Photovoltaic (PV) systems are at risk for significant ongoing damage and revenue losses to power plant operators as a result of damaging electrical storms. Factors ranging from their remote locations and extensive layouts, to direct or indirect lightning strikes affecting system components, can all create revenue losses experienced as interruptions in power generation and equipment replacement costs. Significant losses are sustained if a PV system is offline for even a few hours, let alone days or weeks. The only way to mitigate damages caused by lighting surges is by avoiding the potential effects of surges with surge protective devices (SPDs) installed at inverter locations, inside combiner boxes, as well as at various other points within the PV power facility.
A direct or indirect strike to photovoltaic components can cause surge propagation inside of the plant’s wiring structures, allowing surges to damage PV modules, control circuits, communication systems and inverters. Obvious damage to the physical components sustained from a direct lightning strike can be easily seen, but delayed equipment damage is more insidious and there exists a distinct possibility of damage from cumulative effects of repeated surges. Operational impacts can effect time of the operation offline while replacement parts are sourced and installed, high costs associated with the replacement of PV equipment, losses of revenue during downtimes, shortened life expectancy of equipment and control malfunctions. All of these effects can be mitigated through the installation of industrial surge protective devices (SPD) from Raycap.
Many inverter manufacturers are aware of the robust technical characteristics of Raycap’s Strikesorb technology, and have already begun to integrate Strikesorb lightning protection modules into their inverter equipment. Through this integration at the time of manufacture, these OEMs assure optimum surge protection levels from the moment that their PV equipment is put into use. Integration of Strikesorb products at junction boxes in addition to the internal components of solar inverters limits damage potential from lightning surges significantly. This is accomplished through Raycap’s cutting-edge technology which provides superior levels of protection. Strikesorb SPDs are able to withstand multiple lightning strikes in succession without the necessity of maintenance, replacement or resetting. This provides continual, ongoing protection during even the heaviest weather occurrences.
Raycap’s Strikesorb SPDs are available in multiple voltage configurations and provide the finest PV overvoltage protection on the market, covering any configuration possible for low voltage AC and DC systems utilized by photovoltaic plants. They are offered in IEC Class I and Class II configurations and all endure UL 3-cycle testing to ensure ongoing safe operation when exposed to high levels of current from short circuits.
The primary causes of failures in photovoltaic plants is lightning related surge activity. Uninterrupted PV solar power plant operations is crucial to maximizing revenues while minimizing the costs associated with those offline times and equipment replacement. The investment in Strikesorb technology is proven to provide more stable uptimes to PV operators and increase the profitability of plants. The issues are well known and documented, and now the solutions are a phone call away.