Raycap News

Improving Wind Power With Surge Protection Systems

So called “new” or “renewable” energy methods such as wind power and solar power have long been looked to as hopeful alternatives to the pollution of fossil fuels and representing a better the future for the planet. Even if you do not believe that climate change is manmade, it is undeniable that burning fossil fuels pollutes our environment. There are few that would ever try to argue that pollution is better than no pollution, and ultimately the discussion about fossil fuels vs alternatives like wind power come down to economics. Opponents of wind technology cite as their argument that wind turbines are a blight upon the landscape, and also that they cannot produce enough electricity on their  own to replace the fossil fuel systems that service our major cities, and other cities around the globe. They also often state that wind is a more expensive technology to run, that produces the same product, ultimately making the argument rest on the listener to decide  if a certain amount of pollution is worth the cost savings. Because fossil fuel systems produce power less expensively than wind does, those that are money-conscious will many times vote to support the system that will be cheapest, as long as they cannot readily see the consequences in front of them. Their opinion is often swayed by arguments against wind technology development that are being put forth by the fossil fuel companies themselves. If it is not harming you right now they think, then it is better to pay less money for the product. This entire argument would fall apart if wind power could fill all the existing demands and also be a cheaper way to produce the product. That day is coming soon.

While the actual mechanics of wind power are simple, (harness the wind to turn turbines which produce electricity) the technological developments that can reduce costs are not so simple. Once initial sunk costs are considered, ongoing costs are generally seen in the repair and replacement of equipment that gets damaged but is necessary to the process that gets damaged regularly. These damages are usually in the form of lightning strikes to the blades or tops of the towers. The damage is not isolated to the spot where the strike happens, but instead is multiplied as the associated power surge travels through the tower to damage attached equipment. This equipment is overwhelmed by the excess power that flows through connected lines and attachments, and is damaged and rendered offline. In order for the windmill to be returned to its functional state, the equipment must be repaired or replaced.

Industrial surge protection systems devices or “SPDs” that are installed on lines and at critical junction points have the ability to protect turbine equipment downstream from the expected damage. This allows the restoration to functional states to happen faster and with less cost, resulting in more power being created for less cost with every improvement to the SPDs. As they advance technologically, we see better levels of protection as well as faster response times to protect and to restore functionality of the devices themselves. This is especially important with Raycap’s Strikesorb line of devices which do not need to be reset or replaced in order to remain functional. The integration of these technologically advanced devices drives production costs down more, soon arriving at the point of wind power being a less expensive alternative in the very near future.