Cost reductions through the extension of expected lifespans, as well as reductions in downtime due to maintenance and repair expectations are the most effective method of closing the gap between “green” energy production and fossil fuel energy production. At the core of all progress through technology is the presentation of the platform to the public for scrutiny and adoption. Some consumers will allocate a certain amount of acceptance and tolerance of situations that are less comfortable than others if there is a greater benefit to themselves or to society as a whole, but the general consensus of the masses will be to vote with their wallets.
People are very resistant to changes that will cost them more money than an alternative, unless that thing that they are choosing presents value so superior that it cannot be ignored. In the case of wind and solar energy production, although the general population understands that a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels is better for the environment, for the most part they will still vote for fossil fuel production if it costs less. While the reasoning behind this fact can be debated, probably having a lot to do with no imminent threat being perceived on a day to day basis, it remains problematic to sell the public on wind and solar power production over fossil fuels if they cost more. Consumers perceive the product as the same when they turn their lights on, so it is difficult to ask them to pay more for green technology when they cannot see the difference right in front of them. This offers an opportunity and a great reason to embrace industrial surge protection systems for solar equipment and wind turbines.
While the actual costs of production of green energy are generally seen as the salaries, the energy used to power the facility itself, and various other mechanical costs of operations, actual production cost over time can be reduced by extending equipment life and minimizing the need for resetting and repair. The actual cost to produce a unit of energy that is sold to a consumer must factor in the expected damage repair or replacement of the physical equipment, as well as any “offline” time that affects the facility’s ability to be producing energy. While it may seem obvious that creating the best and most robust equipment able to withstand damage is obvious, the truth of the matter is that the addition of industrial grade surge protection devices (SPDs) engineered to withstand strong surges without failure, can increase the production capacities of each and every solar panel and wind turbine by protecting the attached electronics equipment from downtime.
Facilities that produce wind and solar power are usually located in unpopulated areas with great open expanses. These types of landscapes are always subject to harsh weather as it stands, but the fact that lightning is not being attracted by any other structure nearby makes them prime targets. Strikes to wind turbine blades and solar panels is quite common, generally producing not only damage to the strike point, but also surge related damage to all equipment in the power chain. While there will probably never be an effective method of completely preventing lightning strikes, the minimization of the damage produced to joined equipment by the surge that follows is possible. Until recently, SPDs were designed for only light industrial use, and were generally not able to adequately prevent the surge from reaching sensitive equipment. If the SPD actually did function to stop the surge it was generally in need of resetting or repair after a single use, creating maintenance costs that must be passed off to the consumer in the final product price.
Raycap’s proprietary technology, Strikesorb, has proven to improve the functional levels of solar and wind farms. Strikesorb is able to handle the higher loads of industrial use, and is a maintenance-free surge protection technology, meaning that no replacement after a strike is needed. This technology protects equipment downline from the strike and allows the system to continue to function without interruption. Through these technological advancements, wind and solar power production facilities are able to stay online for longer periods of time, continually producing power utilizing sustainable and free sources. By enabling green energy facilities to operate more efficiently and reduce the costs of equipment repair, the prices charged to consumers can begin to fall to levels that are equivalent to fossil fuel production. While few will argue for dirtier and more harmful production methods, support of a replacement technology can usually be found in lower costs or added convenience to consumers. Show consumers that the prices are the same and that the environment will be better off for their children, and adoption of the technology will occur.