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Numerical Simulations of the Flow Field around a Cylindrical Lightning Rod

Wei Guo1, Yanliang Liu1, Xuqiang Wang1, Jiazheng Meng2, Mengqin Hu2, Bo He2,*

1 State Grid Ningxia Ultra High Voltage Co., Ltd., Yinchuan, 750000, China
2 School of Electrical Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, 710049, China

* Corresponding Author: Bo He. Email: email

Structural Durability & Health Monitoring 2024, 18(1), 19-35.


As an important lightning protection device in substations, lightning rods are susceptible to vibration and potential structural damage under wind loads. In order to understand their vibration mechanism, it is necessary to conduct flow analysis. In this study, numerical simulations of the flow field around a 330 kV cylindrical lightning rod with different diameters were performed using the SST k-ω model. The flow patterns in different segments of the lightning rod at the same reference wind speed (wind speed at a height of 10 m) and the flow patterns in the same segment at different reference wind speeds were investigated. The variations of lift coefficient, drag coefficient, and vorticity distribution were obtained. The results showed that vortex shedding phenomena occurred in all segments of the lightning rod, and the strength of vortex shedding increased with decreasing diameter. The vorticity magnitude and the root mean square magnitudes of the lift coefficient and drag coefficient also increased accordingly. The time history curves of the lift coefficient and drag coefficient on the surface of the lightning rod exhibited sinusoidal patterns with a single dominant frequency. For the same segment, as the wind speed increased in a certain range, the root mean square values of the lift coefficient and drag coefficient decreased, while their dominant frequencies increased. Moreover, there was a proportional relationship between the dominant frequencies of the lift coefficient and drag coefficient. The findings of this study can provide valuable insights for the refined design of lightning rods with similar structures.


Cite This Article

Guo, W., Liu, Y., Wang, X., Meng, J., Hu, M. et al. (2024). Numerical Simulations of the Flow Field around a Cylindrical Lightning Rod. Structural Durability & Health Monitoring, 18(1), 19–35.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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