INGESCO Direct Lightning Strike Protection Devices.

INGESCO Direct Lightning Strike Protection Devices.



Lightning can damage electrical equipment by striking power lines and surging through a building's wiring system. Building damage, facility damage, fires, personal injury and livestock loss usually result from direct lightning strikes.

Since 1973 the INGESCO group has been the SPANISH Company Leader in the Lightning PREVENTION and PROTECTION Sector.

The Ingesco PDC lightning rods, with their non-electronic priming system, has maintained its position at the forefront of Lightning Protection Technology for more than 36 years. Their different models allow an adjusted ADAPTATION to the protection necessities and safety of each client, to whom it offers 100% effectiveness in discharges and operation guarantee in any condition and in all the cases.


A good lightning rod protection system is most apt to provide protection from these kinds of hazards. This guide will help explain the nature of lightning and how to provide protection for your family, business and property.

Direct Strike LIGHTNING PROTECTION & the INGESCO PDC and PDC-Stream "ESE" System Lightning Rod, standardized according norm UNE 21.186. Usefull for external lightning protection to all type of constructions.


There is a wide range of applications for our State of the Art "INGESCO"Lightning Rod system such as: Power Plants and Windmill Generators, Broadcasting Stations, Oil Refinaries, Industrial Enterprices, Data centers, Office & Commercial Buildings, Hospitals, Airports, Radar and Air Trafic Control and Aviation Communication centers, Defence Installations, Wireless Rural Telephony Networks, Fuel & Gas Storage Facilities, Mines, Microwave Radio Relay Stations, CATV Networks, Industrial Controls & Automations, Antenna Towers, and High end Residences.


The Ingesco Lightning rods are manufactured to date with Protection Radius of between 35 meters and 113 meters.


- Central shaft and deflection set made in stainless steel. AISI 316.
- Exciter set: epoxy resine.
- 100% of efficacy in discharge capture.
- High level of protection.
- Electric continuity guaranteed. The device doesn’t offer any resistance to discharge conduction.
- It preserves its initial properties after each discharge.
- Not fungible (as it doesn't include electronic elements).
- It doesn’t need external power supply.
- Operation guaranteed in any atmospheric condition.


What is lightning?

Lighting is an uncontrolled giant electric spark with tremendous voltage and amperage. It always tries to follow the shortest, easiest path to earth.

But because it has thousands of amperes and millions of volts, it often follows several paths to earth simultaneously.

Lightning is sometimes described as a visible discharge of static charges occurring with a cloud, between clouds or between a cloud and earth.

Such charges always develop in pairs, one negative and one positive. When one develops in one area, another develops in a nearby area.

The potential power depends upon the size of the charge that builds up between these opposite charges which are separated by an insulating air gap.

If and when the electrical potential between the positive and negative charges becomes great enough to puncture the air gap insulator, the negative charges rush toward the positive charges and vice versa.

This action produces a sudden release of energy, heating the air to incandescence to form the intense white spark we call lightning.

Generally speaking, the negative charges accumulate near the base of thunderclouds with opposite charges developing in the upper portion of the cloud and/or near the earth's surface with its projecting objects like trees, building steeples, chimneys, poles or wires.

Because the potential build-up is greatest on these projecting objects, lightning is more apt to strike there than on larger, flatter surfaces projecting to the same or to a lower level.

When and what to protect?

Consider several factors before purchasing a protection system.

Whether you invest in such a system will depend upon the frequency and severity of thunderstorms in your area, the value and nature of each building and its contents, the relative building exposure (whether located on a hill or in a valley), and the hazards to people and/or livestock.

Other important considerations are the indirect losses that might result from building destruction, fire or loss of livestock. (Example: you can't replace a top-performing herd that years of personal effort have developed.)

By evaluating your needs, the insurability factors and an gathering accurate cost estimates, you can decide the relative importance of such an investment.

What constitutes a good system?

The fundamental principle in protection against lightning is to provide a means by which a discharge may enter or leave the earth without passing through a non-metallic or non-conducting part of a structure or other object.

An adequate protection system for buildings must include:

  • Properly sized, placed and installed air terminals to receive the lightning stroke 
  • Down conductors designed to carry the discharge from the air terminal to the ground
  • Ground rods of adequate size, properly located into moist earth to serve as a ground terminal
  • Interconnecting conductors of proper size and type to securely fasten together all system components.

Materials used in protection systems must be resistant to corrosion, Copper, copper alloys, copper-clad steel and aluminum are approved materials, with copper and aluminum the most common.(SEE our page on FARAGAUSS Ground Rods)

Combinations of materials subject to electrolytic action should be avoided. There is one exception. Because aluminum conductors corrode when in contact with earth.

Such conductors should terminate at least one foot above ground level and connect with corrosion-resistant, copper conductors that carry the discharge under the earth surface to the grounding electrode.

Always use a special bi-metal connector to bond the aluminum and copper conductors.


The installation of a lightning protection system is as important as the materials used. A few considerations will help you decide whether you have a complete system:

A sufficient number of INGESCO Lightning Rods air terminals or points must be spaced properly.

Turns should not exceed 90 degrees, and no bend should have less than an 8-inch radius.

Entrance conduits, gutters, drain pipes, pipe vents, metal water pipe, radio and television antennas, metal roofing, fences and other metal objects should be bonded to main down conductors and ground rods.

The bonding conductor must be at least number 1 to 4 A.W.G. copper or equivalent.

Lightning system ground rods (electrodes) must be driven to a minimum depth of 1 meter where soil conditions permit.

When rocky terrain prohibits this, alternate grounding procedures, as discussed below, must be used.

Locate ground rods two feet from the building foundation and install rod well under the surface of the ground.

Buildings with a perimeter of over 250 feet need one additional down conductor for each additional 100 feet.

Water towers, silos, fuel tanks, metallic spires, flag poles, tall buildings, tall trees, etc. should have their individual protection systems.

If driven grounds used for the electrical and/or the telephone systems are within 6 feet of a lightning protection system ground, all must be bonded together to prevent side flashes.

Protect down conductors from mechanical damage by enclosing in a conduit or metal tubing. Extend conduit from a point at least 5 feet above ground level to 1 foot below the ground surface. 

To achieve effective grounding FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:                                                              

Minimal grounding is provided by one of our FARAGAUSS Electromagnetic Grounding Rod kits.

Where the ground may be dry, especially rocky or sandy, or where lightning may be particularly severe, more rods should be installed, at least 10 feet(3 meters) apart.

Connect or "bond" all ground rods together via bare copper wire (#6 or larger, see the NEC) and bury the wire. Use only approved clamps to connect wire to rods.

If your photovoltaic array is some distance from the house, drive ground rod(s) near it, and bury bare wire in the trench with the power lines.

Metal water pipes that are buried in the ground are also good to ground to.

Purchase connectors approved for the purpose, and connect ONLY to cold water pipes, NEVER to hot water or gas pipes. Beware of plastic fittings -- bypass them with copper wire.

Iron well casings are super ground rods.

Drill and tap a hole in the casing to get a good bolted connection.

If you connect to more than one grounded object (the more the better) it is essential to electrically bond (wire) them to each other. Connections made in or near the ground are prone to corrosion, so use proper bronze or copper connectors.

Your ground system is only as good as its weakest electrical connections.

The idea is to make as much electrical contact with the earth as you can, over the

broadest area feasible, preferably contacting moist soil.


Commercial Lightning Protection Systems

Each year millions of dollars are spent by businesses to replace inventory,

repair damage, and recover losses due tolightning strikes. 

Most contemporary buildings are vulnerable to damage resulting from a

lightning strike. 

The uniqueness of architecture demands that every commercial

lightning protection system be custom designed to ensure proper protection. 

We have the expertise & specialize in designing effective custom-commercial

lightning protection systems.

Commercial Grade Lightning Rods

Investing in a commercial grade lightning protection system for your commercial

or industrial facility will protect your organization's investments in property

and equipment.To ensure complete protection from the associated electrical

surge found with lightning strikes, we can also incorporate surge suppressors

into the protection package.This additional measure will protect your electronics

and software systems from damage as well. By combining the structural

protection with surge protection to minimize damage, we can provide you with

the highest level of protection from costly lightning strike damages.


Some Lightning Facts:


Industrial parks, manufacturing plants, churches, schools,

banking centers, hospitals, sports complexes, corporate

centers all benefit from certified lightning protection


1.  Lightning is the leading cause of church fires (30+%) in

     the United States.

2.  Between three and five percent of all commercial

     insurance claims are lightning related in the US.



GROUND THE METALLIC FRAMEWORK of your PV array. (If your framework is wood, metallically bond the module frames together, and wire to ground.)

Be sure to bolt your ground wires solidly to the metal so it will not come loose, and inspect it periodically.

Also ground antenna masts and wind generator towers.


This protects from shock hazard as well as lightning damage.

SURGE PROTECTION DEVICES bypass the high voltages induced by lightning.

They are recommended for additional protection in lightning-prone areas or where good grounding is

not feasible (such as on a dry rocky mountain top), especially if long lines are being run to an array,

pump, antenna, or between buildings.

Studies show that a certain relationship exists between the height of an air terminal and the area

of protection that this grounded terminal will provide.

The protected horizontal distance is about two times the height of the object on which the

terminal is mounted.

Personal protection

The lightning hazard to people is greatest for those who are outdoors at work or play.

Consequently, the best protection can be obtained by following a few simple safety rules: 

  • Do not go or stay outdoors in thunderstorms.
  • Seek shelter in buildings with lightning protection systems, enclosed automobiles, trains, etc.
  • Avoid tents, open-top autos, unprotected buildings.
  • Avoid open fields, athletic fields, golf courses, wire fences, isolated trees, swimming pools
  • and open bodies of water such as lakes. (Do not ride in open vehicles in above areas.)
  • If possible, seek dense woods, depressed areas, and/or buildings in low areas. 


Residential Lightning Protection Systems

You should always remember that partial protection is no better than no protection.

But a properly installed system can save life and property.

If you decide to install a lightning protection system, make sure you get the best.

According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), lightning is responsible for

several hundred million dollars in damages to property annually!  All of the loses could have easily

prevented by installing a certified residential lightning protection system! 

Lightning Protection

Researchers simulated the effects of lightning on structures with, and without, lightning protection. 

After performing their experiements, the researchers concluded that a properly designed, installed,

and grounded lightning rod protection system provides safe, effective, and reliable protection to

residential structures.


Lightning Facts


Our Lightning Rods work by receiving the lightning stroke and discharging it quickly and

harmlessly to the ground.  Remenber: A lightning protection system is so effective

at dissipating  the stroke to the ground that occupants in the protected home that most residents

don't even know that their home was struck by lightning!


Is Your Home at Risk?

Today's high tech electronic equipment such as microwaves, computers, televisions, and other "everyday life"

devices are particularly sensitive to electronic surges produced by lightning.  If a lightning bolt was to strike

 a home without lightning protection, there would be thousands of dollars of damage in just electronic

devices alone!

Protect Your Home

Our lightning protection system is designed to control, or divert, the force of the electrical current

onto a specified path in order to eliminate the chance of fire or explosion.  This is accomplished by

strategically installing air terminals, conductors, ground rods. The placement and usage of these devices

is crucial to the successful protection of your home! With more than 35 years of experience providing

lightning protection, we can design a complete lightning protection system to ensure your home's

safety from damaging lightning.


Shared Information on Lightning Strikes and Towers.


Watching a lightning strike is interesting. Photographs of lightning strikes have shown leaders that appear just before the discharge occurs. These leaders seem to develop downwards from the underside of the cloud in leaps of about 150 feet. They continue to extend toward the ground until, when several hundred feet from the ground, streamers begin to rise from the ground toward the leaders.

When the leaders and streamers connect, the ionized path formed provides the path for the lightning strike.


If we could prevent the leaders and streamers from making contact we might prevent lightning strikes.

Aircraft have what are known as wicks on the trailing edges. These wicks serve the same purpose as the lightning rods on the top of radio towers.

They allow the aircraft to discharge itself continually as it flies.

 In the case of the lightning rod, the sharper the point the better the lightning rod works.

As the diameter of a conductor decreases, the voltage gradient increases toward the point. When the voltage at the end of the rod is sufficiently high it will bleed-off some of the induced lightning charge on the ground, streamers will be reduced or eliminated and the likelihood of a lightning strike is reduced. A corona develops at the tip of the rod, which sometimes can be seen.

An ounce of prevention

Several companies offer lightning protection devices that use a series of sharp-pointed electrodes mounted on the top of the tower. These are known as static ground charge dissipation systems and can be effective. It is also common practice to install a static discharge choke from the base of the tower to ground. However, if the standard ball gap is not properly adjusted it can cause more harm than good.

AM towers, with their large and low-resistance ground systems, seem to suffer less damage from lightning. Once a lightning strike enters the tower, its path toward ground is determined by the reactance in its path. Because the rise time of the wavefront is rapid a reactance that might normally be considered insignificant can develop catastrophic voltages, which can bypass ground paths and jump to adjacent objects.

Different ground points can result in a voltage differential between devices.


A lightning strike on a power line can enter through the line itself.

Regardless of the amount of lightning activity in a station's local area, surge protectors are essential. Some power lines contain intermittent spikes caused by load changes, as well as severe over-voltage surges caused by lightning.

The surge protector should be located where the line enters the building, and additional surge protectors on individual pieces of equipment are advisable.

It is essential that surge protectors be connected as closely as possible to the equipment to be protected, and in no case should long connecting cables be used.

There should be only one ground system connection. Otherwise it is possible for high voltages to develop between them in the event of a heavy strike.

The extensive ground system required by AM transmitters sometimes provides an ideal unity ground. However, all connections to this ground should be made with a flat, wide copper strap to ensure a low-impedance connection.

If possible, bring all ground connections close together so that there can be no potential differences between them.

If a lightning strike occurs near the transmitter building a voltage gradient will be produced across the area. If these three lines are brought through widely separated ports, surprisingly large voltages can develop between them if they are grounded in three places. Locating them together and connecting them to the same ground should reduce or eliminate lightning damage.

For more information and details on our INGESCO Lightning rods, please visit the link below to our Manufacturer whom we proudly represent in this region:





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PRIME TECHNOLOGIES Inc. (PTInc) Patrijsweg #9. Cas Cora. Willemstad, Curacao N.A. Office.: (5999) 736-1353 Fax: (5999) 737-1553



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INGESCO PDC Lightning Rod Installed at PAPAGAYO "Diamond Casino": 26th  May 2011.




Fuel Depot Lightning Protection Installation from INGESCO.