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In the paper the results obtained from experiments at a modelled reinforced building in case of a direct lightning strike are compared with calculations. The comparison includes peak values of the magnetic field Hmax, its derivative (dH/dt)max and of induced voltages umax in typical cable routings. The experiments are performed at a 1:6 scaled building and the results are extrapolated using the similarity relations theory. The calculations are based on the approximate formulae given in IEC 62305-4 and have to be supplemented by a rough estimation of the additional shielding effect of a second reinforcement layer. The comparison shows, that the measured peak values of the magnetic field and its derivative are mostly lower than the calculated. The induced voltages are in good agreement. Hence, calculations of the induced voltages based on IEC 62305-4 are a good method for lightning protection studies of buildings, where the reinforcement is used as a grid-like electromagnetic shield.

For the application of the concept of Lightning Protection Zones (LPZ), the knowledge of the magnetic fields and induced voltages inside a structure is necessary. Laboratory experiments have been conducted at a downscaled model of a building (scale factor 1:6) to determine these electromagnetic quantities in case of a direct strike to the structure. The model (3 m x 2 m x 2 m) represented a small industrial building using the reinforcement of the concrete as electromagnetic shield. The magnetic fields and magnetic field derivatives were measured at several location inside the scaled model. Further, the voltages induced on three typical cable routes inside the model was determined. The influence of the lightning current waveshape, point-of-strike, bonding of the cable routes, and bridging of an expansion joint in the middle of the building on these quantities was studied.

In IEC 61312-2 equations for the assessment of the magnetic fields inside structures due to a direct lightning strike are given. These equations are based on computer simulations for shields consisting of a single-layer steel grid of a given mesh width. Real constructions, however, contain at least two layers of reinforcement steel grids. The objective of this study was to experimentally determine the additional shielding effectiveness of a second reinforcement layer compared to a single-layer grid. To this end, simulated structures were set up in the high current laboratory. The structures consisted of cubic cages of 2 m side length with one or with two reinforcement grids, respectively. The structures were exposed to direct lightning currents representing the variety of anticipated lightning current waveforms. The magnetic fields and their derivatives at several positions inside the structure as well as the voltage between “floor” and “roof” in the center were determined for different current injection points. From these data the improvement of the shielding caused by a second reinforcement layer is derived.