Risk Assessment, Lightning Protection, and Earthing System Design for Photovoltaic Power Plants: A Case Study of Utility-Scale Solar Farm in Iran

A Case Study of Utility Scale Solar Farm in Iran

Abstract: Photovoltaic (PV) systems play a pivotal role in addressing the growing global demand for sustainable and renewable energy sources, offering a crucial solution to mitigate climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Due to outdoor installation, PV systems are vulnerable to lightning strikes, which can cause significant damage to the electrical system and pose a safety hazard. Therefore, effective lightning protection measures including the use of surge protective devices, lightning rods, earthing systems, and shielding techniques are crucial to ensure the reliable and safe operation of PV systems. However, the design and implementation of lightning protection system (LPS) continue to be a complex and challenging task for engineers. This paper presents the step-by-step design of an LPS for a large-scale PV power plant located in Iran. The procedure includes various aspects of lightning protection including risk assessment, earthing system, and bonding according to the relevant international standards and guidelines. The results show that the non-isolated passive LPS and galvanized earthing system are proper choices for the study PV power plant. The findings of this paper are of interest to PV system designers, installers, operators, and researchers, as well as to standards organizations, regulatory bodies, and insurance companies involved in the certification and evaluation of PV systems.

Journal: IET Renewable Power Generation Publisher Wiley

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