Industrial grade surge protection is not a new concept. Surge protection itself has been around in one form or another since we started utilizing computerized equipment to make our lives easier. As soon as components that involved circuitry were connected to an electrical source and turned on, we realized that fluctuations in that power flow could have an adverse effect on both the operation and the electronic components themselves. Electrical transients have caused malfunctions, data loss and even damage to the circuitry involved. Each moment that expensive equipment was connected to the power source was putting it in danger of damage from electrical surges. The advent of surge protection came shortly after, with the development of methods to cut the power supply to equipment if power were to exceed a certain point that was deemed “safe.” Circuit breakers cut the flow if it exceeded a certain amount, and additional surge protection equipment was developed to provide a level of protection for components managing functions that couldn’t afford to be cut off from use for long periods of time.
With regard to industrial applications, the stakes are far higher and the risk levels are far greater. Instead of computer equipment that costs a few thousand dollars, many industrial installations use equipment that costs in the millions of dollars. This equipment is tasked with providing services or creating products that are used by millions of people, and in some cases are critical for life itself. Industrial installations can be more exposed to inclement weather and other factors that can produce issues from electrical power, and their remote locations can make them prime targets for lightning strikes, one of the largest causes of power surges. The combination of danger exposure, extreme expense and the critical nature of ongoing production in many industries illustrate that “next level” surge protection for industrial applications is not only beneficial, it is crucial. Protection of the bottom line and company profits are at stake, and in some cases the future of the modern world may also be at risk.
The world as we know it today has been transformed through technological progress. People identify a problem and fix it through the creation of something that did not exist previously. Sometimes this technological advance makes life easier and more convenient, and sometimes it is absolutely critical to the future survival of the planet itself. The case of alternative energy production is one of these instances, a growing majority of people view the problem as being that the earth is quickly running out of the resources that are used to create power, and at the same time is being damaged by those resources and the processes used to create that power. Fossil fuels are the current method of power production for nearly every part of the earth. A fuel source like coal, oil or wood is burned in order to turn turbines that generate electricity for homes and businesses. Each and every day, the amount of resources that are available diminishes, and every day we are faced with the imminent threat that someday I the future they will run out. While this may seem like an issue that will not be necessary to deal with for many years as supplies are still not critically low, the fact that it takes many years to develop a process that can replace them is a big part of the pressure to find alternative energy solutions. As we get closer to that point of running out of fuel sources that are not being replenished, the danger levels grow. Without a system in place that can completely compensate for the case of a global oil or coal shortage, we may very literally face a threat to our wellbeing as a species. People need power, and the current systems of production are not showing the ability to be advanced in a way that solves the issue. At the same time, we have realized that burning fossil fuels is creating damage to our planet and our health, and while the levels of that damage may be debatable by some, it is undeniable that the problem will only get worse. Pollution and damage to the atmosphere by greenhouse gasses cannot be viewed as a positive thing in any circumstance, and the reduction of these elements will be helpful to the future. The problems have been identified, and the solutions are in the process of being perfected.
The alternative to power production using fossil fuels is known as “green energy production” or “clean power.” These are general terms that describe various technological processes that result in power production using methods that do not involve the burning of fossil fuels. As a generalization, these technological processes ultimately turn turbines in the same way that fossil fuel burning does; only they use a method that does not result in the destruction of the fuel source. They use things like the movement of wind, the flow of water or the buildup of heat from the sun in order to turn the same turbines that are used by fossil fuel producers, and they do it in a way that does not create pollution or reduce the resource (wind, sun or water) on earth. These processes solve two issues at the same time, allowing for a potential alternative to the ultimate runout of the fossil fuels while still maintaining the necessary levels of power production, and the elimination of the damaging side effects of the process. It is difficult to argue against furthering the development of better systems that can produce more power from these methods, but argue people do, and the single argument against them involves profit and loss.
Alternative energy is a developing concept. It is in an early stage and currently cannot produce enough power to completely replace fossil fuel production. This is due to the current technological levels of the systems themselves, and the need for advancement of these systems to greater capacities. For example, wind power can only be produced when there is wind blowing, and solar power can only be produced when the sun is shining. This means that if an adequate amount of power to completely compensate for the fossil fuel power cannot be produced during these periods then the method is not yet fully capable of performing its task. There must be improvements to either the amounts of power that can be produced during these periods or the storage capacities for the power so it is available for use even when not being proactively produced. These issues are continually being worked on and improved through research funded by either governments or individuals who would have an interest in furthering them. This takes funding to accomplish, and without a critical situation being a threat, few people are willing to pay more for the product in order to make this happen. Regular consumers only see that they pay a certain amount for their power bills, and do not see the direct effect of the future on them. They simply do not want to pay more for a product they can have produced cheaper, even if it will solve future issues. This lack of public support shifts the issues back to the people and companies directly involved in the technological advancements of the green energy markets. It is upon them to find a way to make their product cheaper, so it can be presented to the public as something that benefits them now and in the future.
This is where the discussion of surge protection on an industrial level comes into play, and where it just might change the world as we know it. Power production using green technology is currently more expensive than fossil fuels, based upon the fact that the components involved in the process are expensive and suffer damage and destruction in the field. Also a contributor is the fact that people don’t have the alternative to choose clean energy so the use base has not reached a critical mass to support the process further. Computerized equipment that is housed in wind turbines located in remote and unobstructed areas is continually being damaged by lightning strikes to the blades of the turbine. Solar panels are continually being struck by lighting in the vast fields where they are located, allowing the huge amounts of power that surges following a lightning strike to travel along connectivity lines and destroy the circuitry of the control equipment. All of these components being damaged in the field need to be repaired or replaced in order to keep the systems functioning, and the electricity being produced. In addition to this issue, when lightning strikes an industrial facility that produces green power, the system is generally shut down until it can be made safe again. This forces the loss of critical production hours during peak times when the fuel sources are available, and only through the development of technology that can both protect from the surge and keep systems online for longer periods do we advance the methods to the point of being viable without fossil fuels as a backup. Surge protection on an industrial level that is more technologically advanced than the current products is the key to solving some of these issues we have discussed in order to bring the costs of production down and keep the facilities producing for longer periods at the same time.
The technologically advanced surge protection devices that are furthering the viability of green energy production methods are currently being offered by Raycap. As the leader in the industrial surge protection market, we produce the devices that are being integrated into these systems worldwide, and which are helping advance the production methods to the point of being able to stand on their own both from a production capacity level and an economic viability level. Through our technologically advanced surge protection devices, our surge protection products are keeping wind and solar production facilities online and producing for longer periods of time. As a result, these facilities are able to increase the amount of power that is able to be produced during any time span. Through improvements to the expected levels of damage to equipment in the field that dictate the prices that consumers need to pay for power generated by these methods, we are helping to drive down the costs of production across the board. Integration of our SPD’s, in a nutshell can eventually assist in driving down the costs within all green energy production methods, making them a viable replacement for fossil fuels in totality. The solutions are already here, and are being improved upon each and every day. Once power can be manufactured using clean technology that is not only enough to power every household but also can be done so with greater availability and at a lower cost than through the use of fossil fuels, then we are in a new world that has been improved for all mankind. It may seem like we just manufacture surge protection equipment in order to keep computer equipment running, but in reality we are helping to transform the world.