Because PV installations must be designed to provide full exposure to the sunlight, they are highly vulnerable to the effects of lightning. The capacity of a PV array is directly related to its exposed surface area, so the potential impact of lightning events increases with system size. Where lighting occurrences are frequent, unprotected PV systems can suffer repeated and significant damage to key components. This results in substantial repair and replacement costs, system downtime and the loss of revenue. Properly designed, specified and installed
The need for PV protection
Photovoltaic installations are key sources of renewable energy across the world and are increasing both in terms of size and number. The installations have a number of challenges which arise from their exposed nature and vast collection areas. The unique nature of the PV installations makes them vulnerable to overvoltage surges from lightning strikes and static discharges. The core challenge is protecting these installations against direct and indirect lightning strikes which present a high risk of causing damage.