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Introduction How does the lightning occur?

Lightning arresters Construction of lightning arrester What exactly does a lightning arrester do? How does it divert the lightening? Ideal characteristics of lightning arrester Installation and maintenance Types of lightning arresters Conclusion

Lightning: An electric discharge between cloud and earth, between clouds or between the charge centres of the same clouds

Protects Power system and other equipment from lightning and switching surges. Conducts the high voltage surges to the ground. Can also protect the system from traveling waves.

Length of the gap is so set that the normal line voltage is not enough to cause an arc across the gap but an dangerously high voltage will breakdown the insulation and form an arc.

Diverts the lightning to ground Limits the voltage produces by lightning Protects equipment in parallel with it. But, Does not stop the lightning Does not absorb the lightning

During over voltage, the air insulation across the gap breaks down and the arc is formed providing a low resistance path to the ground. The non linear resistance offers low resistance during the lightning period.

Ideally, it should Enter into conduction at some voltage above arrester rating. Hold the overvoltage surge for small period.

Installation: The arrester should be connected to ground to a low resistance for effective discharge of the surge current. The arrester should be mounted close to the equipment to be protected & connected with shortest possible lead on both the line & ground side to reduce the inductive effects of the leads while discharging large surge current.

Maintenance: Cleaning the outside of the arrester housing. The line should be de-energized before handling the arrester. The earth connection should be checked periodically. Record the readings of the surge counter. The line lead is securely fastened to the line conductor and arrester The ground lead is securely fastened to the arrester terminal and ground.

Rod gap arrester Horn gap arresters Multi gap arresters Expulsion type arresters Valve type arresters

Limitations: After the surge is over, the arc in the gap is maintained by the normal supply voltage, leading to a shortcircuit on the system. The rods may melt or get damaged due to excessive heat. The climatic conditions affect the performance of rod gap arrester. The polarity of the surge also affects the performance of this arrester

Advantages: The arc is self-clearing. Series resistance helps in limiting the follow current to a small value

Limitations: The bridging of gap by some external agency can render the device useless Corrosion or pitting adversely affects the performance of the arrester. The time of operation is comparatively long

Advantages: Not expensive. Improved form of rod gap arresters Easily installed

Limitations Can perform only limited number of operations Cannot be mounted in enclosed equipment Not suitable for protection of expensive equipment

Advantages: Provide very effective protection against surges Operate very rapidly The impulse ratio is practically unity Limitations: May fail to check the surges of very steep wave front from reaching the terminal apparatus Adversely affected by the entry of moisture into the enclosure

Advantages: Residual depression Fast response time (25ns) Freewheeling. Safe and Reliable Commonly used in the current power supply system products Drawbacks: Leakage current

By proper selection of type and rating of lightning arrester, all the electrical equipment can be protected from lightning and voltage surges

Principles of Power Systems by V. K. Mehta and Rohit Mehta www.seminarpaper.com www.arresterworks.com