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nVent Erico, a provider of electrical grounding, bonding and connectivity solutions, created the nVent Erico Lightning Registration System to record and accurately measure the peak lightning strike experienced by onshore and offshore wind turbines.
While not all strikes have an impact on wind turbines, lightning can cause major damage to blades, generators and electronic devices, and is a leading cause of unplanned downtime in the wind energy industry. When a strike occurs, turbine owners, manufacturers and others need to know the magnitude to assess possible maintenance needs as well as warranty and insurance claims.
The system features the nVent ERICO Lightning Card Holder that attaches to the turbine blade down conductor using ordinary cable ties. A nVent ERICO Lightning Card (standard credit card size with magnetic strip) is then inserted into the holder. Each card is calibrated to measure up to 300 kiloamps (kA) of current and has its own serial number so data can be associated to specific locations and installation times.
The nVent ERICO Lightning Card Reader is then used to determine the maximum current to which a card has been exposed. The reader adapts to most smartphones and tablets and interfaces with a proprietary app for Apple and Android devices. Turbine technicians can pull a card from its holder, swipe the card using the reader, and know the magnitude of the peak strike in a matter of seconds, all without mailing the card away to later receive data.
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