Current tests allow the evaluation of the effects of lightning strikes. In accordance with the different existing standards, tests are carried out to verify the effects of lightning rods. In these tests we apply to the sensors, previously treated in the aging simulation tests, several current pulses. The deterioration of the sensors and the integrity of all its components are checked. In a similar way, we test the elements of the lightning protection system that are part of the down conductors. In especial all those connecting elements whose mission is to ensure the continuity of the protection system throughout its useful life. In these connection elements, in addition to verifying the non-degradation after the lightning current flow, the tightening and loosening torques of the screw connections are also verified.
The architectural elements susceptible to lightning strikes must also be tested. This is the case of metal covers, ornaments, etc. Pre-tests with voltage impulse determine the most likely areas of impact. Once these zones are determined, current pulses are applied to verify their ability to receive lightning strikes and their possible degradation.
In wind and aeronautical sectors the evaluation of the effects of lightning strikes is fundamental to verify the different designs. The tests verify the expected life of beam capture systems, effects on composite materials such as glass fibers and carbon fibers, protection elements such as meshes and foils, connecting elements of different parts, conductors in the path of lightning currents, fixings, etc. In the capacity verification tests of the connections and electrodynamics effects the currents are applied directly to the test samples. On the other hand, in those tests where the objective is the verification of the damages due to the direct impact of lightning, the tests are carried out by means of an electrode at a certain distance from the sample to simulate the connection of the ray channel with the tested element. Finally Labelec also performs current distribution tests where current pulses are applied to a sample typically on a real scale (e.g., blade) with a low inductance return path. These tests allow the measurement of the currents in the different paths of lightning currents.
In all the tests we offer the possibility of obtaining thermographs after the application of each pulse to evaluate the thermal effects.
Labelec also conducts tests to verify and characterize surge protection and lightning strike counter devices.