Does The Future Rest In The Hands Of Surge Protection Devices?
Surge protection devices and systems save hundreds of millions of dollars every year in damage that would have occurred as a result of power surges. The typical consumer understands this fact on a small scale, probably utilizing a power strip of some kind to protect their computer in their home. Consumers can probably grasp the magnitude of the savings when this exact situation is explained as being in place in every industrial installation in the world, with businesses protecting their computerized investments with surge protection devices as well. While they may be more advanced and robust than your home power strip, the premise is the same. When a power surge happens, these devices instantaneously cut off the flow of power past the protective device and thereby protect the equipment on the other side. The monetary savings that surge protection devices provide is obvious every time a power surge happens, but there are larger issues at hand that many people are unaware of. For example, when people debate alternative energy production and environmental damage, they are probably not thinking about surge protection being a factor.
Industrial installations are utilized to perform many different tasks that will generally assist mankind. One of the most beneficial types of industrial installation in the modern world is the alternative energy production facility, usually consisting of solar panels and wind towers. These installations are tasked with generating electricity for public consumption without the pollution that is generated by traditional methods. When coal or oil is burned in order to turn the turbines which produce electricity, the byproduct produced is pollution which damages the atmosphere. While there is a debate as to the level of this damage, there is no debate that there is some byproduct produced that has no positive benefit. That being said, a process that generates the same product without the byproducts is preferred, as long as it does not have some byproduct of its own that is also negative. In the case of alternative power production, the byproduct being debated is added cost. Fossil fuel production of energy costs less than alternatives even though the fuels have to be purchased, simply because the equipment utilized in the alternative processes is more expensive and is often at risk of being damaged in the field by weather and surge related activity. Lightning strikes to the exposed components in these installations create a situation where unchecked levels of electricity flow through the existing infrastructure and overwhelm the circuitry of the components. This creates damage at the strike point as well as to any component connected to it, and ultimately results in costs for repair and replacement that exceed the costs of fossil fuels. Systems being knocked offline also create inefficiencies that fail to utilize the maximum amounts of free fuel that is provided by the wind and sun, resulting in the systems not being able to produce enough power to be autonomous when servicing large populations.
These inefficiencies can be improved through surge protection devices that keep systems online longer and protect investment by preventing damage. As the surge protection devices evolve and provide higher levels of protection, the price of power is reduced and surpluses are created. This creates viability in the alternative energy production markets, and will eventually lead to more widespread adoption. Through larger usages of alternative power, the amount of fossil fuels burned every year is reduced bringing with it less pollution and environmental damage, resulting in a world where climate change may continue to happen, but will not be accentuated and accelerated by man.