Raycap News

Wind turbine surge protection

Wind turbine surge protection is an absolute must if operators are to prevent the eventual failures of equipment and damage to components caused by lightning strikes.  Wind farms are generally positioned in remote locations, subject to harsh weather conditions including lightning strike related damage. If lightning strikes even near a wind farm the likelihood of residual surge damage is significantly increased if the wind turbine is left unprotected.  In fact, the majority of damage caused by lightning is as a result of indirect strikes to turbines having inadequate protection, or a combination of insufficient grounding or transient surge protection.  Lightning strikes will most times be associated with blades, however there is also significant risk of damage as a result of over-current and over-voltage transients which are brought about through both direct and indirect strikes.   There are roughly 1,700 active electrical storms at any time of day throughout the world, producing over 100 lightning flashes per second.  This means that there are upwards of 8 million lightning strikes every day, and cloud to ground strikes make up about 10% of this number.  The odds of a wind turbine being struck by lightning are high, and the resulting damages are not limited to component failure.  In addition to the obvious direct strike damage, there is also significant risk to people and structures in the form of step and touch potentials, side flashes and secondary events such as smoke inhalation, potential falling objects and water ingresses.

Before Strikesorb, the only viable protection technology that was available to wind turbine manufacturers and operators were traditional Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs).  These conventional wind turbine surge protection devices were not really very effective in protecting industrial structures against lightning surges, because they cease to protect upon being struck, and they were designed for residential or light industrial use.  Raycap developed the Strikesorb product line in order to fill the pressing need for electrical protection on these levels of systems and components due to the fact that even a simple switch reset after a trigger cost companies time and money which they could not afford.  The Strikesorb modules utilize a far more robust “industrial grade” MOV within an aluminum housing.  The superior design of the product offers lifetime protection against electrical surges as it does not degrade over time and can sustain multiple lightning strikes without requiring replacement or maintenance.  The classification of the products as Class I and Class II SPDs assures the highest level of protection and safety.  In addition, there are no use of internal fuses or thermal disconnects which provide a greater installation and configuration flexibility.

Wind turbine manufacturers and operators will find the ability to outfit new production with Strikesorb products, and additionally will find easy upgrades available for those turbines already in operation.  The product line provides the greatest level of wind turbine surge protection available, and will not need replacement or maintenance attention during the viable lifespan of the product.  Protecting your investments is our primary goal, contact Raycap today for more information.