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Wind Farm Lightning Protection Solutions

Wind Farm Lightning Protection Solutions

Insurance risk to wind farms is a hotly contested issue, and the underwriting of insurance policies to cover losses to wind power producers is quite an involved process.  This is due to the multiple forms of damage that typically will befall wind power producers, generally categorized into two sections: property and mechanical.  Each type of damage will result in losses, but the types of losses that are typical have very different frequencies and therefore have to have very different types of insurance policies to back them.

Equipment breakdown insurance is also known as boiler and machinery coverage.  This type of insurance will typically cover mechanical and electrical breakdown beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.  It will cover mechanical components like the blades, gearbox, generator and other aspects of the wind turbine itself.  This type of insurance has become crucial over the past decade as many of the manufacturers of wind turbine parts have gone out of business, leaving wind producers to rely solely on insurance for compensation if mechanical failures happen even within the warranty period.  In some cases, policy riders have been written to also compensate providers for losses incurred through downtime.  These will generally be written in to cover losses suffered as far as revenue during an insurable event.  Even though this type of insurance is involved with electrical malfunctions, it is usually not going to cover losses due to lightning strikes and surges as these are weather-related events.

Property insurance is the type of insurance that is involved in the event of fire, theft, vandalism, weather and natural hazards.  It is critical that wind power providers understand coverages for the weather and natural events in their policies, as some policies are less accommodating than others.  One of the leading causes of loss to wind power producers is lightning strike related surge damage, coming in the form of lightning strikes to the blades and tower producing obvious damage at the strike point, but being further compounded by the following electrical surges that follow.  Unprotected equipment that is connected to the strike point through power or data transfer lines can be severely damaged or destroyed by the surges that are produced, degrading circuitry and knocking systems completely offline.  The areas of your policy that cover these events must also provide downtime compensation, as repair and resetting time will produce losses in revenue with each event.

The most effective method of insuring your wind power production business is to avoid losses all together because relying upon insurance for compensation can be uncertain and tricky.  Avoiding damage through the utilization of technologically advanced surge protection devices from Raycap’s Strikesorb product line will provide the highest level of protection against electrical surge damage, while also ensuring the longest uptimes for systems affected by lightning strikes due to their “always on” features.  Strikesorb products do not need to have a module replaced in order to function after a strike. This minimizes the monetary losses as a result of downtimes and keeps your systems online and producing energy.  Integrate Raycap SPDs into your power plants and discuss this with your insurance provider in order to leverage both technology and insurance to your benefit.