What is Surge Protector?

2017-06-30 01:47:59


A surge protector (SPD for short) is an electronic device that is used to protect electronics and appliances from power spikes or power surges. The surge protector is applicable to power supply systems or communication system with 50/60 Hz and 220V~380V rated power. As the surge protector has multiple protective modes, it is widely used in home, the service sector and industry.

What is surge?
To fully understand what a
surge protector is, you need to know what a surge is. A surge is an electronic term that means a sudden power increasing to a stable voltage peak that surpasses the normal voltage. The surge of power supply system may be caused by external factor like lightening or internal factor like start and stop of electronic equipment or electronic breakdown, etc. Compared with power surge, a power spike is a brief increase of voltage intensifies that endures a bit shorter than a surge does. While both of the two can lead to a continuous voltage increase generally enduring for about a second, which will give rise to a fluctuation of power, sudden breakdown of electronic equipment, and even fire, etc.

A surge protector device can prevent these hidden risks and protect your devices from getting damaged. Shaped in the form of a strip or a box, the surge protector can be used with other electronics. The surge protector commonly has many plugs of its own. Other equipment can be plugged into its receptacles and surge protector will be plugged into a standard outlet. While a surge protector can also work solely as a power strip. No matter how it is used, a surge protector is mainly going to provide protection service for home and business if a surge or a spike occurs.

How Does a Surge Protector Work?

Electronic surges or spikes can cause damages to electronic equipment like computer by burning its wires or wearing down its internal components gradually, and even wiping out data stored in computers. The core internal component is a non-linear component. According the difference of non-linear components, surge protectors can be divided into two types – switch type and voltage limiting type. When a surge or a spike occurs, the surge protector can works by routing the peak of voltage into the outlet’s grounding wires so that the normal 120V voltage can continue to flow to the components plugged into the surge protector. This kind of surge protectors are voltage limited types.

Some surge protectors like switch types are built in fuses. When a surge or a spike occurs, the surge protector can work as a circuit breaker that will terminate the power if the voltage is too high that will flow the fuse and power to the components. Though the power is suddenly stopped by a surge protector, electronics or appliances are protected from damages and avoid electronic shock or fires at home of office to ensure personal safety. Also, the fuse is replaceable so that it can back to work normally after replacing a new fuse. But normally, it will also work to route the increased voltage to the grounded wires within the surge protector.

Multilevel Protection of a Surge Protector
surge protector device has four protection levels. The class one level can be directly used to control the highest voltage more than ten thousand vote to be limited within 2500V~3000V. Class one protector is a switch-type surge protector that should be connected between each phase of power supply system and grounded wires. In this case, the current should have a high surge capacity of over 100KA. These surge protectors are specially designed to bear the lightning and appeal high surges or spikes. The class two level is designed to limited the voltage within 1500V~2000V.

These surge protectors are voltage limiting types that require more than 20KA lightning current. They are installed in power distribution systems that supply power for important or sensitive equipment. These surge protectors can take in the rest surge voltage in the power supply entrance and can well limit the transient overvoltage. The third level is set for the final goal of protecting electronic devices. By using such surge protectors, the remaining voltage can be limited under 1000V to prevent your devices from damages. The last level can limit the voltage less than 5KA. Sometimes the first two levels can control voltage within the withstand voltage of each equipment. If the voltage withstand skill is too poor, then the last protection can be adopted.

A surge protector can shield your computers and other electronics from damages probably caused by a surge or a spike. A surge protectors can also called power strips. There are multiple power strips with prices ranging from $10 to $100. Choose one suitable power strip for your home or working place to live a safe life.

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