Efficient Method for the Computation of Lightning Current Distributions in Wind Turbine Blades using the Fourier Transform and the Finite Element Method

A A M Laudani, L. Carloni, Ole T Thomsen, P L Lewin, I.O. Golosnoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Rotor blades of large, modern wind turbines are susceptible to lightning strikes. In order to produce a design that resists lightning strikes, it is crucial to simulate lightning current propagation in the blade components. Since the current in the blade is generated by the superposition of potential and induced electric fields, a coupling exists between electric and magnetic fields which needs to be calculated by an imposed integral constraint at each time step. Commercial software packages are able to deal with such constraints, but it results in time-consuming computations. Therefore, this work aims to develop a numerical methodology able to compute the voltage which drives the lightning current through the structure. In this way, the problem is reformulated as a voltage-driven one which in turn allows a simple subsequent coupling of electric and magnetic problems. The computation of the voltage waveform was accomplished using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and the Finite Element Method (FEM) to compute the structure impedance in the frequencydomain. The developed procedure showed high efficiency for a blade subjected to different lightning impulses. It allows a description of the time-dependent lightning current to be given, as well as the distribution of current within the blade conductors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEE Proceedings A - Science Measurement and Technology
Early online date22 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • lightning protection
  • finite element analysis
  • blades
  • lightning
  • fast Fourier transforms
  • current distribution
  • wind turbines
  • rotors

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