Solar advice: Risk of a lightning strike
Around four million bolts of lightning hit Europe per year. The highest intensity is where Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet. Every year, about seven lightning strikes happen there per square metre. According to the statistics, more than half a million lightning strikes occur annually between the Alps and the North Sea.
The frequency varies from year to year
The lightning frequency varies from year to year and from area to area. There actually is no area in Europe, where lightning strikes can be ruled out. Furthermore, (thunder-)storms are gaining in intensity as a result of climate change.
Damage from lightning strikes and overvoltage vary with the seasons. From a long-term perspective, clustering in the summer months (June and July) can be observed. Lightning damage also strongly varies regionally.
Germany, for example
Generally speaking: Southern Germany sees more lightning than the north of the country. That is influenced by the respective temperatures and the overall weather situation. It is impossible to precisely forecast lightning strikes.
As a rule of thumb: Within a city with a wide-ranging grid, lightning much more rarely causes overvoltage damage than in rural areas.
Some 100 million euros every year
Lightning strikes are the reason for quite a lot of damage to electrical appliances. Whether television set, computer or washing machine – their often highly sensitive electronics can even get damaged if the lightning strikes further away. According to the German Insurance Association (GDV), every year 400,000 to 500,000 cases of lightning and overvoltage are reported, causing about 300 million euros’ worth of damage.
The statistics prove that lightning strikes and overvoltage always cause expensive single events. The reason for this development is that there is a lot of sophisticated equipment in most households. (HS)
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