Wind Turbines Are Better Protected With Surge Devices
One of the biggest issues hindering the progression of wind power as a replacement for fossil fuel energy production is cost. When the total costs of making a specific amount of electricity using wind power are compared to the total costs associated with fossil fuel production, we see the higher costs associated with wind energy production which result in higher costs to the consumer. While most consumers are concerned about the environment, the cost issue will generally be seen as the major deciding factor with regard to the support the public provides to one method over another. Because wind power production costs more than fossil fuels, the public support goes away from the method that can provide more environmental impact, unfortunately. Recent technological advances in the surge protection industry may however help change the dialog forever.
Wind power’s costs are not fuel related, as they are in the fossil fuel methods. Wind does not need to be purchased or mined. Instead the major costs are associated with start up costs and ongoing repair and replacement of components crucial to the process, which are often damaged in the field during the course of use. Because wind turbines are generally placed in exposed areas and are the tallest structures, they are often struck by lightning. This damage to the actual towers and blades of the system are almost unavoidable, and the costs of replacement must be factored in to any business plan. The additional costs associated with the repair and replacement of computerized equipment that is connected directly to the turbines is a greater and unknown issue. The surge that is produced by the lightning strike easily travels through connected power and data transfer lines, moving from the strike point to the sensitive equipment almost instantaneously. This surge overloads the circuitry of the devices, often times causing damage, explosions and fires. Sometimes the damaged caused by overloaded circuits is not known until a piece of equipment fails. The added losses associated with electrical surge damage has proven to be difficult to manage within the pricing structures that consumers are willing to bear, making it difficult for many wind power operators to reach and maintain profitability without government subsidies. However, studies have shown that the integration of advanced industrial grade surge protection devices within the turbine structures can stop the flow of the power surges before they cause damage, preventing a major portion of the costs that must be figured into the current business plans. In addition to these damage related costs, savings as far as resetting and replacing equipment can also be found if the surge protection devices are able to withstand multiple lightning surges without failure, such as those manufactured by Raycap. These types of SPD are functional even after a strike instance, allowing for systems to be protected with greater confidence, and ultimately saving replacement time and money. Each moment that a wind turbine is not producing because of to damage, and is in an offline status, the business is losing money.
If you are a wind power producer who has not yet outfitted your systems with the most advanced industrial grade surge protection devices available, contact a Representative of Raycap today to discuss options.