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The risks of loss due to damage from power surges at industrial plants are far higher than residential ones, even though the same power grid will generally supply electricity to an area servicing both industrial and residential customers. The single job of an electrical system is to supply electricity to equipment and appliances that use it, in order to provide the service that the equipment is designed to provide. The main differentiation between residential and industrial customers is the level of power flow that is delivered and needed at the location. Residential customers will be familiar with the two types of plug configurations that are seen throughout their house or business, these types nearly always providing 110 or 220 levels of power. The residential space is designed to allow power flow within this range to enter the premises, the first barrier of protection is found at the circuit box. Circuits are a crude form of power protection, essentially functioning in a capacity to cut off electrical flow if it exceeds a certain range that is deemed unsafe for the wiring inside of the location. People will usually take extra levels of precaution by installing surge strips or some other form of surge protection device before their computerized equipment. This is because it is understood that the computerized equipment is more sensitive and can be damaged by even small fluctuations in power, and additionally is usually more expensive than other types of equipment. This same thought process is used on the industrial level, the differences being that the equipment is more expensive, the necessity to stay online is more critical, and the power levels that are being monitored are far higher. In a nutshell, the stakes are far higher on the industrial level than on the residential level.
Industrial surge protection equipment is designed to be more robust as well as more accurate because it is tasked with protecting systems and equipment that are doing facilitating industrial tasks rather than residential tasks inside your house. There are multiple ways that surge protectors can perform the tasks that they were designed to do, which is ultimately to prevent electricity that is outside of a specific range from reaching equipment that would be damaged buy excess electricity. These methods can generally be put into 3 different types, starting with the complete cut off of electrical flow outside of the range, the diversion of excess electricity outside of that range, or the drawdown of excess electricity. All these methods will perform the task of protecting the equipment on the other side, but each method of doing so will be most appropriate for the specific application that they are installed within. For example, if the industrial installation that is being protected provides a service that would be a major disruption to the public if it went offline, then the complete cut off of power if a surge outside of a specific range was to happen would be less than optimal. In this circumstance a drawdown of access electricity or a diversion of that electricity while allowing for continued operation within the range that is specified would be more desirable. Today’s technologically advanced surge protection devices that are performing within industrial installations can perform tasks on levels previously unseen.