The protection of your photovoltaic system is tested by the disruptive power of natural phenomena. Among them, Lightning are the most common and dangerous. Thus, this article will explain what lightnings are and what solutions must be considered to prevent damages to photovoltaic systems.

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Lightning: what they are and how to protect yourself

Lightning are electric discharges originated by the collusion between bodies of different electric potential; then, they spring from the clouds and violently hit the ground. We commonly think of lightning as a single electric discharge, but the presence of multiple discharges in very rapid succession it is not unusual. When lightning reach the ground, they release up to 200 kA of electric energy, bringing the air temperature to reach 15,000 °C. The high power of lightning causes serious damage both with direct and indirect contact. Humans, animals, vegetation and infrastructure are all subjects to the risks arising from the impact of lightning. In Europe, summer is the riskiest period for thunderstorms, with frequent downpour full of thunder and lightning. In Italy, one of the areas most affected by atmospheric phenomena of this type is the Po Valley. For further information read the article “ What lightning are and how to protect yourself ”.

Lightning and photovoltaic systems

Atmospheric phenomena such as lightning can cause electrical anomalies that pose a danger to men and their belongings. More than half of electrical equipment failures are related to atmospheric causes and their damages are very variable: from a black out caused by a temporary and annoying short circuit to structural failures, that require a lot of time and money to be repaired.

The protection for your photovoltaic system from lightning

If you ask yourself how to protect your photovoltaic system and secure it from lightning, the best option is to choose over-voltages arrestors, also known as SPDs – Surge Protection Devices. A SPD - Surge Protection Device is characterized by two advantages: affordability and the possibility of implementation in an existing plant. Acting as a container, this instrument is activated in case of current anomalies and it discharges the excess energy to the ground. Due to the frequency of adverse weather phenomena and structural problems of the plants, a surge arrester is the most suitable resource of protection against inconveniences. ZOTUP offers to photovoltaic systems several protection solutions from over-voltages, surges and electricity peaks. Those who own a photovoltaic system are aware that regular maintenance is essential for good operation, but prevention is often not considered as it should.

Protect your photovoltaic system: tension discharges ZOTUP

By choosing a ZOTUP voltage arrester you guarantee protection to your photovoltaic system. This tool is a combined SPD device consisting of a connection of SPD in series or in parallel, with switching and limitations. The series connection is advantageous thanks to the galvanic insulation and the absence of subsequent current. It also ensures reduced acting times, resistance to high discharge currents, and precision of intervention. Therefore, the combined device takes advantage of the peculiarities of the two different SPD models to ensure maximum performance.

Generally, surge arresters can be divided into three types according to the degree of protection and their positioning.

  • Type 1: to protect people and the equipment from lightning;
  • Type 2: for protection from over-voltages caused by the electric charge distributor;
  • Type 3: for protection against transient over-voltages and for equipment protection.

Also, to have effective protection for photovoltaic systems ZOTUP offers a surge arrester equipped with a combined SPD type 1 and 2 and a surge limiter type 2. This combo provides maximum protection against indirect atmospheric discharges and the effects of direct and indirect discharges.

SPD: technical aspects and functions

The over-voltage limiters have the power of interruption. This means that in case of SPDs failures, they can extinguish the mains power autonomously. They are also equipped with a progressive indicator of residual performance for easy maintenance in case of replacement.

To learn more about the technical components check the article "Utility and functions of surge arresters signed ZOTUP."

ZOTUP: protect your photovoltaic system and a lot more

ZOTUP offers products characterized by quality, innovation and safety with an all-Italian production. With a wide selection of innovative SPD systems for low, medium, and high voltage, the catalogue presents tools for your every need. Just to mention a few: surge arresters for data transmissionSPD for telecommunications, and for public lighting. Not only products of excellence, but also a customer service always available and training courses on the use of instrumentation.

Check out our website to have more information, and choose the best solution for you.


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