A power surge is a sharp increase in power considerably beyond the standard level in a flow of electrical energy. It causes power voltage breakdown inside the appliance and the heat produced causes damage to the electronic appliance. Additionally, recurring, small voltage spikes can slowly destroy the reliability of the electronic parts and eventually damage the equipment.
In comparison to other forms of electrical voltage disturbances including voltage dips, radio frequency interference and electromagnetic interference, power surges are often considered the most damaging among the different forms of electrical disturbances. This article explains the type of approach often adopted by electricians in dealing with the problem of power surges in homes.
Source of Power Surges
Before explaining how electrical contractors tackle the problem of power surges in homes, it's important to understand where voltage spikes originate from. Note that there are numerous sources of voltage surges.
- They can start off from the electricity supply company during voltage grid switching.
- Lighting is also another common source of power spikes, particularly powerful ones.
- Power surges may also arise within the house when large electronic equipment such as refrigerators and air conditioner motors switch on and off.
The best way of protecting your electronic appliances from electrical damage due to a power surge is the installation of a standard surge protector mechanism inside the electrical outlet by a professional electrician like Smart-Safe Electrical Services.
Typically, a surge protector transfers the electrical voltage along the electrical outlet to several electronic and electrical appliances plugged in the power strip. In the event that the electrical power from the outlet sharply increases beyond the standard level, the surge protector deflects the additional electricity into the grounding wire of the outlet.
How a Surge Protector Works
Typically, a surge protector device features a component referred to as metal oxide varistor (MOV), which is responsible for deflecting the extra electrical current to the ground. An MOV is made up of three sections: a section of metal oxide material in the centre, connected to the power as well as grounding line by two semiconductors.
Note that these semiconductors have changeable that is reliant on voltage. Therefore, when the power is less than the accepted level, the electrons inside the semiconductors run in such a manner to generate an extremely high resistance. However, when the power exceeds the accepted level, the electrons generate a reduced level of resistance.
During power surges, the surge protector deflects the extra voltage into the metal oxide varistor (MOV) and to the grounding line. Once this is done, the current in the outlet returns to normalcy. In effect, the MOV inside the surge protector only works to deflect off the surge voltage, while letting the standard voltage carry on powering whatever appliances are plugged into the surge protector.