Hitachi Industries Co. Ltd., a member of Japan’s Hitachi Group, has bought a minority stake in Lightning Eliminators &Consultants Inc. (LEC) of the United States, which specializes in preventive and protective lightning technology.
The agreement expands worldwide support from Hitachi of LEC’s technology, including its patented Dissipation Array System (DAS). It gives Hitachi exclusive rights to sell or sublicense the technology.
Hitachi said it has partnered with the Boulder, Colo.-based LEC on 140 installations in Japan, including dams, transformer substations, communications stations, and other commercial and industrial sites.
Hitachi demonstrated the efficiency of the DAS system at the Myoken Weir Control Office on the Shinanogawa River at Nagaoka City, Japan. The 524-meter-long Myoken has eight motor-controlled gates used to protect the river bed from erosion and to stabilize flows from the 195-MW Shinanogawa hydro plant upstream.
At Myoken, which has suffered severe lightning damage in the past, Hitachi demonstrated the DAS system’s ability to lower the ambient electric charge within the site. DAS prevents lightning strikes by continually lowering the electrostatic field intensity within a site to well below the level required to attract lightning.