According to the European and French standards ΕΝ 62305, 62561, 50164 & NFC 17102, an External Lightning Protection System of a photovoltaic park is comprised of the following parts:
The grounding system consists of hot-dip zinc-coated steel tape, sized 30x3,5mm, to be placed at least 50cm below ground, in order to create an equipotential grid and nullify the effect of step voltages.
Grounding electrodes in appropriate spots, made of copper-plated Φ14x1500mm steel rods and planted, if possible, at least 3m into the ground, can improve the grounding system.
Ground resistance must not exceed 10Ω.
B. LIGHTNING COLLECTION SYSTEM – DOWN CONDUCTORS
INSULATED FARADAY CAGE SYSTEM
The collection system includes aluminum lightning rods of Φ16-10 x 2500 – 3000 mm placed at a distance of 50cm behind the panels, approximately every 6-12m.
The lightning rods are supported by a concrete base (Φ 400mm, 16Kg) and latched to the panels’ metallic frame with a fiber glass spacer 50 -100 cm long.
The rods are connected to the grounding system with a hot-dip galvanized steel conductor of Φ10mm cross-section, wrapped with anti-corrosive tape 20cm below and above ground.
This conductor is connected to the grounding system by means of hot-dip galvanized steel conductor-tape connectors.
LIGHTNING ROD AL Φ 16 / 10 / 3000 mm
2. FARADAY CAGE SYSTEM
The lightning protection system is composed of aluminum lightning rods, sized Φ16 x 1500mm, spaced at a maximum distance of 12m on the metallic supports, in such a manner as to ensure they are electrically connected.
The metallic supports are connected with the grounding system every 20m at most by metal connectors.
3. AMPLIFIED IONIZATION ROD SYSTEM
This lightning protection system is comprised of one or more amplified ionization lightning rods, mounted on 5 – 7m tall, hot-dip galvanized steel tiltable poles, made of heavy-duty tube.
This type of lightning rods has a protection range of 110m and is able to shield large surfaces from lightning.
Dimensions are selected according to the Protection Level specified for each photovoltaic project, following the European Standard EN 62305-1.
Lightning protection for electronic circuitry (Internal Lightning Protection System) is deemed necessary.