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The appropriate modelling of metal-oxide (MO) surge arresters and the determination of the equivalent circuit parameters are significant issues, since the efficient representation of the arresters dynamic behaviour by the models improves the quality and reliability of the lightning performance studies. In the current work, an optimisation algorithm for the evaluation of the surge arrester models parameters is developed. Optimum arrester model equivalent circuit parameter values are selected, minimising the error between the simulated peak residual voltage value and this given by the manufacturer. The proposed methodology is applied on a 120 kV MO arrester, presenting its effectiveness, reducing the relative error between the simulated and manufacturer-s peak residual voltage value around 50% with the use of the obtained optimum parameter values.