Surge protection is one of the most important and yet underappreciated aspects of the green energy movement. This is primarily due to a simple lack of understanding about the green energy systems themselves, and where the costs associated with production of electricity come from. In order to understand the need for highly technologically advanced surge protection devices and systems with regard to green energy, we must provide a brief background into the production methods in order to clear up misconceptions. First and foremost, electricity produced using “green” methods is not without cost. The comparisons to other production methods like fossil fuel burning only go as far as the point beyond the actual manufacture of the electricity product. The two methods are the same past that point, with the electricity having fixed costs associated with transportation and storage. The costs that are associated with the actual fuel source that turns the turbines is misunderstood when making comparisons. The wind and sun have no costs associated with them, and are harnessed in a way that turns the turbines and manufactures electricity in the same way. So if there is no cost associated with the fuel source in green technology, then why has it historically cost the consumer more in the end?
The answer to this question comes from the systems that are required in order to effectively harness the free fuel sources of the process. These systems are highly technological, and are expensive to build and maintain if they are to be used to effectively produce enough electricity to be considered viable as an alternative to fossil fuels. The computerized components that are involved in the process in order to control components and transfer data are connected directly to solar panels and components that are continuously exposed to inclement weather, including lightning strikes. The strikes to the panels allow for electrical surges to travel along connectivity cables, and to overwhelm components even not positioned directly at the strike point. This means that damage is not isolated to the strike point itself when a lightning strike happens, and instead will generally cause damage to system components far beyond that point. Lightning strikes are virtually impossible to completely prevent, and as a result there must be expectations of costs associated with repair and replacement of equipment built into the prices that are charged for the final product.
Adequate surge protection systems and devices that are installed within solar power generation setups are critical to reducing the costs that are associated with the inevitable lightning strikes to the panels. If these costs can be reduced through prevention of downstream damage, over time the prices that need to be charged for the electrical product can be reduced without effecting profitability. Ultimately this electricity will be a product that is both cleaner and cheaper than fossil fuels. This future is on the horizon, and in certain case studies has already been achieved. Solar surge protection and all green energy production systems just may be responsible for creating a better world.