Raycap's SPD Extends the Operating Life of Wind Turbine Power Generators
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806 S. Clearwater Loop
Post Falls, ID, 83814
Press release date: July 16, 2007
Morrisville, N.C. (July 16, 2007) - Raycap Inc.'s Strikesorb® surge protection device (SPD) enhances lightning protection systems in mission critical applications, such as wind turbines. Strikesorb modules extend the operating life of wind turbine power generators by providing uninterrupted protection from direct lightning strikes up to 200kA. Designed to meet both the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61643-1 standard for surge protection devices and the recently (2007) revised UL 1449 -2nd edition - safety standard, Strikesorb modules are available in a variety of configurations, voltages, and energy-handling capacities that can easily be retrofitted to replace DIN rail SPD components in wind turbines.
Wind turbines are typically the tallest structure in a surrounding area, and consequently, are at the greatest risk of being struck by direct lightning. Depending on the severity of the strike, a surge can propagate through a wind turbine system and destroy equipment, such as control electronics, power converters and low-voltage to medium-voltage power transformers. The Strikesorb module's ability to provide maintenance-free protection ensures that a wind turbine power generator will not be taken off-line by a lightning strike.
"Around 50% of all electrical system failures in wind turbines are caused by lightning, and enhancing the lightning protection system can ultimately extend the life of a wind turbine power generator," said Matt Hemphill, Engineering Manager at Raycap Inc. "Damage induced by lightning strikes interrupts the ability of a wind turbine to generate electricity, and thus profits are greatly reduced. Since repairs can take from one week to more than a month, as wind turbines are typically in remote areas, loss of revenue can be as high as $50,000 a month, making surge protection a vital element for a profitable wind turbine operation."
Strikesorb's robust monolithic, industrial grade MOV design enables it to sustain multiple and successive lightning strikes and power surges without requiring maintenance, even under harsh environmental conditions. The module's high-surge handling capability, combined with ultra-low let-through voltage to the load, allows it to absorb and dissipate the excess energy from lightning strikes and power surges in a completely safe manner.
The Strikesorb's unique design provides a straight electrical path to its large single disc of distribution-grade varistor material, unlike other TVSS systems that employ arrays of conventional MOV components with 90° angled lead wires to each varistor. The absence of lead wires and internal disconnect mechanisms gives the Strikesorb an extremely low contact resistance and a low clamping voltage.
Some of the leading wind turbine manufacturers in Europe and North America have already included the Strikesorb technology in their designs. In addition, Raycap Inc, offers the option to wind farm owners to upgrade their existing turbines' protection level by designing custom configuration "upgrade kits" that can be easily installed with minimum service interruption during periods of preventive maintenance of the turbines.
For more information about Strikesorb modules, contact Raycap Inc. at One Copley Parkway, Suite 545, Morrisville, NC 27560; call 919-200-4508, or visit raycapinc.com/strikesorb.
About Raycap Inc. Raycap Inc., headquartered in Morrisville, N.C., manufactures advanced transient voltage surge suppression modules and systems for a broad range of applications. The company exports its Rayvoss® systems and Strikesorb® modules to more than 40 countries around the world and has operations in the U.S., Canada, Panama, Switzerland, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia-Montenegro.