Lightning Protection with a Differentiated Configuration of Arresters in a Distribution Network

Jinxin Cao, Ya Ping Du, Yuxuan Ding, Ruihan Qi, Mingli Chen, Zhe Li, Xiangen Zhao, Amedeo Andreotti

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


When concerning the installation and operation costs, it is always desirable to protect an overhead distribution network with a limited quantity of surge arresters (SAs). This paper presents a novel procedure for designing differentiated protection against lightning, by identifying appropriate positions for those SAs on the overhead line. Rather than the traditional flashover rate of a whole line, indices in terms of flashover numbers at individual poles and associated with possible stroke locations are introduced in this paper. Based on these flashover indices, a differentiated configuration of SAs can be identified using a selection strategy. After several rounds of selection, a differentiated SA protection scheme can be obtained, given by a pre-set quantity of SAs. In this procedure, a simplified probability-based approach is proposed to determine the flashover indices. By comparing the traditional Monte Carlo method, this approach can achieve a 10-fold increase in computational efficiency with reasonable accuracy. Two different selection strategies are introduced in this paper. Compared with the selection strategy using the flashover indices at individual poles, the selection strategy based on a group of poles is recommended because it yields a configuration with better lightning performance with the same quantity of SAs. This design procedure is applied to practical distribution networks with a shield wire and nearby structures. The influence of grounding impedance, a shield wire, and nearby structures is addressed. Finally, a generalized step-by-step procedure is provided to assist in a differentiated SA protection design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • arresters
  • distribution network
  • Lightning
  • Monte Carlo method
  • overhead line
  • surges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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