Wind turbines are tall, isolated towers composed of sensitive electronics, all of which are factors that make lightning a persistent and real threat. A properly installed lightning protection system, however, will intercept the lightning and effectively and safely conduct it to the earth without risking physical destruction to the wind turbine. This issue has become increasingly critical as wind turbine systems become more sophisticated and vulnerable to lightning.
Lightning protection systems costs less than 1% of the total capital expenses while improving the cost-effectiveness and reliability of a wind turbine substantially.
First, a few facts to convey the danger that lightning poses to these power-producing windmills: