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( 19) United States

TARON AT MAN THEWALAMATUTTI


US 20170321661A1

(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2017Nov


/0321661 A1
MIERITZ et al. . 9 , 2017
(43) Pub . Date :
(54) A FULLY INSULATED TIP UNIT FOR A Publication Classification
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEM FOR A (51) Int. Ci.
WIND TURBINE BLADE AND A WIND FO3D 80 /30 (2006 .01)
TURBINE BLADE COMPRISING THE SAME HO2G 13/ 00 (2006 .01)
FO3D 1/ 06 (2006 .01)
( 71) Applicant: Global Lightning Protection Services 2 ) U . S . CI.
A / S , Herning (DK ) CPC ............... FO3D 80 /30 ( 2016 .05 ) ; FO3D 1 / 06
(2013 .01 ); HO2G 13/80 (2013 .01 )
(72 ) Inventors : Casper Falkenstrøm MIERITZ , (57 ) ABSTRACT
København V (DK ); Kim A fully insulated tip unit ( 1) for a lightning protection system
BERTELSEN , Ulfborg (DK ) ; Søren for a wind turbine blade (2 ) is disclosed , comprising an
Find MADSEN , Hvalsø (DK ); Thomas electrically conducting tip ( 3 ) , which tip consists of an
Holm KROGH , Klovborg (DK ) external part (4 ) and an internal part (5 ), at least one side
receptor base (6 ) , an internal tip unit conductor ( 8 ) , an
insulated electric cable ( 9 ) for forming the outermost part of
(73 ) Assignee: Global Lightning Protection Services
S a down conductor ( 10 ) , and a connection element (12 ) for
A /S , Herning (DK ) establishing electrical connection between the insulated
electric cable and the other conducting parts of the tip unit,
(21) Appl. No.: 15 /526 ,535 wherein the internal part of the tip , the side receptor base (s ),
the internal tip conductor, the connection element and one
(22 ) PCT Filed : Nov . 14 , 2014 end of the insulated electric cable are all embedded by
casting in an insulating material ( 13) leaving only the
(86) PCT No.: PCT/DK2014 /050386 external part of the tip and the other end of the insulated
electric cable uncovered by the insulating material. Further
$ 371 (c )( 1 ), more , a wind turbine blade comprising such a tip unit is
( 2 ) Date : May 12 , 2017 disclosed .

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US 2017 /0321661 A1 Nov. 9 , 2017

A FULLY INSULATED TIP UNIT FOR A system , i.e . through the wind turbine blade structure , is
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEM FOR A eliminated or at least significantly reduced in the tip part of
WIND TURBINE BLADE AND A WIND the wind turbine blade.
TURBINE BLADE COMPRISING THE SAME [0008 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the insulated
[0001] The present invention relates to a tip unit for a electric cable is an unshielded high - voltage cable .
lightning protection system for a wind turbine blade , which 100091. The use of a high - voltage cable is advantageous in
tip unit comprises a tip receptor and at least one side receptor that such cables are provided with the sufficient cable
embedded together into one unit covered by an electrically insulation for withstanding large potential differences like
insulating material . the ones occurring in the case of impact of a lightning strike .
[0010 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the connection
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION element is integrated in the at least one side receptor base .
[0011 ] Integration of the connection element in a side
[0002] Most known lightning protection systems for wind receptor base results in a lower number of components and
turbine blades comprise one or more internally arranged less points of electric connections within the tip unit.
down conductors and a number of lightning receptors [0012 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the internal tip
arranged on the external surface of the blade . unit conductor is formed by a part of the insulated electric
10003] It is a well- known problem of such systems, that cable .
lightning strikes do not only attach to the wind turbine blade [0013 ] Letting a part of the insulated cable form the
in the intended positions, i.e . on the external attachment internal tip unit conductor results in a lower number of
points , the so -called lightning receptors , but can also strike components and less points of electric connections within
the internal conductive parts of the lightning protection the tip unit.
system directly through the structure of the blade. Such [0014 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the cable
incidents can cause severe structural damage to the wind insulation has been removed from the part of the insulated
turbine blade due to the large amounts of energy typically electric cable forming the internal tip unit conductor.
released in relation to lightning impacts . 100151 Removing the cable insulation from the part of the
[ 0004 ] Another well-known problem is that external light insulated electric cable forming the internal tip unit conduc
ning receptors of lightning protection systems can be dam tor facilitates an easier and simpler production process for
aged by lightning impacts and that, therefore , the lifetime of the tip unit.
such receptors is limited , depending on the number of [0016 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the distance
lightning impacts to which they are subjected . between the outermost point of the external part of the tip
and the centre of the side receptor base nearest the tip is
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION between 0 .3 meters and 2 meters , preferably between 0 . 8
[0005 ] It is an object of the present invention to provide a meters and 1. 2 meters .
tip solution for a lightning protection system for a wind [0017 ] The described distance ranges allows for an opti
turbine blade , which overcomes at least partly the above mised distance between the tip receptor and the closest side
mentioned disadvantages of solutions known in the art. receptor of the wind turbine blade.
[0006 The present invention relates to a fully insulated tip [0018 ]. In an embodiment of the invention , the distance
unit for a lightning protection system for a wind turbine between the centre of the side receptor base furthest away
blade , said tip unit comprising an electrically conducting tip from the tip and the point where the insulated electric cable
for a wind turbine blade, which tip consists of an external leaves the cast part of the tip unit is between 0 . 1 meters and
part and an internal part, the external part forming a tip 0 .5 meter, preferably between 0 . 15 meters and 0 .3 meters.
receptor, at least one side receptor base made from an [0019 ] The described distance ranges have proven to
electrically conducting material formechanical mounting of ensure the sufficient protection against direct lightning
one or more side receptors arranged on the external surface strikes impact to the internal parts of the tip unit.
of the blade in such a way that electrical connection is [0020 ]. In an embodiment of the invention , the external
established between the respective side receptor (s ) and the part of the tip is releasably attached to the remaining part of
side receptor base ( s ), an internal tip unit conductor for the tip unit .
forming an electrical connection between the internal part of [0021] The use of a releasably attached external part of the
the tip receptor and the side receptor base (s ), an insulated tip allows for replacement of the external part, i.e . of the tip
electric cable for forming the outermost part of a down receptor of the lightning protection system , if it has been
conductor extending internally within the wind turbine blade damaged destroyed by the impact of too many and /or too
in the longitudinal direction thereof from the at least one side severe lightning strikes .
receptor base towards the root end of the blade , and a [0022 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the external
connection element for establishing electrical connection part and the internal part of the tip are integrated into one
between the insulated electric cable and the other conducting common part .
parts of the tip unit, wherein the internal part of the tip , the [0023 ] Integrating the external and the internal parts of the
side receptor base ( s ), the internal tip conductor, the connec tip unit into one common part results in a lower number of
tion element and one end of the insulated electric cable are components and less points of electric connections within
all embedded by casting in an insulating material leaving the tip unit .
only the external part of the tip and the other end of the 10024 ]. In an embodiment of the invention , the tip unit is
insulated electric cable uncovered by the insulating material. attached to the wind turbine blade by the means of an
[0007] By using a tip unit configured as described above , adhesive .
it is obtained that the risk of impact of lightning strikes 0025 ] Using an adhesive for attaching the tip unit to the
directly to the internal parts of the lightning protection wind turbine blade means that no structural part of the wind
US 2017 /0321661 A1 Nov. 9 , 2017

turbine blade needs to be penetrated or in other ways lems. Furthermore, the use of copper enables for using
weakened in relation to the attachment. exothermic welding processes on the external part of the tip .
10026 ]. In an embodiment of the invention , the insulation 10044 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the internal part
material used for the casting comprises at least one material of the tip consists at least partly of brass .
from the list comprising: polymeric materials, polymer 10045 ] The use of brass means that at least some of the
nanocomposites, thermoplastic materials, thermoset materi advantageous properties of copper can be obtained at lower
als , insulating foams or any combination thereof. costs and with a less ductile material. The use of corrosion
[0027] The described types of materials have proven to resistant brass ensures good compliance with harsh envi
comprise a number ofmaterials with the required mechani ronments .
cal and electrical properties needed for this purpose . 0046 In an embodiment of the invention , the internal tip
[0028 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the minimum unit conductor is mechanically and electrically connected to
thickness of the cast insulation material is between 3 mm the internal part of the tip by means of exothermic welding.
and 30 mm , preferably between 5 mm and 15 mm . [ 0047 The use of exothermic welding results in a very
[00291. The described thickness ranges have proven to strong mechanical connection and ensures a very good
ensure the sufficient insulation for avoiding direct lightning electric connection .
strikes impact to the internal parts of the tip unit . [0048 ] In an embodimentof the invention, the internalpart
[0030 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the insulation of the tip consists at least partly of aluminium .
material used for the casting is dimensioned to withstand (0049 ] The use of aluminium allows easy mechanical
potential differences of at least 20 kV, preferably at least 200 processing at a relatively low cost.
KV between the outer surface of the tip unit and the [0050] In an embodiment of the invention , the internal tip
conducting parts inside the tip unit. unit conductor is mechanically and electrically connected to
[0031] Protection against potential differences within the the internal part of the tip by means of a crimped connection ,
described ranges has proven to be sufficient for obtaining the such as Contact Mandrel Crimping .
desired protection against direct impact of lightning strikes [0051] The use of Contact Mandrel Crimping results in a
to the internal parts of the tip unit. cost efficient mechanical and electric connection .
[0032] In an embodiment of the invention , the external [0052] In an embodiment of the invention , the at least one
part of the tip consists at least partly of copper or a copper side receptor base consists at least partly of aluminium .
alloy . [0053] The use of aluminium allows easy mechanical
[ 0033] The use of copper ensures a very high electric processing at a relatively low cost.
conductivity , high thermal conductivity and, hence , excel [0054 ]. In an embodiment of the invention , the internal tip
lent properties for handling the arc attachment process . unit conductor and / or the insulated electric cable are
Furthermore , the use of copper enables for using exothermic mechanically and electrically connected to the at least one
welding processes on the external part of the tip . side receptor base by means of Contact Mandrel Crimping .
[0034] In an embodiment of the invention , the external 10055 ] The use of Contact Mandrel Crimping results in a
part of the tip consists at least partly of Tungsten Carbide . cost efficient mechanical and electric connection .
10035 ] The use of Tungsten Carbide ensures high electric [0056 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the internal tip
conductivity , high thermal conductivity , very high melting unit conductor and /or the insulated electric cable are
temperature and, hence , low susceptance to charge erosion mechanically and electrically connected to the at least one
from the lightning strike. Particularly, coatings of Tungsten side receptor base by means of exothermic welding.
Carbide applied on other materials have a proven high [0057 ] The use of exothermic welding results in a very
performance to the long stroke components . The chemical strong mechanical connection and ensures a very good
stability of Carbides is high , meaning that the risk of electric connection .
corrosion -related problems is greatly reduced . 10058 ]. In an embodiment of the invention , wherein the
[0036 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the external insulated electric cable is terminated in a cable lug, which is
part of the tip consists at least partly of steel . bolted onto a side receptor base.
[00591. The use of a bolted cable lug results in a cost
[0037] The use of steel ensures a very high mechanical efficient and secure mechanical and electric connection .
strength and reduces the risk of corrosion - related problems 10060] In an embodiment of the invention , the desired
at a relatively low cost. Furthermore, the use of steel enables outer geometry and dimensions of the tip unit for being used
for using exothermic welding processes . in a specific type of wind turbine blades is obtained through
[0038 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the external customisation of a standardised tip unit having a certain
part of the tip consists at least partly of aluminium . predefined geometry and minimum dimensions by adding
[ 0039 ] The use of aluminium allows easy mechanical extra material to the outer surface of the standardised tip
processing at a relatively low cost . unit.
10040 ] In an embodiment of the invention , the internal part [0061] The use of a customised standardised tip unit
of the tip consists at least partly of iron . allows for a more standardised and , thereby, more cost
[ 0041] The use of iron ensures a high mechanical strength efficient production .
and allows easy mechanical processing at a relatively low [0062] In an embodiment of the invention , the added extra
cost. Furthermore, the use of iron enables for using exother material is the same insulating material as is used for the
mic welding processes. casting of the tip unit and the casting of the tip unit and the
[0042] In an embodiment of the invention , the internal part addition of the extra material are done in one single process .
of the tip consists at least partly of copper. [0063] Adding the extra material as a part of the casting
10043 ] The use of copper ensures a very high electric process results in a simpler and more cost -efficient produc
conductivity and reduces the risk of corrosion -related prob tion .
US 2017 /0321661 A1 Nov. 9 , 2017

[0064] In an embodiment of the invention , the added extra [0081] The tip unit 1 , which is described in further detail
material is a foam material added to fill up the cavity below with reference to FIGS. 2a and 2b is arranged with its
between the inner shell of a wind turbine blade and a longitudinal axis at least substantially parallel with the
standardised tip unit arranged therein . longitudinal axis of the wind turbine blade 2 in such a way
10065 ) Adding the extra material after arranging the stan that the external part 4 of the tip 3 forms the tip of the wind
dardised tip unit in the wind turbine blade increases the turbine blade 2 and the insulated cable 9 forms the outermost
flexibility of the use of the tip unit in different types of wind part of a down conductor 10 extending along the longitu
turbine blades. dinal axis of the wind turbine blade 2 in the direction of the
[ 0066 ]. In another aspect of the invention, it relates to a root end thereof.
wind turbine blade comprising a tip unit as described above.
[0082 ] FIG . 2a is a perspective overview of a tip unit 1
FIGURES according to an embodiment of the invention , from which
[ 0067 ] In the following , a few exemplary embodiments of the insulating material 13 has been removed . The illustrated
the invention are described in further detail with reference to tip unit 1 comprises four electrically conducting elements ,
the figures, of which namely an external 4 and an internal part 5 of the tip 3 ,which
[0068] FIG . 1 is a schematic view of the tip part of a wind is electrically and mechanically connected to a side receptor
turbine blade with a tip unit according to an embodiment of base 6 through an internal tip unit conductor 8 . The internal
the invention , tip unit conductor 8 is connected to the side receptor base 6
[0069] FIG . 2a is a perspective view of a tip unit according by means of a connection element 12 integrated therein . An
to an embodiment of the invention , from which the insulat insulated electric cable 9, which forms the outermost part of
ing material has been removed , a down conductor 10 of the lightning protection system of
[0070 ] FIG . 2b is a perspective view of the tip unit shown the wind turbine blade 2 , is connected to the side receptor
in FIG . 2a including the insulating material, base 6 by means of the same connection element 12 . Thus ,
0071] FIG . 3a is a side view of the tip unit shown in FIG . all the electrically conducting parts 5 , 6 , 8 , 9 of the tip unit
2b , 1 are electrically and mechanically connected to each other.
[0072 ] FIG . 3b is a cross-sectional view of the tip unit [0083 ] FIG . 2b shows the same tip unit 1 as FIG . 2a with
shown in FIG . 3a , the exception , that now the insulating material 13 has not
[0073] FIG . 4a is a schematic view of the internal part of been removed . Thus, apart from the part of the insulated
a tip of a tip unit according to a first embodiment of the electric cable 9 forming the down conductor 10 from the tip
invention , unit 1 and inwards towards the root end of the wind turbine
[0074 ] FIG . 4b is a schematic view of the internal part of blade 2 and an end part of the internal part 5 of the tip 3 , all
a tip of a tip unit according to a second embodiment of the electrically conducting parts 5 , 6 , 8 , 9 of the tip unit 1 are
invention, fully covered by an electrically insulating material 13 , such
0075 ) FIG . 4c is a schematic view of the internal part of as polymer nanocomposites , thermoplastic materials , ther
a tip of a tip unit according to a third embodiment of the moset materials insulating foams or any combination
invention , thereof. The thickness , geometry and material properties of
100761 FIG . 5 is a schematic view of a side receptor base this insulating material 13 is dimensioned to withstand the
according to an embodiment of the invention , environmental conditions (vibrations, temperatures , tem
[0077] FIGS. 6a-6b illustrate schematically themaking of perature cycles , humidity , etc .) and the electric fields during
the mechanical and electrical connection between the side lightning exposure and normal operation of the wind turbine
receptor base shown in FIG . 5 and other electrically con blade .
ducting parts of a tip unit according to an embodiment of the [0084 ] Thus, there are only two ways, in which a lightning
invention , strike can reach the internal parts 5 , 6 , 8 , 9 of the tip unit 1
[0078 ] FIGS. 6C -6d are schematic cross -sectional views of and , thereby the part of the down conductor 10 extending
the mechanical and electrical connection between the side through this part of the wind turbine blade 2 . One is through
receptor base shown in FIG . 5 and other electrically con a tip receptor of the lightning protection system formed by
ducting parts of a tip unit according to two different embodi an external part 4 of the tip 3 , which is connected mechani
ments of the invention , and cally and electrically to the internal part 5 of the tip 3
[0079 ] FIGS. 7a - 7b are schematic cross -sectional views of through the end part thereof, which is not covered by the
the mechanical connection between the side receptor base electrically insulating material 13 . The other way is through
part of the tip unit and the wind turbine blade shells a side receptor 7 (not shown in this figure ), which is arranged
according to an embodiment of the invention . on the outer surface of the shell or to be flush with the shell
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE surface of the wind turbine blade 2 and is not a part of the
INVENTION tip unit 1 itself. The side receptor 7 is mechanically and
electrically connected to the side receptor base 6 through
[0080] FIG . 1 shows how a tip unit 1 according to an penetration of the shell 24 (not shown in this figure ) of the
embodiment of the invention may be arranged at the tip end wind turbine blade 2 and the electrically insulating material
of a wind turbine blade 2 . Preferably , the tip unit 1 is 13 covering the side receptor base 6 . The fact that lightning
attached to the wind turbine blade 2 by means of a suitable strikes can only reach the internal lightning protection
adhesive , such as 2 -component epoxy adhesives , fast curing system through the tip receptor and side receptor 7 arranged
polyurethane adhesives, 2 - component polyurethane adhe on the outer surface of the wind turbine blade 2 means that
sives, 2 - component curing acrylate adhesives or other poly no lightning strikes pass through the structural parts of this
meric adhesives. part of the wind turbine blade 2 . Thereby , the risk of damage
US 2017 /0321661 A1 Nov. 9 , 2017

or even destruction of the structural parts of the tip of the slightly slanted in order to be aligned with the surfaces of the
wind turbine blade 2 is eliminated or at least significantly inner shell parts of the wind turbine blade 2 ( not shown in
reduced . this figure ) when the tip unit 1 is mounted therein .
[0085 ] At the ends of the cylinder- shaped parts of the tip 10094 ) FIGS. 60- 6d are schematic cross -sectional views of
unit 1 around the side receptor base 6 , the insulating material the mechanical and electrical connection between the side
13 forms recesses in its surface for the placement of an receptor base 6 shown in FIG . 5 and other electrically
adhesive material 23 ( not shown in this figure ) as described conducting parts 8, 9 of a tip unit 1 according to two
in further detail below with reference to FIGS. 8a and 8b . different embodiments of the invention .
[0086 ] FIGS. 3a and 3b are a side view and a cross 10095 ) In the first embodiment illustrated in FIG . 6c , the
sectional view , respectively of the tip unit 1 shown in FIG . internal tip unit conductor 8 and the insulated electric cable
2b . 9 consist of two different parts placed into through -bore
[0087) FIG . 4a is a schematic view of the internal part 5 forming the connection element 12 from the two ends
of a tip 3 of a tip unit 1 according to a first embodiment of thereof, respectively . In the other embodiment illustrated in
the invention . Depending on the electrically conducting FIG . 6d , on the other hand , the internal tip unit conductor 8
material, from which the internal part 5 of the tip 3 is made, and the insulated electric cable 9 are formed by the same
the internal tip unit conductor 8 can by mechanically and physical cable passing all the way through the through -bore
electrically connected to it using different methods, such as forming the connection element 12 .
exothermic welding or crimped connections , for instance [00961. FIGS. 7a -7b are schematic cross -sectional views of
Contact Mandrel Crimping . the mechanical connection between the side receptor base 6
[ 0088 ] FIG . 4b is a schematic view of the internal part 5 part of the tip unit 1 and the wind turbine blade shells 24
of a tip 3 of a tip unit 1 according to a second embodiment according to an embodiment of the invention .
of the invention . This embodiment differs from the one [0097] An adhesive material 23 is placed in the recesses
shown in FIG . 4a by the fact that the internal part 5 of the 20 formed in the insulating material 13 at both ends of the
tip 3 is provided with a flange 14 for facilitating the cylinder-shaped part of the tip unit 1 containing the side
attachment of an external part 4 (not shown) of the tip 3 . receptor base 6 as illustrated in FIG . 7a. When the tip unit
100891 FIG . 4c is a schematic view of the internal part 5 1 is arranged between the wind turbine blade shells 24 as
of a tip 3 of a tip unit 1 according to a third embodiment of indicated in FIG . 7b , this adhesive material 23 ensures
airtight connections between the tip unit 1 and the wind
the invention . In this embodiment, the internal part 5 of the turbine blade shells 24 .
tip 3 is provided with a couple of mounting holes 15 for 10098 ] This means that no air or water can reach a side
attachment of an external part 4 (not shown ) of the tip 3. receptor 7 , which is mechanically and electrically connected
0090 ) FIG . 5 is a perspective view of a side receptor base to the side receptor base 6 through penetration of the shell
6 of a tip unit 1 according to an embodiment of the 24 of the wind turbine blade 2 , the adhesive material 23 and
invention . Basically , the side receptor base 6 consists of a the electrically insulating material 13 covering the side
cylinder made of an electrically conducting material, such as receptor base 6 . Thereby, the risk of corrosion problems
for instance copper or aluminium . In the illustrated embodi related to the installation of the side receptor 7 and the risk
ment
m , a connection element 12 is integrated in the side of internal discharges from the otherwise exposed parts of
receptor base 6 in the form of a through - bore 12 . A recess 16 the side receptor 7 within the wind turbine blade shell 24 are
is made in the surface of the cylinder parallel to and in short significantly reduced .
distance from the through -bore 12 for making access for a
pressing tool 18 (not shown in this figure ) as described in LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS
further detail below in relation to FIGS. 6a and 6b . A side [0099 ] 1. Tip unit
receptor 7 (not shown in this figure ) can bemechanically and 0100 ] 2 . Wind turbine blade
electrically connected to the side receptor base 6 by drilling 10101] 3 . Tip for wind turbine blade
screwing a part of it into an end surface 17 of the side [0102 ] 4 . External part of tip
receptor base 6 through penetration of the shell of the wind [0103 ] 5 . Internal part of tip
turbine blade 2 and the electrically insulating material 13 10104 ] 6 . Side receptor base
covering the tip unit 1 . 101051 7 . Side receptor
[ 0091] FIGS. 6a and 6b illustrate schematically themak [0106 ] 8 . Internal tip unit conductor
ing of the mechanical and electrical connection between the 10107 ] 9 . Insulated electric cable
side receptor base 6 shown in FIG . 5 and the internal tip unit 10108 ] 10 . Down conductor
conductor 8 and the insulated electric cable 9 of a tip unit 1 10109] 11. Root end of wind turbine blade
according to an embodiment of the invention . [0110 ] 12 . Connection element
[ 0092] The conducting parts 8 , 9 are placed in the con [0111 ] 13 . Insulating material
nection element 12 formed by the through -bore in the side [0112 ] 14 . Flange for mounting of external part of tip
receptor base 6 , and a pressing tool 21 is used to press the [0113 ] 15 . Mounting holes for external part of tip
relatively thin wall between the recess 16 and the through [0114 ] 16 . Recess for pressing tool access
bore 12 against the internal tip unit conductor 8 and the [0115 ] 17. Surface for mounting of side receptor
insulated electric cable 9 , whereby a solid and reliable [0116 ] 18 . Pressing tool
mechanical and electrical connection is formed between the 10117 ] 19 . Additional insulating material
side receptor base 6 and these conducting parts 8 , 9 . The [0118 ] 20 . Surface with recess for adhesive
work of the pressing tool 21 is illustrated schematically by [0119 ] 21. Pressing tool
the press marks 22 in FIG . 6b . [0120 ] 22 . Press mark
[0093] The two end surfaces of the cylinder forming the 10121] 23 . Adhesive material
side receptor base 6 in the embodiment shown in FIG . 6a are [0122] 24 . Wind turbine blade shell
US 2017 /0321661 A1 Nov. 9 , 2017

1 . A fully insulated tip unit for a lightning protection stand potential differences of at least 20 kV, between the
system for a wind turbine blade , said tip unit comprising outer surface of the tip unit and the conducting parts inside
an electrically conducting tip for a wind turbine blade , the tip unit.
which tip consists of an external part and an internal 14 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the external
part, the external part forming a tip receptor, part of the tip consists at least partly of copper or a copper
at least one side receptor base made from an electrically alloy .
conductingmaterial for mechanicalmounting of one or 15 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the external
more side receptors arranged on an external surface of
the blade in such a way that electrical connection is part of the tip consists at least partly of Tungsten Carbide.
established between the respective side receptor (s ) and 16 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the external
the side receptor base ( s ), part of the tip consists at least partly of steel .
an internal tip unit conductor for forming an electrical 17 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the external
connection between the internal part of the tip receptor part of the tip consists at least partly of aluminium .
and the side receptor base ( s ), 18 . The tip unit according to claim 1, wherein the internal
an insulated electric cable for forming an outermost part part of the tip consists at least partly of iron .
of a down conductor extending internally within the
wind turbine blade in a longitudinal direction thereof 19 . The tip unit according to claim 1, wherein the internal
from the at least one side receptor base towards a root part of the tip consists at least partly of copper.
end of the blade, and 20 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the internal
a connection element for establishing electrical connec part of the tip consists at least partly of brass .
tion between the insulated electric cable and the other 21 . The tip unit according to claim 18 , wherein the
conducting parts of the tip unit , internal tip unit conductor is mechanically and electrically
wherein the internal part of the tip , the side receptor connected to the internal part of the tip by exothermic
base ( s ), the internal tip conductor, the connection ele welding .
ment and one end of the insulated electric cable are all 22 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the internal
embedded by casting in an insulating material leaving
only the external part of the tip and the other end of the part of the tip consists at least partly of aluminium .
insulated electric cable uncovered by the insulating 23 . The tip unit according to claim 22 , wherein the
material . internal tip unit conductor is mechanically and electrically
2 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the insulated connected to the internal part of the tip by a crimped
electric cable is an unshielded high - voltage cable . connection .
COI
3 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the connec 24 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the at least
tion element is integrated in the at least one side receptor one side receptor base consists at least partly of aluminium .
base. 25 . The tip unit according to claim 24 , wherein the
4 . The tip unit according to claim 3 , wherein the internal
tip unit conductor is formed by a part of the insulated electric internal tip unit conductor or the insulated electric cable are
cable . mechanically and electrically connected to the at least one
5 . The tip unit according to claim 4 , wherein the cable side receptor base by Contact Mandrel Crimping .
insulation has been removed from a part of the insulated 26 . The tip unit according to claim 24 , wherein the
electric cable forming the internal tip unit conductor. internal tip unit conductor or the insulated electric cable are
6 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein a distance mechanically and electrically connected to the at least one
between an outermost point of the external part of the tip and side receptor base by exothermic welding .
a centre of the side receptor base nearest the tip is between 27 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the insu
0 .3 meters and 2 meters .
7 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein a distance lated electric cable is terminated in a cable lug , which is
between a centre of the side receptor base furthest away bolted onto a side receptor base .
from the tip and a point where the insulated electric cable 28 . The tip unit according to claim 1, wherein an outer
leaves a cast part of the tip unit is between 0 . 1 meters and geometry and dimensions of the tip unit for being used in a
0 .5 meters . specific type of wind turbine blades is obtained through
8 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the external customisation of a standardised tip unit having a certain
part of the tip is releasably attached to the remaining part of predefined geometry and minimum dimensions by adding
the tip unit. extra material to the outer surface of the standardised tip
9 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein the external unit.
part and the internal part of the tip are integrated into one
common part. 29 . The tip unit according to claim 28 , wherein the added
10 . The tip unit according to claim 1, comprising an extra material is the same insulating material as is used for
adhesive to attach the tip unit to the wind turbine blade . the casting of the tip unit and wherein the casting of the tip
11 . The tip unit according to claim 1, wherein the insu unit and the addition of the extra material are done in one
lation material used for the casting comprises at least one single process .
material from the list comprising : polymeric materials, poly 30 . The tip unit according to claim 28 , wherein the added
mer nanocomposites , thermoplastic materials , thermoset extra material is a foam material added to fill up the cavity
materials, insulating foams or any combination thereof. between the inner shell of a wind turbine blade and a
12 . The tip unit according to claim 1 , wherein a minimum
thickness of the cast insulation material is between 3 mm standardised tip unit arranged therein .
and 30 mm . 31. A wind turbine blade comprising a tip unit according
13 . The tip unit according to claim 1, wherein the insu to claim 1.
lation material used for the casting is dimensioned to with * * * * *