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Lightning damage


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17 minutes ago, Johandup said:

How often does this happen to systems?

No idea, don't think anyone keeps records,

18 minutes ago, Johandup said:

What do you guys do to prevent this from happening?

Good quality earth to all components, all linked back to main earth (and most important at surge arrestors),

Earth PV panels,

Surge protection at main grid connection,

Surge protection at Inverter Output,

PV Surge protection,

Hold thumbs that when the lightning comes it hits the neighbor and leaves you alone.


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I've been busy working on this on my installation. There are 2 aspects to the issue, in my simple understanding.  

The first is to protect your equipment from currents induced in your wiring by nearby lightning strikes.  For this you use surge arrestor which send the high currents to earth before they damage something. 

Second is to try to prevent damage from a direct strike using a lightning rod, or roof earthing. 

From what I have seen, lightning strikes where it pleases, so you may get lucky with the correct lightning protection, or it may blow all your equipment to shreds.

Proper surge protection *should* protect you from close by strikes.

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Lightning rods work by putting the same potential as earth at the top of the lightning  rod, so from the lightning's point of view, the shortest distance is to the top of the rod.

This assumes however that when a spark has travelled a km from the sky, that you can influence where it hits in the last few metres.

Ultimately it is what your insurance company dictates,  since they will underwrite the risk.

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