A simple physical model for self-Triggered upward leaders from high-rise buildings

Ming Kit Chan, Mingli Chen, Yaping Du

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents a simple physical model for an upward positive leader initiated from a tall grounded object. Characteristics such as the leader channel structure, leader initiation criteria, leaded propagation speed, leader current and channel longitudinal electric field are described and modelled step-by-step. Other parameters including the evolution of leader line charge density, leader core conductance and radius, and leader corona sheath radius are also computed and evaluated. Particularly, the minimum corona sheath radius and corona charge density for leader initiation and stable propagation based on existing experiment data are proposed. The model may serve as a virtual lab to study the initiation of an upward leader at the top of a tall ground structure for tall building lightning protection analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 33rd International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2016
ISBN (Electronic)9781509058433
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2016
Event33rd International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2016 - Estoril, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 25 Sep 201630 Sep 2016


Conference33rd International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2016
CityEstoril, Lisboa


  • Lightning
  • Propagation model
  • Upward leader

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering

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