A mast’s earth grounding is intended to dissipate electrical current into the earth and to ensure that its metal parts have the same potential as the earth. A controlled current must be channeled into the earth in order to protect against lightning. Electrical shock hazards are prevented by keeping the mast’s voltage the same as its surroundings. Through grounding, both can be accomplished.
Lightning protection is similar to grounding a system. The grounding electrodes are dedicated to delivering the lightning current into the earth, and electrically connect parts of structures or equipment that may receive a lightning strike. Grounding, like other forms of grounding, prevents lightning currents from traveling between different equipment by electrical connection, also known as bonding. Electrical hazards, such as short circuits, overcurrents, and shocks, are prevented by each of these parts working together.
The mast provides lightning protection by intercepting lightning events, conducting the resulting electrical current through the ground, and injecting it into the ground. If lightning occurs near the mast, the mast will intercept it. There is a concept called a ‘zone of protection’ where the installed mast provides a volume within which the lightning will not strike, but instead will strike the mast.
Accordingly, the earthing continuously performs its function throughout the operation of the power system, while the lightning protection only functions during periods of overvoltage, and the grounding only during periods of insulation failure.
The installation of lightning rods on houses (and their associated assembly, consisting of a connection to the earth and a ground rod) is not a routine practice. Many high-rise buildings and other structures do come with some type of lightning protection system. Electricity, or lightning, tries to reach the ground as quickly as possible. Lightning doesn’t strike lightning rods, but if it hits the rods or very near the rods, it will choose the path of least resistance. Using these rods, lightning strikes are redirected away from buildings and channeled to the ground, thereby protecting them. Lightning rods collect lightning strikes and conduct them to the ground.