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Lightning Protection Systems
for Towers, Antennas and Structures

LBA Technology™ and its technology partners have many years of experience providing grounding and lightning protection services. We offer a complete, integrated capability to provide lightning protection solutions for towers, antennas, and other structures.

We offer lightning protection services and products for broadcasting, wireless communications, utilities, fuels, and military assets, to name a few. Our products can protect structures such as antenna towers, windmills and wind farms, tanks, drill rigs, field camps, monitoring installations and many more.

Our systems and equipment comply with appropriate aspects of UL, ANSI, NFPA, and relevant military/industry standards.

LBA expertise goes beyond lightning protection to all forms of protection from electromagnetic effects, including radio frequency interference, HEMP (high altitude electromagnetic pulse), and static discharges. Because of this wide ranging capability set, LBA can often integrate all electromagnetic protection requirements in a project for the most cost efficient solution. Check out our industry leading capabilities in electromagnetic shielding!

LBA furnishes its products and services solely for professional and technical applications. It does not deal with residential uses.

Image of lightning striking skyscraper

Where Is Lightning Protection Required?

Almost everywhere! Virtually all populated regions have varying incidences of lightning strikes. There is meaningful risk worldwide over the lifetime of typical tower and antenna systems. Facilities outside of "lightning belts" should at least be minimally protected while critical infrastructure and flammable/explosive risks must be protected wherever they are. Extreme protection measures are mandatory in areas of intense lightning risk!

 

Global Distribution of Lightning 

 

Who Needs Lightning Protection? 

The largest class of technical structures needing lightning protection in the world today is towers and their antennas, particularly for wireless communications and broadcasting.

In less than 30 years, cellular mobile towers and antenna structures have proliferated on every continent, and are perfect lightning targets! To a lesser extent, AM, FM, and TV towers have also sprouted, sometimes sharing with cell systems. Not only are the towers at lightning risk, but also the cellular, public safety, broadcast, and communications antennas mounted on them. At risk too, are the attached cell site equipment, radio transmitters, coaxial cables, and tower light systems.

Related to communications towers are other vertical technical structures such as drilling rigs, flare towers, wind turbines, tanks, environmental monitor masts, and industrial structures.

At the same time, portable and temporary high value assets have flourished. From satellite antennas to mobile command posts, work camps to mobile power systems, important assets and their personnel are being put in harm’s way from lightning discharges.

LBA specializes in the lightning protection of these technical assets. With 50 years’ experience worldwide in electromagnetic protection, broadcasting and wireless communications, we have the expertise to provide the best protection for these systems.



sm lightningpro

Lightning Mast Protection Systems
Area protection for fixed and portable assets

LBA Technology™ offers the PLP family of fixed and portable lightning protection masts and kits. Based on a light weight, rugged aluminum mast; various mounting styles, grounding systems, and UL – Listed air terminals are offered. PLP lightning mast components are under 7 feet (2.13 m) long for easy surface or air transport and rapid field installation.

PLP-30 protecting a research unit

Typical applications include:

• Camps, portable buildings or vehicles

• Petroleum, water pumping and utilities

• Emergency NGO or military command posts

• Solar cell and satellite dish installations 

• Environmental monitoring facilities

• Rooftop installations not readily protected  
     by conventional terminals


* Patents pending on this unique lightning mast

 

 Where Can You Use LBA Lightning Masts?

Use LBA lightning masts around Field hospitals, emergency camps, field installations Use LBA lightning masts around Mobile news vehicles, ENG, Command posts, earth stations Use LBA lightning masts around Solar Arrays Use LBA lightning masts around Utility pump stations, irrigation systems, lift stations, drainage pumps Use LBA lightning masts around Public utility systems, recycling centers, transfer stations
Use LBA lightning masts around Gas metering stations, pipeline installations, construction equipment Use LBA lightning masts around Recreational vehicles, RV parts, marinas, picnic areas, sports fields Use LBA lightning masts around Portable satellite dishes, mobile satellite antennas, field communications Use LBA lightning masts around field generators, temporary power stations, storage yards

 


Typical of the Series – The PLP-32

 

PLP- 32 Lightning Masts are recommended for a wide range of lightning protection applications where it is impossible or undesirable to attach conventional lightning terminals. Other models in the series share the same attributes and differ only in height and weight.

PLP-32 Lightning Masts provide a cone of protection within which lightning charges are diverted to the mast and grounded instead of to the protected object. Multiple PLP-32 masts may be used to protect extended areas. Protected areas may be determined by use of the widely accepted “rolling sphere” concept. For example, a single PLP-32 mast will protect 9 foot (2.14 m) high portable buildings wholly within a 40 foot (12.19 m) radius. An array of five PLP-32 masts will protect a camp of portable buildings within a 25,000 square foot (2323 m2) area. Consult LBA Technology™ for specific layouts you wish to protect.

 

     

 

The PLP-32 Lightning Mast is furnished with a UL-Listed streamer retarding air terminal. Streamer retarding (static dissipation) terminals have been shown to reduce the probability of lightning strikes, as well as divert them to ground, should they occur. Static dissipation systems work by dissipating static charge. Static dissipation arrays provide, in effect, a "low resistance" route for static ground charge to reach the atmosphere preventing a buildup of the ground charge to the value necessary to trigger a strike.

The PLP-32 mast includes a universal base section, four screw-together mast sections, and a screw-in air terminal. The screw couplings are of a special proprietary design for maximum current contact area and high mechanical strength. The assembled weight is only 45 pounds (20.5kg). 

The PLP-32 is rated to survive 120 mph (193 kph) hurricane winds, when the base is appropriately ballasted or tied down. The PLP-32 utilizes the same construction system as LBA’s “Power-Topper” antenna top loading systems which have served for over 30 years in many parts of the world.

 The PLP-30 is lightweight for easy installation

PLP-32 Deployment Options: The PLP-32 and its options are all designed for convenient, fast deployment with minimum resources. Assembly and disassembly of the PLP-32 mast is a simple one person procedure, using only common hand tools, and typically requires under an hour. Once assembled, the PLP-32 mast may be readily mated with an appropriate support system. The universal base section of the mast is designed to interface with an optional fixed base (FB-1), portable base (PB-1), or customer supplied base. The base section is provided with attachments for grounding conductors.

PB-1 designed for fast deployment

PLP-32PK Portable Kitted System: All necessary components for rapid shipping and field deployment of the PLP-32 are available in a kit. The PLP-32 PK kit includes a PLP-32 Lightning Mast, a PB-1 Portable Mount System rope guy kit, a dissipater tip protector, six HDS-18" hold-down stakes, three GR-4 four foot (1.22 m) ground rods and bimetal grounding attachments, three GC-4 #4 copper ground cables, and a heavy duty ripstop nylon transport carrier. Packed length is under 90” (2.29 m) and weight under 100# (45.4 kg), allowing for easy handling and air/surface express shipment. NOTE: PLP-(*) versions are also available in similar kit systems. The PLP-32PK and PLP-38PK include the PLP-PBHD base. Weights will vary.

 

PLP-CAT Fast Deployment Catenary 
Lightning Protection System

PLP-CAT Fast Deployment Catenary Lightning Protection Systems are designed to protect large objects or buildings in a broad area by utilizing an appropriate number of special PLP-series masts and catenary wires between mast pairs. PLP-CAT systems are ideal for protecting fuel or explosive storage facilities, temporary encampments, vehicle parks, and other facilities not amenable to stand alone lightning mast deployments.

PLP-CAT systems use streamer discharge dissipation technology to reduce the probability of lightning strikes, but are also NFPA70 compliant for lightning strike termination. As an example, under NFPA’s 100’ (30.5m) rolling ball method of hazardous material protection prediction, a PLP-CAT-35(480) lightning protection system with four catenary conductors 80’ (24.3m) long on 35’ (10.7m) masts will protect an area approximately 12,000 ft2 (1115m2) to a height of 18’ (5.5m).

In most cases, PLP-CAT systems can be set up by four persons using hand tools in just a few hours. The patent-protected systems are reusable, light weight and easily transported. They are supplied complete in man-carry cases. The systems are suitable for temporary or permanent installation, with non-penetrating base systems for roof mounting available. All systems are customized to your needs by LBA experts.

 

PLP-38 MOB Roll-away, Fold-over
Lightning Protection Masts

Based upon the established PLP-series, this patent-protected lightning protection system is designed for quick installation as a reusable fold-over mobile platform. It provides the same level of protection as a PLP-38 standard system.

PLP-38-MOB systems include streamer discharge dissipation technology to reduce the probability of lightning strikes, but are also fully compliant to NFPA70 requirements for lightning strike termination.

Fully integrated, the system breaks down for compact storage and transportation in provided man-carry cases. All fasteners and installation hardware are captive for fast installation and to avoid loose parts that could cause foreign object damage at sensitive sites. No tools are required for installation. Installation time is under one hour for two personnel. The base utilizes water-ballast and is suitable for non-penetrating application on rooftops and other critical surfaces.

PLP-38-MOB Spec Sheet (PDF) actionrequest


PLP-(*) Installation Accessories

PB-1 - Portable Base Mount: The PB-1 consists of three horizontal 4 foot (914 mm) aluminum beams and hardware for direct placement on earth, with attachment to the PLP-(*) base section. Three bracing beams and hardware are provided for attachment between the end of each horizontal member and the base tube section. Holes are provided in the horizontal beams for customer furnished hold-down stakes. Alternatively, sandbags may be used to secure the mount. With permanent hold-down bolts, the PB-1 may also be used as a fixed mount. The PB-1 base assembly weight is only 15 pounds (6.80 kg).

PBHD: The PBHD is the same as the PB-1, utilizing the three horizontal & diagonal braces with outer braces added. The total together is 34lbs, 18lbs added. These braces tie the tips of the three horizontal braces together to add stability by repositioning hold-down stakes or adding addionational sandbags.

FB-1 Fixed Base Mount: The FB-1 includes a 12” (305mm) square baseplate with holes provided for attachment to customer furnished ½” (12.7mm) hold-down bolts. Typically these may be concrete embedded or welded to a structural support. The FB-1 includes a bimetal fitting for attachment of customer provided ground system. The FB-1 base weight is only 8 pounds (3.6kg).

Alternate Installations:The PLP-(*) may also be temporarily installed in an augured and backfilled hole, or embedded in concrete for a more permanent installation. In these cases, the length of the PDP-(*) will be reduced by the depth of embedment. Soil and corrosion issues are the responsibility of the user and should be careful considered in using this approach.

NOTE: PLP masts are rated to 120 mph wind survival. However, base ballast or hold-downs must be adequately designed (loaded) to prevent overturning (See instruction manual).

Click for Lightning Mast Instruction Manual

Lightning Mast Pricing (US$)
PLP-14 Dissipater Lightning Mast $1,680
PLP-20 Dissipater Lightning Mast $1,940
PLP-26 Dissipater Lightning Mast $1,985
PLP-32 Dissipater Lightning Mast $2,270
PLP-38 Dissipater Lightning Mast $2,980
PLP-14PK Portable Kitted System $3,380
PLP-20PK Portable Kitted System $3,660
PLP-26PK Portable Kitted System $3,685
PLP-32PK Portable Kitted System $4,495
PLP-38PK Portable Kitted System $4,900
PLP-38PK-MOB(02) Portable Kitted System $18,750
PLP-PBHD Heavy Duty Portable Base Mount $1,920
PLP-PB Portable Base Mount $920
PLP-FB Fixed Base Mount $580
 
All products and options above are designed to be UPS/FedEx shippable by ground or air where rapid response is required.
The models shown above are standard LBA Technology products. Custom configurations are available.

To quote your specific requirements, or to order, please consult Michael Senn, michael.senn@lbagroup.com or 252-757-0279.

 


   

LBA Lightning Dissipator Arrays

Replace lightning rods on towers and structures

LBA offers a wide variety of lightning air terminals in the form of lightning dissipaters. Sometimes called a static dissipater, or static dissipation array, this relatively new and advanced air terminal replaces conventional lightning rods in most applications. It functions as a streamer retarding air terminal.

Static dissipation array generically describes a system using point discharge phenomenon to protect towers and antennas and the area around them from a lightning strike. Static dissipation arrays function, as the name implies, by dissipating static electrical charge. Among design factors, the radius of the dissipater electrode cross-section is critical because the process which enables dissi­pation of static ground charge to the atmosphere is related to electric field intensity (and flux density) surrounding the lightning dissipater. Static dissipation arrays provide, in effect, a "low resistance" route for static ground charge to reach the atmosphere, thus preventing a buildup of the ground charge to the value necessary to trigger a strike on the protected object.

Since a static dissipation system must provide a low resistance path to the atmosphere, it seems logical to provide as many discharge points as reasonably possible. By using a large number of air terminal points one can compensate for any loss of efficiency from a theoretical maximum, and spread the dissipater elements over more of the cross-section area of the tower or antenna structure.

All objects have natural dissipation points. On a tower structure, charge tends to gather at, and dissipate from the tower top, antennas and antenna mounts, and from corners. The most effective way to mount a dissipater in terms of structure, weight, wind loading, cost and aesthetics is to enhance this natural dissipation by supporting the dissipater from the structure itself at these natural dissipation points. Since most antenna and tower structures are steel, direct attachment provides excellent conductivity. As a practical matter, the dissipater configuration should be tailored to the structure, not vice versa.

Our lightning dissipaters are available in configurations which can protect the entire tower structure, or just individual cellular antennas. To accomplish this, dissipaters are available in linear, spot, and candelabra styles. From our proprietary products to those of LBA partner suppliers, our products meet highest quality and reliability standards, certified by standards organizations as required. Consult with LBA for the exact mix of products to most effectively protect your antenna or tower system.

Read more about: How to Select Lightning Dissipation Systems 

Tower and Structure Linear Dissipater Arrays

Description:
The Linear Dissipater Array (LDA) is designed to retard streamer formation and to enhance the natural dissipation characteristic of the structure, consistent with aesthetic considerations. A linear dissipater element consists of a central cable with dissipation electrodes inserted continuously within the wind of the cable. Each element is two feet long. The configuration of LDA elements and supporting structure is dependent upon the specifics of the tower top or other structure being protected. Each array is custom designed and quoted.

Application:
Linear Dissipation Arrays are suited to large exposed structures where a high level of static charge dissipation is required. Such structures include broadcast and communications towers, large light structures, bridge spans, flare pipes, oil rigs, and industrial process equipment.


Candelabra Dissipater Arrays


Description:

Candelabra Dissipater Arrays (CDA) typically include four individual brush-style dissipater elements on brackets around the top of a 1/2" x 13 threaded supporting rod. Versions are available on 18", 24” and 48” stainless rods. All CDA’s are Underwriter Laboratories listed as “air terminals” and may be used as part of a “Master Label” system. These CDA’s are patent protected. 

Application:
A CDA is appropriate for use wherever an air terminal (lightning rod) is appropriate and static dissipating qualities are desired. The addition of the streamer retarding CDA secures the benefits of the latest technology in static dissipation while retaining the proven protection of the conventional air terminal. It is particularly suited to protecting aviation warning lights atop power transmission towers and other structures because its thin support rod places the dissipaters above the beacon without occulting its warning beam. The CDA is also ideal for protecting structures like smaller towers, light poles, and satellite dishes.   

Spot Dissipater Elements Description:
Spot dissipater elements (SDE) are patent protected brush-style dissipaters. They consist of a multiplicity of thin stainless steel wires that are mounted in a stainless tube. The tube is provided with convenient mounting holes. The stainless construction makes the spot dissipaters highly corrosion resistant. The basic SDE consists of a “brush” of stainless wires 4” long in a 3” long tube, for a total length of 7”. With appropriate fittings, several variants are available. Typical are: 

SDE-1 SDE with 3” (76.2 mm) tube mount and ¼” (6.35 mm) mounting hole
SDE-2 SDE-1 with dual ¼” (6.35 mm) mounting holes
SDE-22A Dual SDE dissipater, includes hardware set for 1” (25.4 mm) pole attachment
SDE-22B  Dual SDE dissipater, includes hardware set for pipe to 2 ½” (63.5 mm)


Application:
Spot dissipaters are multipurpose devices. Their lightweight and convenient mounting facilitate protection of structural features and devices that do not require the larger LDA and CDA dissipaters. For instance, handrails, lighting fixtures, small antennas, poles, storage tanks, shelters, pumps, and many more devices may be protected. More than one SDE may be attached along the perimeter of tanks or similar assets. For that use, a spacing of 10 to 20 feet is typical. The SDE-22A is specifically designed to mount to the tips of DC grounded radio antennas. The SDE-22B is intended to attach to the top of lightning protection poles and flagpoles.

Spot Dissipaters

 

Air Terminals

Air Terminals
Description:
These Air Terminals incorporate the “brush” of an SDE in the end of a conventional air terminal rod. These units are made solid copper or aluminum and include a standard ½” screw thread on the base to fit most lightning system bases and grounding fixtures. These terminals are Underwriter Laboratories listed. Typical variants are:

DAT-118C Air terminal with 18” (457 mm) solid copper rod, ½” (12.7 mm) x 13 threads
DAT-118A Air terminal with 18” (457 mm) solid aluminum rod, ½” (12.7 mm) x 13 threads
DAT-124SS Air terminal with 24" (609.6 mm) solid stainless steel rod, 5/8" (15.9 mm) x 13 threads
DAT-160SS Air terminal with 60” (1,524 mm) solid stainless steel rod, 5/8” (15.9 mm) x 13 threads


Application:
Typical applications are on building structures and equipment. These can be used in place of a standard air terminal in a lightning protection system built to UL-96A and NFPA 780 specifications.  




Air Terminal Extensions

LRE-8 Lightning terminal extender with DAT-118A dissipator air terminal installedUse the LRE-series of lightning air terminal extenders to facilitate protection of sensitive electronic, communication, and mechanical assets. The LRE-series of extenders adds a critical step in the quest to put lightning where it belongs, the ground.

Conventional practice has been to place lightning rods or air terminals directly on the structure of outdoor air handling units, stacks, control boxes, and antenna, CCTV, and lighting masts. This type of arrangement permits lightning strike charges to flow not only through the mast or structure, but through the attached sensitive equipment as well.

LRE extenders solve the problem by keeping the air terminal well above and independently attached below the protected equipment. This more effectively controls the lighting path. Charges are routed directly to ground, bypassing exposed equipment or cable routings.

Select Models LRE-8 and LRE-14 to elevate air terminals eight feet and fourteen feet, respectively. The extenders are constructed of heavy-duty aluminum and meet NFPA requirements. They can be used with most UL-listed air terminals. LRE-series extenders are designed for installation with an assortment of mounting options, including a non-penetrating roof mount. 

LRE-8 Air Terminal Extender, 8' x 1' (244 cm x 30.5 cm) aluminum base, for ½”(12.7 mm) x 13 air terminals
LRE-14 Air Terminal Extender, 14' x 1 ¼" (4.27 m x 31.8) aluminum base, for ½” (12.7 mm) x 13 air terminals
(Shipped as two pieces, max length 96")


LRE lightning protection hardware is particularly effective when coupled with the LBA series of field dissipater air terminals and candelabra dissipaters. Unlike conventional air terminals, these charge dissipation air terminals bleed off accumulating electrostatic energy, reducing the potential for actual lightning strikes. Consult LBA for recommendations on appropriate selections.

Dissipater Pricing (US$):
Linear Dissipaters:
LDA-3(*) Linear Dissipater Array Tower-top System upon request

Candelabra Dissipaters:

CDA-0418 Candelabra four element array on 18” stainless post

$ 395.00

CDA-0424 Candelabra four element array on 24” stainless post

$ 420.00

CDA-0448 Candelabra four element array on 48” stainless post $ 613.00

Spot Dissipaters: 

SDE-1 Spot dissipater element, 3” (76.2 mm) tube mount w/ ¼” (63.5 mm) hole $ 96.00
SDE-2 Spot dissipater element, 3” (76.2 mm) tube mount w/dual ¼” (63.5 mm)holes $ 96.00
SDE-22A Spot dissipater, dual assembly for DC ground antennas $ 225.00
SDE-22B Spot dissipater, dual assembly for structural masts $ 260.00

Air Terminal Dissipaters:

DAT-112A Air terminal, 1/2" X 12" Aluminum $ 97.00
DAT-118C Air terminal, 1/2" X 18" Copper

$ 153.00

DAT-118A Air terminal, 1/2" X 18" Aluminum

$ 110.00

DAT-124SS Air terminal, 5/8" X 24" Stainless Steel

$ 177.00

DAT-160SS Air terminal, 5/8" X 60" Stainless Steel

$ 215.00

Air Terminal Extenders:

LRE-8 Air terminal extender, 96" Aluminum $ 298.00
LRE-14 Air terminal extender, 162" Aluminum $ 529.00

 
The order numbers shown represent our most popular items. Additional types and custom configurations are available. To quote your specific requirements, or to order, please consult Mike Senn, michael.senn@lbagroup.com or 252-757-0279.



Technical Note
LBA does not claim that these products are 100% effective in preventing lightning strikes.  At the present collective level of understanding of the lightning phenomenon, the behavior of lightning events is to some degree unpredictable.  These products, however, do influence the course of lightning strikes and thereby are believed to reduce the incidence of direct strikes.

Proper grounding of the PLP family and all lightning protective devices is very important. LBA grounding notes and accessories are offered for user convenience only. It is the user’s sole responsibility to determine and apply installation and grounding practices appropriate to their application. The standards of the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL), National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), and appropriate other standards groups should be carefully followed. 


Copper Ground System Materialscopper 248x183px
LBA offers a complete selection of copper bare wire and strap of various widths and gauges for grounding system construction.  Our offerings include prefabricated copper ground wire terminations, Copperweld™ ground rods, chemical ground rods, earthing mesh, and exothermic welding materials, as well as UL and NFPA compliant lightning system cable and accessories.



A wide variety of copper and ground system products are available. Due to metal cost volatility, prices are on request only. To quote your specific requirements, please consult Mikemichael.senn@lbagroup.com or 252-757-0279.  
  actionrequest

 

 

CONTACT INFO

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Greenville, NC 27834, USA

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About LBA

LBA Group companies serve technical infrastructure needs related to the broadcast, wireless, electromagnetic compatibility and safety sectors worldwide. We provide consulting, training and other telecommunications industry services. We also produce and market hardware for radio transmission, RF shielding, safety and testing.

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