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Wind Power - Lightning Protection For Wind Turbines

Wind turbines
Wind turbines

Lightning protection
Wind power is a form of solar energy. The uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth cause winds. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth's terrain, bodies of water, and vegetation. We use this wind flow to generate electricity.

The terms wind energy or wind power describes the process by which wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.

So how do wind turbines make electricity? Simply stated, a wind turbine works in the opposite way of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.

Since most wind turbines are 60-150 meters high they are very susceptible to lightning strikes and power surges. IEC 61400-24  (VDE 0127 part 24) is the basis for the design of the lightning protection concept.

Pepperl+Fuchs offers a complete line of products designed to protect industrial equipment like wind turbines from the hazards of lightning strike. Products offering surge protection, lightning protection, signal isolation, and safe grounding paths are available.