Lightning Protection For Wind Turbines And Green Energy
The entire concept of “green energy production” focuses on the production of electrical power in a way that would have less impact on the environment and ultimately would be affordable for consumers. Essentially, the development of green energy production methods comes in response to dramatic changes to the environment and atmosphere, and the costs associated with using so much of it. While the damage that is being done is unmistakable in the form of removal of resources that have a limit (coal, oil, natural gas), as well as the obvious pollution that is produced when these resources are burned, the debate over how much damage is done to the atmosphere continues to rage by those with short sighted goals. The justification for continual use of these methods as opposed to pushing forward with development of more alternative energy production is based on corporate profits vs damage to the environment. Consumers have not been fully convinced that the use of fossil fuels is doing significant damage to the Earth, and as a result they tend to lean towards the least expensive and most reliable method of electricity production.
Green energy production has costs associated, even though the wind and sun are essentially free fuel sources. These costs come in the form of technological experimentation and development, research, repair and replacement of equipment used in the process. A costly aspect of green energy production at this point in time comes as a result of weather-related acts of God, such as lightning strikes to solar panels and wind turbines, a natural occurrence to these systems located in remote locations. A windmill is a target for lightning strikes because it is the tallest structure in the area, and the blades reach far into an unobstructed sky. Strikes to the blades of wind turbines are common, and yet this is not the major cost associated with the lightning strike itself. This cost can be found in the damage that happens as a result of the surge that follows, which travels along connected lines within the structure to control equipment that is easily damaged by power surges. Not only is the electronics equipment damaged when this happens, but the turbine itself is knocked offline for production until the system can be repaired.
This does present one of the more interesting aspects of wind power development, in that the advancement of systems that could reduce the amount of damage related to lightning strikes would reduce the overall costs of production using this method. By integrating industrial grade specialized surge protection devices for wind turbines like those manufactured by Raycap, wind power producers can dramatically reduce their expected costs, and therefore begin to reduce the prices needed to be charged in order to make a profit for the business. The turbines also stay online for longer periods of time due to the minimization of damage and the streamlining of repair, producing more power using the free fuel source of the wind. The future promise of wind power is a cleaner and sustainable energy, as well as a cheaper power source. Raycap is one of the companies leading the way in support of the development of the technologies that will make this possible.