ESE Lightning Air Terminal

ESE Air Terminal Rod is an active type lightning arrester which stimulates continuous upward leader before any other object does within its radius of protection. Due to its earlier triggering of upward leader, the area of protection is much larger when compared to a simple conventional air terminal rods. The area protected by an ESE terminal depends upon the time difference between the streamer raised from an ESE terminal and the streamer raised from other passive components located at same height. If this time difference is higher, the area protected by the air terminal will also be higher. That time difference is generally termed as triggering advance time and it is always expressed in microseconds (10−6s or µs).

Triggering Advance Time (t):

The triggering advance time is defined as the difference in triggering time of an early streamer lightning rod and a simple conventional air terminal rod obtained when both rods are exposed to the same atmospheric & electrical conditions.

TSRAT = The mean triggering time of the upward leader of a simple conventional air terminal rod.

TESEAT = The mean triggering time of the upward leader of a ESE air terminal rod.

As per NFC 17-102/2011, the value of ‘∆t’ should be between 10µs and 60µs. An air terminal is considered as ESEAT only if the triggering advance time is greater than 10 µs., also the value of ‘t’ being greater than 60µs, it is to be still considered as maximum 60µs for all design calculations.

Radius of Protection - NFC 17- 102/2011:

The radius of protection is the distance between the point where you want to place the (ESE) air terminal rod and the farthest point from the structure or building to be protected. For calculating the radius of protection, it is very important to get the triggering advance time of the device and the height of the mast on which the ESE air terminal rod is mounted upon. The ESE Air terminal should be installed at least 2 meters over the surface of the structure to be protected.

Calculation for Radius of Protection:

For the Early Streamer Emission air terminal, the radius of protection for different levels can be calculated using the following equation:

For h ≥ 5m


h - Height (m) of the mast above the considered surface

∆ - ∆ = ∆t x 10−6 s

r – Depends on the selected level of protection ( in meter)
r = 20 for Level 1 protection
r = 30 for Level 2 protection
r = 45 for Level 3 protection
r = 60 for Level 4 protection
For buildings taller than 60 meters, minimum of 4 down conductors should be used

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