Designing Effective and Safe Solar Lightning Protection Systems

Register for the "Designing Effective and Safe Solar Lightning Protection Systems" course

This course addresses the need & importance of surge protection and earthing for Solar PV plants. The course was created to provide engineers, installers, electricians and facility managers with the required information to understand surges and lightning protection specifically for Solar PV systems. Course material is aligned to the SABS and IEC range of standards.


Course Overview

1.       General Principles and Statistics

  • The formation of lightning
    • Lightning properties and facts
  • Reasons for lightning damage
    • Direct lightning strikes vs. Indirect lightning strikes
    • Ground potential rise
    • Induced overvoltage excitation
  • Lightning damages and statistics
    • Case studies: Direct lightning strike
    • Case studies: Indirect lightning strike
    • Insurance surveys
  • Simplified Risk methodologies
    • Risk methodology principles
    • Lightning collection area
    • Critical vs cumulative line length
    • Lightning ground flash density (then and now)

2.       What is an effective and safe LPS?

  • PV LPS vs. Building LPS
    • Roles and responsibilities (Building Owner/Lessor vs. PV Owner/Lessor)
    • Cost estimations and responsibilities
  • Air-termination system (ATS)
    • Positioning of an air termination system
    • The rolling sphere method
    • The protection angle method.
    • Bonded ATS
    • Isolated ATS
    • Shadowing of an ATS
  • Down conductor system (DCS)
    • Several parallel paths
    • Natural elements (eg. reinforced concrete)
    • Electrical continuity of DCS
    • Step and touch potential hazards
  • Earth termination system (ETS)
    • Understanding the 10Ω requirement
    • Size and dimension are more important than 10Ω
    • Type of earthing systems (TypA, TypB and combinations)
  • Testing and inspections
    • Soil-resistivity measurements (eg. Wenner)
    • Earth-resistance measurements (eg. Fall-off potential)
    • Electrical continuity testing
    • What is included in an inspection?
    • When to conduct inspections and maintenance?
  • Lightning Equipotential Bonding
    • The difference between bonding and earthing
    • Why do we bond? Faraday’s cage concept
    • Direct (Physical) bonding of metals or conductive parts
    • Indirect bonding, how to bond utility lines?
  • Surge protection devices & measures
    • Lightning protection zoning (LPZ) concept
    • Direct vs. Indirect lightning SPDs (Typ1 vs. Typ2)
    • Energy coordination of arresters
    • Voltage protection level
    • Wiring rules and mistakes
    • Routing and shielding of cables

3.       Update from SABS

  • SANS 10142-1
  • SANS 10142-1-2
  • SANS 10313
  • Certification of installations (COC vs. ISR)

4.       Practical Examples

  • Application - Carport
  • Application - Residential rooftop
  • Application - Commercial rooftop
  • Application - Industrial rooftop

Interaction is promoted through continuous dialogue with questions and answers.

Register for the Surge Protection and Earthing of Solar PV plants course

  • Looking for a course that is more geared towards solar PV system design and installation, visit the courses page.
    • Solar PV Excel Online is a 2,5 day online course and covers design and installation of solar PV systems in more detail.
    • Solar PV Express is a 1 day course and covers the basics of design and installation of solar PV systems for candidates with limited time.

Timing and Duration

This is an ONLINE course in a live webinar style presentation where students can engage with the presenter, interact and ask questions.

This course is registered and accredited through the ECSA (Engineering Council SA) for 1 CPD point

Students receive full access to a recording of the session for a period of 6 months.

If  you prefer face-to-face courses, PQRS presents courses throughout SA at the most prominent distributors, please enquire about when the next course will be presented in your region or take a look at our calender on the courses page.

February 2021

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

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