Protect Your Home Solar System 

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The attempt on the part of many residential homeowners over the course of the last 10 years has been to reduce their costs as much as possible.  This is one of the main considerations for switching over to a residential solar power system to produce electricity, and ultimately reduce reliance upon the electrical producer and services the area.  While there is certainly a significant number of people who believe wholeheartedly in the idea that a wider spread utilization of green energy technology will produce a better planet, it can be assumed that the majority of people who are moving over to solar power production within their home are doing so to realize cost savings.  One of the major issues that impacts photovoltaic (PV) systems like these is the lack of proper grounding, ultimately creating an expensive system with poor protection against the elements. PV systems involve exposed panels which are large and flat, making them a prime target for damage by the elements, including lightning strikes.  They must be installed in an unobstructed area so as to harness the largest amount of sunlight for their purposes, and their physical aspects makes them a perfect target for lightning which is attempting to take the path of least resistance to the Earth.  Many homeowners will not install diversionary devices like lightning rods to attract the strike away from their solar panels, thus leaving a perfect target that is directly connected to their home, exposing an expensive system that controls electricity to lightning surge damage.  The lightning strike to these panels will produce damage that is generally not isolated to the strike point, but instead will travel through the entire system as an  energy surge.  The sensitive equipment involved in the process does not have the ability to withstand power surges of this magnitude, ultimately creating a situation where damaged equipment needs to be repaired at the owner’s expense, rendering the system itself useless until these repairs are made. This is why it is so important to integrate surge protective devices into a PV system, making sure that the protection is at the service entrance and at system junction boxes.  The integration of these surge protection devices in a redundant fashion can act as the last barrier of defense against lightning strikes and power surges that have entered a system.  The idea is to stop the power surge before it reaches the more expensive equipment that is involved in the process, and to reduce the ongoing operational costs as much as possible.  When a system is designed to conserve money by producing power, it makes little sense not to take a small extra precaution initially to ensure that larger scale expense does not happen later.  The large industrial installations that manufacture electricity using solar panels will go to great lengths to protect their equipment using a variety of lightning diversion and surge protection devices.  It only makes sense than residential users should do the same.  A small amount of initial expense can save a large amount of expense in the long run. 

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