There are various types of electronic devices used in our day to day activities. Many of these appliances require a power supply as the basic unit for functioning. This supply provided at home or for the business purpose is not constant as there would a lot of surge. The generation of the surge is due to the thunder striking or it may be because of the type of electromagnetic noise generated or may also be due to grid switching. To protect the appliances from such voltage spikes protection is required. For such cases Surge protector is installed in the appliance.
This protection is also possible by using a component called ‘Metal Oxide Varistor‘. Not completely but to a specified level or range, the spikes or surges can be minimized. Besides including the MOV surge protection circuit is also required.
What is a Surge Protector?
A surge is a condition occurred in the voltage or the power supply due to the sudden change in the value. In terms of electricity, these are termed as Voltage spikes or Voltage transients. It occurs for a short span but strong enough to destroy the circuits. To protect from such spikes an electronic device that is installed in the appliances such that the circuit protection from spikes and surges is provided. This type of device is known as Surge Protector.
This type of circuit protects the circuit from the permanent damages of the components. Surges reduces the life span of the devices. The surge protectors have the capability of handling the spikes about kilovolts range. For a short duration of time, these protection circuits can withstand the spikes.
In the building or the offices, the surge protection is installed in a place where all the devices are provided with the power supply. Hence all the appliances can be protected from the surge. This type of circuit approach is known as Universal Surge Protection. In case each appliance has its protection circuits then there is no need for such a universal approach.
How does Surge Protector Works?
The surge protector circuit can cut down the power supply as soon as a spike in the power is noticed. The components of this type of circuit are controller, Latch or unlatch circuitry and voltage sensor.
- The voltage sensor’s purpose is to monitor the line of voltage.
- If there is any variation or transient condition noticed. The information is sensed by the controller.
- The abrupt changes and the cut down of supply required information are sent to the latch or unlatch circuit by the controller.
- The latch or unlatch circuit is for connecting or disconnecting the voltage line.
Instead of cutting down the voltage there is a type in the surge protection circuit that is capable of clamping the voltage. The transient behavior is noticed for that duration the voltage is clamped and the energy of it is absorbed. This type of technology is seen in self-installed surge protection circuits.
Surge Protector Types
surge protectors are classified into two categories. These are known as Primary and Secondary surge protectors.
These are large in sizes need not be fit inside the room with the appliances. It can installed where the power lines enter into the building. These are physically visible. It can protect the entire appliances that get supply from those power lines. It is proven to be much effective than other types. In addition to it, these protectors have access to wires of internal ground such that the effectiveness factor can be increased.
These are the physically available variety of surge protectors such that appliances are plugged in it. But these are less effective in comparison to the primary category of the surge protector. These are more convenient and are portable to use.
- Power Strips are the second category of protecting devices. It protects the device by cutting down the supply of power when the surge has occurred in the circuit.
- Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) is also a secondary sure protecting device. This consists of the battery such that during the power cut due to spike the power supply is provided continuously with the battery.
The above are some of the types of surge protectors.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The advantages of the surge protector are:
- The devices with the in-built circuit of surge protectors are protected from the spikes and surges.
- The maintenance of the circuit is easy.
- Repairing of the device and the cost of replacement is reduced.
The disadvantage of the surge protection circuits is that it can withstand the spikes at a defined specific level. After a duration, the circuit may get destroyed.
A surge protector is all about the protection of the appliances from the damages occurred due to the transient behavior of the supply. The surge protectors are used in appliances such as Television, Routers, Speakers, etc… Where there is a need for protection of the device these circuits are installed.
1. What does a Surge Protector do?
The purpose of the surge protector is to protect the device. This is possible by controlling the supply provided if the changes are in the behavior of supply are observed. Either the supply is stopped or the voltage can be clamped until the spike has been removed.
2. Does a surge protector protect against lighting?
If the light striking is distant from the appliances surge protectors are capable of protecting it. The lesser distance between the appliances and the lighting results in the increment of chances of devices getting damaged.
3. Can Surge Protectors catch fire?
Due to the overloading and the improper use of the surge protector it may catch fire.
In the world of modernization where the multiple electronic items are used. It can be protected by a single knob. These are the additional elements not mandatory. But still, these are proven to be very economical in the areas which are more prone to spikes and thunder striking. Can Earthing act as a surge protector?