A lightning rod is a metal rod or metallic object mounted on top of a building, electrically bonded using a wire or electrical conductor to interface with ground / earth through an electrode, engineered to protect the building in the event of lightning strike.
If lightning targets the building it will preferentially strike the rod and be conducted to ground through the wire instead of passing through the building where it could start a fire or cause electrocution.
A Copper Lighting Arrester Rod is a single component in a lightning protection system. Copper Lighting Arrester Rod are also called Air terminals or strike termination devices. The Copper Lighting Arrester Rod requires a connection to earth to perform its protective function. Copper Lighting Arrester Rod come in many different forms, including hollow, solid, pointed, rounded, flat strips or even bristle brush-like: copper or aluminium. The main attribute of all lightning rods is they are conductive.
Lightning Protection Systems is designed to protect a structure from damage due to lightning strikes by intercepting such strikes and safely passing their extremely high voltage currents to the ground / earth. A lightning protection system includes a network of air terminals, bonding conductors, and ground electrodes which are designed to provide a low impedance path to ground for potential strikes.
Lightning protection systems are used to prevent or lessen damage to structures done by lightning strikes. It mitigates the fire hazard which lightning strikes pose to structures. A lightning protection system provides a low-impedance path for the lightning current to lessen the heating effect of current flowing through flammable structural materials. If lightning travels through porous and water-saturated materials,these parts of a building may literally explode if their water content is flashed to steam by heat produced from lightning current.
Because of the high energy and current levels associated with lightning ,currents can be in excess of 150,000 amps and the very rapid rise time of a lightning strike, no lightning protection system can guarantee absolute safety from lightning. Lightning current will divide to follow every conductive path to ground, and even the divided current can cause damage. Secondary “side-flashes” can be enough to ignite a fire, blow apart brick, stone, or concrete, or injure occupants within a structure or building. However, the benefits of basic lightning protection systems have been evident for well over a century.
The parts of a lightning protection system are air terminals lightning rods or strike termination devices, bonding conductors, ground terminals also known as ‘’ground’ or “earthing” rods, plates, or mesh), and all of the connectors and supports to complete the system. The air terminals are typically arranged at or along the upper points of a roof structure, and are electrically bonded together by bonding conductors (called “down conductors” or “down leads”), which are connected by the most direct route to one or more grounding or earthing terminals.