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Article Date: 1st November 2013

PD Devices - Power Surge Protection & Regulations

Power Surge Protection - Lightning Protection Systems - Surge Protection

PD Diagram

High Current - High Voltage - Short Duration Impulses - Power Surges.

These are all terms to strike fear into the minds of all electrical and electronic system designers and installers. It is time, and more importantly, it is a requirement to act to reduce or eliminate these risks. However, it seems that cost and competition are significant factors in ignoring the need for effective and coordinated protection.

These rarely seen or often undetected threats originate from many sources:
An Indirect lightning strike some kilometres away, will be looking for an easy path to earth, it will find a route through a building!

A Direct Lightning Strike, where a portion of the discharge current into the lightning protection system or other conductive materials will attempt to flash over into the internal installations.

The effect of Electrical Switching caused by utilities, isolation arcing, electrical motor cycling or sudden changes in electrical flow. These are but a few of many causes.

There is little we can do to ensure that faults are not created and certainly nothing to prevent the randomness and unpredictability of Lightning strikes.

However, although we cannot eliminate the many and varied causes, we can certainly reduce their effects.

Surge Protection Devices (SPD’s) are designed to specifically protect electrical and electronic equipment from these spikes and transients. They can improve reliability, availability, maintainability and safety, all resulting in the reduction of lost production time, fewer repairs, together with less data and information loss, thereby improving productivity and profitability. The extra cost may be a fraction more but with a significant reduction in ongoing expenditure the savings more than make up for the initial outlay.

The Power Utilities external surge arresters provides a good primary protection, but long lead length, installation mistakes and supply variances can cause a problem to the user that is not necessarily recognised by the utility. Surge Protection Devices within the facility are therefore necessary.

The Lightning Protection Systems, where fitted, offer a good protection provided the earth bonding is good throughout the facility. Surge Protection Devices are a requirement for most installations.

Standards and Regulations make it a clear requirement for Surge Protection Devices.

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