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Old 31-10-2017, 09:42   #46
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

[QUOTE=GTom;2510086]You can patent whatever you want, I'll put one of these on my boat if I see it used and working all around. Are these government approved devices for those building owners who are obliged by law to install lightning protection?

Jay at EMP Solutions I'm sure can provide you references for US municipalities that have purchased and installed the DDCE technology for lightning protection compliance.
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Old 31-10-2017, 10:00   #47
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

A properly designed Faraday cage will work - but is rarely necessary. Portable devices are well protected if they have no wires connected (like charging cables, etc) and are stored in an insulated location. Every electronic device with wires connected is at risk (even "floating" wires unconnected can act as a "lightning antenna" - the longer - the more risk.
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Old 31-10-2017, 10:39   #48
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My grounding plate

Here are a couple of pictures of the grounding plate I had machined to work with the EMP Solutions device. Its made from a 12" x 12" 1/2" thick pure copper plate. There are 1/4" deep grooves, 1/4" wide machined into the surface of the plate. I left a 2" thick strip in the center for strength. There is a 1/2" solid copper stud pressed into the center that will attach to the mast down conductor. There are 2 additional 1/2 bronze bolts just for attachment purposes. On my particular boat there is an 18" space between my two water tanks where the mast is keel stepped. The plate is basically installed on the hull adjacent to the mast keel step.

The grooves increase the surface area by 100% but also important is the edge length which is increased from 4 linear feet to 40 linear feet of edge.

Bending the plate to fit the curve of my hull was a challenge but accomplished with a bit of MacGyver ingenuity.
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Old 31-10-2017, 11:57   #49
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

Bottle brush was a rage about 20 years ago. Many radio, TV and cell towers installed them. No peer reviewed studies proved they made any significant difference. I have not seen one installed on a tower in many years.

As I said earlier, if there is a guaranteed way to prevent lightning damage all the manufacturer has to do is give an iron clad warranty to that effect. They will sell millions and millions of the devices. I'm guessing no such warranty will be provided by any supplier whether they have a patent or not. The reason is obvious. They would go broke.
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Old 31-10-2017, 12:20   #50
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

One theory about why multihulls are more likely to get struck is that they are more likely to be out on moorings and/or outer facing "T" docks.
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Old 31-10-2017, 12:24   #51
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

Also, my boat was struck back in early 2008, and it's equipped with a #4awg ground wire from the stainless top plate of the mast to a Dynaplate below. Neither the CF mast nor the Dynaplate showed any damage after haulout, mast-down careful inspection. 9 sailing seasons later no signs of latent damage, either.


Does that dispel one urban legend or two?
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Old 31-10-2017, 12:38   #52
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
As I said earlier, if there is a guaranteed way to prevent lightning damage all the manufacturer has to do is give an iron clad warranty to that effect. They will sell millions and millions of the devices. I'm guessing no such warranty will be provided by any supplier whether they have a patent or not. The reason is obvious. They would go broke.
Dinnteco continues to sell and install the DDCE-100 devices and has ALWAYS offered a $500K damage guarantee on the devices and haven't gone broke so that disproves that theory. I don't know whether EMP Solutions will continue to do that or not with their new models, but I can't see why they wouldn't offer something similar. The issue with the warranty is the system needs to be inspected annually and resistance to ground measured to ensure that it meets the < 10 ohm requirement. This is especially important in a marine environment where corrosion is more of a problem. If the resistance to ground due to corrosion is > 10 ohms, all bets are off.
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Old 31-10-2017, 13:59   #53
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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Dinnteco continues to sell and install the DDCE-100 devices and has ALWAYS offered a $500K damage guarantee on the devices and haven't gone broke so that disproves that theory. I don't know whether EMP Solutions will continue to do that or not with their new models, but I can't see why they wouldn't offer something similar. The issue with the warranty is the system needs to be inspected annually and resistance to ground measured to ensure that it meets the < 10 ohm requirement. This is especially important in a marine environment where corrosion is more of a problem. If the resistance to ground due to corrosion is > 10 ohms, all bets are off.
Still reluctant to be an early adopter until I see an independent lightning expert's review. Google is quite silent on the topic, this very thread being the only forum reference, no 3rd party reviews, etc...

Btw, as I understand, the device also channels a strike to the ground in case, just as the Franklin setup - thus their 500k offer isn't in a significant danger.

Anyway, it's interesting tech, I don't have a boat yet - when I get it, I'll definitely look back on this solution as well.

Nice job with the grounding plate! I just wonder if I could use the SSB radio's grounding plate for this?
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Old 31-10-2017, 14:39   #54
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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Originally Posted by wgoodbye View Post
Dinnteco continues to sell and install the DDCE-100 devices and has ALWAYS offered a $500K damage guarantee on the devices and haven't gone broke so that disproves that theory. I don't know whether EMP Solutions will continue to do that or not with their new models, but I can't see why they wouldn't offer something similar. The issue with the warranty is the system needs to be inspected annually and resistance to ground measured to ensure that it meets the < 10 ohm requirement. This is especially important in a marine environment where corrosion is more of a problem. If the resistance to ground due to corrosion is > 10 ohms, all bets are off.


I found nothing about such a warranty or inspection requirement on their web site.
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Old 31-10-2017, 14:56   #55
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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I found nothing about such a warranty or inspection requirement on their web site.
I was told new website is coming soon that will have more info on the marine version. There are a lot of small companies out there with great technology that have websites that need work. If you want more info on the specifics, contact Jay at empsolutionsinc.com or feel to reach out to me directly and I'd be happy to share any details about my project or what I've learned about the technology.
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Old 31-10-2017, 15:07   #56
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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Nice job with the grounding plate! I just wonder if I could use the SSB radio's grounding plate for this?
From the engineers that I have spoken with, research that I have done personally and several books I have read that mention lightning grounding plates, for this type of system (which is pretty similar to a Franklin lightning rod-based system in many respects), the experts all say not to use the SSBs grounding plate or a sintered bronze plate for that matter as the lightning ground plate. Sintered bronze plates contain a lot of water and have the potential for the water to vaporize suddenly on a lightning discharge and do bad things to the hull. A dedicated grounding plate of at least one square foot of solid copper or a long narrow copper bar running along the hull is advised.
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Old 31-10-2017, 15:20   #57
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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Originally Posted by wgoodbye View Post
From the engineers that I have spoken with, research that I have done personally and several books I have read that mention lightning grounding plates, for this type of system (which is pretty similar to a Franklin lightning rod-based system in many respects), the experts all say not to use the SSBs grounding plate or a sintered bronze plate for that matter as the lightning ground plate. Sintered bronze plates contain a lot of water and have the potential for the water to vaporize suddenly on a lightning discharge and do bad things to the hull. A dedicated grounding plate of at least one square foot of solid copper or a long narrow copper bar running along the hull is advised.
I could turn the problem around and use the lightning optimized grounding system for the SSB Read somewhere, that SSB grounding "problems" are overrated. (Obviously the radio itself must go in its Faraday box if there are too much lightnings around)
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Old 31-10-2017, 17:15   #58
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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I have a trawler. I try to stay around sailboats when there's a chance of lightning!
Seems to be the best advice so far! Maybe I'll cosy up to the largest sailboats with the tallest masts. (Though not too close)
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Old 31-10-2017, 18:46   #59
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

From what I understand, the research into how lightning neutralises the huge voltage potential is that:
A. more surface area of the conductor is better than more mass. Therefore an alloy mast is better to carry the charge vs a solid conductor, like a big cable.
B. Lightning will "seek" the surface of the ocean, not the bottom. Therefore putting grounding plates below the surface is somewhat counterproductive/suboptimal. This also explains why monohulls with good mast grounding to keel bolts still have throughhulls blown out, the lightning "preferred" the path nearest the surface. There are insurance reports of monohulls with keel stepped masts that had lightning sideflash from the mast below decks across to through hull fittings and sunk the boat.
Dr. Thomson's research also showed that the Seidarc surface electrodes don"t need to be precisely at the surface level to work. In waves, some will be below water, some will be above. That's OK. With full cruising displacement, try to put them as close to the waterline when at anchor as practicable.
C. A rounded tip of the masthead alloy lightning rod works better than a point. Same thing for the secondary aerial conductors. Alloy is about 30 times more conductive than stainless.

You can find discarded aluminium cabling used for power lines at scrap metal dealers, its really big and makes excellent conductor for this purpose > big surface area.


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Old 31-10-2017, 22:55   #60
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Re: Lightning protection for you boat

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Mike Banks

👍👍👍........

The alloy mast is the main game, so earth it via adequate conductor(s) to the sea SURFACE so the voltage equalisation has a chance, which happens in microseconds, if not nanoseconds.

Shrouds won't do it, neither will anchor chains. The lightning that hits your boat WILL get to the sea surface, so help it do that as much as you can. Then you can deal with sideflash and induced currents with peripheral bonding as well for both personal safety and best chance of saving equipment.
.................
Agree.
As I said in my post no 20 above, I have seen with my own eyes burn marks in my friend's boat where the lightning jumped 300mm to find a path from-the-chainplate-to-the-wiring-to-the-water, so, providing an easier way to the water is the key.

All other measures can offer an enhanced protection from side flash etc to your equipment, but providing an easy path to the water seems to me the best, simplest, cheapest solution.
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