The lightning striking probability for offshore wind turbine blade with salt fog contamination

Li, Qingmin and Ma, Yufei and Guo, Zixin and Ren, Hanwen and Wang, Guozheng and Arif, Waqas and Fang, Zhiyang and Siew, Wah Hoon (2017) The lightning striking probability for offshore wind turbine blade with salt fog contamination. Journal of Applied Physics, 122 (7). 073301. ISSN 0021-8979

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    Abstract

    The blades of an offshore wind turbine are prone to be adhered with salt fog after long-time exposure in the marine-atmosphere environment, and salt fog reduces the efficiency of the lightning protection system. In order to study the influence of salt fog on lightning striking probability (LSP), the lightning discharge process model for the wind turbine blade is adopted in this paper considering the accumulation mechanism of surface charges around the salt fog area. The distribution of potential and electric field with the development of the downward leader is calculated by COMSOL Multiphysics LiveLink for MATLAB. A quantitative characterization method is established to calculate the LSP base on the average electric field before the return stroke and the LSP distribution of the blade is shown in the form of a graphic view. The simulation results indicate that the receptor and conductor area close to the receptor area are more likely to get struck by lightning, and the LSP increases under the influence of salt fog. The validity of the model is verified by experiments. Furthermore, the receptor can protect the blade from lightning strikes effectively when the lateral distance between the rod electrode and receptor is short. The influence of salt fog on LSP is more obvious if salt fog is close to the receptor or if the scope of salt fog area increases.