A Way to Protect Your Equipment
Power surges can cause real problem with your equipment especially some of these are highly sensitive technologies. Power surges can come from several situations, like a lightning or a vehicle crashing into a power pole causing power failure. Among these events, a lightning can be the most devastating because of the surge it can deliver thereby blowing your equipment to pieces. Lightning can give a surges ranging from over 300,000 Amps that will lead to two conditions.
There is the direct effect when lightning strikes directly on a structure, with its energy creeping into the ground through the structure.
During an indirect lightning strike, the effects are said to be more damaging since there is no direct visibility of its effect on the structure.
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Among the many power surges, most of it are man-made, accounting for about 60% of all surges and transients of industrial switching. Around 20% of power surges is caused by lightning and this is considered as the most spectacular.
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A few of events created by man that would result to power surges are substation faults, internal plant failure extending to areas in the factory, and inductive loads whenever motors, generators and compressors are started. Also, if you are located at the end of the grid thereby exposing you to a large voltage variance, whether over or under voltage conditions and general interference.
Natural conditions leading to power surges would be like the weather related events such as earthquakes, tremors and others. Power surges can also happen due to events with no real known reason why it happened.
Be aware that all surges and transients can have access to your machineries and equipment via power lines, data/signal lines, telecommunication lines, and poor earthing.
We usually get advice in the past that we can protect our expensive equipment by disconnecting it from the power point whenever we hear thunder. Fortunately if you are at home and can detach your equipment from the power source, you can protect it around 20% of the power surge. Be relieved to know that nowadays we have very effective solutions, such as surge diverters and surge filters, to give surge protection for all equipment without having to disconnect them from the power point.
Surge diverters, also known as shunt or parallel connected protector, is the basic form of protection that is designed to divert to the ground the large portion of energy from the incoming surge. The surge filters or also termed as series connected protector, is the method in which the incoming cable is cut and wired through the filter and thus having the filter reflect the load rating of the equipment. It is advisable to use surge filters on sensitive electronics to protect them.