Lightning Grounding Systems
Ground electrodes are installed in direct contact with the earth. Typically, lightning grounding systems are driven vertically into the ground to a depth of 10 feet. However, grounding does not have a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Special accommodations are necessary for shallow, sandy, or rocky soil or in unusual projects such as watercraft, towers, or tanks. Alternatives to traditional copper-clad steel ground rods include buried copper plates or a buried loop of lightning conductor cable around the building perimeter.
Grounds are typically copper, copper-clad steel, or tinned copper. Aluminum is not permitted for use in the ground.
There are situations where the individual driven rods need to be augmented either through the addition of more rods, or a buried loop conductors encircling a structure. The buried ring is regarded as a “better” grounding system but is often not practical for installation on an existing structure.
The lightning protection grounds must be interconnected to all other building ground systems such as those used for telephone, electrical, and communication systems.