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Detect thunderstorms well before the first lightning strikes

| By Chemical Engineering



For many manufacturing facilities, thunderstorms can play a significant role in disrupting operations from an increased risk of ignition due to static electricity, as well as lightning strikes to the plant and process equipment. Many manufacturing and storage-transfer processes have to be made safe or halted completely when a thunderstorm is in the vicinity as part of the risk mitigation and safety protocols onsite. Both cause loss of productivity and efficiency for the plant operators. The new BTD-300 thunderstorm detector (photo) can provide early warning of a nearby thunderstorm and so ensure the safety of operating personnel while minimizing downtime. While there are existing lightning systems available, these only alert after the strikes have begun, whereas the BTD-300 uses a quasi-electrostatic operating principle that gives early warnings of overhead lightning risk and detects strikes as far as 83 km away, says the company. In addition to lightning detection, the BTD-300 has the ability to detect the presence of electrically charged precipitation and strong electric fields. The Biral BTD-300 is virtually immune to all forms of human-made radio frequency interference so false alarms are minimized. — Biral, Bristol, U.K.