Estimation of contact resistivity in lightning protection equipotential Bonding joints of wind turbine blades

A A M Laudani, Evangelos C. Senis, Paul Lewin, Igor O. Golosnoy, Jochen Kremer, Hendrik Klein, Ole Thomsen

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

Abstract

Modern lightning protection systems for wind turbine blades with conducting structural elements, e.g., carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) spar caps, contain equipotential bonding joints to prevent sparking during strikes. Significant current levels are experienced through the joints and the characterization of the electrical contact at the bonding regions is essential for reliable protection. Therefore, this article aims to characterize the contact resistivity of several equipotential bonding joints. The proposed methodology first measures the total resistance of the samples, and then the bulk resistance of the conductive elements is computed using the finite-element method. The latter is required to predict the spreading effects in CFRP components due to the strong anisotropic nature of such materials. After that, the contact resistance is calculated by subtracting the predicted bulk resistances from the measured total resistances. The developed procedure was applied to three typical equipotential bonding materials: expanded copper foil (ECF), biaxial (BIAX) CFRP and unidirectional (UD) CFRP. Both ECF and BIAX CFRP showed superior contact quality than UD CFRP, with one to two orders of magnitude smaller contact resistivit
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Feb 2021

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