Characterizing Wind Turbine System Response to Lightning Activity

Eduard Muljadi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A lightning protection research program was instituted by National Renewable Energy Laboratory to minimize lightning damage to wind turbines and to further the understanding of effective damage mitigation techniques. To that end, a test program is under way to observe lightning activity, protection system response, and damage at a wind power plant in the Department of Energy (DOE) and ElectricPower Research Institute (EPRI) Turbine Verification Program. We installed lightning activated surveillance cameras along with a special storm tracking device to observe the activity in the wind plant area. We instrumented the turbines with lightning and ground current detection devices to log direct and indirect strike activity at each unit. We installed a surge monitor on the utility interfaceto track incoming activity from the transmission lines. Maintenance logs are used to verify damage and determine downtime and repair costs. Actual strikes to turbines were recorded on video and ancillary devices. The test setup and some results are discussed in this paper.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 1998
EventWindpower '98 - Bakersfield, California
Duration: 27 Apr 19981 May 1998


ConferenceWindpower '98
CityBakersfield, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-24790


  • damage
  • lightning
  • turbines
  • wind


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