Power Distribution and Management

Why Surge Arresters are a Must-Have for Industrial Systems

The occurrence of lightning is a threatening and hazardous situation for not only land and buildings, but human entities as well. Every single thunderstorm has the potential to damage and subsequently cost a home or a business to fortune, in the case of any damage, if it is not properly protected and safeguarded from the occurrence of lightning.

While lightning can cause devastating failure, transients and surges caused by other situations can also cause similar havoc. Even though surges are so brief and swift – in fact, they are measured in nanoseconds, however, they can still cause notable damage to electronic equipment. Apart from damaging wiring and data cables, electrical surges can also hamper computer equipment, telephones and other electronic goods, gradually wearing down the appliances internal components. This is where the role of a surge arrester comes into play.

Any electronic equipment can be suspect to temporary overvoltages, which can be caused by lightning activity or a switching event. This generates a voltage spike enhancing the wave’s magnitude to potentially several thousand volts. This could cause instant damage or significantly reduce a piece of equipment’s lifespan. A surge arrester can be elaborated as a voltage-activated surge protection appliance that safeguards computers and other electronic devices from surges or transient voltages in electrical power or data cables, from the situation of a lightning or a switching surge. Surge protection devices function by redirecting the extra voltage into the earth wire, rather than allowing it to pass through the electronic devices, while at the same time permitting the normal voltage to continue along its original path.

The need and requirement for surge arresters can depend on a wide variety of factors. These can include the vulnerability of a building to lightning-induced voltage transients, the sensitivity and strength of the equipment, the type of material used in the equipment at the time of installation, and lastly whether there is any potential equipment within the installation that could possibly generate voltage transients.


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