Difference Between Lightning Protector and Surge Protector

Difference Between Lightning Protector and Surge Protector

Being a homeowner is no walk in the park as it comes with a lot of responsibilities. Being a homeowner not just involves equipping your house with state-of-the-art technology and functionalities, but also taking care of annual maintenance, as well as protecting your dream house against natural disasters and any kind of damage or accidents. 

Of the many different hazards that homeowners are often worried about, lightning damage is one of the greatest causes of concern. In addition to property damage, lightning strikes during thunderstorms also pose a significant threat to the lives of the inhabitants and can even be fatal in certain cases. So, homeowners often look out for various lightning and surge protection measures to avoid any risk to life and property. 

Lightning Protection Systems

As the name suggests, the lightning protection systems available in the market are responsible for protecting buildings from direct lightning strikes. Lightning protection system as an efficient precautionary measure against lightning damage has grown popular among homeowners in recent years. 

Modern buildings are installed with lightning and surge protection systems that help in reducing the detrimental effects of lightning strike damage on buildings. Designed to protect the internal electrical circuitry and components of the building, the surge and lightning protection system is not just efficient in preventing lasting damage to connected devices but also helps minimize the risks of electrical accidents and electrocutions. 

A lightning protection system is usually a metal rod with an earthing connection modified as a lightning conductor that is installed in a building to protect it from lightning strikes. The metal rod attracts and intercepts a lightning bolt before it can strike a building, and safely passes it to the ground before it can cause any damage. 

Although the metal rod is one of the most crucial components of the lightning protection system, it relies on the earthing connection to work efficiently, ensuring maximum electrical protection to the building. Additionally, the other vital components that allow the lightning protection system to effectively intercept a lightning strike are: 

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  1. Air terminal:

    The primary component responsible for drawing the electrical strike. 
  2. Down conductors: Offers a direct path to allow the movement of electrical energy.

  3. Grounding system:

    The grounding system is installed for the dissipation of electrical energy into the ground without any damage. 
  4. Bonding: The bonding component helps in addressing any voltage differences caused by the electrical strike. 

How does an SPD work?

A Surge Protection Device, also known as an SPD is a specially designed electrical component that diverts excess flow of currents and transient voltages to offer electrical protection to connected equipment and devices against sudden electrical surges and passing currents. 

A surge protection device is placed at transitions between a high and low impedance state. The SPD functions in a high-impedance state without affecting the circuit when the voltage is at the normal operating level. However, the SPD automatically switches to a ground connection when the conductive circuit is at low impedance during transient currents or electrical surges. Switching to ground allows the SPD to immediately limit the voltage to safer levels till the transient current is diverted. 

Although a lightning protection system and a surge protection device share the same operating principle and have the same functionality of offering protection against electrical accidents and damages, there are still noticeable differences between lightning arresters and surge arresters. So, if you are wondering, do surge protectors work against lightning? The simple answer is that a lightning protection system has a significantly larger capacity for deflecting electricity in order to protect buildings against lightning strikes. A surge protection device, on the other hand, is effective against small amounts of electrical surges and transients. Additionally, lightning protection devices are permanently installed in buildings, whereas an SPD monitors a live circuit, and activates as and when a transient or surge current is detected. 

How Lightning Arrester Works?

A lightning arrester is a highly specialized surge protection equipment that is more suited for use at the substation level than at households. A lightning arrester helps in diverting abnormally high voltages with an earth connection and prevents crest voltage from reaching buildings with low impedance. 

Under normal operating conditions, the lightning arrester does not draw current from the power distribution system. However, when a voltage anomaly is detected at the surge diverter, the lightning arrester offers a conductive path for the high-voltage current to the ground connection till the normal operating condition is restored. 

: Know More About Voltage Surge Protector

Purchase high-quality light protectors and surge protectors at the Schneider Electric eShop!

Ensuring that your dream house and valuable electrical appliances is protected from natural hazards and electrical damage is one of the fundamental responsibilities of a homeowner. So, if you are looking for complete surge and lightning protection for your household, the Schneider Electric eShop is a one-stop destination devoted to providing all your electrical needs. Curating a wide variety of electrical components, circuit breakers, home lighting, power-supplying tools, and other protective devices, the Schneider Electric eShop offers amazing deals on electrical solutions, consultation, as well as field services.

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