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Surge suppression: What is it and why do you need it?

What will you do when an electrical surge hits your equipment?

Regardless of the industry you work in, your daily success is built on quality power. Any interruption to the flow of this electricity can cause major issues, which is why it's important to install preventive measures. Although there are many necessary solutions to help mitigate the risk of disruption, one of the most important is a robust surge suppression system. These units are essential to ensure your company's continued operations, and a report from MarketsandMarkets projected the surge protection market to reach a whopping $2.7 billion by 2019.

Clearly, these small but powerful devices play an integral part in the prevention of electrical downtime. However, many organizations either aren't using these devices or simply aren't using them properly. We at Energy Control Systems have seen how effective quality surge suppressors can be in real-world scenarios, so we'd like to take some time here to fully explain what these devices are and why you should consider purchasing some for your facility. 

What do surge suppressors do? 

As the name implies, these devices simply suppress rapid increases in voltage in a way that doesn't damage the equipment being protected. These electrical events are called spikes, surges or transients, and they can be very dangerous if not handled properly. The problem here is that these issues arise incredibly quickly, often causing damage in mere microseconds. 

Therefore, surge suppressors must be able to react faster than any human ever could. When a spike is detected, the suppressor will respond in a microsecond time frame to capture as much of the event as possible, leaving only the manageable remaining voltage to continue downstream to the equipment. The lower this remaining voltage, the more effective the suppressor will be at preventing downtime and can easily save countless dollars and man hours in having to fix the affected systems. 

When do you need them? 

The correct answer here is that you need a surge suppressor at all times. That said, let's take a deeper look at the kinds of scenarios that such a unit can help prevent. One of the most well-known causes of surge issues is a lightning strike. When your system gets hit by this kind of natural event, the massive voltage increase overwhelms your electronics and can easily destroy them.

What's more, lightning doesn't necessarily have to strike your equipment directly to damage it. Lightning hitting power cables outside your facility can have the same effect, and according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, lightning is also able to move through the surrounding soil and affect nearby equipment. 

Lightning is a terrifyingly powerful force of nature.A lightning strike can easily damage electrical equipment.

Of course, power surges don't have to come from nature. In addition to this, numerous industry studies indicate that up to 80% of all electrical surges are created internal to your facility. Normal operations, faulty wiring and a wide range of human error-related causes have been linked to these events. Basically, it's impossible for you to know where or when a surge might happen. 

What makes Energy Control Systems different?

The obvious solution here is to invest in quality surge suppressors as soon as possible, but it's also important to realize that all surge suppressors were not created equal. At Energy Control Systems, we ascribe to the necessity of electronic infrastructure reliability. The electrical systems of your organization are the foundation of your success, and in that spirit we've developed what we call the Optimal Protection Network plan.

This is what we describe as a "layered defense approach," which allows us to install units throughout your facility in order to better handle a surge. The great aspect of these solutions is the fact that they can be tailored to fit your specific needs, so you can rest assured that such a protective system will work as effectively as possible. 

No matter what the future has in store for your electrical equipment, it's important to be prepared. Contact Energy Control Systems today to discover the superior surge suppression difference. 

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