The University of Arizona Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences

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Tuesday | August 20, 2013

Lightning Interaction with Wind Turbines

During the summers of 2012 and 2013 UA scientists from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences have collaborated with the wind energy industry and multiple other universities to study lightning interaction with wind turbines. Repair of lightning damage to turbines is a source of significant operational costs to wind energy companies in certain regions of the U.S. Dr. Ken Cummins and PhD candidate Mason Quick have conducted field work at a wind farm in Kansas and are continuing to analyze measurements to study how the moving wind turbines interact with the dynamic electrical environment in thunderstorms. Their work is helping the wind energy industry evaluate turbine lightning protection systems and increase operational efficiency of power production from wind energy.

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