Not all atmospheric discharges are the same. Each lightning strike has unique characteristics, and knowing them is crucial in determining whether critical repairs are needed. The smart lightning counter technology of the WIND TURBINE SMART LIGHTNING LOGGER, designed specifically for the wind energy sector, characterizes the lightning at the time of the discharge and sends that information via IoT. This simplifies claims management and determines urgent repairs.
Due to their characteristics (open space, height, and material of the wind turbines), wind farms are particularly susceptible to being struck by lightning during an electrical storm, which results in significant economic losses. To ensure the safety and optimal maintenance of wind turbines, it is recommended to use sensor technologies, telecommunications, and digital data visualization platforms.
WIND TURBINE SMART LIGHTNING LOGGER system developed by Aplicaciones Tecnológicas S.A. is an intelligent solution that records captured lightning in real-time and provides all its characteristics. The diagnosis and information it provides allow quick decisions to be made about the urgency of the repair.
Lightning counter: what is lightning characterisation and what information does it provide?
Just as a person has an identity document, lightning characterisation indicates a series of values that make it possible to determine the urgency and responsibility for repairing the wind turbine that has been struck.
This information is collected at the moment of the lightning strike and is transmitted in real-time via IoT communication to the customer, which enables the fastest possible action to be taken in the event of any incident and saves costs by being able to identify damage of any magnitude at an early stage, which can eventually lead to repairs with a high economic impact due to degradation of wind turbine’s components.
The parameters of an atmospheric discharge collected by WIND TURBINE SMART LIGHTNING LOGGER lightning counter are:
- Amplitude. The amplitude of an atmospheric discharge is the intensity of an electric current flowing through a lightning strike, which can vary in magnitude. The lightning counter WIND TURBINE SMART LIGHTNING LOGGER provides this information in Kiloamperes (kA) and can detect a threshold from 2kA to 200kA.
- Polarity. Atmospheric discharges can be of positive (+) or negative (-) polarity, depending on the charge of the cloud and ground.
- Duration of lightning.
- Charge. The charge in an atmospheric discharge refers to the amount of electrical charge moving through the air during a discharge.
- Specific energy.
- Date and time.
The readings generated in the monitored blades are processed remotely on Aplicaciones Tecnológicas S.A. servers and sent to the client through multiple channels via the proprietary application.
Multi-channel alerts: receive information as soon as it occurs
A lightning strike on a wind turbine, regardless of its characteristics, can cause problems that are not detectable with the naked eye in the short term. It is therefore essential that information is available to the customer at the time of the lightning strike to determine whether immediate maintenance work is required.
The IoT technology of the lightning counter WIND TURBINE SMART LIGHTNING LOGGER provides real-time information about any faults via the CONNECT platform. Through this data visualisation platform, pre-configured alerts are received according to the needs of each customer and through a channel of their choice (private web portal, mobile devices, SCADA, e-mail, etc.).
In addition, CONNECT can be used to monitor several sites at the same time, allowing the status of wind turbines to be checked simultaneously and remotely.
If you would like to find out more about how real-time lightning characterisation can simplify wind farm claims management, please contact us via this link.
You can also attend any of our free training sessions specifically geared towards operational efficiency and safety in wind farms on our webinar page.