Experimental study on interception failure of lightning protection system of wind turbine blade

Arif, Waqas and Li, Qingmin and Guo, Zixin and Aizaz, Muhammad Ali and Ma, Yufei and Siew, Wah Hoon; (2018) Experimental study on interception failure of lightning protection system of wind turbine blade. In: 2017 13th International Conference on Emerging Technologies (ICET). IEEE, PAK. ISBN 978-1-5386-2260-5 (https://doi.org/10.1109/ICET.2017.8281723)

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Wind turbine (WT) blades are equipped with lightning protection system (LPS) consisting of receptors and down conductor in order to intercept lightning strikes. However, severe damages caused by lightning strikes still happen frequently, which costs huge losses. In this paper, experiments were conducted to study the lightning interception failure of WT blade LPS, and the results can be useful to improve the optimal design of LPS. Experiments using 5m blade specimen with tip receptor from 1.5MW wind turbine under 3m air gap are conducted to investigate the lightning interception failure of LPS in different orientations and lateral distances (LDs). Factors such as the polarity of lightning strikes, the blade orientation of wind turbine and lateral distance between wind turbine and lightning downward leader were investigated. The lateral distance between downward leader (DL) and wind turbine blade is a key factor which influences the interception efficiency. Three patterns of receptor interception failure are discovered. The protection area shows asymmetry under different lateral distance. Multi-upward leaders (UL) from WT blade have been observed in the experiment.