LiRi - Professional Safety Training

Lightning Research

High Voltage Laboratory

The Lightning Innovation and Research Institute LiRi operates a unique equipment: the 1.6 million volts High Voltage Laboratory generates giant electrical arcing of several meters in a highly-secured environment. The lightning conductors triggering times in micro-seconds are recorded and compared to a reference single rod air terminal. The gain measured qualifies the air terminal performance and its compliance to the French and international standards.

According to the NF C 17-102 , September 2011, Annex C standard, the ESE air terminals must be tested in HV Lab (calculation of the advanced triggering time Δt). The high voltage laboratory includes the following equipment:

direct current generator designed to simulate the ambient atmospheric field during a storm;
surge generator allowing induced rapid stimulation of the pre-strike electric field.

These two generators fed a plate positioned above the air terminal being tested.

Real Lightning Conditions test campaigns

Since 1993 several in-situ test campaigns have been conducted, allowing its engineers to assess the lightning conductors in real lightning conditions.
These test campaigns were originally developed in close cooperation with a team of engineers from the Atomic Energy Commission (C.E.A.), Universities, Research Centers and private partners. These test campaigns provide a wealth of experience in the field of lightning phenomena. In order to gather as much data as possible, the tests were performed in America, Europe and Asia, with each location providing very different lightning conditions.

In 2015, the new International Lightning Research Center of Jatiluhur – Indonesia was inaugurated Test campaigns have provided invaluable data to the Lightning Innovation and Research Institute LiRi engineering team, including :

Advanced performance of the ESE air terminal through measuring and comparing electrical activity at the tips of various lightning rods.
Operation of the triggering system
Confirmation of the robustness by exposing the ESE lightning rod to repeated natural discharges.
Total reliability in a wide range of situations, encompassing all types of lightning conditions, including upward & downward lightning strikes and tropical & winter storms.
Release of a number of scientific reports in relation to this research.

Lightning physics research

Besides its future technologies engineering and development projects, the Lightning Innovation and Research Institute LiRi is a key player of the international lightning scientific community.

The LiRi scientists regularly release innovative articles during major lightning International Conferences, especially on real lightning test campaign findings.

To address the complexity of the lightning phenomenon, the LiRi has built several training and certification programs. It ranges from the educational program for general public to highly technical engineering courses for construction experts.

The Lightning Innovation and Research Institute LiRi is also involved in French, European and international standard committees, sharing its expertise to keep on improving lightning protection systems safety and performances.