Raycap News

Lightning protection for wind turbines and structures

When lightning strikes a structure, there is an immediate high voltage shock.  The electrical surge is so fast and so intense, that without adequate protection for the blades, internal and external electronic components and framework, there is a near guarantee that damage will be suffered.

Wind turbines are subjected to some of the harshest climate conditions available, and are especially susceptible to damage as a result of lightning strikes.  Without direct strike protection installed on the turbine blades, or insufficient earthing or transient protection, the costs to windfarm operators for the repair and replacement of equipment is significant each year, contributing directly to the costs that must be passed off to consumers in the forms of higher rates.  While strikes to blades are quite difficult to avoid and manage, the over-voltage transients that occur after both direct strikes to structures and coupling from strikes to nearby objects are able to be prevented from producing damage if adequately protected with industrial SPDs.

Each minute, more than 1,700 electrical storms are happening on earth, producing more than 100 lightning flashes per second.  There are almost 8 million lightning strikes on earth every day.  While only 10% of these flashes are going to contact the ground, there is still a significant threat to any structure which is taller than surrounding structures at all times.  Wind turbines not only represent this situation, but are also made up of expensive and sophisticated electronic equipment that is only able to withstand a specific amount of electrical flow before catastrophic failure occurs.  These components must be protected with industrial grade surge protection technology which can break the flow of electricity down lines previous to coming in contact with it.

Electrical protection systems and components for wind turbines will generally involve the redundant installation of SPDs throughout the structure as well as in strategic locations on parallel lines, thus preventing the surge as a result of a direct strike our coupling.  Where older technologies simply broke the path of the electricity and remained offline until reset, technology from Raycap allows for the regular flow to continue after an incident of overvoltage has occurred, thus keeping the system online and functioning for longer periods of time while the wind source is available.  This improvement to older technology allows for continual production of electricity from each and every turbine that is outfitted with the proprietary technology, and allows for significant production increases from windfarms over time.  Through protecting the equipment and extending it’s useful life in combination with keeping power generating turbines online for longer periods of time, Raycap’s technology is changing the face of wind power forever, bringing consumer costs down and making the industry more effective as a whole.  In the near future, these improvements to the green energy market through technological advances in surge protection may prove to be the difference that shifts the majority of the world over to renewable energy, and away from the damage to the environment caused by fossil fuels.