How to protect us from lightning strikes

There are several external factors to keep in mind when developing a wind turbine, the weather for example.

There are many technological challenges to take under consideration when developing a wind turbine. We perform many tests to minimizes potential risks. There are also several external factors to keep in mind as well, the weather for example. In this blog post we will try to explain the complexity, we at SeaTwirl face and the extent we go to, to protect our turbines from harsh weather and specifically lightning strikes.

Large investments such as S2x and future generation of wind turbines, require reliable and scalable safety systems not only to protect the investment but also to avoid unnecessary downtime due to damage and maintenance.  Lightning strikes can be devastating for wind turbine blades. Should a lightning strike occur it could lead to unwanted downtime due to damage not only to the the state-of-the-art blades, but also to electrical equipment.

During the last six months, our System Engineer, Jon Jonsson, together with the team at SeaTwirl, has worked closely with lamination experts, material suppliers, manufacturers, and vendors in the field of protection. Based on the conducted tests, we believe we have come up with the best solution for S2x and the coming generations of turbines.

Some tests were necessary to come up with a solution to protect laminates with a high carbon content that is also scalable beyond S2x. To perform the tests, we headed to our partner, Elitkomposit in Uddevalla.

The high current exposure tests on sample pieces at the manufacturer’s premises performed as expected, and the solution has been deemed suitable for S2x. Lamination test was successful as well. We are all very happy with the results!

As developed, the instrumentation does not interfere with the aeroelastic performance of the turbine and is VAWT-specific.

It has taken some time to develop this high-performance technology to protect our blades and electrical equipment. I’m impressed how well the tests turned out and of course I’m happy with the result.” Jon Jonsson, System Engineer.

A big thanks to our vendor Mericon, the experts at Pontis engineering, Nvent and Elitkomposit and of course the whole team at Seatwirl who has contributed to the development of the solution for storm-proofing our turbines.

 

 

 

 

 

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