What solutions have been designed for the RBE Lightning Protection System
Most wind turbines operate in areas with rough weather conditions – strong winds, heavy rain, snow and lightning storms – which are likely to incapacitate them.
A single lightning strike to a wind turbine can lead to significant physical damage and failure. It can initiate a fire, cause electrical failure and mechanical damage, producing substantial downtime loss output.
The average energy released in a lightning discharge is 55 kWh in only 100 to 300 microseconds, and the peak discharge current is reached in only 1 to 2 microseconds. Channelling this energy from the wind turbine blade through the nacelle and tower to the ground takes proper design.
Considering that the Rotor Blade Extension consists in the installation of one single component on the existing blades to improve energy output, it is of paramount importance to protect it against lightning.
To keep the wind turbines safe from lightning strikes, we made sure that the RBE does not affect the level of equipment protection. We designed a solution which safely connects the lightning protection system from the blade tip to the extension.
For the RBE type Bonus 1.0 (1 meter long, 15 Kg), the lightning protection system of the original blade is removed and refitted in the new tip with a connection to the original lightning protection system, in accordance with IEC 61400-24. This solution was tested and has proven to yield good results.
In the case of RBE for Bonus 1.3 (1.5 meters long, 45 Kg) it has an additional lightning protection system at the end of the new tip.
If you would like to understand what consequences for the rotor of the wind turbine after the RBE installation, please read the article: www.rotorbladeextension.com/rotor-wind-turbine.