Lightning-Proof Wind Turbines

Soren Find Madsen
Global Lightning Protection Services A/S, Lejre, Denmark

Søren Find Madsen, Global Lightning Protection Services A/S, Lejre, Denmark

Global Lightning Protection Services A/S (GLPS) is an engineering consultant firm specializing in lightning protection. Their current research involves protecting wind turbines from lightning strikes, which can interfere with the electronic equipment in the housing of the turbines.

To analyze optimum design, GLPS created a CAD model of the wind turbine’s structure and imported it into SpaceClaim® Engineer to remove small details. Using COMSOL’s LiveLink™ for SpaceClaim®, the model was then transferred into COMSOL Multiphysics, where a series of scenarios imitating realistic lightning current pulses were studies.

The model permits GLPS to vary the contact points, calculate current amplitudes, and map the distribution and duration of current in the structural components. The research is used by GLPS’s customers to improve wind turbine design.

Illustration of the magnetic field after a 200 kA @ 25 kHz lightning strike strikes one of the blades