Surge voltages are short, pulse-like voltage peaks with steep rising edges and are also known as transients. The origin of these transients can be external, for example lightning, but is much more likely to be caused by your own equipment, such as switching of motors or transformers or the interruption of a short circuit by protective measures.
Year by year, problems caused by these types of surges are increasing and are responsible for millions of pounds worth of damage. A lot of the time the user is not even aware that a surge caused the problem and puts it down to premature component failure.
Switching operations triggered mechanically or electronically generate pulse-like and high-frequency interference voltages. Unimpeded, these voltages can spread across a cable network. All the devices within this cable network are affected. Data errors, uncontrolled functions, and system crashes can result, with electronic devices at particular risk. All of these problems can be eliminated by the use of an appropriate surge protection device.
Effective surge protection is always based on the protective circle principle. Imagine the system you need to protect inside a protective circle. The area inside the circle (protected volume) is conceived to prevent interferences of surge voltages from the outside. All electrical circuits entering or leaving the protective circle are therefore equipped with surge protective devices:
- Power lines
- Measurement and control technology
- Data networks
- Telecommunications systems
- Standard interfaces
- Transmission/ reception systems
Want proof that transients really can damage your equipment?
A mobile demonstration vehicle is making a UK-wide tour between the 23rd of September and the 4th of October, with product innovations, safety concepts, live detonation tests and all the information you need on the topic of surge protection.
If you would like a visit from the Infomobile vehicle please send an email with your contact information to who will contact you to discuss the details involved. To see transients in action, watch this video. The sequences show the forces that can appear as a result of surge voltages and lightning currents and also demonstrate resulting consequences.
Phoenix Contact also has a new surge protection app for Smartphones available in Google Play and App Store. With this app, we provide electricians with an easy to use and modern tool to convince their customers of the necessity of surge protection.
To discover more about the surge protection products that Phoenix Contact offers, visit the company’s website, and to learn more about surge protection, you can follow the link to online interactive learning modules, where you can learn about the basics of surge protection, right up to the applications of different devices from Phoenix Contact.