Lightning and surge protection for PV systems on solar plants

By A Barwise, DEHN Protection South Africa


Published in:

Electricity+Control, October 2013 (pages 41 and 42)

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The full article on Lightning and surge protection for PV systems on solar plants can be downloaded in PDF format.


In recent years, photovoltaic (PV) systems have become a significant sector within the energy market. Given that these costly plants are frequently subject to climatic influence, measures to protect the sensitive electronic system components from failure due to lightning flashes and surges are essential.

Lightning surges in the PV system can damage PV modules and inverters, leading to both high repair costs and considerable profit cuts for the operator of the plant related to system failure. For a complex PV installation, such as a solar power plant, the aim is to protect both the operation building and the PV array against damage by fire (direct lightning strike) and the electrical and electronic systems (inverter, remote diagnostics system, generator main line) against the effects of lightning electromagnetic impulses.


Take note

  • PV systems are being deployed rapidly in South Africa.
  • PV systems require lightning protection.
  • Comprehensive solutions are required for the protection of PV systems.