Green Energy Photovoltaic Systems And Surge Protection
Innovation comes in many different forms, and while the obvious improvements to a system may be the most dramatic, sometimes the smaller innovations are the ones that make the biggest impact over time. A perfect example of this is the integration of surge protection devices into photovoltaic systems used for green energy production. While the main focus on innovation within the industry is going to obviously be improved solar panel technology, better energy processing or storage, or more powerful computer systems, the general makeup of the system has many areas for incremental improvement. All green energy production methods use an “end unit” of some sort. This means that there must be some device that is isolated and exposed to the elements in order to create the “fuel” for the system. In the case of solar energy production, that “end unit” is the solar panel which is positioned in a way that it will not be obstructed or shadowed by any other structures. This is necessary in order for the system to harness the most sunlight and perform at peak efficiency. It also makes the panels themselves prone to harm by inclement weather, including getting struck by lightning. Although measures can be put in place to divert lightning strikes to other areas, the fact of the matter remains that solar panels, or areas near them, can get struck by lightning. The typical person would believe that the greatest innovations for this problem would be to create cheaper solar panels to replace those damaged by the strike, this would be based on a lack of understanding of the typical damage that occurs. After the strike, a power surge moves through the ground and along the lines and cables that connect those panels to the rest of the equipment used in the process. This power surge damages this equipment at the circuit level, ultimately creating far more cost from a single strike. The greatest innovations within the damage prevention systems is not the replacement of equipment, but the avoidance of the damage all together. It has been found that through the integration of surge protection devices throughout the photovoltaic systems, the downstream equipment can be less damaged as a result of that inevitable strike. Over time, this results in lower maintenance costs for operation of the solar system, and easier restoration to functionality once a system is compromised by a lightning strike. These devices which are installed along the pathways that electricity can travel upon, prevent the surge from moving past themselves. They stop the surge before it can move further through the system, and offers the electricity a path to ground. This integration drives down the ongoing costs to produce electricity via solar energy, resulting in both cleaner and cheaper power for the masses. As innovations of this type progress, we will eventually see wind and solar becoming not only more viable as primary sources of production for major metro areas, but becoming the preferred source. When consumers can have the energy they need at the least cost to the environment, who wouldn’t choose to go the clean energy route?