Lightning protection design in hazardous areas

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Dr. Szedenik Norbert
Department of Electric Power Engineering

The goal of my thesis is to give a general picture of planning lightning protection in hazardous areas (explosive environments), assessing the need for lightning protection, and installing it.

While describing this topic it is unavoidable to take a short look at the appropriate regulations and any recent or currently ongoing changes in the law. Apart from this I will give a short introduction to explosion protection, with an emphasis on the aspects that must be considered when planning lightning protection to ensure a secure and safe protection system. These are explosion risk zones (Ex-zones), explosion proof equipment categories and basic knowledge of the circumstances and ignition sources of explosions. I will point out the difference in the approach towards explosive facilities between the old (MSZ 274) and the new (MSZ EN 62305 /IEC 62305/) lightning protection regulations. I will also include the upcoming changes in the regulations. I shall advert to point out how the current law (OTSZ /Hungarian national fire protection rule/) complies (or sometimes does not) with the different regulations. After this I will discuss what restraints must be applied to the lightning protection system, its elements and its installation to prevent explosion, and to ensure that the lightning protection system does not become the ignition source for the explosive medium.

To end my thesis I will demonstrate the application of the current (MSZ EN 62305 /IEC 62305/) lightning protection regulations in a short case study – on a hydrogen tank that is in the “A” flammability category (extremely flammable) according to the law.


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