We are going to explain, roughly, how a PDC lightning rod such as the Advance, Sigma and Electron models work.

When a thunderstorm forms, there is an increase in the atmospheric electric potential that can exceed 10kV/m. The device stores this energy in the electro-atmospheric capacitor formed by the outer metal casing and the grounded shaft.

With this increase in potential, two things happen simultaneously; the first is that a downward tracer is produced from the clouds and directed to ground, and the second is that an artificial upward tracer created by the lightning rod is produced. This upward tracer intercepts the downward tracer, channeling the electrical discharge through the lightning rod and leads it to ground in a safe manner.

The time that the upward tracer from a PDC arrester is advanced to a tracer created by any passive element, such as a Franklin tip, is what determines the protection radius. This time is what is known as the advance time in priming. For this reason, there are different PDC models with different advance times in the priming according to the meters that need to be protected in each case.

In short, a PDC lightning rod is a technological system that actively attracts any lightning strike.