Raycap News

Surge Protection For Wind Turbines

Surge protection for wind turbines is a crucial addition necessary for wind farm operators to protect their investments, keep operations running and reduce ongoing expenses caused by electrical surges caused by lightning strikes.  Wind power is a key to the new energy development movement with the potential of helping countries reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. Countries and companies all over the world are beginning to fully realize the benefits of clean energy production, and as the explosion of interest in wind generated power increases, so does the need for effective protection of these structures and the systems that comprise them.  Wind turbines are generally the tallest structures in an area and often are located on high ground. As such they are often subjected to the harshest weather conditions including the thousands of electrical storms present on any given day across the globe.  These storms produce nearly 8 million lightning strikes per day.

Surge protection for wind turbines is necessary for numerous reasons.  The most obvious is a direct lightning strike to blades, which will not only produce damage to the structure itself but also pose a potentially deadly threat to people on the ground in the form of fire or falling debris.  While direct strikes are the most difficult to protect against, indirect strikes and the transients they produce also pose a serious risk to wind farms and surrounding areas.  If not stopped, these surges cause significant damage to the electrical components inside the turbine.  Raycap’s Strikesorb technology significantly improves the protection technology available to manufacturers and wind farm operators.  In past years, sone of the only surge protective devices available were  based on conventional Metal Oxide Varistors (MOV) technology.  This technology was developed for use in residential and some light industrial applications, but was never  able to protect against the significant repeated surges produced by a lightning strike without first failing and thus leaving the equipment exposed.  Strikesorb represents a more robust industrial grade technology housed in a sealed aluminum container.  Typical MOVs degrade over time, and are only able to provide a single instance of protection before needing to be replaced or reset.  Strikesorb products are able to sustain multiple strikes without needing to be reset or replaced, continually providing protection during even the most violent electrical occurrences.  There are also no fuses or thermal disconnects used in their construction, and their design provides a superior level of configuration flexibility.

Wind turbine manufacturers are able to utilize Strikesorb technology in new turbine construction, or as retrofits inside previously installed turbines in the field.  Raycap has spent years developing a technologically advanced solution capable of providing superior lightning protection suitable for a number of industries and heavy industrial applications.  The development of Strikesorb technology assures wind turbine manufacturers that the lifespan of the equipment can be extended to its logical end, as opposed to assuming replacement due to electrical surge damage on a percentage of units.  The savings on maintenance and repairs are already being enjoyed by thousands of businesses worldwide, shouldn’t they be enjoyed by yours as well?