Westinghouse engineers hurled an artificial lightning bolt of more than 3,000,000 volts at this completely self-protected distribution transformer to demonstrate their latest defense against Nature's electrical bombardments.
The camera caught the bolt as it struck the transmission pole and showed it being bypassed to ground by the transformer, which is protected by deion gaps.
The gaps detour the lightning to ground but quench the attempt of normal line voltage to follow it.
The transformer is protected with de-ion gaps which bypass the lightning stroke into the ground and quench the attempt of the normal line voltage to follow the lightning out of the line and cause an interruption in service.
Original Caption by Science Service