Learn what to do in an electrical surge!
Electrical surges occur in work environments with machines and equipment that consume energy, including LED lamps. They can happen in residential and commercial buildings, industries, houses, and apartments. However, there are already technologies that offer protection against these events and prevent unexpected incidents.
In this post, we will explain what an electrical surge is and how it can be harmful to a company. Additionally, we will point out its main causes and consequences, as well as the importance of grounding and adopting protection measures.
Do you want to know more about this subject? Then keep reading this article and stay informed!
Understand what an electrical surge is
A surge is a transient effect or a transient voltage wave that occurs in the electrical network and increases the energy variation rate for a few fractions of a second. The voltage increase in the network reaches approximately 100% of the normal value, generating a short circuit that can affect all devices connected to energy sources.
Learn about the damage caused
Voltage surges can be very harmful, especially if they are caused by lightning strikes. Atmospheric discharges and short circuits pose serious risks to companies, such as damage to electrical equipment, suspension of work activities, and losses due to the replacement of machinery.
On the other hand, fires destroy property by consuming high-value goods and reducing establishments to ashes. All of this can be even worse if workers are injured or even killed. Not to mention the possibility of legal action by the relatives of the affected employees.
Discover the main causes
Electrical surges are usually caused by atmospheric discharges, operational interruptions, or the switching on and off of high-power equipment. There are several factors that interfere with the network, such as the starting of large motors or anomalies in installations.
Where there is electrical energy consumption, there is a risk of electrical surge occurrence due to the chances of disturbances such as the discharge or accumulation of electrical charges. The restoration of electrical energy after a blackout is another situation that can cause a surge.
Find out what the consequences are
As mentioned, the consequences of electrical surges can range from mild to extremely serious. The burning of machinery, equipment, and LED lamps generates financial losses, wasting funds that could be invested in increasing profits. Furthermore, if a serious accident occurs, the company owner may be liable for paying high compensation to those affected.
Understand the importance of grounding
Grounding protects physical structures against the loss of equipment and machinery that are connected to electrical outlets. A specialized professional performs the procedure by connecting the ground wire to a metal rod that is driven into the ground. The neutral wire is also known as a safety conductor, which is installed together with the energy meter or meter.
Grounding is useful when the electrical current flows from the installation with a change in power factor to the appliance and causes a short circuit because it diverts it to the ground, which absorbs it. If there is no grounding, the electrical current is not diverted and reaches the person who touches the equipment because they themselves will be the path until it reaches the ground.
Therefore, grounding, also called a lightning protection system, is required by Regulatory Standard ABNT No. 5419-1:2015, as well as being indispensable for people’s safety. However, the ground wire is not enough to protect equipment from electrical surges. It only protects users and the building, as required by the Fire Department.
Check out how to protect your assets from electrical surges
The evolution of technology has brought enormous benefits to society. With it, new ways have been found to avoid disasters caused by electrical energy, for example, the use of surge protectors (SPD). In the market, you will find surge protection devices specifically designed to meet your needs.
These tools are also called surge suppressors. They are devices that quickly protect machines and equipment against the excess or spikes in voltage from the power grid, electromagnetic fields, or phone lines. Burnouts are avoided and damages minimized by these devices.
The use of SPD is mandatory by law and may be required by power companies. The device was created so that users do not even notice the occurrence of voltage surges, which cannot damage the machinery. There are three different types of suppressors:
- Type I – provides primary protection for environments that suffer from atmospheric discharges and is installed in the general distribution panels;
- Type II – responsible for the secondary protection of buildings in the event of lightning strikes and is placed in the secondary distribution panels of power;
- Type III – protects equipment connected to electrical power and is installed in outlets.
The SPD, in addition to protecting assets, also protects people from overvoltages that are common when it comes to electricity. It is the ideal solution for those who wish to avoid accidents and incidents that can be detrimental to business operations. Irreparable damage can be prevented with the acquisition of these devices.
It is recommended that a qualified professional install the SPD if the suppressor has not been included in the architectural design. This way, the device can be present from the beginning of the building. However, if it is not, it can be easily and quickly installed by someone who is properly prepared for it.
The cost-benefit is visible, as it can be part of even an older installation, provided it is chosen appropriately to fulfill its functions. The device is similar to a switch and should be installed according to the user’s needs.
Electrical surge and burning of LED luminaires
Now that you know the reasons and why electrical surges occur, learn how to protect LED luminaires from burning due to electrical discharges and surges.
LED luminaires have electronic components sensitive to variations in electrical current, such as the LED, a semiconductor chip that uses direct current, and the driver, which controls this current. The driver is the component that is most affected by electrical surges. Having a driver with an energy range is important in environments with many electrical machines and equipment, or even an exclusive network for lighting.
SX Lighting offers the option of an electrical surge protection device in its products. The DPS is indispensable for the protection of LED luminaires in case of electrical discharges or changes in the network. If any damage occurs, the surge protector device prevents the luminaire from burning, keeping it in full operation throughout its useful life.
Now you know how to act in an electrical surge! Adopt protective measures such as SPD and avoid future problems in your electrical installations. Talk to someone who is an expert in the subject and invest in prevention, thus avoiding expenses with correction and numerous difficulties caused by electrical surges.
Do you need robust and reliable luminaires for your LED lighting project? Contact our experts and request your lighting project now!