Examination of the lightning protection of wind power generators by PMAS method

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Dr. Kiss István
Department of Electric Power Engineering

To maintain the development of today’s fast growing world, there is a bigger need to exploit all of the available and economical energy production methods than ever. In the past years the intensive mining of fossil energy resources lead to a significant in-crease in the price of fossil based energy. Furthermore the world is mistrustful with nu-clear energy, so the attention of the energy sector is slowly started to focus on renew-able resources. Moreover the environmentally friendly thinking is getting more popular day by day in our society, so the support of renewable resources is not only popular among professionals but also among the majority of our society. The main renewable resources are hydro, wind, solar, and geothermic resources.

My dissertation is going to focus on wind energy in detail. As for all renewable resources it is also true for wind power, that the starting costs are high and the payback times are long. Therefore it is obvious that we must design wind farms for a long life-time, which means we have to pay attention on both maintenance, and on the protection of our wind turbines from the powers of nature. The special design of wind turbines makes it clear that the most dangerous natural phenomena, which can cause serious damages in a turbine, is lightning. We have to face the fact, that older wind turbines are do not have the appropriate protection against lightnings, especially against those ex-treme ones called “winter lightnings” man can see in the southern regions of Japan.

As a first step in my dissertation, we study the types and structure of wind tur-bines. We examine the role of wind energy on both a Hungarian and a global scale. Then we enumerate the damages caused by a lightning and the protection methods against them. With the use of AutoCAD we make a scaled model of the three most common blade positions. We calculate their attraction space with a software which uses a technology based on the PMAS theory. We check the results under laboratory circum-stances. We examine how the attraction space changes if we use insulated copper wire, only bare at the receiving electrodes, instead of full bare ones. The insulated model is the more realistic one, so its attraction space will give us a much more corresponding model of a real wind turbine.


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