I am available for custom hardware/firmware development
Attract lightning? From all research done, by no means am I disputing your claim, in fact it seems that is exactly what happened, experts in the field claim, lightning is either going to happen or not, offering a path to ground therefore is not attracting, it is diverting what would have hit something else close by. It's a controversial subject and there is no clear consensus and by no means do I claim to have the answers. Thanks for the input.Edit, did you mean diverting the strike to the tower?
The panels are bolted to a welded steel frame, supported by six legs encased in concrete footings 50 cm. In diameter burried 50 cm., the grounding would be whatever the conact and resistance values are, no intentional grounding or bonding. The rational being, why make the array a target by intentionally offering a good ground path to something you don't want to take a strike in the first place and was the prime reason for adding a mast with a good ground, to offer a better target. There is much controversy regarding what is the best method including some who claim the NEC is wrong in their recommendations when it comes to PV systems, the internet is flooded with information, by "experts " in the field whose recommendations are so polarized it's impossible to come to a conclusion, not to mention non experts who base their ideas on what the believe to be correct. What I have observed is lightning hitting the two cellular and one satalite communication towers 800 meters away on numerous occasions, their lightning protection must work as the network stays up and running, each one has a single air terminal the same I use only larger and more than likely a more elaborate grounding system, to protect there more valuable equipment. Wish I knew all the answers, but based on the general consensus it would appear there is no, one answer, every strike is different and unpredictable.
I have no doubt that if you are building an isolated tower to divert lightning, more distance is better (ie, it reduces ground potential rise in the areas that you care about). Maybe even use a buried horizontal ground wire leading away from the areas of interest.