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Low Voltage Surge Arresters: Safeguarding Against Voltage Spikes

Exporelec > Blog > Electric > Low Voltage Surge Arresters: Safeguarding Against Voltage Spikes
Dec 21, 2023 Posted by: Exporelec Electric Electric

Understanding Low Voltage Surge Arresters

Shielding against lightning strikes and abrupt voltage surges has become imperative for every facility. Particularly in environments like factories, abrupt overvoltage impulses can halt production and cause severe equipment damage. Surge arresters are instrumental in safeguarding electrical systems from these voltage spikes.

Functionality of Surge Arresters

  • In regular operations, surge arresters function as an open circuit, providing insulation between active circuit elements and the ground.
  • When a voltage pulse occurs, they swiftly escalate their impedance in nanoseconds, effectively becoming a closed circuit, and redirect the pulse current to the ground.
  • Once the pulse dissipates, they revert to their initial impedance, resuming their role as an open circuit.

Types of Surge Arresters

Surge arresters are typically categorized into three types, often referred to as Class B, Class C, and Class D.

Type 1 Surge Arrester: Positioned at the origin of the electrical installation, typically at the main switchboard in high-risk areas. Designed to handle high protection capacity, capable of discharging up to 50 kA current at voltages below 2.5 kV.

Type 2 Surge Arrester: Installed downstream from Type 1 arrester for protection against switching over-voltages. Discharges high currents to earth, curbing the spread of medium over-voltages. Capable of discharging up to 20 kA current at voltages less than 1.5 kV.

Type 3 Surge Arrester: Often placed close to sensitive equipment such as computers, smartphones, gaming systems, and HDTVs. Can discharge 6 kA current at voltages below 1 kV.

Applications of Surge Arresters

These devices find extensive use in various systems including automation and communication lines, transformer inputs, main panels, lighting systems, CCTV, cameras, fire alarm systems, and renewable energy systems.

It’s important to note that surge arresters deteriorate over time with each exposure to excessive voltage, shortening their lifespan. Utilizing low voltage surge arresters in electrical systems is strongly recommended, as simple precautions can sometimes prevent significant damage and ensure safety.