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5 months ago

Three things you need to know about Surge Protection Devices

Jan 17th 2019 at 12:52 AM

Today, everyone is thoroughly dependent on the electronic devices they have. Whether we are at home or work, we are always surrounded by smartphones, TV, and computers. Moreover, we are dependent on some machines such as washing machines, dishwashers, etc.
These devices are vulnerable to transient over-voltages, which can eventually reduce the equipment’s lifespan via degradation and damage. Over-voltages can occur from various sources such as switching on or off inductive loads or lightning. People having businesses can lose irretrievable and valuable data. Even with the assurance of backup devices, customers could be in the delicate position of losing information which could cost them greatly.

Protection can be provided to prevent such devices by including “Surge Protection Devices” (SPD). It is not necessary but is becoming more of the norm to help protect valuable equipments and data. SPD’s need depends on various factors such as the sensitivity and value of the equipment, the equipment used within the installation, the location and exposure level of the installation and the exposure of a building to lightning transients.

So do you need to consider surge protection on your latest project? Here are three things you need to know:
1. A bolt of lightning
One of the major threats to devices is lightning. Discharge from lightning near a power supply can generate a significant over-voltage transient and eventually damage the equipment. It can even affect the underground power cables. This over-voltage transient could then travel down the power lines and arrive at the installation, causing damage to the equipment within. So, in order to protect your equipment, it is advised to install Surge Arresters.

2. Terminology
According to the sensitivity of the equipment, different machinery components may require an elaborate setup of arresters. Following are the type of arresters at various levels of the network – depending on the class.

Station Class – These are stationed at electric power plants and other high voltage areas. They act as a barrier when the current is irregular for the machine to handle because of lightning or overvoltage.
Intermediate Class - Serving the same purpose as the station class arresters, the intermediate ones are designed to be used in medium voltage equipment areas, such as electrical utility stations, substations, transformers, etc.
Distribution Class - Distribution class, are found on exposed lines that have direct connections to rotating machines, especially in transformers.

3. Working of Surge Arresters
The device is installed inside the system which captures the incoming state of current.  At the time of switching voltages, the Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) comes into play. It is a semiconductor device which is extremely sensitive to voltage. During standard voltages, MOV acts as an insulator while during high voltages it serves as a conductor. The switch is then closed when lightning or high voltage is present.

In order to know whether to install surge protection devices or not, look for the answers to these three questions.
1. Does the device contain a lightning protection system?
2. Is the installation adjacent to any tall structures, tall trees or near a hilltop in a lightning prone area?
3. Does the facility contain equipment that requires resistance to over-voltages?

Schneider Electric India is a trusted name when it comes to industrial and domestic surge arrester. It is a trusted device can be installed in the system to ensure protection from over or under voltage.

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