Wind Turbine Blades Are Not The Biggest Expense
There are some equipment repair and replacement costs associated with the operation of a wind farm that can create insurance issues. Just like with solar power production and the ongoing push to manufacture less expensive solar panels in order to reduce replacement costs, wind turbines also have damage issues that must be addressed. There are cases where wind power producers have found it difficult to secure adequate insurance against natural damage to their equipment, simply due to the physical makeup and positioning of those components.
Wind power is generated by the blowing wind turning blades that are attached to turbines inside of a windmill structure. While this is a very simplistic assessment of the procedure, there’s really a lot more discussion to be had around the costs of doing business, essentially when considering damage to the structures and components due to their natural placements. Wind turbines used in the power generation process must be unobstructed so as to allow for adequate wind flow across the blades, which makes the towers a natural attractant for lightning strikes. Lighting will generally find its way to the tallest portion of the tallest structure during a storm, a fact illustrated daily through damaging strikes to the blades of windmills. While this is certainly a cost that would be avoided if possible, the larger costs are associated with the electrical surge caused by the strike. The damage to the structure at the point of the strike will be nearly impossible to avoid, but generally involves components that are manufactured reasonably easy to replace. The surge that is produced by the strike can travel directly down connected lines or be coupled into them from nearby structures that have been struck, creating a power level that is far too great for the circuitry within control equipment to withstand. The resulting damage will consist of circuit board destruction, fires, explosions and degradation of data processors which may be harder to pin point and can plague a wind power farm for days, weeks or months all the while degrading the components to the point where they fail. All in all, this damage is far more insidious and expensive to correct than damage sustained at the strike points themselves. For this reason, the integration of advanced industrial surge protection devices and systems is critical for the ongoing operation of wind farms.
Through the integration of the newest generation of surge protection devices from Raycap, wind power producers can effectively prevent lightning events from damaging systems past the strike point, and as a result avoid the costs of repair and replacement of components that present an issue. The outfitting of new or existing wind turbines with Raycap products assures that they will be protected not only from a single strike incident, but also from multiple strike incidents where systems are left vulnerable by traditional SPDs. Older devices may protect from the initial strike but are then rendered non-functional and need to be reset or replaced in order to once again provide protection. Raycap’s Strikesorb devices do not need this maintenance in order to remain functional, assuring protection even if the wind turbine is struck twice or more. This higher level of surge protection is only available through Raycap’s Strikesorb devices, and is improving the functionality of wind systems worldwide.