Low cost carbon fiber as potential lightning strike protection for wind turbine blades

Vipin Kumar, Surbhi Subash Kore, Merlin Theodore, Yeqing Wang, Kamran Yousefpour, Wenhua Lin, Chanyeop Park, Uday Vaidya, Vlastimil Kunc

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Until recently, glass fiber composites (GFRP) were the preferred choice to prepare wind turbine blades due to their low cost compared to their counterpart carbon fiber composites (CFRP). However, to harvest the maximum wind energy, ever larger wind turbine blades are being manufactured. To support such a large structure carbon fiber composites CFRP have become the integral part of load bearing structures in the blade. In this work, we are proposing to utilize the low cost carbon fiber (LCCF), manufactured at Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF) of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) as not only the cost effective alternative to the currently used carbon fiber (CF) but also as the lightning strike protection of the wind turbine blades. A textile-grade precursor was used to prepare LCCF. Wind turbines often get hit by lightning strikes due to their operating locations. LCCF can provide structural integrity to these gigantic structures and mitigate the effect of lightning strike on them by effectively dissipating the current. Two composite panels made of LCCF were tested against artificial lightning strikes of 100 kA and 200 kA (component A of lightning waveform SAE ARP 5412-B). The results showed 100 % residual mechanical properties of LCCF composite due to their high electrical conductivity both in-plane (38 S/cm) and in through-thickness direction (0.27 S/cm). There was no significant damage (fiber breakage, resin evaporation or delamination) in both the cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the American Society for Composites - 35th Technical Conference, ASC 2020
EditorsKishore Pochiraju, Nikhil Gupta
PublisherDEStech Publications
Pages565-573
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781605956657
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event35th Annual American Society for Composites Technical Conference, ASC 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Sep 14 2020Sep 17 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Society for Composites - 35th Technical Conference, ASC 2020

Conference

Conference35th Annual American Society for Composites Technical Conference, ASC 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period9/14/209/17/20

Keywords

  • Electrically Conductive
  • Lightning Strike Protection
  • Low Cost Carbon Fiber
  • Wind Turbine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites

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