Lightning Interaction with Transmission and Distribution Power Systems

April 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm America/New York Timezone

Electromagnetic Compatibility Society

Prof. Dr. Alexandre Piantini, University of São Paulo, Brazil

In recent years, the growing use of sensitive electronic devices and the increasing demand of utility customers for power supply stability have emphasized the importance of improving electric systems’ reliability and power quality levels. Although various phenomena and situations can cause disturbances on power transmission and distribution networks, lightning is usually responsible for a significant amount of unscheduled supply interruptions and permanent damages to equipment such as distribution transformers, as well as damages to or malfunction of sensitive electronic equipment. It is therefore essential to evaluate the lightning electromagnetic environment to mitigate its effects and improve the power system quality. In this talk, after an introduction that includes an overview of the main lightning processes, the major mechanisms by which lightning overvoltages can be produced in power transmission and distribution (medium and low-voltage) systems are explained. Then, the overvoltages’ general characteristics are evaluated and their dependence upon the network configuration and some of the most important ground and stroke parameters are discussed, with examples of measured and calculated voltage waveshapes.

The presentation will be conducted on Zoom, details for the connection will be posted in a separate message closer to the date of presentation and on the EMC IEEE Chapter web site –

For questions, please contact the chair of the Chapter, Michael Royer at

Speaker information:  Prof. Dr. Alexandre Piantini, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Prof. Piantini (SM’04) received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, in 1991 and 1997, respectively. He joined the University of São Paulo in 1986 and served, from 1998–2011, as Director of Technological Development of the Institute of Energy and Environment, where he is Associate Professor and the Head of the Lightning and High Voltage Research Centre. He was the Convener of the CIGRE WG C4.408 “Lightning Protection of Low-Voltage Networks” and member of various IEEE and CIGRE working groups. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Electrical Engineering, High Voltage, and member of the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Electric Power Systems Research. He has participated in 26 research projects related mainly to lightning and EMC. He coordinated 21 of these projects, of which 15 funded mainly by power companies and national agencies for research support. Prof. Piantini is the Chairman of the Int. Symposium on Lightning Protection (SIPDA) and member of scientific committees of various conferences such as the Int. Conf. Lightning Protection (ICLP). He is a Guest Professor of the Chongqing University, China, and a member of the IEEE Award Committee of the Sun & Grzybowski Award. In 2018 he was the recipient of the ICLP R. H. Golde Award. He is the Editor of two books (IET), author or co-author of eight book chapters, and over 150 scientific papers published in prestigious reviewed journals or presented at international conferences with review board.