The biggest obstacle standing in the way of a more complete rollout of solar as the primary method of manufacturing power is the cost associated with the process. While the industry may have been developed as a reaction to the increasing costs of fossil fuels combined with more widespread understanding of the negative impacts that burning fossil fuels has on the environment, it is always difficult to convince the public to support anything that is not more cost effective at the time. People will rally behind the system that costs them the least, even if it is more damaging to them in the long run. This stunts the progress of industries that do not utilize fossil fuels as they need more technological development in order to become more effective as well as lower in cost. Without government backing of research into better methods, the industry relies upon private development to see the advancements they need toward both cheaper and cleaner. Luckily, the private sector has made great strides without government backing in the areas of extension of component life, as well as system functionality. Companies like Raycap have led the way in developing devices and systems that assist the PV (photovoltaic) power producing systems in operating at a higher capacity and for longer timeframes while the free fuel source is available. Every year, this closes the gap between the competing methods and makes wind and solar more economically viable.
A primary threat to PV systems is lightning strikes, and the power surges that are associated with them. Solar panels are large and flat, coving a large surface area and are usually positioned on the highest point in a region. This is because they need to be unobstructed by other structures in order to perform at top capabilities, harnessing as much sunlight as possible. A lightning strike directly to these panels generally produces a total loss of that panel or panesl, then has a damaging ripple effect as the static electric charge makes its way along the power chain throughout the system. This surge of electricity is more than inverters and circuitry can withstand, producing damage and system outages. An indirect strike can produce the same impact, coupling into systems from miles away and overwhelming circuitry. These events take PV systems offline during peak production hours when the free source of fuel is available and can keep them offline until repairs are made. These expenses add up over time to a method that is more expensive than fossil fuel counterparts.
Through the integration of SPDs (surge protective devices) along pathways and within inverter areas, the excess power flow can be thwarted and rendered incapable of producing further damage. This keeps systems functioning and producing for longer timeframes, ultimately outweighing the costs of the SPDs themselves by the repair savings and increased capacities while using the same free fuel sources. The PV market is moving forward through technological advances by companies like Raycap, who create the protection necessary to drive down costs.