From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pages I'm focusing on[edit]

Primary pages[edit]

  • Organizational restructure completed (March 2013)
  • Removal of extraneous information already available in stand-alone pages completed (March 2013)
  • Questions & concerns in Talk page answered (Dec 2012 - Present)
  • Sections with Substantial Rework & Progress
  • Intro - Substantial rewrite, minor edits may be required, editorial reviews occurring (March 2013)
  • General properties - Significant rewrite to expand beyond limitations of associated page. More work planned upon completion of associated page edits & reorganization [see below]. (Current)
  • Establishing conditions... - Primarily refer to thunderstorm but also added "electrical properties" no where else addressed BUT absolutely necessary for lightning to occur. Minor edits/rework in progress by multiple Wikieditors (Current)
  • A lightning flash... - this was a substantial rewrite & addition of items of importance not or poorly covered. Redundancies will need to be removed, come cleanup & citations are needed. (Current)
  • Types - Substantial reorganization from all sections of original article and introduction of poorly/uncovered items of importance. Weight & Importance issues primarily addressed with cleanup & removal of extraneous info in other articles. Minor edits/rework in progress by multiple Wikieditors (Current)
  • Effects - Reorg. and importance issues addressed but not completed (Current)
  • Volcanic - Complete overhaul to reflect volcanic activity is great a producing conditions lightning needs. (March 2013)
  • ET - left alone... reduced significance in overall article
  • Human related - reorg and rewrite... defined connection being similar to volcanic activity's, humans have little control, but we make conditions favorable (March 2013)
  • Scientific study - New section to reflect all those activities & areas where man is involved with lightning. Previously peppered throughout article in no reasoned pattern. (Current)
  • Organizational restructure (In Progress March 2013)
  • Removal of extraneous information already available in stand-alone pages completed (In Progress)
  • Questions & concerns in Talk page answered (Dec 2012 - Present)
  • Sections with Substantial Rework & Progress
  • Intro - Substantial rewrite, adding important items not covered and significance to mankind (March 2013)
  • Human Injury - substantial reorganization
  • Causes - Developed (Compn March 2013)
  • Lightning's Interaction - significant reorg, collecting throughout article, clarifications, rewrites, linking, etc. (Completed March 2013)
  • Epidemiology - Collecting from throughout, clarifications, remove redundancies, added significant content not addressed otherwise (Comp March 2013)
  • Trees and - Horribly flawed... discussion on talk page (Not started)
  • Electrical & Structural Damage - This is grossly under-represented. Significant expansion will be needed (Not started)
  • Prevention & Mitigation - Rewrote significantly... in good condition, could use citations (In progress)
  • LPS - a sticky wicket due to problems with LR page (New hope for unbiased WikiEditors to get involved)
  • Monitoring - Decent, but would be better served with primary content coming from other pages available (Not started)
  • Personal Safety - Overall good, minor edits may be beneficial (No work done)
  • Notable Events - New organizational structure reflective of lack of definitive "causes" & exact nature of the incident, move to reflect where it occurred. (Completed March 2013)

Associated pages[edit]

  • Lightning Properties (General - Electrical & "microscopic")
    Electric discharge & associated pages
    Leader (spark) - Uggg, another page just "discovered"
    Space charge - and another
    Corona discharge - good content
    St. Elmo's fire - good content in perspective to CD
    Transients (Surge - Voltage & Current Spikes)
    Lightning Primary Waveforms
    time (microseconds) - "rise-time" to peak X time to 1/2 power
    Direct Termination - 10 x 350
    "Induced" Transient - 8 x 20
    Radio atmospheric - A lot of valuable "properties" of lightning here, but I can barely comprehend it myself. :(
  • Lightning Properties (General - Large Scale - "macroscopic")
    Distribution of lightning
    Preparing for minor reorganization & clarification; 1) General, 2) Methods of detection/recording & 3) Areas of Note
  • Lightning Terminology
    Wiktionary - flash
    Add. def. [noun] "(sciences) The sum total of all the complex processes of a single lightning event, including both what is invisible and what is visible or discernible to the human eye." - Accepted
    Wiktionary - attachment [lightning]
    Add. def. [noun] "(meteorology) The act or process by which any (downward) leader connects to any available (upward) streamer in a lightning flash." - Accepted
  • Lightning Protection Systems
  • Components & "Cogs"


Pages of importance - but TOXIC amongst Wikieditors[edit]

  • Lightning rod - A LR is by itself a piece of metal (a cog in a machine) that does not work by itself. It is but one piece, usually placed in large numbers, of a Lightning-protection system (the overall machinery), composed of conductors and earthing elements, for the collection of lightning terminations. The machine has been redirected to the cog, contrary to my unending logical arguments against this merger and hierarchical incongruity. How an "Apple" became all "Fruits" is, well, a matter of toxic proportions, a "Lightning Rod" discussion if you will. :(

About Me![edit]

Hello Everyone!

I am a Jack-of-all-Trades so to speak, with experience in the fields of forestry, electrical distribution, general construction, solar thermal & photovoltaic systems, and now have 2.5 years working for a company in the US that has provided 40 years of consulting, manufacturing & installations to protect critical infrastructure around the world from direct lightning terminations & associated secondary effects.

I came to Wiki about 2 years ago, mainly to provide a critical & objective dissemination of information & acquired knowledge regarding Lightning.

My introduction to lightning[edit]

Shortly after entering this field, I turned to Wiki to assist me in learning about the science of my profession, I was sadly disappointed about the perversion of Wiki, and its encyclopedic (objective) nature when it came to the discussion of LPS. There was no objectivity, industry terminology was purposely misused for the purpose of "disproving" all products not "lightning rods" and this acceptable, Biblical-esque even, misnomer that "more is better", more copper and rods that is, is "THE SCIENCE" of LPS.

My company had me attend an UL-Lightning Protection Class. I have always associated UL as a non-biased 3-party tester of products to assure they meet safety standards, and basically a mass reproducible product, say a toaster, when used as intended, is not going to electrocute someone. I was excited to go and learn about standards and the principles of lightning science! What I quickly observed, UL when in context of LPS is not independent, nor objective, they perform all of the following:

  • 1) They write the Codes/Standards (aka "The Laws") pertaining to LPS;
  • 2) They charge manufacturers & designers of products to verify they meet the Codes; and
  • 3) They must "certify" LPS installations meet the Codes that they have written, which is often required (as it has been written into "law") for a facility to obtain insurance, and they charge to do this!

I have never seen any two structures or facilities exactly alike, therefore the LPS has to be designed uniquely for the site and variables there, there is no mass reproduction like a toaster. It was clearly obvious, a conflict of interest existed.

What the UL Class also failed to provide was any hard science on lightning. No research was cited, only "Franklin" aka Benjamin Franklin's famous Kite Experiments, was the basis of everything related to providing LPS protection, aka Lightning Rods & Copper in mass quantities are the answer.... "Dillution is the Solution to the Polution" mentality. Field applications, "trial & error"... a site with an LPS gets struck, add more lightning rods until it doesn't, was "The Science"! I have come to realize, through 1000s of hours reading "everything" about lightning I could find, that the "science" behind The Codes was more statistical in nature... generated by the Insurance companies, who determined that an insured property, with a functional LPS, was less likely to burn down during a strike and therefore limit the number of claims. This is clearly evidenced by many industries and their facilities are unable to obtain insurance without having an LPS, specifically a Franklin Rod system.

What I've come to know about lightning and its impacts on man[edit]

Many people have dedicated their lives to better modeling and understanding lightning with academic rigor & scientific methodology, however often their best intents to maintain neutrality, "letting the science speak for itself", has been corrupted by monied interests on both sides of the equation.

Ironically, "Lightning Rod Systems" worked great when all of society was "just" concerned about their wooden houses & straw filled barns burning down, with the livestock inside, if they were struck and community "bucket brigades" were the extend of fire departments. However, times have changed drastically in our electricity dependent lives and technologically driven industries. We have modern chemical processing units, highly flammable & explosive environments, automated processes which cannot be even momentarily interrupted... many of which cannot allow even the smallest probability of being affected by a lightning termination within their confines. But these are only concerns for "Captains of Industry" you may say. Haha, think again... what was the first word you blurted out when the electricity went out at home, or your mobile phone shut down unexpectedly? ;)

The insurance companies are catching on to this. The number of claims for "lightning damaged" flat screen TVs is on the rise, and Insurance Companies to not like paying out more than they are taking in. But why is this? Franklin Systems used to protect their bottom lines, they are now falling short, even increasing their claims, simply because they ARE a lightning collection system... a lightning flash is drawn to them. By providing enough LRs (air terminals), a flash would form a pathway for discharge through the LPS, "safely" passing through its conductors and around the protected structure.

Therein lies the problem for our modern, electronically dependent, world. "Franklin's system" in today's world was developed from his initial discoveries without recognizing other properties of a lightning flash, primarily its EMPs & Ground Currents. These reek havoc on our conductor interconnected world and microelectronics, through the transients they cause passing over long or very closely space electrically conductive pathways. EMPs & ground currents are strongest the closer you get to the flash channel and termination point, and degrade rapidly over distance. But alas, "lightning rod systems" are meant to collect the strike, bring it in close to the facility protected.

The advocates of Franklin Rods are currently scrambling to address this, as the Insurance Industry is starting to recognize this "problem" in a big way.... lightning related claims are currently on an exponential rise, even though there is a Insurance Industry "required" lightning rod system installed meant to keep claims low. What you will see currently, when you know where to look, (UL, NFPA) is a rush to implement Surge Protection Devices in all LR Systems, both existing and new. The problem isn't SPDs don't work, they do. However, we are not in the age of vacuum tubes, unaffected by transients, we are in the age of microprocessors & thousands of miles of data & electrical conductors in a single facility, the cost to install SPDs on everything will be astronomical.... and all because lightning rods bring the strike to the facility, bringing it as close as it could be, shortening the distance needed to allow the EMPs & Ground Currents to degrade to "safe" levels.

Where lightning protection is today[edit]

And this is what Roy B. Carpenter, Jr., the founder of my company and a risk mitigation engineer, who worked with NASA on the Space Shuttle during its development, foresaw over 40 years ago. His life's work became finding ways to move the termination away from the protected facility, simply because he looked at all the physical implications of a lightning flash, not just its ability to ignite flammable materials or kill humans & their livestock, and sought ways to mitigate their effects. Ahead of his time? Yes, a bit, but others had looked at the same natural phenomenon, early sailor's referred to as St. Elmo's Fire, but scientists know as corona discharge, and used it successfully to mitigate their risk of lightning strikes to their desired protection level. Roy mastered it, actually he just engineered it, through trial and error... just like the Franklin Rod people did over the 200 years proceeding since its invention.

[to be continued]

Hehe, I'm stealing a few of these[edit]

WTF?This user ALWAYS leaves
an edit summary.
This user is addicted to ellipses and has been known to use them indiscriminately...
Screwit.svgThis user reserves the right to completely screw up their own edits.
COMMON REASONThis user believes that "common sense" is a worthless delusion and prefers to argue using reason.
Brain 090407.jpgThis user believes that one should never stop feeding one's brain.
Wind-turbine-icon.svgThis user supports
renewable energy.
FirefoxThis user prefers Mozilla Firefox.
Pacman.svgThis user enjoys playing Old School video games.Nintendo entertainment system.png
Atari2600wood4.jpgThis user wishes that they
still had their Atari 2600

Misc crap I should delete[edit]

Lightning's variability may always alluded proven & repeatable testing, however "citing" Franklin's experiments 200 years ago as the end-all, be-all definitive answers and "science" of the field did not sit with me. This mentality was exactly what I saw in all the Wiki pages I found relating to LPS, objectivity was absent!

My company is labeled "fringe" and "voodoo science", by the de facto "industry authorities", however our technologies and installations protect billions of dollars of critical infrastructure and commodities around the world with effective results, so I'm not certain we can be so easily "dismissed" when it comes to LPS technology, other than by those with a vested interest, i.e., financial gain/loss, in seeing out proven technology trashed and slandered.

People in my company do not even want to enter this debate, as they know it is ranked up there with Religion & Politics, as something that cannot be discussed objectively. I want objectivity in this article and discussion. Even though some in my company push me to use our products, I consistent hold to the Rules of Wiki, that I will not use this for promotion for a financial gain, and I can't do as requested as it is not within Wiki's encyclopedia nature to do so. I can however, promote the objective discussion of Lightning & LPS, and where applicable I can use objective scientific research and field application, that show technology, thereby our products, are just as credible as "Lightning Rods".

Lightning Protection Simplified[edit]

It's all about Point Ionization, what you do with it is where the battle begins. [I'll work on this later.]

Interesting article on "air ions" and corona ionization.


Fire From The Sky

Donald W Zipse "Prevent Lightning Strikes w CTS"

Traditional lightning protection is based on over 250 years of empirical observations of the effectiveness of the systems (with appropriate modifications to the design of systems from studies of system failures), and over 100 years of scientific research into lightning and lightning protection systems.

Local Electric Field Analysis for Evaluation of Charge Transfer System Using Sequential Sub-window Technique

When the electric field under a thunderstorm reaches about 1,000 V/meter, sharp objects start emitting corona current. The charge carriers in corona current are not free electrons which can move rapidly away from the CTS, but are ions, typically ionized oxygen and nitrogen molecules, which drift slowly in atmosphere while colliding with other molecules. The motion of ions in an electric field is well known.