5044 B U Bowman Dr #102 ::: Buford, Georgia 30518
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ::: Phone: 678.546.6780
Surge Arresters, Transient Voltages, and Surge Protective Devices
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We're somewhat astounded by the fact that we constantly run into people who ca n give you multiple reasons for plugging their PC into a surge suppressor...but don't understand why they should do anything for equipment worth hundreds of times more...equipment that actually determines whether they make a living or not.
Most commonly, we hear "we don't have a power quality problem". The simplest explanation? That's the way it has always been. There is no point of reference to compare to. A transient (also called a surge or a spike by some people) doesn't STAY there for you to identify it. That's why it's called a "transient". There's seldom a "smoking gun" that indicates that a transient was the culprit. Why? All electrical equipment reacts differently to transient activity. This causes most people, when seeing one of many devices fail, to think simply "it just wore out".
•What is a transient (surge, spike)? •Where do transient voltages come from? •How do voltage transients travel? •How common are they? •What is their effect? •What can be done about transient voltages? •How surge suppression will benefit you.
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WHAT IS A TRANSIENT?
A transient (for our purposes) is simply a sharp rise of voltage that occurs over a very short period of time. They originate from two sources, externally (like lightning) and internally (as in the starting of an inductive load like a motor or a transformer).
Externally generated transients can exceed thousands of volts and most people can understand this because the first thing they think of is "lightning". An internally produced transient can easily exceed 2,000 volts on a standard 120 volt system. SEE ARTICLE
& nbsp; Because they happen very quickly, it is unlikely you'll see any effect at all...even a slight disruption of lighting. Each transient, though, produces a small amount of damage. Sometimes it's the "straw that breaks the camel's back"....most often, though, it's not. The term we use is "electronic rust", because, like rust, it tends to grow unnoticed until it becomes a problem.
Mid-to-Low Frequency Transients, like lightning and utility capacitor switching propagate (travel) very well on electrical systems. Higher amplitudes tend to be damped by the building's distribution system at voltages above 16,000 volts. There is almost no damping below 10,000 volts.
High Frequency transients, however, are usually only seen near the source. This means that surge suppression equipment installed a distance away will never see the effect. It is for this reason that multiple suppressors are recommended within the facility.
For more a more detailed
PHONE: (678) 546-6780 FAX: (678) 546-6782
5044 B U Bowman Drive #102
Buford, Georgia 30518
PHONE: (678) 546-6780
Last Updated: 07 Jun 2004
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