Dr Franco D’Alessandro has more than 22 years’ experience in all aspects of lightning protection and earthing, from fundamental research through to product development and the provision of consultancy services worldwide.
He is principal consultant of PhysElec Solutions Pty Ltd, an independent consultancy services company operating worldwide, and is also currently chief technology officer at Lightning Protection International Pty Ltd.
Dr D’Alessandro has delivered many seminars and presentations on lightning protection and earthing in Australia and overseas and has published more than 100 technical papers on these topics. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia and a participating technical member of standards and code-setting committees in Australia, Europe and the USA.
Modern buildings, sites and facilities are very susceptible to the direct and indirect effects of cloud-to-ground lightning flashes due to the presence of many different types of sensitive electrical and electronic equipment.
A key first step in today’s highly technological environment is the implementation of a risk management plan. In particular, before any lightning protection system is designed it is important to carry out a lightning risk assessment. This must be done using international standards and an understanding of the principles and statistics of lightning associated with this stochastic phenomenon.
Whilst no single technology can totally eliminate the risk of damage and losses due to lightning flashes, a systematic protection approach will be elaborated which greatly reduces the risk via a simple yet comprehensive checklist covering the major causes, effects and damage mechanisms. This approach commences with an effective means to capture, conduct and then safely dissipate the lightning energy down to ground, and then continues with clamping and diverting transients that are conducted or induced into the electrical systems of facilities.