Protecting Against Surges with Mersen

There are many electrical risks you have to protect against, one of the most concerning being voltage surges. These spikes in power can be extremely dangerous if you do not take the proper preventative steps. Mersen is devoted to providing companies the best in technology and putting safety first, which includes protecting against surges. They have a wide range of products, so it’s important you understand which are the best for you.

What is an electrical surge and where does it come from?

Electrical surges are extremely brief spikes or disturbances up to tens of thousands of volts. These can damage or destroy your electronic equipment. Surges can come from external sources, such as lightning or utility grid switching. However, most surges come from internal facility equipment:

  • Inductive loads stopping and starting
  • Lighting load panels turned on and off frequently
  • HVAC systems
  • Elevators
  • Welders

 

Why do you need surge protection?

Surge protection is required in the 2017 National Electric Code (NEC), but there are many reasons why you would want it regardless. Surges can damage or destroy your property, result in downtime, and cause safety issues. The cost of being unprotected is high, so it’s important to include power protection at the point of entry, as well as near your sensitive equipment.

To learn more about the Overcurrent and Surge Protection requirements in the 2017 NEC Code, click here to download Mersen’s Guide.

How to choose a device

It’s important to find a reliable surge protective device (SPD) to protect your equipment. Keep an eye out for the following terms when selecting the best SPD for you:

  • Maximum Continuous Operating VoltageMax RMS voltage that may be continuously applied to MOV
  • Nominal Discharge CurrentStress test to measure durability of a product
  • Voltage Protection RatingMeasurement of the limiting voltage (let-through or clamping voltage)
  • Maximum Discharge Current of Surge RatingMeasurement of longevity (not an official UL measurement)

As mentioned, surges can come from internal or external sources, and it’s important that a system is protected where the power enters, as well as near the sensitive equipment. These different types of protection serve different purposes, and it’s important you put the correct type in the correct location. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have three location categories which correspond to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) type designations.

  • Type 1/Category C is designed to protect areas with a high risk of lighting strike, like incoming power supply panels, outside overhead lines, and service entrances.
  • Type 2/Category B is designed to protect areas with a low risk of lightning strike, often downstream of Category C, such as feeders, short branch circuits, and indoor service panels.
  • Type 3/Category A is designed to protect sensitive equipment such as outlets/receptacles or long branch circuits, and is always installed downstream of Category B.

Mersen’s SPD Products

There are many ways to protect against surges, and Mersen has a multitude of surge protection, lighting protection and power monitoring products to fit your needs.

  • SPD ComponentsThese are board level components, such as Mersen’s TPMOV and VSP fuses, which include a disconnecting apparatus in the case of a surge event.
  • SPD NEMAThese can be panelmounted and wallmounted for either the whole-facility or point-of-use equipment, and includes their STX and STZ series.
  • SPD DIN-Rail and SPD In-LineThese can be installed within industrial control cabinets, VFDs, disconnect switches or other power equipment for distribution, control and signaling.

French Gerleman has a wide variety of Mersen fuses available for purchase online. If you are interested in learning more about any of these products, or what may be the best surge protection for you, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.

Mersen Surge Protection