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Modeling of Lightning Exposure of Sharp and Blunt Rods

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1 Author(s)
Rizk, Farouk A.M. ; Expodev Inc., Montreal, QC, Canada

Corona characteristics of lightning rods exposed to ambient fields due to cloud charges prior to negative leader descent are analyzed, taking into account rod slenderness and relative air density. A new formula is introduced to account for the effect such corona on upward connecting leader initiation. This quantifies the tendency of a sharp lightning rod towards self-shielding, which can be detrimental to the protection of a nearby object, particularly if this object is less susceptible to corona formation. The effect of corona due to cloud charge fields on the attractive radius of a solitary rod is also investigated. Based on discharge physics, the characteristics of a non-self shielding air terminal are then defined. Since large electrodes are susceptible to deteriorating corona performance due to protrusions and water drops, preference is given to a corona-free rod with the smallest diameter, under cloud charge fields. For tall rods or rods exposed to high ambient fields, however, the required diameter of a hemispherically capped rod may be impractical. The physical approach described in this paper satisfactorily accounts for the lightning performance of competing sharp and blunt rods in a previous field investigation.

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Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 4 )