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Lightning Rod For A Yurt In An Open Field?

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Old 04-10-2018, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

Last night there was an electrical storm just a few kilometers from my yurt. And now my mother (who lives in a house in the city) is scared I'm going to be killed by lightning. She's desperate for me to put a lightning rod on the top of my chimney, and earth the firebox.
Do you think it's a good idea?
Yurt is in the middle of an open field.
It has Reflectix

insulation

, and a steel wood-fire firebox, and steel chimney, so the whole thing is basically electrically conductive!
Wire sheep-fence about 50 yards away. Tall pine trees about 70 yards in the other direction.
I think I'll be okay. There are higher and more interesting things for the lightning bolts to hit.
Would it make me a bigger target, if I earthed the firebox and flue? Or is that a good idea to earth the firebox?
Thanks for your opinions!

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Old 04-10-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

Well, is the steel chimney supported by a metal pole that is cemented into the ground? Here is how mine is:

https://www.yurtforum.com/forums/bui...3.html#post678

I would think any strike would go directly to the fastest route to ground, at least that is how I understand it works. If however, you are running the stack say, straight through the roof, then your mother may have a point. Here is a link to a page where they show how to ground such an install:

Grounding a metal chimney - Fine Homebuilding
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

Our house was hit by lightning last year. Blew a hole in the roof. about 11' from my wife, who was lounging in the bathtub.lol Why it struck where it did beats me there's no metal near the strike point. BTW our house is grounded with a standard grade copper ground rod pounded way into the earth. I should know....I pounded it in myself with a sledge. That's all I got. Sorry, I don't even have a suggestion on this.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
Our house was hit by lightning last year. Blew a hole in the roof. about 11' from my wife, who was lounging in the bathtub.lol Why it struck where it did beats me there's no metal near the strike point. BTW our house is grounded with a standard grade copper ground rod pounded way into the earth. I should know....I pounded it in myself with a sledge. That's all I got. Sorry, I don't even have a suggestion on this.
Wow! Lightning is weird stuff eh. I remember you telling the story of how you were up hiking in that electrical storm, that was an amazing story too.

I've decided to earth the chimney and reflectix. It will make my mother happy, but what decided me is the link Jafo provided, where the electrician says:
Quote:
The bottom wire grounds any leftover charge that has followed the chimney and would have nowhere to go except to arc to you
Yeah, no thanks, I don't want a million volts of white hot plasma arc with nowhere to go except wet, conductive me!

If anyone wants to add their opinion maybe years after this post, please feel welcome, it's an interesting topic.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

I'm actually afraid of lightning after my experiences with it. That time climbing 14ers, now that was flat out terrifying. I just wanted to be back with my family. Way above timberline there is absolutely no place to hide. There is literally no place to crawl into for safety. You are completely exposed and that is what is scary. Hair standing straight up, blue glow on the rocks, metal pack frame singing, rocks singing. Sounds like bs but it's the truth.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

Our yurt with an amazing view is at 7500 ft with water table perhaps 600 feet below ground. We put it on a concrete foundation and the building inspector reminded our builder to install Ufer ground (rebar post connected to rebar in the concrete - look it up on Wikipedia). An electrician friend gave me some heavy-guage coated wire and clamps to attach the woodstove (with all-metal chimney) to the Ufer ground.

Good luck!
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Old 07-25-2022, 07:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

This is an old thread but I thought I'd add my tuppence worth.

We live in a high valley in the Mongolian mountains about 1700m (5500'). It's grassy and there are few sparse trees then 100m to a forest. My 2 gers were pretty expensive and there are lightning storms frequently in the summer. We have a compound with 2 shipping containers and 2 gers with a gap of about 3m between each ger. We've also got an older traditional ger but I'm not bothered about that. We use it infrequently mainly for cooking when guests come.

The science, as I've read it, says that lightning can strike anywhere. Although the risk is low. Just because there's a few trees nearby doesn't help much. They recommend having a lightning rod no more than every 6m (20'). I'm going to put a lightning rod on the crown of each ger, string copper braided wire between them, then over to my 2 x 20 tonne, back to back, shipping containers. Each rod will be at 4m height which gives a cone of protection 4m in diameter. That's sufficient for each ger. I bought 3 grounding rods. Which I can arrange as appropriate. Probably in some sort of triangle arrangement.

I think it's cheap protection for a low-risk but potentially disastrous scenario. However, we are in a high risk area. We've had lightning all around us several times already. Just the fear factor alone is worth mitigating.
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Old 07-25-2022, 08:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKadventurer View Post
I'm going to put a lightning rod on the crown of each ger, string copper braided wire between them, then over to my 2 x 20 tonne, back to back, shipping containers. Each rod will be at 4m height which gives a cone of protection 4m in diameter. That's sufficient for each ger. I bought 3 grounding rods. Which I can arrange as appropriate. Probably in some sort of triangle arrangement.
That sounds wise for me and I hope you will share pics about.

Edit:

BTW - I remember, that I opened a similar thread a while ago:

https://www.yurtforum.com/forums/yur...ings-2117.html
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Last edited by TSRalex; 07-25-2022 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

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Thanks for the reply. Ill post the photos of the actual finished project later this week.

I added a link to the diagram of the theory. It only shows 2 connections but I may have 3 roof rods and 3 air terminals (copper wire between) so its not exactly the same.

We dont have our wood stoves connected yet. Ill probably need to ground the chimneys too after theyre installed if they are tall enough. Not sure yet.
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Last edited by UKadventurer; 07-25-2022 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 07-25-2022, 12:03 PM   #10
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Lightbulb Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UKadventurer View Post
Systems as shown in the diagram Ive seen in army camps & the staff areas of refugees camps.

Maybe you can find from this side some more detailed information....
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