Currently there are two types of commercially available lightning protection systems, passive systems that don’t perform a special action during lightning, and active or ESE (Early Streamer Emission) systems that has as a target to anticipate the lightning strike. The operating principle is the same in both systems, but the active ones have an increased ability to attract the lightning and greater protection radius due to an extra ionization. Bigger radius means less protection elements needed, which in turn makes the ESE systems less expensive and with reduced visual and aesthetic impact. Moreover, active system does not only protect the structure, but also protects the surrounding and open areas. The active protection was introduced back in 1986 and since then its market grows steadily. In 2016 there were over 800.000 installations worldwide, produced by around 100 producers.
The proposed ESE system is a result of a continuous research and development since 2004 and incorporates the latest developments in the field of active protection. Made of stainless steel and most resistant insulating materials, the system can sustain direct lightning hits with impulse currents over 400kA and thus guarantees protection even in worst weather conditions. It is completely resistant to chemical and mechanical influences of any kind. The core structure of the product involves: two semi-spherical electrodes, electronics installed in the lower semi-sphere, central electrode for accepting and conducting the lighting, and connectors for electronic modules. The solution is fully compatible with any existing system and can be installed in less than 2 hours.
The proposed solution brings ESE systems to a higher, smart level, addressing some of their common limitations: lack of possibility for technical interaction, disintegrated action, single reaction, lacks of self-diagnostics and alarming characteristics, and fixed protective parameters. To secure multiple reaction, the system introduces innovation in its micro-processing electronic part whereas the communication with other systems of its kind is enabled with the use of FDDE (Fast Dynamic Data Exchange) technology. A customised software algorithm is added to the ESE electronic part, supporting the systems’ interaction and decision-making for individual or joint action.
Additional advantages result from the solution’s open, modular upgradeability. Re-configurable electronic modules addressing a variety of user needs can be easily added to the system. For instance, modules for internet-based connection with terrestrial, hydro-meteorological and satellite systems, or modular extensions for identification, events log, self-diagnostics, number of sustained lightning strikes, alarming (SMS, MMS, e-mail), user communication and integrated systems’ communication. These modules are interconnected, coordinated and managed by the smart microcontroller introduced to the system. Among other, they enable early warning and higher level of protection, direct user communication, climate or other info on-demand, statistical information, etc.
The company is interested in exploiting the overall potential of the product through enhanced internationalisation. In this respect, manufacturers and suppliers of lightning protection systems, electricity transmission equipment and/or electrical installations are sought for long term cooperation under the terms of commercial agreement with technical assistance and/or licence agreement. The partners will benefit from introducing an innovative product in their existing portfolio or from using the proposed technology and manufacture the modular isolator under a licensing fee. The Macedonian company is expected to benefit from increased revenue sales and improved brand recognition, whereas the international partner(s) would benefit from introduction of a new and innovative product, increased market share, improved customer satisfaction and higher financial gains.