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Lightning protection

What is the purpose of lightning protection equipment?

Lightning protection equipment is designed to prevent lightning striking the fence from damaging the energiser. During storms, electric fences are at a quite high risk of being struck by lightning. Without lightning protection, this strike, which can be over 10,000,000 V, travels through the conducting material, via the fence connectors and into the energiser. This energiser is destroyed. If the energiser is also connected into the mains supply in a stable or similar, the strike can continue into the electricity supply lines and cause an electrical fire in the building. For this reason, VDE regulations forbid the indoor installation of energisers without lightning protection.

How do I install lightning protection equipment and how does it work?

The lightning protection equipment is installed between the energiser, the grounding and the fence.

First mount the lightning protection mechanism onto a non-flammable surface near to your energiser (e.g. on a stable wall). Next, connect it to the energiser's fence connection using a high voltage insulated fence supply cable. The other part of your lightning protection mechanism is connected to the fence conducting material using a high voltage insulated fence supply cable. Then the grounding line still needs to be connected. For this you should use a bare cable or also a grounding cable. Connect this grounding cable with the earthing cable that leads from the energiser and connect them both with the grounding stake.

Your lightning protection equipment is now ready. If the fence is hit by lightning, the charge will be directed into the ground by the protection mechanism rather than going into the energiser. The coil in the protection mechanism presents a high resistance for the lightning strike, which will search for an alternative route and use its high voltage to jump the 10mm wide air gap and flow away into the ground via the so-called 'spark gap' – see animation:

As well as the previous described lightning protection devices, there are also devices without coils. With these, the lightning is simply diverted into the ground over the spark gap. The small and convenient design that accidental changes to the air gap are not possible. (Item no. 44755).

Note:
in most cases, the lightning protection equipment will be destroyed by a lightning strike and must therefore be replaced.

Tip:
in practice, a fence switch is often installed additionally between the lightning protection equipment and the fence. If a storm gathers, you can then isolate your energiser and its lightning protection from the fence in advance. The fence switch works by connecting the fence with the ground, allowing the lightning to flow straight into the soil.

Take a look at our video 230 V energiser with lightning protection:

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