You are on page 1of 17

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS CHAPTER-1

INTRODUCTION 1.1 SURGES


A power surge is one form of electrical power disturbance. There are four main types of power disturbances:

Fig.1 Storm lightning

Power surges are generally considered to be the most destructive of the four types of electrical power disturbances. Power surges are spikes in voltage.

They are very brief, usually lasting millionths of a second. Power surges can vary in duration and magnitude, varying from a few hundred volts to several thousand volts. No matter where you live, your home experiences power surges. How Does a Power Surge Cause Damage? In the United States, most homes use electrical power in the form of 120-volt, 60 Hz, single phase, alternating current. However, the voltage is not delivered at constant 120-volts. With alternating current the voltage rises and falls in a predetermined rhythm. The voltage oscillates from 0 to a peak voltage of 169 volts. Most appliances and electrical devices in your home used in the United States are designed to be powered by this form of generated electricity. During a power surge, the voltage exceeds the peak voltage of 169 volts.
Page 1

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


A spike in voltage can be harmful to appliances and electrical devices in your home. An increase in voltage above an appliance's normal operating voltage can cause an arc of electrical current within the appliance. The heat generated in the arc causes damage to the electronic circuit boards and other electrical components.

Smaller, repeated power surges may slowly damage your electronic equipment. Your computer or stereo may continue to function after small surges occur until the integrity of the electronic components finally erode and your satellite system, cordless phone, or answering machine mysteriously stops working. Repeated, small power surges shorten the life of appliances and electronics. When you put together a computer system, one piece of standard equipment you'll probably buy is a surge protector. Most designs serve one immediately obvious function -- they let you plug multiple components into one power outlet. With all of the different components that make up a computer system, this is definitely a useful device. But the other function of a surge protector power strip -- protecting the electronics in your computer from surges in power -- is far more important. In this article, we'll look at surge protectors, also called surge suppressors, to find out what they do, when you need them, and how well they work. We'll also find out what levels of protection are available and see why you might not have all the protection you need, even if you do use a quality surge protector. The main job of a surge protector system is to protect electronic devices from "surges." So if you're wondering what a surge protector does, the first question is, "What are surges?" And then, "Why do electronics need to be protected from them?" A power surge, or transient voltage, is an increase in voltage significantly above the designated level in a flow of electricity. In normal household and office wiring in the United States, the standard voltage is 120 volts. If the voltage rises above 120 volts, there is a problem, and a surge protector helps to prevent that problem from destroying your computer.
GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY Page 2

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


To understand the problem, it is helpful to understand something about voltage. Voltage is a measure of a difference in electric potential energy. Electric current travels from point to point because there is a greater electric potential energy on one end of the wire than there is on the other end. This is the same sort of principle that makes water under pressure flow out of a hose -- higher pressure on one end of the hose pushes water toward an area of lower pressure. You can think of voltage as a measure of electrical pressure. As we'll see later on, various factors can cause a brief increase in voltage.

When the increase lasts three nanoseconds (billionths of a second) or more, it's called a surge.

When it only lasts for one or two nanoseconds, it's called a spike. If the surge or spike is high enough, it can inflict some heavy damage on a

machine. The effect is very similar to applying too much water pressure to a hose. If there is too much water pressure, a hose will burst. Approximately the same thing happens when too much electrical pressure runs through a wire -- the wire "bursts." Actually, it heats up like the filament in a light bulb and burns, but it's the same idea. Even if increased voltage doesn't immediately break your machine, it may put extra strain on the components, wearing them down over time. In the next section, we'll look at what surge protectors do to prevent this from happening.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 3

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


1.2 TRANSIENTS
Transient surges are defined as momentary bursts of energy that are induced upon power, data, or communication lines. They are characterized by extremely high voltages that can drive tremendous amounts of current into an electrical circuit for a few millionths, up to a few thousandths of a second. Surge activity is often assumed to be an outside engendered anomaly. Lightning induced electrical energy bursts, for example, typically come to mind as the primary source of surge activity. However, while lightning induced surges represent are the most formidable transient related equipment menace, most surges are originate from internal sources within a facility. Internal transient generators range from copiers to coffee makers, from vacuum cleaners to variable speed drives, and from fluorescent light ballasts to furnace igniters. Studies have verified that approximately 80% of transient activity at a given facility is internally generated. Copiers and laser printers, for example, are notorious transient generators as are heating and air conditioning systems. Any time an inductive load, whether it is a vacuum cleaner or a heavy duty variable speed drive, is either powered on or off it generates a low magnitude surge impulse that propagates back through the electrical distribution. While internally generated transient activity can weaken equipment over time, the threat posed from lightning activity is particularly disconcerting due to its capability of delivering vast amounts of energy into unsuspecting electronic equipment loads. According to an article on Nationwide Insurance website, The average claim for lightning-related damage is well over $10,000. Nationwide deduces in that same article that surge suppressors, specifically, rapidly pay for themselves. That article can be referenced at In any event, todays electronic equipment is particularly vulnerable to the voltage component of the transient energy. Thats because modern computer chips are comprised of literally millions of active components, all of which are positioned upon a silicon wafer whose surface area measures no more than a square inch. For example, Intels Core i7 920 (D0 stepping) microprocessor employs 781 million transistors. With that in mind, it becomes obvious that there isnt much physical space separating the microprocessors individual components.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 4

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


It doesnt take much of an overvoltage, lightning induced or otherwise, to cause arcing between the ICs internal components and damaging todays microprocessor based electronic components. State of the art surge suppressors, now more than ever, are required to protect modern day state of the art electronic equipment. Transient overvoltage surges measuring as low as a few hundred volts/peak pack enough punch to damage sensitive electronic equipment beyond repair. General Electric reported in their in-house magazine, Current Scene, the observation of transient surges of several thousand volts occurring regularly on 120 V power circuits within facilities ranging from family homes to large industrial manufacturing plants. The voltage element of a transient surge is received like a slap in the face by modern integrated circuits (ICs), i.e. computer chips. In the same manner that we would feel a rush of facial pain should someone slap us across the cheek, the computer chip will suffer, albeit metaphorically, in a similar sense. And while a series of quickly reoccurring and repeated slaps across our face would result with our feeling intense bodily pain, multiple back to back to back transient surges occurring in quick succession will cause an otherwise healthy computer chip to fail catastrophically. It becomes prudent to mitigate the damage causing potential that is associated with the transient threat. And, that task is accomplished with Surge Protection Devices (SPDs). The quality SPD has a very basic purpose. And, that is to protect critical electronic equipment loads by diverting intense levels of transient current away from them while limiting the corresponding voltage amplitudes to safe levels. In other words, an SPD serves as an electronic shock absorber that attracts transient surge energy and safely soaks it up before it gets to its protected equipment loads. With that said, SPD safety standards have been revised in recent years; calling for testing that stresses the SPD to failure while ensuring that it does so safely. The fact is SPD failures were, and still are, typically caused by temporary over voltage (TOV) events, rather than surge activity.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 5

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


While most surge suppressors have always easily withstood momentary voltage bursts, they could and would fail catastrophically when subjected to a sustained overvoltage high enough to drive them into continuous conduction. SPD safety testing, beginning in February 2007 when ANSI/UL 1449 2nd edition was revised to include extended abnormal over current test parameters, required SPDs to be subjected to a full gamut of abnormal fault current scenarios; necessitating them to conduct various amounts of fault current until they failed in a safe and orderly fashion. SPD products of yesteryear, without redesign or augmentation, could not meet the new enhanced safety requirements. While ANSI/UL 1449 was again revised in September 2009, with the advent of its 3rd edition, the over current testing implemented in its previous iteration remains to be a key significance. A strong argument can be made that SPDs still in service and manufactured before February 2007 before todays accepted safety standards adapted more robust testing requirements, are not completely safe for use. They should be replaced based solely on safety concerns. However, since most SPDs employ suppression components that wear out over time, it is not a bad idea to replace older SPDs as a preventative measure, as well.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 6

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS CHAPTER-2


TRANSEINT VOLTAGE SUPRESSOR 2.1 TRANSIENT VOLTAGE SURGE SUPRESSOR (TVSS)
Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor (TVSS) is a device that every data center or mission critical facility should have. Why should every data center have one and what does it do you ask? The purpose of a TVSS is to eliminate or reduce damage to data processing equipment and other critical equipment by limiting transient (surge) voltages and currents (surges) on electrical circuits. These transients or surges may come from inside a facility, or may be injected into a facility from the outside. What is a transient? A transient surge is a short blast or pulse of high energy that can either come in its natural form such as lightning or produced by other equipment. Transients caused by other equipment are usually caused by the discharge of stored energy in inductive and capacitive components. Some examples are Electric motors, such as those used in elevators, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration or other inductive loads. Two other sources are arc welders and furnace igniters. These transients are capable of causing significant damage to equipment and electronics. The transient causes damage to a device when the transient voltage exceeds the weakest exposed component's ability to withstand that voltage. Transients normally flow into equipment via electrical conductors, but other paths are common. These paths include: telephone lines, data-com lines, measurement and control lines, DC power buses and neutral and ground lines. To protect against these surges designers recommend the installation of a TVSS devices that connects to all points of potential voltage threat and limit this voltage to a level below the equipment "withstand" voltage. The TVSS device absorbs or diverts all the energy present in the surge and clamping or holding the "let through" over voltage down to a level safe for exposed circuitry. TVSS protection is typically applied at several points throughout a facility. These locations include the service entrance point, distribution panels, branch panels and the individual circuit.
GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY Page 7

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS

As you can see a TVSS device is important to a mission critical electrical system and its benefits are great. A TVSS is a low cost protection device that will help to reduce downtime or production losses. It helps to extend lighting lamp and ballast life expectancy. The TVSS will help in reducing motor stress and overheating and is a constant protection of data processing and digital equipment. If your mission critical facility does not already have TVSS devices installed we highly recommend it. If you are not sure if your system has them installed we suggest asking your engineer or electrician to verify. It is a small price for additional peace of mind. A transient voltage suppressor or TVS is a general classification of an array of devices that are designed to react to sudden or momentary overvoltage conditions. One such common device used for this purpose is known as the transient voltage suppression diode that is simply a Zener diode designed to protect electronics device against over voltages. Another design alternative applies a family of products that are known as metaloxide varistors (MOV) that protect electronic circuits and electrical equipment. The characteristic of a TVS requires that it respond to overvoltage faster than other common overvoltage protection components such as varistors or gas discharge tubes. This makes TVS devices or components useful for protection against very fast and often damaging voltage spikes. These fast overvoltage spikes are present on all distribution networks and can be caused by either internal or external events, such as lightning or motor arcing. Applications of transient voltage suppression diodes are used for unidirectional or bidirectional electrostatic discharge protection of transmission or data lines in electronic circuits. MOV based TVSs are utilized to protect home electronics, distribution systems and may accommodate industrial level power distribution disturbances saving downtime and damage to equipment. The level of energy in a transient overvoltage can be equated to energy measured in joules or related to electric current when devices are rated for various applications. These bursts of overvoltage can be measured with specialized electronic meters that can show power disturbances of thousands of volts amplitude that last for a few microseconds or less.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 8

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


2.2 TRANSIENT VOLTAG SUPRRESSION DIODE
Transient-voltag-suppression diode

Fig.2 Schematic symbols used to denote a bidirectional transient-voltage-suppression diode.

Fig.3 STMicroelectronics Transit devices. These devices are 1.5KE series, able to handle 1.5 kW of peak power for a short period. A transient-voltage-suppression (TVS) diode is an electronic component used to protect sensitive electronics from voltage spikes induced on connected wires.[1] The device operates by shunting excess current when the induced voltage exceeds the avalanche breakdown potential. It is a clamping device, suppressing all overvoltage above its breakdown voltage. Like all clamping devices, it automatically resets when the overvoltage goes away, but absorbs much more of the transient energy internally than a similarly rated crowbar device.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 9

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS

A transient-voltage-suppression diode may be either unidirectional or bidirectional. A unidirectional device operates as a rectifier in the forward direction like any other avalanche diode, but is made and tested to handle very large peak currents. The popular 41.5KE series allows 1500 W of peak power, for a short time. A bidirectional transient-voltage-suppression diode can be represented by two mutually opposing avalanche diodes in series with one another and connected in parallel with the circuit to be protected. While this representation is schematically accurate, physically the devices are now manufactured as a single component. A transient-voltage-suppression diode can respond to over-voltages faster than other common over-voltage protection components such as varistors or gas discharge tubes. The actual clamping occurs in roughly one picosecond, but in a practical circuit the inductance of the wires leading to the device imposes a higher limit. This makes transient-voltage-suppression diodes useful for protection against very fast and often damaging voltage transients. These fast over-voltage transients are present on all distribution networks and can be caused by either internal or external events, such as lightning or motor arcing. Transient-voltage suppressors will fail if they are subjected to voltages or conditions beyond those that the particular product was designed to accommodate. There are three key modes in which the TVS will fail: short, open, and degraded device.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 10

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS

CHAPTER-3
SURGE PROTECTION DEVICES (SPDs)

3.1 INTRODUCTION
The protective components described in part 3 can be combined to formsurge protection devices (SPDs) suitable for a variety of applications. Thispublication is basically concerned with the protection of electronicequipment and communications equipment so the detailed use of lightning conductors to protect buildings and other structures is not discussed. The relevant UK code of practice, BS6651:1999, is available from the British Standards Institute and includes a wealth of information and recommendations on the design and installation of protective systems for buildings, together with detail on SPDs in Appendix C. This part describes several Telemetric ranges of SPDs making use of the components described in part 3 in multi-stage hybrid circuits or other networks developed for various applications through the years. See part 5 for detailed application advice.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 11

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


3.2 A HYBRID SURGE PROTECTION DEVICES
Hybrid surge protection devices combine at least two types of surge components typically MOVs and SADs. An effective hybrid design limits the amount of surge current through the SAD module to an acceptable level and diverts the remaining surge current through the MOV module sharing the surge. When properly designed, a hybrid SPD will outperform an SPD that uses only MOVs. However, an effective hybrid SPD requires significant engineering.

SOME OF THE PITFALLS OF A HYBRID APPROACH INCLUDE:


Designs with all components on-line at all times can result in component failure during surge or overvoltage events. Some components may not be appropriate for the application of the end unit. Some manufacturers may claim a capacitor constitutes a hybrid desi gn, but this may not be the case. The key to a successful hybrid design is to maximize each individual components strengths and transition awayfrom the weaknesses.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 12

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS

FIG.4 POORLY DESIGNED HYBRID SPD

FIG.5 PROPERLY DESIGNED HYBRID SPD


GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY Page 13

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS


3.3 THYRISTOR SURGE PROTECTION DEVICES
Thyristors are crowbar devices. Thyristors are based on a pair of intertwined bipolartransistors created by a 4 layer stack of n and p doped silicon regions as shown in Figure16. The n doped region N1, p doped region P1, and n doped region N2 form the emitter,base and collector of an npn transistor while p doped region P2, n doped region N2, and pdoped region P1 form the emitter, base and collector of a pnp transistor. With thisarrangement the collector of each transistor provides the base of the other transistor. In this way any emitter to collector current of one transistor provides the base current for theother transistor. For a positive Anode to Cathode voltage, both emitter-base junctions, J1and J3, are forward biased. Only the reverse biased junction J2 prevents current flow. Ifthe Anode to Cathode voltage is increased to the breakdown voltage of the J2 junction Currents will begin to flow directly into the bases of the two bipolar transistors. Thisturns both transistors on. With both transistors on the Thyristors resistance drops, andthe voltage across the Thyristor also drops. The resulting I-V curve for forcing a positivecurrent from the Anode to the Cathode of a Thyristor is shown in Figure 17. A protection. Element with this form of I-V curve can provide excellent protection; when triggered the Voltage drops well below the trigger condition and considerable current can be carriedwith very little power dissipation in the protection element. A caution is that the currentor voltage must fall below the Holding Point, as shown in Figure 17, to return the Thyristor to its high resistance state.

FIG.6 THYRISTOR PHYSICAL STRUCTURE AND CIRCUIT


GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY Page 14

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS

FIG.7 I-VCURVE FOR A THYRISTOR BIASED ANODE TO CATHODE Under a negative Anode to Cathode voltage there is no regenerative feature and the I-V curve looks like a reverse bias diode breakdown. The protection properties of a simple Thyristor are very asymmetric. To provide symmetrical crowbar behavior it is necessary to use two anti parallelThyristors. This can be done with a pair of discrete Thyristors, as, or it can be done with an integrated structure on a single piece of silicon including 5 doping levels, as illustrated in Figure 18b. The integrated device is usually called a Thyristor Surge Protection Device (TSPD) and its I-V characteristic is shown in figure. Most TSPDs are of the symmetrical behavior but there are other options.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 15

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS

CONCLUSION:From the above Information we can conclude that if we can Protect Our electrical Instruments from Electrical Power Surges and transients, we can save ourElectrical equipment and as well as money. This saving is depends on the following parameters:

By Reducing Losses Of energy dissipated in these conductors.

Power surges are generally considered to be the most destructive of the four types of electrical power disturbances. Power surges are spikes in voltage. so we can save our equipments.

Transient surges are defined as momentary bursts of energy that are induced upon power, data, or communication lines.

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 16

PROTECTION AGAINST SURGES & TRANSIENTS

References
www.wikipedia.com www.rosemount.com www.emersonelectric.com www.onsemi.com

GUJRAT TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Page 17