Estimation of lightning current amplitudes incident to wind turbines in exposed locations



This paper proposes a novel and comprehensive methodology for estimation of lightning current amplitudes, which are incident to wind turbines (WT) at lightning-exposed locations, i.e., hilltops. The proposed methodology takes into the account the following aspects related to WT lightning incidence: (i) site topology and keraunic level, (ii)statistical nature of lightning currents, (iii) WT effective height, (iv) dependence of lightning current amplitudes on the WT effective height, (v) influence of an upward-initiated connecting streamers interaction with a downward-propagating step leader on the WT lightning attractiveness, and (vi) both downward and upward lightning strikes and their relative contribution in relation to the WT effective height. This methodology could be perceived as beneficial in providing relevant lightning-current amplitudes—particularly at lightning-endangered locations and wind farm sites characterized by high soil resistivity—for wind turbine and wind farm overvoltage protection and backsurge studies, as well as the WT grounding systems transient analysis. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.