Risk analysis

In order to protect your investment against lightning, you need to know when it will strike – and how often

Most wind turbines are struck by lightning up to several times a year. It is therefore crucial to operations, the service plan, insurance conditions and the overall business case to have a full overview of the scope, so you can adopt the appropriate risk management strategy.

Polytech’s in-depth theoretical knowledge combined with meteorological data provides a solid basis for placing your future investments in wind energy

Risk analysis and risk management are key factors in assuring safe and reliable operation of wind turbines. Expert risk assessment will thus be of significance in defining which lightning protection class your wind turbines will be placed in – and which protection measures, including mechanical systems, need to be applied.

At the same time, high-quality weather data and risk assessments will often play an important role when investors and wind farm operators are to prepare detailed plans for the installation of new wind turbines. Reliable analyses make it possible to reduce the risk of costly downtime and waiting time, and to optimize bookings of material and labor, which often translates into major savings.

Not forgetting insurance-related conditions, of course, where an effective strategy for minimizing lightning damage is often crucial to the process.

Moreover, the regularity and type of lightning strikes are of significance to how often it is estimated that different wearing parts - the turbines’ Lightning Protection Systems (LPS) in particular - will need to be replaced. This, too, can affect both insurance conditions and the total business case.

Risk analyses and assessments
Working with Polytech, you can have risk studies performed at various levels. We also offer competent sparring when you are working to define your risk management strategy.

A risk analysis provides answers to questions such as:

  • How often can we expect lightning strikes?
  • To what extent will a lightning strike have an impact on personal safety, operational reliability and reliability of supply?
  • How will lightning damage affect our operating and maintenance costs?

The risk of a turbine being hit by lightning is one of the first things we assess. We do this by using numerical tools in combination with statistical data from lightning registration systems.

Analyses can be performed on entire wind farms. This makes it possible to identify the areas that are exposed to different types of lightning.

Søren F. Madsen
Head of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering
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