Not only are electric generators, wind turbines also capable of generating lightning. For the first time, scientists have had video evidence of this terrifying ability of wind turbines.
>>>Video: Lightning ability of wind turbines
Researchers found that wind turbines could become the center of incredible lightning storms , with lightning bolts that can spread up to 2km. Although wind turbine managers all know about this problem, until now, scientists have not been able to monitor the phenomenon in detail due to storm conditions.
However, researcher Joan Montanyà of the Catalonia Medical University (Barcelona, Spain) recently filmed the first high-speed film of the scene of wind turbines producing lightning. Along with the video, Montanyà's research team has also set up a radio sensor set around and a few kilometers from a series of Spanish wind farms.
According to Ars Technica magazine, thanks to the use of radio sensors, researchers were able to map 3D locations of lightning radio waves. Because most wind turbines are 60 - 150 meters high, they are very vulnerable to lightning.
Professor Montanyà and his colleagues found that, under certain environmental conditions, moving turbine blades could create a lightning bolt each time they were at the highest position. In some cases, the team observed periodic flashes, separated by 3 seconds above wind turbines. In a particular case, the phenomenon lasted more than an hour.
These lightning-producing rays can destroy the turbine blades themselves. An explosion of lightning on an unprotected turbine wing led to an increase in temperatures up to 30,000 degrees C.
Unlike aluminum-powered aircraft, wind turbines are fully subject to lightning, since any additional material can increase the device's volume to an unacceptable level.
The team believes that the spinning ends of the turbine blades were charged through rubbing with air, making it possible to produce lightning under certain conditions. Professor Montanyà hopes to develop a technology to reduce the amount of lightning generated by this structure.