Lightning protection for solar-cell panels

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24.06.14                      , , 

The number and variety of photovoltaic panels is constantly growing. Wherever photovoltaic equipment is located, be it on the roof of a small private house, at a specialized area or on the ground, anyway, you should provide lightning and surge protection. Various manufacturers (DEHN, CITEL, and OBO Betterman) offer a wide range of components for external lightning protection and surge protection devices designed specifically for use in photovoltaic panels.

For instance, CITEL, electrotechnical group of companies, has released a series of SPDs for various voltages.

For smaller photovoltaic systems, issuing from 12 to 350V,  SPD Series 200 (from DS220-12DC for 12V to DS240-350DC for 350V).


DS200-DC Series is used for:

  • Lightning and surge protection for input and output power supply cascades,
  • Lightning and surge protection for power inputs of sensitive electric plants and electronic devices
  • Lightning and surge protection for metering circuits
  • Lightning and surge protection for remote control and telemetry systems

DS50PV series devices could be used in systems with a solar-cell panel voltage over 350V.


DS50PV Series:

  • The response time after a voltage surge is less than 25 ns
  • Self-repairing circuit after a hazardous surge
  • The security module (Type 2) for photovoltaic power plants
  • Nominal / maximum surge current: In: 20 kA / Imax: 40 kA (per pole)
  • Removable safety module
  • Remote alarm system (optional)
  • Compliance with  GOST 51992, EN 61643-11, and IEC 61643-1

DS60VGPV, 1st  stage devices, are capable of conducting a part of direct lightning currents up to 12.5kA and designed for solar-cell panels, located at a considerable distance from the inverter and do not have a common grounding system with it (or if there is a probability of a direct lightning strike).



  • The safety module (Type 2) for photovoltaic power plants
  • Lightning discharge current Iimp 12.5 kA (10/350 µs) on each pole
  • Safety releasing device
  • Remote signaling for operational status
  • Compliance with EN 61643-11 and IEC 61643-1

Inverter output is protected with SPD 1st & 2nd stage DS130 Series or 2nd stage DS40 Series.


In addition to the surge protection, one should also be aware of the protection against direct lightning strikes. In order to solve this problem, GALMAR, external lightning protection is a perfect option.

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