The exploration of “green energy” alternatives to fossil fuels has been at the center of debate for many years, and although there are few outside of fossil fuel insiders who would argue that solar power is not one of the best environmental choices, the adoption of a technology is generally made based on economics. While the attitudes of residents of developed nations may not all be in agreement regarding the necessity to reduce fossil fuel energy production on order to slow the effect of greenhouse gasses on the environment, there is rarely an argument put forth in support of the more expensive of two choices if that choice is also the more environmentally friendly. What this translates to is that the real choice between fossil fuels and solar power production of energy falls squarely on the costs of production. There are some who are willing to pay more for energy if it has less of an environmental impact, but the general choices of the population will gravitate towards the cheapest power available.
The general desire to support the environmentally friendly alternatives, but choosing fossil fuels instead due to their availability and price is coming under pressure of late as new technological advances continue to reduce the cost of power generated by solar and wind facilities. Due to the fact that both solar and wind draw upon free sources for their production, the only costs associated are the components necessary to harness that energy and maintain these systems, notwithstanding labor and transport costs which are factored into all types of production. The primary drain on solar power production facilities is the maintenance and replacement of facility components and the labor involved in those repairs and replacements. Technological advances from companies like Raycap, who manufacture state of the art industrial surge protection solutions for the solar industry, have brought production costs down significantly in recent years. For the first time in history, energy produced by solar and wind is competing with fossil fuel production economically, and the two industries are creating power for populations that costs virtually the same.
Raycap produces industrial surge protection devices (SPDs) that are built to withstand multiple lightning surges which solar and wind farms are subjected to, residing in remote areas that generally see severe weather patterns. Raycap’s products also have an additional advantage over competing devices by their ability to take multiple lightning strikes without failing or degradation of the SPD. This means that they do not need to be replaced or reset after they have successfully prevented surge activity from a lightning strike. Typically, SPDs will perform their duty, then sacrifice themselves. They need to be reset or replaced before functionality can be restored to the equipment that they are protecting. This can take the facility offline while the SPD is being replaced; that is if it is even known whether it has failed. These downtime and labor costs posed special problems for the solar industry, as they inflated costs that needed to be passed off to consumers in the form of higher prices. By installing Raycap’s SPD and surge monitoring products, solar facilities can produce power for longer timeframes, drawing off the free resource of the sun in a more effective manner and thus reducing the costs of production. This reduction in production costs is bringing solar power in line with fossil fuels economically, and the environment can benefit from the change. In addition, Raycap has developed surge monitoring and reporting equipment that wirelessly reports to a command center whether a strike has occurred, enabling wind and solar farm operators to have real-time data about the health of their equipment.