In our modern day lifestyle, using electrical appliances in almost every facet of our lives is now very common. Kitchen appliances, entertainment & communication devices, and even health & beauty equipment, almost everything now runs on electricity. With so many pieces of equipment functioning on electricity, sometimes simultaneously as well, there will always be the inherent risk of damage due to voltage fluctuations and other transient causes.
What are the risks our devices are exposed to?
Our many appliances and devices are exposed to various risks, which can be internal or external causes.
- External –Lightning strikes and flashes.
- Internal –Switching operations.
Whether external or internal, the damage on appliances can sometimes be irreversible. Also, these are risks not only limited to the devices, but also endanger the safety of the users.
What measures are required to safeguard our devices and ourselves?
Medium Voltage Surge Arresters, also known as MV Surge Arresters are devices specifically to protect against the negative effects of the risks mentioned above. Also known as transient voltage surge suppressor (TVSS) or surge protection device (SPD), these kinds of devices are used mainly in transmission and supply systems. For consumer equipment protection, devices called surge protectors are used.
How do Surge Arresters protect us and our appliances?
All electrical devices function within a prescribed voltage range as they are described by the product manufacturer. The devices and users are at risk only if electrical surges occur. The surge arresters work in different ways to mitigate the risks in different ways.
- Against External Risk:The most common cause of a surge is a lightning strike. However, cases of lightning cause electrical surges are few and far in between. A lightning flash or strike may hit the ground close to a power source and influence drastically the voltage transmitted through the power line. The surge arrester does not actually absorb the entireoverloadthat is transferred; it only redirects the excess to the ground or traps it to minimize the effect of the excess voltage. The most sensible thing to do in case of lightning flashes is to switch off and unplug as many devices as possible.
- Against Internal Risk:Electrical appliances that depend on very high electrical inputs can cause a sudden spike in demand that disrupts the normal flow of current. High-end refrigerators, large ovens, and heating appliances are a few examples. While the surges caused by heavy appliances are nowhere near, to what lightning strikes can cause, they can still inflict enough damage to disrupt your normal functioning. Most surge arresters are capable of handling these shifts and provide sufficient protection.
Choosing and installing the right surge arrester
There are many companies, which manufacture high voltage surge arresters, which are capable of handling devices across a wide spectrum of voltages. However, it is not advisable to do it yourself if you do not have sufficient knowledge or experience. You will be better served by engaging a trained and experienced technician who can understand your needs and advice you on the right kind of equipment andhelp you install it in the correct way.