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SOME EXPER]3NCES OF LIGHTNING IN THAILANI

)

B. Smitthileela, S. Bhumiwat
Transmission SystemMaintenance Dept.
Authority
ElectricityGenerating of Thailand
@GAT)

Abstract - This paper describesthe details of ligfotning
location pilot systeminstalled in Thailand since August 1995
and some lightring data collected by fow sensorsduring the
heaviestthrmderstorms.The polarity of flashes, number of
strokes,detectd waveforms of signal streng& as well as the
calculatedpeak current values are presented.Inclusion, data
from the flash cotmter are reported and the- relationship
betweenthe ground flash density and thrmderstormdays is
determined.

1. Introduction and History

Thailand is in the tropical zone (about latitude 5" 40' to
20' 30', longitude 97' 20' to 105o 45') where the
statistical occurrence of lightning is rather high and
lightning accidents still occasionally happen. Two
recent incidences occured in the middle of this April
1996. The first causedhazard to lives when a lightning
flash killed three members of a family during swimming
at one bach in Tungtako, Chumphon province on April
16. Next to this event, one sensor of our lightning
location system(l.IR) was destroyedby a direct stroke.
L --: -
Determination of lightning in Thailand started with
simple observation. Mean annual thunderstormdays of
5G 120 were reported by the Meteorological Service. Fig. I Mean annual number of Thrmderstormdaysreported
The contouris shown in figure 1. by MeteorologicalServiceof Thailand

In the rniddle of 1992. EGAT installed the first The project of Lightning Location System started with
Lightning Flash Counter (I-FC) with the objective to the pilot system. The latest technolory of lightning
estimate the ground flash density in the. region where location which is the Combination of Magnetic
there were high failure rates of outages in transmission Direction Finder (DF) and Time of Arrival (tOA)
iines or damages of substation equipment caused by named as IMPACT (IMProved Accuracy from
lightning. Totally 23 LFC's, l0 kHz negative type were Combined Technolory) was installed with the
mounted in this lightning detection network. The additional purpose to locate and determine lightning
installed model, developed by Tech. Dr. Edward Pisler characteristicsas well as its parameters for the design of
of Upsala Uruversity is similar to CIGRE 10 kHz transmission system and substation's protection level.
counter , except that the plate antenna of 400 mm This pilot project is focused on the central part of
diameter is used instead of the vertical antenna. The Thailand to cover the area where there is the highest
detectionrange of each counter is 20 km. demand of electricity. The operation was started on
August25,1995.
Since lightning flash counter detected not only Cloud-
to.Ground flash but also Cloud-to-Cloud discharges,
the interest was then expanded to the requirement for 2. Lightning location pilot system
only Cloud-to Ground lightning detection and the
possibility to locate the position of the flash so that the The pilot system comprises of four direction finders
real causesof hazard could be found. This leaded to the (DF) or sensors located about 200 km apart at the
installation of EGAT's Lightning Location system. stations called Bangpakong @PK: lat. 13.47" , long.

elev.long.will be sentthrough communicationlines (VHF or UHF) to the AdvancedPosition Analyzer installed at the u control center(lat.99".12" . the signal normalization from thunderstormdays daily recorded from the flash range recommendedby the manufactureris 436 km.which is a measureof the TableI showsthe lightning countand thunderstormdays angle disagreementbetweenthe sensors.4 m-MSL).The result is shownin stroketime and the strokepositionto obtain an optimal Eq.95". signal strength finders(sensors).t3l. More data will be obtained from all installed 23 The calculatedsignal strength values approximately stations to confirm this relationship as well as to equals the peak current in kiloamps (kA). an estimate location is thunderstormdays(not from the observation). I(kA): S": S*R(km) * 0. Srinakarin (SNR: lat. polarity. 14.All position of flashescan also be i{ II :. 15. elev.8o. at the MSL).^ : J('. .calculatesand outputs the data in several formats according to the selectiorqwhich consist of the time of occurrence.The stroke collectedfrom eight stations./ 'tto\ \ . t'25 DF sienalstrensth(S) * distancefrom DF to flash (R) \ : o. Figure 2 shoun the estimated arcuracyof the lightning elev.time of arrival addition to the position of four installed direction (from the lightning flash to the sensor).6 m-MSL).the test for time coincidencewill be performd. long. it calculatesa range normalized signal Power Curve Fit. 51. (NJ is calculated and the correlation with arrival times at each sensorand the location of each thunderstormdays (Ta)is determinedby curvefit usinga sensor.etc.The ground flash density time is then estimated using this starting location.100.elev.I Datafrom LightningFlash Counter For IMPACT system. 99. counter.containing of direction (angles).(1): estimationwhich minimizes both the range and angle disagreement.Finally. 3.* SI\R /l \ displayedon Thailand's map of the Network Display Systemor sentthe outputto the plofter.directionfinder providesazimuth The data from lightning flash counter are recorded (angle) information and absolutearrival time provides everydayto determine both the number of strokesand range information.Reports(of the samepolarity) from all sensorsthat occur within the 3. 13. The difference from the relationship of strengthaccordingto the following expression: Eq. 100.227 14. Hence. The information from these location pilot qystemobtained by the manufacturer in sensors.83' .1 m-MSL) and Salolfuat(SLB: lat. long.the relationship is Location system. refer to compare with future data obtained from the Lightning tIl.2 Estimatedaccuracyof Lightninglocationpilot system flash.99o. 216.18o.194. 99. SLB -- \ \ I subsequent strokes. N e : 6 '5 * l O '5 T d 2 '2 1 1 (1) Oncethe position analyzerhas determinedthe position Figure 3 shows the flash counter datz graph with a of a flash. elev. Nakhon 100 km Ratchasima(NR: lat. .a--<--<.The analyzercalculatesthe position of each stroke and then assigns all strokes that are within I secondand (nominally) l0lcn of the first to be the same Fig.5" ..^*i }'./iTh-.39o.o4 Ta (2) Normalization range Data obtained from isoceraunic maps can be different For high gain DF installed .. Lightning data time coincidencewindow are identified as resulting from the samestrokeor flash.\ \ \ position of the strike point. the algorithmiterativelyadjustsboth the leastsquareregressionmethod.. First. long.(2) described in IEC [4] is compared. number of strokes rr as well as calculated peak current of thg first and -. 102. 12. The methodof flash processingis that all stroke data sentfrom each sensorto the analyzerare correlatedon the basis of time and then grouped on the basis of position.i I )-. After the mentionedcorrelationprocess.t2l.4 m-MSL). . calculated by finding the flash position which mirumizesthe 12(chi-square). The analyzer then processes.

.62 96 6 . I l !.t ::' o I 't' { 7.1 '.. l. Only the amplitude of the first date flashes flashes stroke has been processed.000. d Or OO:00:20lt95 b Gt 3r :l:st:55 rtts / . of flash count in the same hour.V'. which reveal quite similar curveof Eq. The percentageof positive performed up to now by manually access of replayed li_ehtningis also calculated.421 3.3 Peak current Amplitude and Multipliciry China Sea.': Fig.l \..:. the accuracy 1-30Nov 95 5 . Upper histogram for """' September1995 and the lower one for October 1995 Fig.l. l t9 5 Table I Data of Ground flash density and flash count for (from LFC) thundersormdays .2) and to identify the severesites for Lightning Hazard. multipliedby 1. The flash having peak 25..6s t9 5 ..8 5 47 8. real-time data through the Host port and converted the TABLE II captureddata to the general PC file-by-file depending on Collection Total Positive %Pos./. 6 r5 ?/ I I / 3 a 5 a 7 a t to11l?13!a191617r8Lt20212221 . TABLE I Td \ 1.3 0 30 5 . The Figure 4 shows Histograms of lightning flash rate in comparisonbetweencurve fit of data from LFC and Septemberand October 1995.! I I .4 0 a S i t I tl Ol r 1 2 1 3 l a 1 5 1 6 l 7 1 8 1 9 2 7 2 t2 2 2 1 Ne : 6. .2 FlashesData from Lightning location system afternoon to the evening and lower in the morning around7-10 AM.8 1 02 3.3 9 8 568 ll of the result (using Fig.flasher the capaciry of PC. . . : EC uc. the during the mentioned period which contains both total processing data of these two parameters could onJy be flashesand positive flashes. The heavy rain all over the country normally conrinues until the end of October. 4 Histograms of Lightning Flash Rate.) 0 . 1995which is in the period of heaviestthunderstormsof each year due to Seasoning Depression from South 3.31A ug95 t 1. The cumulation t'I::e("*:". :/'.i.t I .6 1 97 1 .31O c t95 1 3 9 .' :l l/.5 *1g'5 * T^2'znszz %D Ol C O:o s:OO !tt5 !o 9 t l0 11 5t !. Table II shows flashes data collected the Analyzer by the system terminal or printer. The flash count readins from Y-axis is The first collection of data was performed on August 25. The flash rate is higher from the 3. occasionally lasts Since the peak current amplitude and Multiplicity (number of strokes in a flash) can only be output from through November.20 89 7.2 ( IECtal ) characteristics.ro c.5 l6 5 57Q 4 check the possibilities of the obtained data.3 Graphof FlashdensityVS Thunderstormdays .i/.296 positioned by its lattirude & longitude on the map to l.630 463 A current higher than 250 kA or the multiplicity >_10 is l-30 Sep95 82.

6 Peak current distribrfrion of all the fust negative Totai 15971 440 flashesdurineOctober7-15.6 for 2000 alJ peakcurrentamplitudeandfig. 130 134 8 13 20 0 1995. 7 Strokemultiplicity of negativeflashes TABLE Itr p (kA) No. 8 0 140 81 4 i50 6'l I l5 5 0 4. Totally 209 flashesare plotted to confirm this type of frequency distribution. 1500 z 1000 500 0 | 2 3 4 5 6 7 I 9 l 0l l 121314ls Stroke MultiPlicitY Fig. 5 lrcpormal distribution of peak current for the first 120 l8s 7 It 31 0 negativestroke dwing 12.00-17.Tfor the multiplicity.00of 4000 August 29.. (g k 2500 1995for both polarities. offla$es No. 1995. 6 3.000 2to 5 I 220 6 ) /JV 5 z r.) showsthe summarydata of peak current amplitude of q 3000 the first stroke and multiplicity during October 7-15.000 190 t7 0 200 l4 I o 2.000 )) 160 6 170 I 180 /o .000 240 A ) t <n J 260 I 0 270 I 0 60rn6 6r ddd 280 0 Peak Current (kA) 290 0 I 300 0 I 310 0 0 320 I 0 Fig.The frequenrydistribution of only negativepolarity is plotted as shown in fig. 4500 Figure 5 showsLognormal Plot of peak current values for the first negative stroke during 12. offladees Strokes + l0 43 I I 4359 421 20 1280 64 ) 33r8 14 30 3213 85 J 2'128 J 40 3401 86 4 1919 0 50 2583 58 5 1343 0 60 t8i9 39 t) 874 0 70 t702 . Table III 3500 a q.s 7 598 0 80 748 18 8 JO+ 0 90 5'79 1a o 2to 0 100 410 9 10 141 ) 110 148 J ll 53 0 Fig. of No. .00-17.1995.00of August 29.

Fig. Somelightning experiences The first data collection of the lightning location pilot The localization of flash area from the values of latitude systemgives the information of how efficient the system & longitude or from the Network display system reveals . 5. betweenthe easternranges and the Gulf of Thailand. 10 showsthe thundestornmap enclosure may be useful. 9 The map of Thailand showsthree areasof mormtain Fig. The first (marked signal strength can be detecteddirectly to the sensor. valuebut thereare always flasheswith high multiplicity.The secondarea (marked 2) is confirmedthe lightning characteristicsdescribedin [5]: along the q'€stern mountain ranges down to the area betq'eenthe nresternmountain and the Gulf of Thailand.From subsidiarypeak(s) after their main initial peaks. the waveform of areasare marked l. The middle and the lorrver waveshapescontain monsoonand Depressionfrom south China sea.4 Waveformof Signal Strength three areaswherehigh multiplicity or high peakcurrent amplitudes are often happened. . 8 Oscillograms of signal strength detected at NR ranges u&ere there are more risks of lightring stationon October11. experiencesFgh peak current amplitude. .Shielded high multiplicity Fig. This safety has just be obtainedrecentlyon April 24. the obtained dat4 area 1 and 2 are frequently They arealsobipolar type. 2 and 3 in fig.The waveshapes monsoonis obstructed.3 are effected by both the southnrcst . . Almost all of the captured waveforms have znro normally the peak cuffent amplitude is in the average crossingbetween50-60 ps. The upperwaveshapehasonly one initial peak.9.3.The position of these By mean of High precision digitizm. Conclusion and Discussion 4. Lightning flashesabove the Gulf of Thailand (far from Precaution shall be taken during the measurement the coast)often consist of high peak current as well as closedto the sensordue to tightning hazard.1996. consideredsincethe damagesof our sensorat NR due to directstrokes. The area 2 and. In area 3. 1996 hazard. l)is normally positioned at the mountain rangesin the Fig. 1995. 8 showsthe oscillogramsof negativereturn strokes northeast where seasoning wind catled northeast obtainedat NR on October 11. The field exhibits an initial peak that reduces The third (marked 3) is located on the easterncoast inverselywith distance.

W. Arsalao B. each seasonas nrcll as each region.rdica of the Ndioal Ugbtning Ddedicn Ndwork". D9 pages 17. Although lightning in some area cannot be ll: 3. Hofbauer.96 ao. F. Paul K. over Thailan4 what frcilities and accessories we require. Saliotrgby.10 Thethuderstorm t31 Vmoeat P.135-17. whetherthe project should be extendedto cover all Geqbcical Researd vol. S&ulz. protecte4someaction can be avoidedor postponed.1996) Fig. th Int€adioal Slaryosium o Hig! Voltage Engineering Yokch-a. map(Aprl23-24. Sectio l: Guide A. 1970. I2l Ri&ad E" Orville 'Calibrdim of a ldagncic Directio Finding Ndwak Usind Measred Triggered U&tting Rdum $roke Peak C\rreats" . Jqrmal of Gecphlaical Resear& vol.K. MA.m in The failures of equipment. Moce. Ridrd B. ble'A reo<-indim of the Peak Current Calib. Jrya August 23-27. ad D. The installation sensors t61 G. KEIvIA qystemcanbe strengthened. 1993.332 Odober 20.323-18. 1991.Sele<ticn dprctedio levels fc will provide the statistical parametersof lightning in [gfutning prctedio syselrs ( I 992). . i€T FL SS F 2a ltr5 r5:10:55 l0: aO:llX t8:26:O8E :45:00X . A $iomer "Seascnal to cover the southern part will provide data for the Vaisfico of Ligltning Currqrt Parmder in Au$ria by Analyzing dda protectiondesignof transmissionlines and substation frm a ligltring Locaio Sydem". Deodcrfer.. 1993. Idcae.2! : SoE Referoroes ra :00 0e i 00 !a:O0 0€ 00 1{ :00 08 00 lU lha. G. item 71. Roald W. Jasseu " The uerp ligltning detedica sy$.DlO pages 18. Hendersco. flashover of insulators and I7l M J. -l rlbF3 . Jomal d Gecphysical R€seard vol75. 98 no. Mclain 'Ugbtning rdum sroke qrr€at rr:00{@l Am magnedc ad radidicn field measremeat".01.T FU:.Hencethe reliability of the porrver ndherlands". Some conclusion t5l CIGRE TF 33. Jotmal of are.X t 23 t)96 haz:rd.q faifulgs or hazardin the past.01 'Ugfutring-infuced overvoltages cn described in this paper may change when more ovefreadpwver lines" statisticalvalues are obtained. Future collection of dzta li$tninC Part 1. 5143-5147. The results give the ideas of some causesof t4l IEC DIS 8l (BC/CO) 14 'hctedim of Srudures agei.'n^t b tti F 21 1995 The otheradvantageof lightning location systemgarned from this study is the warning to the public which month in which location has the risk of lightning R.142Septeober 20.05 equipmentin that region where lightning often causes the occurrenceof line trip.