Field study of lightning stroke effects, particularly the mechanisms that produce distribution line faults, is essential for designing rational lightning protection for distribution lines. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has conducted photographic research and observed voltage and current waveforms due to lightning in actual distribution lines since 1996, obtaining 284 datasets, including 62 for direct hits to the lines. These results permit a comprehensive study of each lightning flash; the photographs show the precise location of the lightning, and the waveforms provide detailed analyses of flashovers in the distribution systems. This paper evaluates typical observed datasets, including surge insulator voltage waveforms. In some cases, the direct lightning strokes did not cause distribution line faults because the power follow current extinguished spontaneously after flashover generation. These results provide a solid basis for examining the mechanisms underlying the production of distribution line faults, and can lead to effective lightning protection practices.
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