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Safeguard RE investment with advanced lightning and surge protection

September 5, 2023 6:51 pm

Safeguard RE investment with advanced lightning and surge protection

Here you can read how partial discharge accounts for 85 percent of disruptive occurrences, emphasising its major influence on operational interruptions and failures.

Safeguarding solar PV investments with advanced lightning protection The exponential growth of solar photovoltaic (PV) power presents new challenges for safety and reliability. Lightning strikes and associated surges can lead to catastrophic failures, fires, injuries, and major financial losses if PV systems are not properly protected with the latest surge protection technologies.

Direct lightning strikes on PV installations can cause widespread damage through currents exceeding 200 kA. But even indirect strikes several miles away can inject dangerous surge transients through electromagnetic coupling. Nearby strikes to the grid can likewise penetrate via connected cabling. Moreover, surges may originate within the PV plant via ground faults, short circuits, or routine switching.

Standardised lightning and surge protection

A prudent protection scheme must address all prospective surge entry points and modes of coupling. Per IEC 62305, a thorough lightning risk assessment must first identify potential strike locations, damage consequences, and required protection measures. The structure’s earth termination network is also integral and must be designed to dissipate strike currents safely.

As the market leader in lightning and surge protection, DEHN India offers advanced solutions tailored for modern PV installations’ protection needs. DEHN’s specialised lightning protection devices, DC surge protectors, and equipotential bonding products help provide superior coverage.

Securing PV modules and energy storage systems

Surge protection devices (SPDs) are vital at the PV module, string, energy storage, inverter, and main service locations. Per IEC 61643, SPDs must be chosen based on maximum continuous operating voltage, surge current ratings, and voltage protection level. Fuses, disconnects, wiring segregation, and equipotential bonding complement the SPDs.

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DEHN India offers an array of cutting-edge products tailored for solar PV systems. Our DEHNshield® modular SPD series offers an exceptional defence against surges, seamlessly fitting into the PV system. Moreover, our DEHNcombo PV surge arrester secures the power optimisers and inverters, ensuring the system’s longevity and operational reliability even under the harshest of conditions.

Challenges and solutions

Emerging threats like resistive coupling and partial lightning currents also demand advanced protection technologies. DEHN’s SPDs, incorporating filtering and surge current diversion, provide cutting-edge protection. Remote monitoring functionality allows prognostics on SPD lifespan and system health.

Careful wiring separation limits coupled transients. External buried cable trays merit shields and gradient control to mitigate earth potentials. Lightning-rated shielded wiring, steel conduit, and data surge protectors defend signal links. Limiting physical loop areas also restricts inductive pickup.

Lightning protection and grounding requirements converge for PV plants. The earth grid and buried counterpoise must interconnect robustly using minimal-inductance bonding. Achieving system grounding, equipment grounding, and lightning protection earthing requires coordination. Proper earth design significantly benefits surge response.

Testing and commissioning

Comprehensive commissioning and testing verify effectiveness. Dedicated lightning current injection testing reproduces threat waveforms. Standard-based maintenance and inspection routines ensure continued performance. A proactive approach includes ongoing surge monitoring.

The significance of comprehensive lightning and surge protection for solar PV systems cannot be overstated as the solar revolution continues to illuminate the path towards a greener future. DEHN India’s steadfast commitment to innovation and quality reinforces our standing as a trusted partner in this journey.

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