Lightning attachment to wind turbines in central Kansas: Video observations, correlation with the nldn and in-situ peak current measurements

Nicholas Wilson, Jackson Myers, Kenneth Cummins, Matt Hutchinson, Amitabh Nag

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The behavior and effects of lightning to wind turbines were studied during a 3-month field campaign in north-central Kansas, USA in summer 2012. Auto-trigger cameras were deployed around the wind farm and current measurement devices installed to the root of the turbine blades. Thunderstorms were monitored using the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) data and electric field mills (EFMs) installed on-site at the wind farm. During the field campaign seven (7) lightning strikes to wind turbines were captured by the video cameras with two (2) causing damage. An eighth lightning strike off-camera but detected by the NLDN caused blade damage too. All observed wind turbine lightning attachments were to the blades. Analysis of the cloud-to-ground lightning data indicates that wind turbines with rotating blade tip heights of 125 m have a larger attractive radius (276 m) than is expected for stationary towers of similar height, and an equivalent attractive radius to a nearby 231 m radio tower. There was no correlation evident between NLDN peak currents, blade currents, and damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEuropean Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition, EWEC 2013
PublisherEuropean Wind Energy Association
Pages284-291
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781632663146
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition, EWEC 2013 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Feb 4 2013Feb 7 2013

Publication series

NameEuropean Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition, EWEC 2013
Volume1

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition, EWEC 2013
Country/TerritoryAustria
CityVienna
Period2/4/132/7/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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