Surge protectors are devices that are used to protect any electrical devices or equipment from any kind of overvoltage which can come because of lightning. It is not very easy to make a distinction between the different technologies so as to choose well. You need to have a clear picture of the technology to be in a better position to understand.
According to current standards, there are three categories of surge devices used for the low voltage installations. They are:
- Type 1: the devices are capable of high lightning current discharge. Usually, these are from earth to the system of power distribution. These are found on the main switchboard after a building has been secured by a system for lightning correction.
- Type 2: they are devices that can discharge some currents that are generated because of lightning strokes that are indirect. They are also found on the main switchboard.
- Type 3: these are devices that are installed as a supplement for the type 2. They reduce overvoltage of sensitive equipment at the terminals. They have a limited discharge capacity and therefore it is not possible to use them alone.
What should be chosen and installed?
For lightning protection, there is a great need to approach them from an overall viewpoint. Usually, this depends on the application. Using a risk assessment method helps in picking the best protection. There are regulations set to guide on this. Buildings that are not very sensitive can apply different principles. The type 2 surge devices need to be installed on the switchboard. It is important to assess the distance between the equipment and the protector.
Surge protectors are very important due to the fact that they act as your device protector from huge excess loads of electricity. The surge protectors work by diverting any voltage that is in excess of the grounding wire.
This is the voltage at which the surge starts to work by conducting excess electricity and sending it to the ground. When there is a lower clamping voltage, then there is a much better protection even though the life expectancy is much shorter. The clamping voltage is also referred to as the let me through voltage. This is allowed to pass to the equipment.
Joule rating is an indication of the energy amount that the protector can absorb without failing. A higher rating usually indicates greater protection because the excess energy is usually diverted to another place. This leads to a lower spike in voltage.
This works by showing how fast the protector will react. When it takes too long, it only means that your equipment will have to be exposed to the surge for a long time. It is essential to find a protector that responds in a few seconds.
The protector having lights allows you to know whether the protector is functioning well.