Lightning Protection for Wind Turbines and other Towers


Balmore Specialist Contracts have been involved with the Yonderton and Letham wind turbine contracts, installing earthing and lightning protection equipment to prevent damage in the event of a direct lightning strike to their wind turbines and associated equipment.

Lightning looks for the path of least resistance to ground. That tall metal tower with your wind turbine on top, at least 60 feet high, and sticking out at least 40 feet over everything else in a wide area around it may very well be that easiest path.

While insurance companies lump lightning in with “Acts of God”, we prefer not to rely on higher powers to keep our wind turbine, and especially those associated expensive electronics, from getting converted to scrap metal when lightning hits. Fortunately there is quite a bit that can be done to make your wind turbine, and the electronics such as the inverter, safe from lightning damage!

By using a combination of proper grounding, proper wiring, plus lightning and surge arrestors Balmore can change the odds decidedly in your favour. We can do this, not only for wind turbines, but for any item susceptible to lightning or surges, such as solar (PV) panels, and your grid service entrance.

This information is not only useful in mitigating lightning damage, it works just as well for ‘regular’ grid surges. Contaminated grid power is a much more common source of stress or failure for electronic equipment than lightning. Since insurance was mentioned: Most home owner insurance policies will insure renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines against lightning damage. It is important to talk to your insurance broker about this, since there is no iron-clad guarantee when it comes to lightning that there will be no damage from a strike. Even when you do all the right things.