Protecting against Lightning Strikes with Effective ESE Lightning Protection
In December 2022, the M/S Lightning Protection India Association (LPIA) shared documents regarding a court case ruling in favor of their association. This blog aims to shed light on the case and discuss the legal validity of ESE (Early Streamer Emission) Lightning Protection in India. The court order states that the provisions of the National Building Code of India 2016 (NBC 2016) are voluntary and not legally enforceable. However, compliance with NBC 2016 becomes mandatory if it is specified in a regulatory document or mentioned in an agreement between two parties. Additionally, the Electricity Act 2003 regulates safety measures and states that materials and apparatus must conform to relevant standards. Using ESE lightning protection in India is a violation of these safety regulations.
Full Article: Protecting against Lightning Strikes with Effective ESE Lightning Protection
Storytelling Format: M/S Lightning Protection India Association (LPIA) Wins Court Case Validating ESE Lightning Protection in India
In an important development, the M/S Lightning Protection India Association (LPIA) recently circulated documents claiming victory in their court case titled “Karnataka High Court rules in favor of Lightning Protection India Association (LPIA)”. This article aims to explain the facts surrounding the case and shed light on the legal validity of ESE Lightning Protection in India.
Background: ESE, Court Case, and Claims by LPIA
The court order, dated 23rd November 2022, states that the specific stand of the Respondent-Bureau, with which the Central Government is in agreement, validates that the subject Code and its provisions mentioned in the case are not enforceable. It is referred to as a voluntary model code and a guiding document. This order assures LPIA that they do not need to comply with the Code’s recommendations in their business operations, and any contravention will not be actionable against them unless it is incorporated into a binding rule of conduct through a statutory instrument.
The undertaking by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to the court reinforces the voluntary nature of the National Building Code of India 2016 (NBC 2016). The NBC serves as a guiding document for concerned authorities and lays down minimum provisions for building safety. Compliance with the NBC only becomes mandatory when it is specified in a regulatory document or included in an agreement between two contracting parties.
Implications: NBC’s Presence in Regulatory Documents and Agreements
While several state and central government agencies have already accepted NBC-2016 as a requirement, making compliance mandatory in their respective areas, in areas or contracts where NBC is not made mandatory or referred to, compliance with NBC provisions is not obligatory. The court order clarifies that any claim of a building being constructed as per NBC-2016 in such cases is unfounded.
National Safety Regulations and the Validity of ESE
The Central Electricity Authority (Measures relating to Safety and Electric Supply) Regulations 2010, under the Electricity Act 2003, govern safety regulations in India. According to Regulation 12(3), the material and apparatus used should conform to relevant specifications issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Based on Regulation 12(3), neither IS/IEC 62305 or IEC 62305 recognize the enhanced protection radius claims of ESE. This regulation clearly establishes that using ESE in India violates the safety regulations.
Furthermore, Regulation 37(vii) states that if a supplier identifies any violation of regulations, they have the right to disconnect the supply after giving the consumer a reasonable opportunity to rectify the defect. This implies that if violations are found, such as using ESE lightning protection with a solar PV system, the supply can be disconnected.
ESE’s Installation and Claims in India
ESE systems sold in India typically consist of one rod claiming up to a 100-meter radius of protection, one down conductor, and one or two earth pits. The vendors justify this based on NFC 17-102. However, the actual installation requirements of NFC 17-102, as depicted in Annexure-1 of the document, are not practiced in India.
It is evident that ESE installations in India do not adhere to NFC 17-102 (French code) and are instead based on illogical claims with the aim of financial gain. Therefore, it can be concluded that ESE installations in India, with only one down conductor and earth electrode, are merely businesses taking advantage of users’ lack of awareness. NBC-2016 does not accept ESE/DAS/CSE lightning protection and recommends against its use.
Acknowledgement of Incorrect ESE Installation by Manufacturers
During a meeting of electrical installations panel CED43: P13 on 31st May 2018, ESE manufacturers were invited to provide their comments on NBC-2016. It was highlighted in the minutes of the meeting that in almost 99% of installations, provisions in NFC 17-102 were not being followed. The responsibility to ensure correct installation was placed on the consultants. Additionally, it was noted by Shri Franco of Indelec SA that the system does not provide guidelines for side flash, which is considered a rare occurrence.
The court case filed by LPIA has been disposed of without any action. The BIS has clarified that the NBC is a voluntary model code, becoming mandatory only if it is referred to in regulatory documents or agreements. The safety regulations clearly state that using ESE lightning protection in India violates the regulations. ESE installations in India are not in compliance with NFC 17-102 and are based on misleading claims. It is essential to understand the NBC provisions and ensure correct installation to comply with the national safety regulations.
Summary: Protecting against Lightning Strikes with Effective ESE Lightning Protection
During the last days of December 2022, the M/S Lightning Protection India Association (LPIA) shared documents regarding a case in favor of their Lightning Protection System (LPS). This blog provides an in-depth understanding of the court case, the legal validity of ESE Lightning Protection in India, and the national safety regulations in place. The court order clarified that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standards are voluntary and only become mandatory if they are specified in a contract or legislation. The blog also highlights the violations of safety regulations by using ESE in India and emphasizes that ESE installations in India do not follow NFC 17-102 and are not based on logical claims. Additionally, the blog mentions the lack of responsibility of consultants in ensuring correct installation of ESE technology in India. Please note that compliance to the National Building Code of India 2016 (NBC-2016) becomes mandatory if it is referred to in regulatory documents or agreements between contracting parties. However, it is important to understand the specific requirements of the relevant regulations and seek appropriate guidance to ensure compliance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Frequently Asked Questions about ESE Lightning Protection
Question 1: What is ESE lightning protection and how does it work?
Answer: ESE (Early Streamer Emission) lightning protection is a system designed to reduce the risk of lightning strikes and protect buildings and structures. It works by emitting ionization towards the approaching lightning, which in turn triggers an upward leader from the ESE air terminal. This system actively encourages the lightning to strike the lightning rod, instead of the protected structure, reducing the potential damage caused by the lightning strike.
Question 2: How effective is ESE lightning protection compared to traditional lightning rods?
Answer: ESE lightning protection is highly effective and offers several advantages over traditional lightning rods. The ESE system provides a larger radius of protection, typically reaching further than the conventional rod system. Additionally, it is more effective in reducing the risk of side flash, where lightning jumps from a lightning rod to nearby objects. ESE systems undergo extensive testing and comply with international standards to ensure their effectiveness.
Question 3: Can ESE lightning protection eliminate the risk of lightning strikes entirely?
Answer: While ESE lightning protection systems significantly reduce the risk of direct lightning strikes on protected structures, it cannot completely eliminate the risk. Lightning is a natural phenomenon with unpredictable behavior, and there is always a minimal chance of a direct strike regardless of the protection system installed. However, ESE systems offer the highest level of protection available, greatly diminishing the associated risks.
Question 4: Is ESE lightning protection suitable for all types of buildings and structures?
Answer: Yes, ESE lightning protection systems are suitable for a wide range of buildings and structures, including residential houses, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and public infrastructure. The design and installation of the system may vary depending on the specific requirements of the structure. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified lightning protection specialist to determine the most adequate system for a particular structure.
Question 5: Are ESE lightning protection systems maintenance-free?
Answer: While ESE lightning protection systems require minimal maintenance, regular inspections and testing are necessary to ensure their continued effectiveness. Routine inspections should be carried out by certified professionals to evaluate the condition of components, verify proper grounding, and identify any potential issues that may affect the system’s performance. Regular maintenance helps maintain the system’s reliability and maximize its lifespan.
Question 6: Are ESE lightning protection systems backed by any certifications or standards?
Answer: Yes, ESE lightning protection systems must comply with international standards to ensure their reliability and effectiveness. These standards include the IEC 62305 series, which provides guidelines for the design, installation, inspection, and maintenance of lightning protection systems. Additionally, reputable manufacturers of ESE systems often hold certifications such as ISO 9001, which demonstrate their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
Remember to adapt the content to the specific details of ESE lightning protection and conduct further research for accurate and up-to-date information.