What is a power surge, and everything about protection against it: method and apparatus,

What is a power surge, and everything about protection against it

Do we live in the city or in the countryside - it does not matter. In any case all we use electricity. This lighting, and various household appliances designed to make our lives more comfortable. However, our network is not always smooth voltage that can maintain the stable operation of electrical equipment. Quite the contrary - when output voltage of the well-known rules are quite possible breakage technology, especially electronic. That is why the surge protection has become increasingly necessary, as the majority of modern devices differ in no small price and value.


  • Fluctuations in the mains voltage
  • Ways to protect against voltage surges
    • Relays of voltage control
    • Uninterruptible Power Supply
    • Surge Protectors

Fluctuations in the mains voltage

So why do we constantly run the risk of losingown property? The reason in most cases is one - at the moment the national system of energy supply can not cope with their work. Each of us knows that the network must have a voltage of 220 V. But in fact, the voltage depending on the network load varies, sometimes even in a fairly wide range. This is most noticeable in rural areas, where the power system is much weaker than in the city.

Power station

electrical power distribution system

Because of what is going on? And you try to remember, when they were built power stations and other elements of the electricity supply. Remembered? Well, at least approximately? Now think of what it is (for individuals) expected electrical engineers, creating a whole system. Lighting, refrigerator, iron, TV, and maybe even a heater and simple washing machine - and this is the maximum!

And what do we have now? Literally in the last 20-30 years, the number of household appliances has increased enormously, on the one hand, greatly improving our lives, and on the other, particularly increasing energy consumption. That old system is unable to cope with the new requirements. And it is unlikely in the near future this will change. You yourself well know that invest in the global reconstruction of the state will not. Therefore also it is necessary to take care that the house was all right.

And now let's talk more aboutvoltage drops. Most often, the voltage changes in the network rather smoothly, and with such loads almost all our instruments and apparatus cope well while remaining operational. After all, even the most "gentle" devices are designed for voltage drops in the range of 198-242 V. But there are also times when the voltage increases to the limits sharp pulse, and then just as suddenly falls. That's the situation and called - jump voltage. Are there any specific reasons for such jumps? We list the most basic:

  • simultaneous activation or deactivation of a largethe amount of electrical equipment (most commonly occurs where there are a number of industries that consume high power do)
  • open neutral conductor (in this case, justIt triggered the very reason that we have already discussed - the old equipment, and even if bad service simply can not cope with the load and zero phase wire burns, causing a short circuit)
  • error when connecting the wires at the general switchboard (mainly due to the incompetence of those who do, it can be drunk as an electrician, and too arrogant landlord)
  • lightning, came on the power line, as well as the gaps on these lines (for example, due to falling trees on them)
General switchboard

The old equipment in a cabinet with poor service

And no matter what the cause of a power surge, we predict it simply can not. Therefore, the cost to take care of protection against this scourge.

Ways to protect against voltage surges

Of course, the best way of protecting wouldreconstruction of the power distribution system at least in one particular building and bringing to her service competent electrician, but - and this is clear to any person living in the apartment building - this option practically unfeasible. Why would you pay for it all alone? A replacement of the wiring only in the apartment is absolutely no guarantee of protection against voltage surges. Have seen, the reasons are just jumps to a common equipment, for which, in theory, should be responsible governmental structures, for example, housing office.

And what we do? In principle, there are a few devices of various types of action, which may well help under unstable voltage. In order to reduce or even eliminate the chance of damage to our equipment due to power surges is now following devices are used:

  • Voltage monitoring relay
  • uninterruptable power source
  • Voltage regulator

It remains to choose the protection that best suits your situation.

Relays of voltage control

Relay control voltage panel

protection unit from power surges - connected to the shield voltage monitoring relays

Relays of voltage control

Protection Devices Surge - individual relay of the second type of voltage control

mains voltage monitoring relays

Protection Devices Surge - individual relay control voltage for a few nests

If your house surges rare (iehave come to truly force majeure such as lightning), you may well come up voltage control relays. Immediately worth stipulate: similar switch only reads the voltage, but does not affect its stability. What is it? Voltage relay - a small device, disconnect appliances during a power surge and voltage is switched on after returning to normal. There are different types of priborchiki, which can be divided into two types:

  • common unit surge protection, is mounted in the plate (control cabinet) and protects all of your apartment or house
  • device for individual devices, like a power strip, outlet socket having one or more connections

When buying a voltage relay should be properlycalculate its power - it should be slightly larger than the capacity of all power consumers connected to the relay. Therefore, the individual relays, connect to the network, it is much more convenient choice, as there is all calculated on the number of outlets.

These relays are comfortable and not very expensive, butUnfortunately, from the long-term changes in voltage (persisting for a long time to increase or decrease the voltage on the network) will not protect. Well, do what you like, when your appliances or completely all of the electricity in the apartment permanently disabled.

Uninterruptible Power Supply

UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply (nameEnglish UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply) - a completely understandable from the name, can give some spare time working for the electric or electronic devices during a power outage on the network due to built-in batteries. However, in addition, some species can still perform the function of a stabilizer, giving the output voltage is normal.

UPS - different types

Protection Devices Surge - uninterruptible power supply various types

So, all the uninterruptible power supply can be divided into three types:

  • device backup scheme (Off-Line-UPS) just switches the power of the connected equipment to battery (back-up) when a power failure
  • interactive device circuit (Line-Interactive-UPS) in addition to switching to the backup power supply circuit aligns the small voltage drops due to automatic stabilizers
  • device with a double conversion mode (On-line-UPS) constantly adjusts the frequency and voltage supplied to the output

Each type of UPS has its drawbacks. For example, Off-Line-UPS spends switching power supply from 4 to 12 ms, but quiet and cheap. And On-line-UPS due to its complexity, noise, heated and very expensive. But there was the owner - a gentleman, that you liked, then choose.

Do not forget to pay attention to the choice ofUPS power capacity of batteries (battery life), battery life and the possibility of their replacement, the configuration of outlets, as well as the width of the line voltage range, which can stabilize the UPS. Since the main mass of the UPS bought for the PC, all these characteristics are quite important and should be chosen taking into account the specifications of your computer.

Surge Protectors

One of the most reliable, but also the mostexpensive types of protection devices from power surges is a line conditioner. These devices provide a normal output voltage regardless of voltage. This is an excellent remedy for such variants, when the voltage changes in the network are frequent or even constant.

Automatic voltage regulator

Protection Devices Surge - automatic voltage regulator

It remains to understand what the stabilizers should be selected in a variety of cases. The most common stabilizers are divided according to the principle of action:

  • relay - the most inexpensive, not very powerful, but their specifications are quite acceptable for household appliances
  • servo (electromechanical) Surprisingly, despite the higher price, these devices for some qualities do not even reach the relay
  • electronic (thyristor or triac)virtually silent, with good performance and protection against voltage surges, the normal power and accuracy, decent longevity, and with a corresponding price
  • electronic double conversion - thisstabilizer most necessary specifications (accuracy, speed, and surge protection) is currently the best, but the price is maximum

Also stabilizers may be single phase andthree-phase (for home use - single-phase) to be connected to the entire home network, or to a separate technical unit, stationary and portable. Selecting a stabilizer for its own needs, it is necessary to know the power of devices that you want to connect to the stabilizer, as well as the limits of voltage in the network. In order not to get lost in all of this data, it is best to use the help in the selection of professionals who will be able to choose the best option as the protective properties, and price.

After the analysis of this information becomesit is understandable that reliable protection of our property from surges in voltage can provide except that a super (and therefore super expensive) voltage regulator. However, with a clear understanding of what is happening in the power supply, it is possible to choose better options devices or devices designed to preserve our expensive equipment from voltage problems. In this case it is necessary to see a specialist, who will be able to identify the main problems in the network and since this knowledge proceed to the choice of protective devices. As they say in the old days: my house - my fortress, and the defensive line is still going on, albeit on a slightly different level.

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