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Lightning Protection For Green Energy Industries

Lightning Protection For Green Energy Industries

Green energy technologies are the methods through which power is produced for public consumption using fuel sources that are not burned or destroyed in the process.  For many decades, power was produced through the burning of fossil fuels in order to turn turbines that generate electricity.  This electricity is stored and distributed to consumers through a connection to a power grid.  Alternative energy production uses the same methods of distribution to the public, but is significantly different with regard to the manufacturing process.  Instead of destroying a fuel source that is in limited supply and creates harmful by-products such as air, water and soil pollution, green energy technologies produce power through the harnessing of a fuel source like wind or sun and then use that fuel source to turn turbines which generate the electricity.  The fuel sources have no cost and produce no harmful by-products, obviously making them a superior choice to fossil fuels.

The downside to these green energy processes are various, the first being that the fuel itself is not available at all times. So while we will never run out of the wind or sun (hopefully), they are not always available 24 hours a day. Another downside is that adequate battery storage technology has not yet been developed that will meet a ramped up industry demand, making both power production and power storage capacity challenges for the industry to overcome.  Technological advances to improve production capacities and battery storage technology are being worked, and it is believed that within a very short timeframe these will maximize the online capabilities of the systems to keep them functioning, producing, storing and distributing power at the maximum of their capabilities.  A further drawback for green energy is costs, which are not found in the purchase of the fuel sources the way that fossil fuels are, but instead are found in the initial capital expenditures (CapEx) costs, then the monitoring, maintenance and replacement of the equipment involved in the process.

When damage to the equipment at a green energy production site occurs, whether it is solar power or wind power, there is a high cost associated with repairs.  When the systems are offline due to this damage, there is a cost associated with limiting of production capacities.  Additionally, the field maintenance technicians are highly specialized workers who charge not only for time spent on the site but for travel time and accommodations. So, any methods that can reduce the damage to the equipment would result in a lowering of operating expenditures (OpEx) which hopefully would eventually be passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices. Any price improvements to  green energy production that can lower the costs for power to levels that are below that of fossil fuels are step in the right direction for the industry.  If those levels can be achieved along with enough power being generated using these methods to supply the entire grid, we can achieve a situation where the damage to the environment can be eliminated while also making power cheaper and more widely available.

Surge protection for green energy industries is one of the most important aspects of the future, because improvements to the protection of the equipment would solve a lot of the maintenance and replacement cost issues.  With reduced repair and maintenance costs systems could stay online longer, outages avoided, and a consistent source of energy production ensured,  we could find ourselves with a superior system that really could replace fossil fuels entirely.  Surge protection is one of the answers because one of the main sources of damage and outages is lightning strikes to the equipment that is in the field and exposed to the elements.  Lightning surges can take out or severely damage the computerized equipment that is used to operate and monitor these systems.  It might seem like a simple issue, but the complexities of the solution are evolving daily.  More advanced surge protection devices bring us one step closer to a source of cleaner and greener power world, and Raycap is helping to lead the way.