The Vulnerabilities Of Inferior Surge Protection Devices

The Vulnerabilities Of Inferior Surge Protection Devices

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Surge protection devices provide an invaluable level of protection against damage caused by power surges.  Every year, millions of dollars’ worth of equipment is damaged through electrical overages being allowed to overwhelm equipment, not to mention the losses involved with system outages as a result of those components being damaged.  Surge protection devices were developed for the specific purpose of providing a barrier of protection against this type of damage through their integration into the system that they are protecting.  The electrical flow enters the facility and must pass through the surge protection device before that piece of equipment will be impacted by the electricity.  Any fluctuations outside of the safe range are handled by the surge protective device through specific methods, either diverting the electricity to another place where it can be handled safely, cutting off electrical flow completely, or drawing it down in a way that will only allow the measured amount that  is considered safe to pass through.  As a result, as long as the surge protection device is operational, the flow of electricity is received by the device which is being protected will be within the safe range or none at all.  When a power surge is detected by the surge protection device, it will perform its function which ultimately results in the protected equipment not being impacted.  While this is considered by many to be an adequate level of protection, when the higher stakes of industrial systems are in play, any additional vulnerabilities must be dealt with in order to further protect the equipment and systems.  One of these vulnerabilities is the fact that most surge protection devices are switched off or are completely destroyed when they perform their duty.  In the case of a simple breaker system, once the breaker is tripped the flow of electricity is cut off until such time that the breaker is reset.  While this is a very simplistic example, the theory is the same when dealing with technologically advanced surge protection equipment.  Once the surge protection device has been rendered offline, the potential threat of a subsequent surge as a result of lightning strike or some other factor comes into play.  While the expression “lightning never strikes twice” might be well known, it is not accurate.  During inclement weather it is quite common for the surge that follows a lightning strike to have an impact on exposed systems within a region more than one time.  In addition to the potential losses as a result of damage once the systems are left unprotected, there is the additional issue of restoring the system to not only a protected status but also to functionality.  Once the system has gone off line it is no longer performing the function that it was designed to do, and in this case the losses mount.  The speed with which the system can be restored to the functionality it was designed for is critical for profitability, meaning that if the surge protection device can remain functional even after a surge, systems are improved and have longer up times.  Raycap strives to do its part to not only create surge protection devices that are the most reliable on the market, but also to improve our own products by continually addressing new challenges.

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