They need to be protected, because they are vulnerable to lighting strikes, which can damage their systems and affect the power they supply.

With our customers, we are looking to the future.We provide lighting protection to renewable energy facilities.

INGESCO has developed protection projects for photovoltaic power plants in the world. These are large surfaces that are exposed to high rates of lightning strikes and, since they are located in isolated areas, need specific forms of protection.

Increasingly, any loss of service affects a higher number of customers.In this field, we are producing innovative lightning protection systems, in order to guarantee the safety of photovoltaic power plants.

External lightning protection

An external lightning protection system consists of an air termination system, a down conductor system and a grounding system.
The external protection system needs to protect the PV panels, the supports, buildings and all items, equipment or persons located outdoors and susceptible to direct lightning strikes.
The numbers and models of lightning rods to correctly protect a PV system are determined from a calculation of the level of protection using the risk assessment calculations published in NF C 17-102 2011 Annex A / IEC 62305-2.
External protection may be by an INGESCO lightning rod with ESE or simple spikes.

Transient overvoltages

The transient overvoltages (surges) that appear in PV plant installations are produced by different phenomena and may be:

  • Due to direct lightning strikes on the external protection system.
  • Due to direct strikes and their induced currents distributed over the power grid.
  • Transmitted from the power grid, originating from atmospheric causes or from switching in the lines.
  • Caused by variations in the electrical field as a result of lightning.

The heart of a PV system is its inverter, and that is why it should be the focus of protection against lightning and voltage surges. To properly protect the inverter, surge protection devices (SPDs) should be fitted on both the DC and AC sides. These devices must comply with EN 61643-11 Part 11: (Surge protective devices connected to low-voltage power systems - Requirements and test methods), and must be installed according to technical specification CLC/TS 50539-12:2010: (Low-voltage surge protective devices - Surge protective devices for specific application including d.c. Part 12 Selection and application principles - SPDs connected to photovoltaic installations).

Increasingly, service losses affect a larger number of customers. In this sense, we innovate in lightning protection systems to guarantee the safety of photovoltaic plants.

View document: Photovoltaic plants - Comprehensive lightning protection

They need protection because
  • Large surface area, metal structures that attract lightning.
  • Located in isolated areas.
  • High rates of lightning strikes.
  • Damage to highly sensitive equipment. Can result in loss of service.
  • Having lightning protection may be an essential condition for insurance companies to cover the costs of an incident, or may reduce the cost of the policy.