An electronic charge compensation device ECCD is a passive device that carries electrical currents, in time, to the electrical Earth field. The device we examined is a patent of DINNTECO International (P1); it is a security protector —DDCE, dispositivo de compensación de cargas eléctricas— that prevents lightning’s impacts to infrastructure (telecommunication towers, sportive buildings, civil and heritage constructions, factories, ports, and airports, among others). The protection also includes derivative exogenous electric current pulses—generated by distant impact lightning—and reduces the radiofrequency disturbances in the protected area. This radiofrequency perturbation can have its origins in cloud–cloud lightning, in the emission of near telecommunication towers, in own friction between clouds by the wind and other atmospheric electrical changes, or by occasional external incidents. Obviously, the protection covers people, animals, electronic instruments, and all belongings in a wide coverage area (radius of ≅ 200 m).
It is quite convenient to start with a presentation of the statistical results of lightning’s impacts around an ECCD, from 16 years ago until now. That related to empirical analysis: Section 2
. The ECCD quantum description came up as consequence of the numerical simulation analysis developed at the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) of Spain to explore the radiofrequency interactions with an ECCD; in particular, with an exhaustive study of two models of ECCD produced by DINNTECO: DDCE 100 and DDCE 50 (SM 2
). Section 3
shows the most significant results focused only on DDCE 100 model (see Figure 1
), because that is the extensively used one, but the results are also applicable to similar systems. Finally, Section 4
show and justifies the different quantum implications that possibly involve the basic support of an ECCD.
2. Spatial Distribution of Lightning Impacts around the ECCD: A Statistical Analysis and an Empirical Rule on Protection Efficiency
The protection efficiency of the ECCD is by now supported by the test plan that DINNTECO International has been carrying out systematically and continuously for years in installations with a high risk of lightning impact, high lightning density, and high “ceraunic” activity. At all the facilities where these real tests are carried out, the condition that all their metallic parts should be at the same electrical potential as the lower hemisphere of the DDCE is fulfilled. These tests visualize the lightning activity detected within 2 km around the protected installation. The tests are based on data provided by an external company of recognized prestige: METEORAGE [1
] (SM 2
), whose lightning detection system is considered the most accurate in the world by the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) (SM 2
) for data pertaining to Western Europe, with an assured accuracy higher than 98%.
Following Table 1
shows the statistical results from seven stations based on the data provided by METEORAGE.
presents Les Pardines Tower in Eats Pyreenes (Andorra), as an example of a place protected with ECCD. It is one of those of included in the METEORAGE statistical study. In this case, Les Pardines point has the longest tracking period of analysis: 16 years (2003–2018).
The values in Table 1
allow us to conclude that the percentage of direct lightning impacts on the ECCD or the structure they protect is 0%, and within the maximum coverage radius of 100 m defined for the DDCE, the figure is 0.1%, increasing the probability of lightning impact as we move away from the influence of the ECCD. These data are especially relevant, since they are studies carried out over long periods of monitoring—16 years in the case of the Les Pardines Tower and 9 years in the case of the Jata AEMET Tower—and which, moreover, have always been carried out in areas with very high lightning density. When installing an ECCD, it is mandatory to ensure that all metal parts of the structure are protected, and at the same electrical potential as the lower hemisphere of the ECCD. This means that the influence of the ECCD will encompass the entire structure protected. Any metal structure or part that does not meet this condition will be out of its scope or protected volume.
shows a concentric diagram of protection efficiency, where the efficiency is considered as: 100 minus the probability in percent to receive a lightning discharge in each zone, relative to the distance where the ECCD is installed. The values are an average of the values obtained in seven tower stations. With an error <8/10.000 the protection area of an ECCD can be considered a semi-sphere of 100 m for the radius, but the coverage protection could be extended to a radius of 200 m without risk in recent installations (<4 years old), where the ECCD are more technologically advanced.
The scope of protection of an ECCD is basic depending on how far it can cause electrical discharges to be achieved by its influence. However, it is clear that an ECCD causes discharges in a quasi-continuous way. When a discharge take place, it is done consecutively through a new charge capturing new charges, their recombination, the compensation of electromagnetic fields, and the repeated cycles of those processes. Therefore, as the influence of the ECCD is sustained over the time, with a quasi-continuous operation, given that once the charges are compensated in a nearby environment at a given moment, the ECCD will be recharged, and repeatedly, the ECCD will re-compensate them, and so on. It seems intuitive that its influence on the existing charges in its environment will be much greater than 10 m and that, in any case, it will keep a relationship on the condition that all the existing conductive structures in its environment are at the same potential. However, for each time of discharge or when a charge compensation occurs, there is a withdrawal of mass in the volume of the environment of the ECCD that unbalances the composition of the medium that surrounds the ECCD in the next volume. This will deal with the external forces that determine the internal dynamics of that environment: pressure gradients, local electromagnetic forces, forces linked to the viscosity of the medium, and the gravitational force [2
]. All these external forces, and others linked to possible interactions of inter-atomic and inter-ionic forces, affect the gaseous diffusion processes of the ECCD’s environment, towards an energy balance that could be considered adiabatic and isotropic, and isothermal processes that tend to homogenize the near environment—altered in a quasi-constant way by the performance of the ECCD. This will affect an extended environment in a way that is estimated to coincide with that which has been statistically well proven in these seven tower station points, assigning a secured minimum range of radio-protection efficiency of about 100 m for an ECCD: DDCE 100 model.
An ECCD is a compensator device of electrical charges in a nearby environment, and it collects pulses of electric currents associated with the cloud–cloud lightning or the other exogenous agents (including the eventual ground propagation of electric derivative pulses as a consequence of a closed or other, far-way lightning impact). At the same time, these electric pulses are a source of radio frequency signals, but they are not the only source; other causes may contribute to electromagnetic radio frequency, such as cloud movement, wireless communication signals, and variable wind friction. The electromagnetic radiofrequencies present in the environment of infrastructure protected by an ECCD are assorted. The property of the ECCD of being a local sink for radio frequency fields has been recently (March 2019) proven with an experimental real field test achieved by Dinnteco at the quay of Nagoya United Container Terminal Co. Ltd. in Tomihama, Tomi-shi, Aichi, Japan [3
], where a large dock crane was being protected with an ECCD (DDCE 100 Plus model). Before using the ECCD protection, the NHK telecommunication tower near the pier generated serious discomfort in workers of a large dock crane, where the electric potential varies between 50 and 900 V (see register measures in Figure 4
A) but 1200 V peaks were measured as well. In this test, measurements of the electric current were from 5.31 to 39.22 mA. After the installation of the ECCD protection, the electric potential in equal points measured was reduce from 70 to 50 V (at same time electric current: a minimum of 0.94 mA and a maximum of 10.94 mA). All that was done without affecting the communications services established by the NHK tower.
4. Operation of an ECCD on a Tentative Quantum Scheme
In Section 2
of this paper, it was empirically proven that the ECCDs capture and compensate electrical charges (positive and negative) and that they strongly absorb radiofrequency (≈GHz). In Section 3
, the numerical simulation analysis of radiofrequency field, whereby it is possible to infer the quality of multi-resonator behavior of an ECCD, was summarized. And at the same time, it was shown the spatial distribution of the evanescent field, mainly of electric field of radiofrequency, open the possibly confined electrical charges in two local zones, near to the environmental union of each ECCD caps with the dielectric isolator ring. Radiofrequency fields—as they are oscillating at high frequency—do not induce charge shifts, but—as they are resonant, and therefore stationary—they cause entrapment of electric charges, which increases the effective interaction among them and provides the recombination to enhance charge compensation. Our working hypothesis is that the upper toroid ring traps and confines electrons or eventual negative ions. And the largest and farthest toroid ring, close to the lower caps and even to the stem, traps and confines positive charges (ions +), or most probable holes (positive electron charges).
From the viewpoint of absorbable electromagnetic power, it is variable and depends mostly on the accumulation of charges over time and the resonance of the electromagnetic field frequency. In a simple scheme of the two levels [11
], the physical statistics indicate that the thermodynamic equilibrium adjusts well enough to the distribution of Boltzmann populations, so that N−/N+ = 1.000221; that is, practically equal, so that any deviation of this equilibrium will tend to be compensated immediately by absorbed or stimulated emission process of electromagnetic radiation, that accompanies the recombination of electric charges. Without doubt, another absorption process will be responsible for the strong selective radiofrequency with a relatively large wide spectrum, in addition to the compensation of electrical charges.
All these results, and other coincidences, led us to consider the super-absorption process as a possible quantum-dissipative system.
An analogy may be made between the ECCD physical functioning and the quantum device through the super-absorption of light—SaQID [12
], if the ECCD fulfills the requirements that the theoretical modeling imposes. It is true that the establishment of these requirements, as written in the quantum engineering [12
], was orientated toward the nanotechnological field, mainly toward semiconductor quantum dots. Nevertheless, its background is in natural products extracted and modified from bio-synthetic materials with molecular ring structures. Meanwhile, the ECCD is a macro device (≈dm) absorbing or super absorbing radiofrequency fields (ƛ ≈ 10 cm). In any case, the formal analogy may be established, not considering several orders of magnitude, provided:
That the geometrical structure of both devices (SaQID and ECCD), the spatial distribution of its components (or parts), and the functions, are identical in both cases. This is clearly shown in Figure 1 of [12
], transposed in Figure 10
of this paper, Figure 1
(ECCD model 100) and Figure 7
, Figure 8
and Figure 9
of this paper, together with the simulations of the electromagnetic field shown in Ref. [4
That the final behavior or both devices (SaQID and ECCD) is the same—strongly absorbing variable electromagnetic fields: light for SaQID and radiofrequency for ECCD. In general, both devices are strong energy dissipators for the capture of “excitons” (electrical charges of different signs and electromagnetic fields that are related).
That the requirements of physical variables for a super-absorption process are fulfilled in an ECCD compared with the SaQID. This was proven, not considering several orders of magnitude, and with the available, reliable data.
The super-absorption process [12
], as the reciprocal process of super-emission introduced 65 years ago by R.H. Dicke [13
], happens over a set of N “quantum entities” that cooperatively interact with a surrounding electromagnetic field. In general, these quantum entities can be atoms, molecules, ions, semiconductor quantum dots, bio-synthetic molecular ring structures, etc. They have an allowed resonant and discrete dipolar transition. “Unlocated excitons” are also adequate quantum entities. An exciton may be visualized as a couple consisting of an electron and the associated hole, attracted to each other via Coulomb forces. Therefore, an exciton represents a quasi-particle or a “free exciton” in the Wannier exciton sense. A set of M electrons associated with M holes is also an exciton—an “exciton cluster” or “exciton cell”. It can collaboratively interact with a surrounding electromagnetic field. A set of P “exciton clusters” could be available to collaboratively interact if the surrounding field has a spatial and temporal coherence—length of pulse—larger than the spatial dimension for the ubication of the P collaborative set of an “exciton cluster”. In principle, these are the candidates to be considered able to adapt to a super-absorption process.
The ECCD works in environmental temperatures (5°–25 °C ≈ 278°–298 °K, average: 280 °K) and will be associated from statistic thermodynamic bases to a “binding energy” (or ionization energy) Ex
≥ kT, where k is Boltzmann constant. In these conditions, the binding energy Ex
≈ 8.3 10−6
eV involves a singled exciton electron-hole, and the ratio between these two energies gives N; the approximated number of exciton clusters. M ≥ 3000. The value of binding energy Eg
is compatible with the Columbian energy EC
of an exciton cluster, if distance r ≈ 16 cm and relative electric permeability εr
≈ 2.4. This last value is realistic for a cold plasma in low frequencies (GHz)
A density of charges Ne, Nh (electron and hole) can be derived from of Debye length considered in the order of micrometers, and is well-compatible with the take electric permeability value, Ne ≈ 4 × 1010 m−3.
These values show that squaring possible number P of exciton clusters in an ECCD (DDCE 100 model) wavelength of radiofrequency field P, must result in P < 20 = ring length/ƛ, and in consequence
There is an inefficiency of about two orders of magnitude in the exciton clusters’ formation, but the values is possibly less in the single excitons’ formation. In an ECCD, the excitons are confined independently into the set of Ne
electrons and Nh
holes in specific areas around the device. The numerical simulation analysis of radiofrequency field—Section 3
—showed the quality of multi-resonator behavior of an ECCD. At the same time, the spatial distribution of the evanescent field, mainly of electric field of radiofrequency, opens up the possibly confined electric charges to two local zones, near to the environmental union of each ECCD cap with a dielectric isolator ring. These confinements are not permanent but temporary: we estimated the total effective time in a temporary fraction ≈ 4/9 of one period time, divided into two short times ≈ 2/9 of one period time. In our case of DINNTECO ECCD 100, the short time of pulse confinements is ≈ 0.15 ns with a cadence repetition of ≈ 0.65 ns. The intervals of time-free out pulses’ confinements are sufficient to assure the persistence in time of the electric charges, because the time of diffusion and displacement are the largest ≈ 10−4
s. The distance for the confinement rings was established to be 30–36 cm radially at the symmetry axis, in accordance with the dimensions established in Section 3
. The existence of resonator conditions of an ECCD and the electric charges confined, gives the conditions necessary for an interaction among them. It is not sufficient: another factor that gives spatial mobility to electric charges in order to mix the two confined charge rings. Either way, the transit time between the two confined charge rings was estimated to be around 20 to 30 µs, considering a static electric field value between 3 × 104
V/m, with the distance between the two rings being 10 to 30 cm. These recharges came from the superficial of current density (see value of Table 1
, row Current J
) and there are instances where the superficial density of current has two symmetrical peaks on the edge of the cap and the dielectric. The maximal peaks of superficial density of current are the vanishing points of electric charges. This facilitates, along with the bipolar charges, mobility: the temporary establishment of a potential current bridge.
The grounding of the ECCD’s lower cap allows an electrical potential difference to be established with the charges in the device, but an ECCD is also an electromagnetic radio frequency resonator in the range of 0.50–2.20 GHz, which facilitates electrical current discharges (that is experimental evidence). Discharges take place by the absorption of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and the recombination of electrical charges of different signs (mostly electrons and holes or ions +). This happens through the participative action of the static electric and magnetic fields, as well as the resonant electromagnetic field in several frequencies. Both actions facilitate the combination of charges when these are withheld—temporarily trapped—in nearby areas of confinement by the effect of the radiofrequency electromagnetic field, where the action of mobility promoted by the static fields enhances the compensation of the electric charge. Figure 11
is another simulation study prepared with Consol Multiphysics Module 1.1 AC/DC (SM 4
) that obtains the electric static field of an ECCD. These processes take place in the immediate external surroundings of the ECCD (up to a maximum distance where electric static field is uniform is ≈ 10 m), but their permanent and almost continuous activity is felt resonating in an environment of a greater range (up to > 200 m), because the compensatory process of homogenization promote the diffusion between media in unbalanced local environments.
An ECCD has a principle of operation on the offset electric charges that exists in the surrounding environment, avoiding an ascending liner generated in the ECCD and absorbing electromagnetic radiofrequency energy in the environment of the protected structure. The compensation of electrical charges in an ECCD is a cooperation of variable electric fields (temporal evanescent confined radiofrequency) and electrostatic field surroundings of ECCD. But, an important question needs to be answered: How is it possible to extract the energy? This problem is present also in photovoltaics (PVs) and artificial photosynthetic systems based on excitons [14
]. In fact, how the energy must be lost is in overcoming the Coulomb barrier, converting excitons into free charges, fundamentally, as it determines the achievable open-circuit voltage or over-potential. The ECCD has solved this serious technical difficulty using the offset time operation: the confinement is only maintained in time, only 4/9 of the fraction time of the period is operative in two fractions of 2/9 the time of period. The rest of the time, the electric compensated electro-hole pair charges are free but close to contact with earth connection, and Coulomb barrier is suppressed. For instance, the energy of ~1 eV is involved in the electrostatic field on an elemental charge at 10 µm of distance.
5. Conclusions and Future, Novel Applications
An empirical rule on the efficiency of an ECCD as security against impacts of lightning was obtained from an exhaustive statistical analysis of METEORAGE environmental services on lightning nearly and proximity (<2 km) of seven station point choices by “ceraunic” activity. For an ECCD—DINNTECO DDCE 100 model, the top efficiency (100%) of protection was considered a semi-sphere with a radius of 100 m. Other models with different dimensions and geometrical configurations may establish other empirical rules for the efficiency of protection and may change the role of an ECCD as an inhibitor of radiofrequency and a suppressor of pulsing electric current. Recently, an experimental proof has given evidence for the habituality of an ECCD to eliminate the radiofrequency perturbations induced by emissions of a near telecommunications tower on a piece of infrastructure—a large dock crane.
From a simulation of an electromagnetic radiofrequency field into and out of an ECCD’s vicinity, in particular, for a DINNTECO DDCE 100 model, we can confirm that an ECCD has two principal resonant modes: one associated to central gap of electrode-caps, and the other, of less frequency, to a confocal resonance configuration. This last resonant mode presents an important evanescent electric field. A large list of overlap modes justifies its consideration as a quasi-continuous background frequency with limited band bandwidth. All these incidences are 100% compatible with a Fano profile for the spectral resonance, where background is associated to dissipative process. The simulations also gave spatial distributions in 2Ds and 3Ds of electric and magnetic fields, and the other electric parameters—the Poynting vector and superficial electric current in the caps, for the different resonant radiofrequency modes. The analysis shows an important evanescent electric field for the less in-frequency resonant mode that promotes temporal electric charge confinement in two rings in the near vicinity of ECCD, each of them near of metal caps’ dielectric union. The diffusion and buffer collision process is made quasi-permanent the electric discharges in the indicated zones of the ECCD.
The initial and nearly-permanent presence (during time of charge/discharge is kept) of a constant and uniform static electric field in ECCD’s surroundings (<5 m), established, principally, pairs of electron-holes (ion–/ion+, and other negative/positive combination pairs are possible). The time duration pulse associated to resonant modes and a confined pair, deals with the possible process of super-absorption (proportional to N2 excitons), as an exclusive process of dissipative energy in an ECCD. The finite time of radiofrequency establishes a temporary electrical current bridge on specific points, that facilitates the electric discharge that removes electric charges and energy associated to a radiofrequency field.
Recently, Dinnteco has been planning new research to adapt an ECCD’s use to wind turbines’ electric energy generators. This has dealt with a new configuration of ECCD and two new complementary products (SM 4
) available in the market as advances in reduction of radiofrequency incidences on renewable energy sources in form of wind turbines. An increased tax on efficiency is expected.
Another possible ECCD use is concurrent use with adequate infrared sources, in order to increase the visibility on the road in smoggy conditions, cause by the presence of stratocumulus clouds.
Finally, an important task is to study the impacts of water’s physicochemical properties—singularly and for the aggregate states of water—on the electric discharge times of installed ECCDs. It is a conceptual thesis that they could have relevant consequences, and they could be related to the possible cluster formation of the confined charges in an ECCD. Both phenomena could be responsible at the terminus of electric current discharge on the ground with a duration time of approximately ms.