Factors Determining the Effectiveness of a Wind Turbine Generator Lightning Protection System
As a result of the growing supply and demand for wind power, wind turbine generators are increasingly being installed at sub-optimal sites that have high soil resistivity and high incidence of lightning strikes. This means that lightning protection systems for wind turbines are becoming a critical component of wind farm design. Not only do effective lightning protection systems ensure the safety of the physical wind turbine structure and human operators, they also protect the electrical and control systems installed inside wind turbine generators and safeguard the lives of human operators. This work presents a framework to assess the effectiveness of wind turbine lightning protection systems at the wind farm design phase. Performing the analysis at this early stage reduces lightning-induced downtime, which leads to increased energy yield. Our results show that the grounding system plays a critical role in the wind turbine lightning protection system. For this reason we also analyse various inﬂuential parameters of a grounding system design. We present results from full-wave electromagnetic simulations of the complete wind turbine grounding system, including the foundation.