Skip to content

Contactless lightning protection measurement - automated & drone based

Discover the unique TÜV SÜD verified and validated TOPseven contactless lightning protection measurement method for your onshore & offshore wind turbines.

Contactless lightning protection measurement

Efficient and cost-saving through AI-assisted drone technology

TOPseven has developed a unique method for contactless lightning protection measurement of wind turbines, onshore & offshore. The inspection is carried out with an autonomously flying drone equipped with special sensors. A possible defect can be precisely localized – in just a few minutes. The technology was granted a European patent (EP 3 596 570) on July 21, 2021, 5 years after filing.

Patented technology: Validated and verified by TÜV SÜD

TOPseven TUEV SUED Validated and Verified

TÜV SÜD’s independent validation and verification confirmed that the measurement system is suitable as an alternative test method for the section of a WT’s lightning protection system extending from the receptors (lightning arrestors) to the blade flanges of the rotor blades in accordance with the Technical Guideline of the German Wind Energy Association.

In march 2021, the BWE (German Wind Energy Association for Technical Inspection) published the technical guideline for testing the lightning protection system of wind turbines relaunched. A crucial innovation is that alternative test methods can also be used for the lightning protection test. A mandatory rule is a successful validation and verification by an independent and accredited test centre. As a result, TOPseven’s patent-pending method for drone-based contactless lightning protection measurement is the only alternative test method in the world which has been validated and verified by TÜV SÜD, a major advance for the industry! 

The core idea of the patented TOPseven method is the non-invasive injection of an electromagnetic field into the lightning protection conductor and the contactless take-off of the rotor blades by means of a drone. This is equipped with a special sensor for field measurement. The measurement carried this way, can be evaluated with a help of a special measuring technique and mathematical algorithm which makes the functionality of the lightning protection system faster, more efficient and more accurate. 

With the help of this special measurement technology and mathematical algorithmic processing, we can confirm the functionality of the lightning protection system more quickly, efficiently and accurately.

The TOPseven method can also be used to precisely localize possible damage points, which means that they can also be subsequently repaired at any time.

The technology has been granted the European patent on July 21, 2021 (EP 3 596 570).

Intelligent drones measure lightning protection in just a few minutes - contactless.

The best thing about it: after a short training session, you can perform the contactless lightning protection measurement completely on your own.

How simple the contactless lightning protection measurement works

TOPseven uses a professional industrial drone, the DJI M300, for the patented procedure. The drone is equipped with special sensors that can precisely locate the defect. A TOPseven designed signal generator injects various high-frequency signals into the blade’s lightning conductor. The international patented process generates an electrical field with different frequencies and matching impedance values. The frequencies used lie in the ISM bands.

The counterpart is a highly sensitive 3D electrical field sensor with extremely low bandwidth and a high sampling rate. The special TOPseven designed sensor payload is attached to the drone. The lightning conductor is damaged or interrupted if the sensor measures are weak or no signal at the tip of the blade.

In this case, the drone flies an autonomous search pattern to detect the exact location where the electrical field is interrupted.

Signal generator and payload field sensor: The powerful duo for your cost-effective and safe lightning protection measurement.

TOPseven Contactless Lightning Protection Signal Generator

Signal generator

Our patented process automatically adjusts the impedance of the lightning conductor (dependent on the length of the blade) to the signal generator. The signal generator has three outputs that all three blades can be connected simultaneously. For the measurement, the signal supply into the blades can be individually externally controlled.
TOPseven Contactless Lightning Protection Automated Troubleshooting

Payload field sensor

This is a highly sensitive 3D electrical field sensor with extremely low bandwidth and a high sampling rate. The sensor measures the intensity of the electricity near field in three dimensions at a 10 Hz sampling rate. The received signals are evaluated via a Fourier analysis, which generates precise results about the state of the lightning protection and, in case of an interruption, its exact position.

This is TOPseven. Our DNA is software & AI

TOPseven was founded in 2020 by a team of established soft- and hardware developers and experts from the drone technology and wind power industry. The company offers a new dimension of automated, drone based inspection of on- and offshore wind turbines, as well as a unique contactless method for lightning protection measurement.

Book demo flight!

There is no better way to demonstrate our drone based solutions right at your site.

Please email us at flight@topseven.com or use our contact form to make an appointment.

We will be in touch shortly!

Book demo flight!

There is no better way to demonstrate our drone based solutions right at your site.

Please email us at flight@topseven.com or use our contact form to make an appointment.

We will be in touch shortly!