Shortlisted entries 2012

14. Lightning and Wind Turbines
Vidyadhar Peesapati

All tall structures are at risk to lightning strikes. Nature and experience confirm that mountains and tall buildings are struck by lightning several times a year. Research shows that tall structures attract lightning, in a phenomenon that has widely been debated as ‘upward initiated lightning’. It is common practice to provide lightning protection devices to tall buildings and structures. But what happens when we cannot accurately predict where lightning would strike, especially when we consider a moving target, placed in the middle of the Sea? This brings us to the present research being performed at the National Grid Power System Lab at the University of Manchester, ‘The effect of Lightning on Wind Turbine Blade Systems’. The Picture attached shows the testing of a blade tip for lightning attachment and thereby design suitable lightning protection systems, in order to reduce the damage caused to blades and damage related costs.

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