Step voltage is a phenomenon related to electricity. The electrical accidents that involve electrocution by lightning strikes, the rays, are mostly caused by the so-called step voltage. How does step tension happen? What are the risks of step tension? How to avoid accidents with lightning strikes? All these doubts and tips related to this phenomenon of electricity you can check now!
Step tension: What is it?
The definition as its name says is the difference in potential that occurs between the legs of a person, or the legs of an animal in contact with the ground. The pitch voltage only occurs at high voltages, as only high voltage is capable of breaking the dielectric (insulation) of the soil.
In order to exist the pitch voltage, it is necessary that an electric discharge of great potential reaches the ground at a certain point. This great potential that appears on the ground, happens due to an atmospheric discharge, that is, a lightning strike on the ground or a broken cable in contact with the ground
Pitch tension: Features
Around this point, the tension will gradually decrease as we move away from that point. With different voltages in various parts of the ground, a person standing would have different potentials in their feet, leading to an electric shock.
For you to have a better understanding, it is basically what happens when you have a shock in the socket or in the shower, however, the shock that occurs by the step tension is on a much larger scale. This is because the electric current tends to go from the highest potential to the lowest.
The person’s body is a facilitator for the passage of electrical current to the lowest potential. Here in the Electric World, we have a video and an article that better explains these small shocks we take in the shower, and how to solve it.
Step strain: Animals
When you hear that lightning strikes in a rural area and a certain amount of cattle die, or when lightning strikes the beach or football field, and even at a certain distance from the point where the lightning strike occurred, people suffered this shock, this was due to step tension.
In larger and quadruped animals, where the distance between the legs is greater, the potential difference will also be much greater, so for animals, the step tension is more dangerous. This phenomenon can also explain what happens when a lightning strike occurs in the countryside, and the farmer suffers absolutely no damage, while the cattle that were around him end up dying.
Suppose the atmospheric discharge in the soil was 1MV, and that in small intervals, there are potentials of 900KV, 800KV, 700KV and so on, and the farmer is standing with his feet almost together, so there will be almost no potential difference on the farmer’s feet, unlike his cattle, which because their paws are far apart from each other the chances of suffering from this electrical discharge are greater. Assuming that there is a potential difference of 300KV between the cow’s feet, this electrical discharge will certainly be fatal.
Step tension: How to avoid?
As everything that deals with electricity we have to be careful, it is no different in this case, especially when it comes to high voltage. We recommend that in situations where you find broken wires in contact with the ground, do not approach, as it is not known exactly how much tension is dissipating at that moment, therefore, move as far as possible, do not let any person arrive close, and leave it to professionals qualified for this type of situation. In the case of lightning strikes, look for a safe shelter, never under a tree, keep your feet together and if it is inevitable, take very short steps, and if possible move around with your legs together.