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The 500-kV polymeric ZnO surge arresters for compact transmission line against lightning overvoltage were developed and have been put into operation, which consists of arrester unit and series gap. The design of the arrester unit, including structure design, selection of ZnO varistor, parameter determination, polymeric housing design, and mechanical structure design was discussed. The design of the series gap and the determination of the series gap length were presented. The calculated results state the line surge arrester can highly improve the lightning withstand level of the compact transmission line, and the line surge arrester can withstand the effects of lightning.