Surge protection devices help keep systems running smoothly and profitably. Solar arrays are just like electronic devices that we use. These are prone to surges in voltage that can harm its components, reducing its purpose to convert energy.
Power surge significantly happens when more voltage comes through wires into devices. Some reasons include electrical overload, faulty wirings, lightning strikes and restoration of electricity after an outage. A harmful incident can occur, and in the worst case scenario, may lead to burning of the establishment.
Solar arrays are electronic devices that are also prone to damage from surges. Solar panels are prone to lightning due to its large surface area and placement in exposed locations. These are mostly mounted in open spaces.
If the solar panels are struck directly, severe damage happens. Lightning burns holes in the equipment and even causes explosions. Loss of a PV module will only mean a loss of a string. But loss of inverter is a loss of the power generation for a large section of the plant. The effects of lightning and other overvoltage are not always apparent. These events not only affect and destroy major modules and inverters, but also monitoring systems and tracker controls.
A surge protector prevents damage to electronics by diverting the overvoltage from the power line into a grounding wire. Random and unexpected failure of solar arrays due to surges could slow down financial return. Installing surge protection device networks throughout the solar array’s DC and AC distribution protects the system from critical surges.
SPDs have its certain limitations too. For example, SPD can not prevent damages from direct lightning strikes. Adding lightning protection device can be taken to further protect the system specifically from lightning.