Lightning the load
Protection of power lines from lightning strikes is both important and potentially costly. However, Streamer has come up with EasyQuench, a low cost solution to the problem that is in the exhibit hall at CIRED this week. It can protect lines from both direct and indirect lightning strikes.
When a surge appears on a line, electrical arc establishes between the line and the installed line lightning protection devices. The arc then gets inside the so-called EasyQuench system – numerous spherical electrodes inside silicone rubber and divides into a large number of small arcs burning between each pair of metal electrodes - each pair acting like a tiny discharge chamber, so each arc is blown out into the ambient air. The energy of the arc is therefore dissipated and a line remains in operation without suffering an outage.
Induced overvoltages are responsible for roughly eighty percent of power outages that are caused by lightning. Devices specifically designed to tackle this issue (SAi devices) are able to eliminate deleterious consequences of induced overvoltages such as covered conductors burn down as well as short circuits. Induced overvoltage protection devices can be easily installed and do not require any specific footing resistance or additional grounding arrangement. Typical installation scheme requires that each pole is equipped with one device with phase alternation.