Raycap News

Wind Turbine Protection From Electrical Surges

Electrical surges are one of the greatest threats to wind turbines, and the operation of the systems attached to them. While damages to wind turbines as a result of the harsh natural climates they are exposed to is expected, the damage caused through lightning strikes stands out as especially significant. Due to their natural attraction of lightning by their physical makeups of being taller than surrounding structures and generally placed in remote areas, wind turbines themselves must have an assumed maintenance or replacement plan figured. This type of plan cannot accurately predict lightning damage due to the inconsistent nature of it, as well as the multiple forms of damage that can occur. A direct lightning strike to a wind turbine will undoubtedly produce structural damage to the location of the strike, and there is little that can be done as far as protective measures that will extend equipment lifespans from this type of damage. The coupling of added volumes of electricity into power lines which are directly attached to circuit driven equipment, however, does have an ability to have damage minimized or avoided. Through installation of Raycap Strikesorb SPDs at strategic locations within the wind turbine structure, the inevitable surge can be effectively prevented from reaching it’s destination.

With the growing interest in “clean” energy production, more and more wind turbines are coming online each year. The demand for power produced by this type of equipment requires the production and installation of more turbines into wind farm setups, thus increasing the probability of lightning strikes and damage to the linked equipment. Only through effective surge prevention devices can this damage be avoided. Through their ongoing use, damage related costs can be brought down and therefore allow wind generated power to price match that of fossil fuels.

The main issue that was faced by wind farm operators in the past with regards to surge protection was inadequate technology which was not robust enough to withstand the level of surge produced in strike situations. The industry previously relied on MOV technology (Metal Oxide Varistor) which was only adequate in some applications. It did not have the ability to adequately protect the majority of modern installations without maintenance due to their sheer size. With the evolution of Raycap’s Strikesorb line of SPDs, industrial levels of protection were achieved through the use of superior aluminum housings and components which were impervious to damage to a far greater degree than anything available in the past. Additionally, Strikesorb products do not require the resetting and maintenance that inferior products do, allowing wind farms to stay online and operational for far longer periods than ever seen before. This ability to produce power 24 hours a day without maintenance adds to the ability for power to be produced at far lower costs, once again bringing clean energy production into price line with fossil fuels.

Raycap’s Strikesorb products offer a level of surge protection for wind turbine operators that is unmatched by any other SPD. Contact Raycap for more information.