A Surge | Spike Protector
A surge protector is an electrical device commonly used to protect computers and related computer components from power surges. To fully understand what a surge protector does, you must first understand what a surge is. The typical electrical wiring found in homes (in INDIA) and offices, carries a standard voltage of 230 volts. If a spike or surge in the voltage occurs, causing the voltage to surpass the norm, damage can occur to the computer equipment. Electrical surges can occur from a number of sources, namely: lightning and the basic surges that occur while turning on the motors and compressors for refrigerators and air conditioners to name a few.
A spike is a brief increase in the voltage intensity and a surge is an increase that endures a bit longer than a spike. In either case, the voltage increases generally endures for less than a second. Surge protectors can prevent many of the problems resulting from spikes and surges. A surge protector, often set up in strip or box form, contains a number of receptacles to plug equipment into. The surge protector itself is then plugged into a standard outlet. While it serves the basic purpose of giving homeowners and business owners additional receptacles to put to use, the greater impact of surge protectors is measured in terms of the protection they offer if a surge occurs.
Though surge protectors come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges, the typical model will route the increased voltage present during a surge to a grounding wire housed within the surge protector, thus allowing the normal 120 volts to continue on to the components plugged into the protector. Some models also have a fuse within the surge protector. These models work much the same way as a fuse or circuit breaker within a standard home or office electrical panel. When a surge occurs, the protector will route the increased voltage to the grounding wire, but if the voltage is too great, it will blow the fuse and the power to the computer components, for example, will be terminated. Though the computer lost power, at least it is protected and able to function once the surge protector fuse is replaced.
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What is a Transient?
A transient surge is a short blast or pulse of high energy that can either come in its natural form such as lightning or produced by other equipment. Transients caused by other equipment are usually caused by the discharge of stored energy in inductive and capacitive components. Some examples are Electric motors, such as those used in elevators, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration or other inductive loads. Two other sources are arc welders and furnace igniters. These transients are capable of causing significant damage to equipment and electronics.
The transient causes damage to a device when the transient voltage exceeds the weakest exposed component's ability to withstand that voltage. Transients normally flow into equipment via electrical conductors, but other paths are common. These paths include:
Telephone lines, data-com lines, measurement and control lines, DC power buses and neutral and ground lines. To protect against these surges designers recommend the installation of a TVSS devices that connects to all points of potential voltage threat and limit this voltage to a level below the equipment "withstand" voltage. The TVSS device absorbs or diverts all the energy present in the surge and clamping or holding the "let through" over voltage down to a level safe for exposed circuitry.
TVSS protection is typically applied at several points throughout a facility. These locations include the service entrance point, distribution panels, branch panels and the individual circuit.
As you can see a TVSS device is important to a mission critical electrical system and its benefits are great. A TVSS is a low cost protection device that will help to reduce downtime or production losses. It helps to extend lighting lamp and ballast life expectancy. The TVSS will help in reducing motor stress and overheating and is a constant protection of data processing and digital equipment.
If your mission critical facility does not already have TVSS devices installed we highly recommend it. If you are not sure if your system has them installed we suggest asking your engineer or electrician to verify. It is a small price for additional peace of mind.