Raycap News

The Necessary Protection Of PV Systems

A crucial component that must be figured into the systems of solar power generation is surge protection, if the business is going to be shielded from weather related damage costs.   Solar farms primarily utilize a photovoltaic (PV) system in order to produce energy. These systems have the ongoing issue of being subject to weather related damage simply due to their exposure to the elements and physical makeup.  Wear and tear on exposed components by wind, dust, dirt and rain is difficult to avoid, however a far more serious potential for damage resides in the occurrence of lightning strikes to panels or connected equipment.  The expected deterioration of exposed system components can be figured into the cost of ongoing operations, and can be reduced through the manufacture of more robust panels, however the damage caused by lightning strikes is both far more severe and far more preventable through the integration of advanced surge protection devices (SPD) into the PV system.

Lightning strikes to components produce a direct surge many times greater than the circuitry and inverters integrated into system components can withstand.  Lightning strikes to adjacent structures can be coupled into nearby systems and will provide the same levels of surge damage.  The only proven method of reducing the damage caused by direct and indirect strike surges is through the integration of SPDs at crucial points in the power chain as well as at inverter locations.  While components located at the strike point itself will almost always be completely destroyed, surge protection devices positioned at strategic linear points downstream can interrupt and stop the flow of power before it comes in contact with sensitive equipment, thus salvaging that equipment from the expected overload.

Raycap suggests the use of its line of products for PV system protection, including  Strikesorb technology, which is housed under 1500 pounds of pressure in aluminum casings that are far more robust than other products on the market within both the residential and commercial grade.  The technology inside Strikesorb allows the SPD a greater ability to withstand surge currents without being itself damaged, and Strikesorb has the unique ability to continue functioning after a surge without the need for replacement.  A typical SPD will leave a system vulnerable after a surge instance due to the fact that the device itself goes offline until it can be replaced, however Strikesorb continues functioning even after multiple surge occurrences.  Storms will generally produce more than a single instance of lightning strike, and as a result protection must continue even after the surge has been prevented once in order to prevent subsequent surge damage.  Only Strikesorb products have this capability.

Through the installation of Strikesorb SPDs at junction boxes and inverter locations, solar farm operators can enjoy a far higher level of equipment protection than they have seen in the past, driving down equipment replacement costs that are predicted each quarter and potentially lowering the cost of energy production across the board.  Contact Raycap today to find out more about the Strikesorb SPD products and its other solutions for PV power plants.