Lightning Risk Assessment Software Design for Photovoltaic Plants in Accordance with IEC 62305-2
Keywords:photovoltaic, lightning protection software, risk assessment, surge protective device
The lack of an effective protection scheme delays the integration of photovoltaic (PV) plants into distribution networks. Outdoor installation of these systems always exposes them to direct/indirect lightning strikes and consequent overvoltages. If lightning overvoltages are not limited, the PV plant equipment may be damaged. A lightning protection system (LPS) consisting of external and internal sections aims to protect the PV plant against overvoltages of the atmospheric origin. However, the lightning risk assessment for determining the need for the LPS installation and the overvoltage protection system design are complicated tasks. In the past, there was no special software for lightning risk assessment in solar power plants, and only some papers have mentioned the calculation method and software developed according to local standards. This paper develops a software application for lightning protection design of PV plants especially for risk assessment analyses according to IEC62305-2. The designed software has used a comprehensive standard compared to other software, and in addition to considering solar farms, it also covers off-grid and on-grid rooftop systems. The evaluation results show that the proposed software is a useful tool for electrical engineers and renewable energy experts who are active in the PV integration industry. Using this software, specialists will be able to easily perform complex calculations and select the suitable LPS for the projects.
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