A power surge is a brief overvoltage spike or disturbance of a power waveform that can damage, degrade, or destroy electronic equipment. Most power surges, 60% to 80%, are caused internally. A common source of power surges inside a building are devices that switch power on and off. Lightning and other external sources cost the U.S. economy an estimated $5 to $6 billion per year.
The infographic below, What Are Power Surges, and two videos, What Are Surge Protective Devices and Surge Protective Devices: Critical Infrastructure from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) address the importance of installing surge protective devices (SPDs) in commercial, industrial, and manufacturing facilities.
Power surges can manifest themselves as circuit board failure, lighting failure, drive or motor tripping, and phantom equipment restart. Damages caused by power surges are a leading cause of electrical equipment failure. Electrical surge damage can be experienced in a single event or as the result of an accumulation of power surges. A typical building experiences multiple power surges every day and over 150 per month.
“Most consumers are familiar with point-of-use SPDs, which are the power strips many computers are connected to in homes and offices,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner, “This kind of SPD only protects electronics plugged into the device. Installing whole facility SPDs will protect your building’s entire electrical system from the costly damages power surges may cause.”
Typical applications of surge protective devices within industrial or commercial settings include HVAC systems, generators, security systems and cameras, and fire alarm signaling circuits. A recent survey found that all facilities that experienced power surges have reported downtime. The average cost of downtime due to a surge is $130,000 per event.
SPDs will protect against the internal and external damage that can reduce the lifespan of your critical electrical equipment and expensive electronics. These devices prevent damage, downtime, and lost revenue to keep your business or facility running smoothly.