Why do you need Surge Protection?


It is commonly believed that the electricity we receive at our homes and offices is a steady and consistent flow, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Although the power leaving the station is typically of high quality, it often becomes polluted with disruptions and interference by the time it reaches its final destination. There are various factors that can cause electrical and electronic issues, but the most frequently encountered ones are; Low Voltage*, High Voltage – Surges, High Voltage – Spikes**, RFI & EMI Interference, Power Loss or Blackouts, Lightning Strike. Electrical interference, also known as hash, is a pervasive form of noise that results from the operation of everyday devices such as light switches, heaters,monitors, and radios. As modern electronic equipment increasingly employs micro-circuits, which have less tolerance for voltage fluctuations and interference, the need for safeguarding sensitive electrical and electronic devices has become more critical. As the power grid experiences more disruptions,interference, and voltage fluctuations due to an expanding population and higher energy demands, protecting one's equipment has become more essential than ever before.


On a daily basis, in any urban or suburban locality across the globe, a significant amount of electricity is utilised. When there is high demand, particularly during peak hours, certain regions, including areas in the CBD, can experience low voltage situations. In certain scenarios, particularly in industrial or rural areas, "Low Voltage" can pose a persistent risk to electrical and electronic equipment. When voltage levels drop, equipment draws more amps, leading to overheating and damage to sensitive components and circuits. This continual overheating weakens and eventually destroys the components. Each year, billions of dollars’ worth of equipment worldwide suffer unnecessary damage due to "Low Voltage". This includes computers experiencing data loss and corruption, electric motors burning out, air conditioners and refrigeration equipment failing, and various forms of electronic and electrical equipment, such as TVs, VCRs, DVD and CD players, photocopiers, and more, experiencing reduced performance and life expectancy. In some cases, "Low Voltage" can even cause immediate equipment failure. Modern electronic and electric equipment is highly susceptible to voltage fluctuations, and "Low Voltage" deprives them of the electricity needed to operate safely and at the appropriate temperature. This voltage variation is a significant concern for businesses as well. Like residential users, industrial and commercial equipment is just as vulnerable to this hazardous voltage variation. The equipment used in these sectors is typically more advanced and specialised and is expensive to repair, not to mention the cost of downtime.


When voltage increases and lasts for longer than a millisecond, it's considered a power surge. Such surges can harm and even ruin electronic and electrical equipment that holds value. Power surges can have various causes, ranging from man-made events like power grid switching or the activation and deactivation of large electrical devices such as transformers and motors to natural phenomena. Even a voltage increases of just 15% can harm modern electronic and electrical equipment. Power surges can be as high as 6000 volts, a significant increase of around 2500%. Communication equipment damage is commonly caused by surges on phone or telecommunication lines, posing a threat to modems and fax cards. Power surges can cause components to "pop" and "burn," destroying micro-circuits and leading to data loss or corruption in computers. Devices such as air conditioners, TVs, and stereos with permanently switched-on control circuits face a higher risk of damage. No matter where you are in the world or your position on the power grid, power surges are a common occurrence, making equipment vulnerable without proper protection.


Transient spikes of high voltage refer to sudden and brief surges in voltage that can exceed 2000 volts, triggered by various everyday essentials. These voltage spikes are short-lived, lasting less than one millisecond. Inductive load switching, such as the operation of fluorescent lights, elevators, air conditioners, refrigeration equipment, electric motors, and lightning during storm activity, are among the common culprits that trigger power spikes. If you're watching TV or listening to music and a fluorescent light, air conditioner, electric heater, or fridge turns on, you may notice distortion on your TV screen or hear a crackling sound from your speakers. These are indications of a high voltage spike that can disrupt and slowly damage your equipment's sensitive components. Sensitive circuits and components inside your equipment are constantly under attack by high voltage spikes, which reduce equipment lifespan and performance. These spikes can cause a range of issues, from data loss and corruption on computers to equipment malfunction, electronic memory loss, and even immediate equipment failure. As a result, businesses may face costly downtime and untimely repairs. To prevent such potentially damaging events, you can install a "power filter" between your equipment and the incoming Mains Power Supply to safeguard sensitive equipment.


The presence of 'RFI' and 'EMI' can impede the proper functioning of equipment, leading to malfunctions and erratic performance. In the long run, these disturbances can harm the sensitive circuits and components of electrical equipment. Equipment that generates uncontrolled frequencies, such as electronic welders, handheld phones, power tools, kitchen appliances, and radio transmitters, can cause Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). This interference often becomes noticeable when using sensitive electronic devices like computers, TVs, stereo equipment, and other electronic devices. RFI can cause equipment malfunction, signal disruption in stereo and TV equipment, and data corruption. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is typically caused by the opening and closing of electrical contacts, and other load-switching devices, as well as the starting and stopping of electric motors. EMI can cause equipment malfunction, data loss, and electrical noise. Modern electronic equipment cannot function optimally when subjected to power with these disturbances and interference. To avoid these issues, it is crucial to use filtration techniques for both RFI and EMI when using sensitive electronic equipment that requires optimum performance.


AC mains power switching issues can result in temporary power outages, which have the potential to harm or ruin delicate equipment and frequently lead to keyboards and hard drives in computers becoming locked up. Power loss that occurs unexpectedly or persists for an extended period, also known as blackouts, can result in the complete shutdown of equipment. Such unforeseen circumstances may lead to the loss of essential services or data and programming in control systems. To safeguard mission-critical equipment and data, the installation of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) is recommended. The correct selection of UPS is dependent on the load factor and stand-by time requirements.


Lightning is widely recognised as a formidable and potent natural force. Its capacity to cause harm to electrical and electronic equipment is a common concern among many of us. Up to this point, there has been no successful creation of a component or device that possesses the required speed and strength to provide complete safeguarding against lightning strikes and the immense voltages they produce. The energy released by a direct lightning strike, with a force of 1,500,000 volts and a velocity of approximately 300,000 kilometres per second, has no known countermeasure that can guarantee 100% protection from its effects. When lightning hits AC power lines or telephone lines, the enormous voltage disperses through the cables of the local power grid in search of the quickest and easiest path to "Earth". This puts any electrical or electronic equipment linked to the power grid in danger, as it can suffer total destruction from the ensuing high voltage or surge spike. However, you can reduce the risk of damage to your equipment by shielding it from the high voltage "Power Spikes + Surges" created by non-direct lightning strikes. The proximity of your equipment to the actual lightning strike determines the magnitude of the voltage surge that your connected devices will experience. Even a voltage increase of 35 to 40 volts, caused by a strike that is further away, has the potential to harm sensitive electrical and electronic equipment.