Lightning and Surges

DEHN Africa shields wind turbines from lightning and surges

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The general public’s consumption of alternative fuels is growing including wind energy, which has been used since 2000 BC and is one of the greatest sources of safe and clean energy. Wind farms are fast developing and are created for the purpose of generating large amounts of electric power. However, due to the height, complex design and vast exposed surface of wind turbines, they are extremely vulnerable to lightning strikes. Hence, DEHN Africa recommends that protection against direct lightning strikes and transient overvoltage is critical in order to avoid the tremendous financial damage associated with the majority of lightning strikes to wind turbines and the resulting surges.

The main objective when protecting wind turbines is to avoid lightning damage, particularly to the rotor blades, bearings and electrical systems, as this is important for the longevity of the turbines. Solutions such as coordinated lightning and surge protection for power supply components, can help to safeguard and ultimately increase the life span of the wind turbines. The following systems must be protected:

  • rotor winding of the generator and supply line to the inverter;
  • stator side of the generator;
  • voltage supply (230/400 V) for control and switchgear cabinets;
  • transformers (400/690 V), inverters, mains filters and measurement equipment;
  • and the aircraft warning light.

To ensure these components function over the entire lifetime of a wind turbine, it is particularly important to choose high-quality components and material, such as those available from DEHN Africa, a company that has more than 25 years of experience in protecting wind turbines, over 100 years in the business of providing lightning and surge protection, and can help to create a complete and comprehensive lightning and surge protection concept.

The market leader DEHN, a globally active family-owned electrotechnical company with more than 1600 employees worldwide, offers innovative products and solutions as well as comprehensive services in the field of surge protection, lightning protection and safety equipment. DEHN focuses on the protection of system and building technology, the transportation, telecommunication and process sector, photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, etc. The company's continuous growth is based on more than 100 years of tradition and experience as well as highest quality standards and consistent customer and market orientation throughout the world.

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Issue 39