Do you need surge protection?

Do you need surge protection?
16 February, 2024

Many people do not pay serious attention to the danger of power surges and transient events such as lightning. Nowadays, we all rely on technology to help us or do our work, household chores and even entertain us. The truth is that there is no home, office, institution, building or facility without electronic devices.

All appliances and electronic systems rely on a constant level of power to operate safely and efficiently. Surge or current fluctuations, even for a short time, can cause electric shock  to damage them.

Did you know that in many areas of Bulgaria there are constant power outages, which often lead to power surges and fluctuations in the power supply?

When it comes to industry or business, we can say that the equipment is many times more expensive than that for households. Protecting these expensive electronics from power surges and surges is a must if you don't want to waste those investments.

Still not sure if you need surge protection? In this article we, at Blitz Guard, will draw your attention to this system and why it so important.

How does surge protection work?

As already mentioned, the main task of this system is to protect all electronic devices from surges and transient events such as lightning.

What are surges?

Surge is an increase in electrical voltage in the network above the permissible level or design value. This is an anomaly that can occur due to accidents, problems when switching electrical devices or transient processes.

Under normal conditions in Bulgaria, the standard voltage is 220 volts, with tolerances of 10%. If the voltage exceeds this allowable 10%, an electric shock caused by overvoltage may occur.

Having a protection system will prevent damage to the electronics.

Need surge protection?

Why should electronics be protected from them?

To understand the problem, you need to know that voltage is a measure of electric potential energy difference. Electric current moves from point to point because there is more electrical potential energy at one end of the wire than at the other. This is the same principle that makes pressurized water flow out of a hose. The higher pressure at one end of the hose pushes the water to an area of lower pressure.

We can say that voltage is a measure of electrical pressure.

An increase in voltage can be caused by:

      - Wave – when the increase lasts 3 nanoseconds or more.

      - Peak - when it lasts only 1 or 2 nanoseconds. 

If the wave or peak is high enough, it can cause damage to the equipment. The effect is very similar to applying too much water pressure to a hose. If the water pressure is too high, the hose will burst.

A similar thing happens when too much electrical pressure passes through a wire - the wire "cracks".

Even the increased voltage not damage your electronics immediately, it can put extra stress on components, wearing them out over time.

How surge protection prevents this? 

A standard surge protector passes the electrical current from the outlet to several electrical and electronic devices plugged into the power strip. If the voltage at the outlet rises or spikes, the fuse shunts the extra electricity to the outlet's ground wire.

In the most common type of surge protector, a component called a metal oxide varistor shunts the extra voltage. It forms a connection between the power line and the ground line. It consists of 3 parts - a piece of metal oxide in the middle, connected to the power and ground lines of two semiconductors.

These semiconductors have a variable resistance that depends on the voltage. When the voltage is below a certain level, the electrons in the semiconductor flow in such a way as to create a very high resistance.

When the voltage exceeds this level, the electrons behave differently, creating a much lower resistance. When the voltage is within certain limits, the protection does nothing. When the voltage is too high, it can conduct a lot of current to eliminate the extra voltage.

As soon as the extra current is diverted, the voltage in the supply  line returns to a normal level, so resistance the protection is raised again.

In this way only the surge current is diverted. Meanwhile, the standard current continues to power the equipment connected to the surge protector.

Do you need surge protection?

What should you know about power surges?

Power surges occur when something increases the electrical charge at a point on power lines. This causes an increase in electrical potential energy, which can increase the current flowing to your appliances.

The most familiar source is lightning. When lightning strikes near a power line,  electrical energy can raise the electrical voltage by millions of volts.  It doesn't matter if the power line is underground, in the building, or running along poles.

This causes extremely high voltage that can certainly cause damage to your electronics if you don't have surge protection. However, during major thunderstorms, it is recommended that appliances be unplugged.

Another cause of power surges is the operation of high-powered electrical appliances, such as elevators, air conditioners, and refrigerators. These high-powered pieces of equipment require a lot of energy to turn components such as compressors and motors on and off. This can create sudden, short power spikes that can disrupt the steady flow of voltage in the electrical system.

Although these surges  are far from the intensity of lightning, they can be severe enough to damage electronics—immediately or gradually. An interesting fact is that both  appear regularly in the electrical systems of many office and residential buildings.

Other sources of electric shock are faulty wiring, problems with the equipment of the electricity supplier  etc.

The system of transformers and lines that carries electricity from the power generator to the buildings is extremely complex. There are dozens of possible points of failure and many potential faults that can cause uneven power.

In today's electricity distribution system, power surges are an inevitable occurrence. Therefore, the best way to protect the equipment and the investment you have made in it is to have a good and quality surge protection system.

Do you need surge protection?

When do you need such a system?

Many components in sophisticated modern electronic devices such as computers, game consoles and high-definition televisions are -sensitive to current increase. Microprocessors, which are an integral part of all computers and many household appliances, are particularly sensitive to overvoltages. They only function properly when they receive a stable current at the correct voltage.

It is recommended to have surge protection for any type of device connected to the power supply.

It is a good idea to use surge protectors for high-end electronic equipment. Surge protection will extend the life of these devices. If such a system is not available, there is always a chance that a large surge will cause serious damage.

And do you need protection?

We at Blitz Guard have years of experience and are ready to become your new partner! Contact our consultants by phone: 02/ 963 13 22.

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