: Most sites were equipped with lightning strike counters. These devices are installed on the down conductors and count that number of lightning strikes intercepted by the protection system. The installation rate varies between 42 and 76% depending on the ESE lightning conductor manufacturer. Possession of a strike counter at the sites Are the ESE lightning conductors installed at the site equipped with strike counters on the down conductors? Response rate: 100% NB % Yes 124 63% No 65 33% I don’t know 8 4% Total 197 100% Surge arresters are only fitted at 75% of the sites. (14% of managers asked did not know how to reply). Possession of surge arresters among the sites Is the site protected against surges arresters ? Response rate: 100% NB % Yes 147 75% No 22 11% I don’t know 28 14% Total 197 100% Two thirds of sites had current maintenance contracts in place (they had an average of 4 ESE lightning conductors. Overall satisfaction. Independently of the results recorded for the efficacy of protection systems, 3 it is important to gain the opinions of users over a significant period of usage (36% of installations are over 5 years old). Overall, the perceptions surrounding ESE lightning conductors are very positive. The level of satisfaction was 93%. Overall satisfaction levels among the sites Generally speaking, are you unsatisfied, not very satisfied or satisfied or very satisfied with the ESE lightning conductor installed? Response rate: 95% Average = 3.5 Standard deviation = 0.6 NB % No response 9 5 % Unsatisfied 2 1 % Not very satisfied 2 1 % Satisfied 89 45% Very satisfied 95 48% Total 197 100% Levels of satisfaction by manufacturer: Measurements of satisfaction levels by manufacturer show small differences in perception for the four main manufacturers. Customers are very satisfied in between 44 and 53% of cases. Perceived protection: Perceptions of protection levels are highly subjective. This indicates the level of confidence that the user has in their system, as well as the effectiveness of communications designed to explain the details of this type of technology. The perceived protection level for ESE lightning conductors is high. The average figure is 82%. Over three quarters of users consider that the level of efficacy is over 80%. The perceived protection level associated with ESE lightning conductors is high. On a scale of 1 to 100, how effective do you think the ESE lightning conductors at your site are? Indicate a level between 1 and 100, where 100 is the maximum level of effectiveness: Response rate: 87% Average = 81.8 Standard deviation = 16.2 NB % Less than 10 1 <1% From 10 to 19 0 0% From 20 to 29 0 0% From 30 to 39 0 0% From 40 to 49 1 <1% From 50 to 59 16 9% From 60 to 69 9 5% From 70 to 79 15 9% From 80 to 89 50 29% Over 90 80 47% Total 172 100% The image of ESE lightning conductors: ESE lightning conductors have a positive image, with some reservations. Firstly, lightning conductors are generally installed because of obligatory regulations and not voluntarily (80% of users). The financial aspect obviously influences customers and orients them towards an ESE solution, even though 24% do not see it like that. It is the reliability of the solution which comprises the main advantage for 95% of users. The reputation of this technology shows that many are unaware of the latest developments in systems protecting against the direct effects of lightning. 50% are unaware of the real benefits even though they have confidence in them. Reputation of ESE lightning conductor technology Did you know that ESE technology is a very recent development in the lightning protection industry? NB % No response 16 8% Yes 87 43% No 101 50% Total 204 100% The respondents were then asked to express their opinions concerning possible improvements and expectations. 4 Customer suggestions: Several subjects were broached by site managers:  They want advice about regulatory aspects and need information concerning obligatory modifications to these installations.  They want to be able to test equipment on-site.  Installations times are judged to be too long.  They want international standards to be harmonised. 5