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Visualizing lightning strikes on wind turbines

A wind turbine is hit by lightning strikes average three times a year - but some can experience more than 60 strikes a year. We know this through analyzing thousands of lightning data measured by our LKDS® device in operating wind turbines globally.

Despite being so common, it is difficult to visually capture lightning strikes on wind turbines. That is why our experts built this Tesla coil display.

What is a Tesla coil?

The Tesla coil (invented by Nikola Tesla in 1891) is a resonant transformer circuit that produces high voltage, low current, high frequency alternating current electricity that is transmitted through air.

What do you see?

By having wind turbines rotating in our display, you can experience how lightning attaches to the turbine structures. Our display is therefore a small simulation showing lightning attachment point distribution. Such simulations we also carry out using numerical models when designing and optimizing lightning protection systems (LPS).

Lightning tests for large-scale wind turbine components

Scaling up numerical simulations to real-life turbines is easy. In Herning, the middle of Denmark, you can find one of the largest lightning test centers in the world with artificial lightning. You can test everything from full-scale blades and nacelles to larger sub-systems and expose your LPS designs to high voltage and high current. The test center is DANAK-accredited and provides independent third-party testing according to the latest standards and in full confidentiality.

Optimizing LPS design

Whatever scale you are looking at, modelling and testing play a crucial role in optimizing LPS performance. And a reliable LPS is key to minimize repair and maintenance costs and limit potential insurance claims.

Contact us to hear how we can protect your wind turbines against lightning.