Lightning strikes behind wind turbine generators

Lightning current measurement for wind turbine generators Data acquisition via real-time measurement

Wind turbines are often exposed to lightning strikes. Previously it was difficult to provide proof of lightning strikes and their intensity. The LM-S complete solution from Phoenix Contact allows lightning strikes to the rotor blades of a wind turbine generator to be accurately measured and analyzed. Continuous remote monitoring and consolidation of the measured data with the operating parameters of the wind turbine generator provide a better basis for making decisions regarding predictive maintenance.


Time and again, lightning strikes to wind turbine generators (WTGs) cause damage to the rotor blades and result in electronics failures. Often, these strikes are not directly detected or logged. For this reason, the rotor blades are visually inspected for lightning strikes. Moreover, protective devices that can only discharge a certain number of lightning strikes are replaced frequently as a preventive measure. These measures are time-consuming and costly. Using a lightning current measuring system is a solution here. It records the key characteristic values of lightning surge currents. Based on the information supplied, the system determines whether any inspection or maintenance work is necessary.

Structure of the lightning current measurement system in a wind turbine generator

Application of the LM-S on a wind turbine generator

Lightning monitoring system (LM-S) The solution for lightning current measurement

The lightning monitoring system (LM-S) from Phoenix Contact detects and analyzes all the key parameters of lightning surge currents. This allows you to assess the actual system load.

The LM-S can be incorporated autonomously into networks via a modem or the integrated Ethernet interface. The system can be easily integrated into an existing control system by calling IP addresses. In order to directly inform system operators of a lightning strike, the LM-S can send an SMS alarm. Detailed information on any lightning strikes can be called up in a web browser. Thus operators can detect the state of protective devices early, and they can schedule and perform maintenance in good time. This safeguards the stable operation of your wind turbine.

LM-S sensor with evaluation unit

LM-S sensor with evaluation unit

The sensors of the monitoring system are mounted on the protective devices. In the event of a lightning strike, the surge current generates a magnetic field around the conductor, which is detected by the sensors. The system sends the measured results to the evaluation unit via fiber optics. Based on the values obtained, the evaluation unit determines the maximum lightning current strength with the rate of lightning current rise charge and the specific energy.

Lightning flashes behind a flashing wind turbine generator

Lightning strikes lead repeatedly to rotor blade damage

The complete solution allows the system to be adapted to an existing design without much effort. With the integrated power supply and surge protection for communication, integration is remarkably easy. The cables for the sensors can be ordered in lengths ranging from 10 to 100 m. The connection box only needs to be assembled and the cables only need to be fed through the prepared cable entries and connected to the device. No special tools are required for this purpose.

Your advantages

  • Informative diagnostics with the immediate acquisition of detailed data using real-time measurements
  • Helpful basis for making decisions regarding maintenance thanks to remote monitoring
  • Easy data output and configuration via integrated web server
  • Integration into standard network systems with RJ45 interface
Personal contact
Request an individual solution now!
We will be happy to advise you and discuss your project-specific requirements with you.
Contact us
Wind team in a winter landscape in front of wind turbine generators