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Work of ESE Lightning Arrestor

ESE Lightning Arrestor

Working Principle

The ESE air terminal is a device for lightning protection system with a spherical metal part fixed to the top. This sphere is insulated from the rod by a ring made from a material with very high electrical insulation properties. When a storm comes, the external electrode (sphere) charges under the influence of the electric field until the potential reaches a critical value from which a spark appears between the exterior electrode and the tip of the central electrode. The tip enables plasma to be created close by the tip. The plasma, in association with the intense electric field created close by the tip, constitutes the first stage of development of an upward leader. The spark produced at the top of the air terminal will initiate the advance of the discharge, engendering an upward leader moving in the direction of the downward leader.

The voltage between the cloud and the ground increases until an ionized path is created emanating from the cloud. That ionized path travels in leaps towards the earth.

Lightning Protection Phase 1
Lightning Protection Phase 2nd

The extremity of the leader has the same potential as the cloud. As the leader nears the earth, the atmospheric potential increases above the ground and the air terminal is electrically charged.


When the extremity of the leader arrives at a critical position, the ese air terminal reaches its maximum electrical charge, and the streamer emission of the accumulated current is produced on its extremity which ionizes the air around the summit.

Lightning Protection Phase 3
Lightning Protection Phase 4

The electrical arc, generated at the tip of the ese air terminal, provokes a streamer emission which rises toward the leader more quickly than on a simple rod (it is the early streamer emission).


The link between the earth and the cloud is formed and the lightning current passes along the ionized path.

Lightning Protection Phase 5
Lightning Protection Phase 6

Several electrical discharges can rapidly follow the first one.


The voltages between the cloud and ground are equalized and electrical discharges cease.

Lightning Protection Phase 7

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