Lightning Protection Inspection & Testing Services

Verifying the Integrity of Your Lightning Protection System

An effective lightning protection system typically consists of three fundamental elements.

  1. Above ground strike objects (air terminals, catenary wires, structural metal), bonding connectors, and down conductors. Above ground lightning protection systems may be implemented as one or a combination of the following topologies: 
    • Bonded systems, where equipotential bonding connectors are established between the lightning protection system and all utilities, facility structural metal, etc. 
    • Isolated systems, where overhead catenary wires completely shield the assets below from direct lightning attachment.
  2. Below ground earthing conductors, counterpoise, and grounding grids
  3. Surge protective devices for electrical panels and electronics

In order for a lightning protection system to safely and quickly dissipate direct and indirect lightning currents and voltages, the integrity of all elements of the lightning protection system must be verified.

In addition to the three fundamental lightning protection system elements, there are other critical lightning protection elements that are often overlooked and cause significant problems for industries that utilize monitoring and control systems (Power Plants, Chemical Plants, etc). These elements are transient protection, shielding, and bonding. Transient protection is provided by a combination of filtering and surge suppression devices.  The design and implantation of proper transient protection depend on factors including circuit topologies, operating voltages, current handling, physical location of the circuit, interfaces, and exposure. Inadequate shielding and bonding can cause excessive and damaging induced voltages across interfaces or equipment due to nearby lightning strikes.  As a result, facilities often experience burned fuses, damaged data acquisition or control cards, damaged sensors or transmitters, etc.  It is important to note that these types of damage can occur even if the three fundamental lightning protection elements have been properly installed and are working properly.  SLS is an industry leader in the design of site-specific transient protection, shielding, and bonding topologies to provide optimum protection and minimize lightning-related downtime. 

SLS designs highly-complex lightning protection systems for critical assets. Our team of experts knows how lightning protection systems should be designed. By conducting lightning protection system testing, we put this knowledge to work to ensure that your assets are sufficiently lightning-protected. Contact us for our lightning testing services and lightning protection system inspection programs.

Lightning Protection Inspection

Lightning protection systems should be visually inspected at least once per year. An in-depth inspection should be scheduled every 3-4 years for all systems and every 1-3 years for critical systems.

SLS engineers perform on-site visual inspections of your facility’s above-ground lightning protection system. When necessary, visual lightning protection system inspections are accompanied by calibrated bonding measurements to ensure proper, low-impedance connections between all strike objects, bonding connectors, utilities, structural metal, and down conductors.

Grounding System Inspection

SLS engineers perform on-site visual inspections and measurements of your facility’s grounding system. Calibrated bonding impedance measurements are conducted between down-conductors and the grounding network. The overall grounding resistance of your structure is accurately measured. For new construction, ground resistivity measurements are conducted to determine what type and scale of grounding system will be most capable of safely and quickly conducting lightning currents to ground. Contact our engineers to discuss your inspection needs.

Surge Protection Inspection

SLS engineers inspect your facility’s electrical panels and peripheral equipment to ensure that properly dimensioned, installed, and maintained SPDs are being utilized.

In addition to a proper lightning protection system to protect from structural damage, a facility must also incorporate surge protection devices (SPDs) on all incoming power and data lines as well as vulnerable equipment.

Verifying that SPDs are properly in place and functioning is increasingly important with the proliferation of vulnerable building elements, such as LED lighting, complex electronics, photovoltaics, and microprocessor-controlled devices. SPDs perform the critical function of protecting sensitive electronic equipment from electrical surges and spikes, including those caused by lightning.

A facility’s surge protection needs depend on the equipment's surge withstand capability, the desired level of protection, the equipment's location, and the equipment's function.

Lightning Protection & Grounding Inspections- The End Result

When SLS has completed inspections and measurements of your facility’s lightning protection and grounding system, we provide you with:

  • A custom, detailed report of our findings, including measurement values and illustrations
  • Recommendations for mitigating any lightning protection or grounding issues that were discovered during the inspections
  • Recommendations for improving surge protection of electrical panels and peripheral electronics
  • When necessary, refer you to a qualified, UL-Listed, LPI Certified lightning protection specialty contractor to perform required upgrades
  • When necessary, coordination for third-party certification of existing, modified, or newly-installed lightning protection systems for compliance with US standards such as NFPA-780, UL96A, and LPI175

Contact us today to schedule a site visit for the lightning protection experts at SLS to examine your existing or newly-installed lightning protection system.


The Industries We Serve


We Are Lightning Experts

The SLS Team has many decades of lightning monitoring, lightning protection, and lightning testing experience. We apply state-of-the-art lightning research to engineering solutions.

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