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What Is TVSS?

What Is TVSS?

TVSS is the industry term for a “transient voltage surge suppressor”. This term is still in use however it has been officially replaced by Underwriter’s Laboratories with the term “Surge Protective Device” or (SPD).  TVSS are devices that act as a cutoff in the case of a momentary spike or surge of electrical power on an AC line.  The installation of TVSS (SPDs) is crucial to the protection of sensitive equipment that can be damaged by electrical surges on AC lines; and of the data that might be destroyed if such spikes  happen.  TVSS devices (SPDs) are the most popular type of surge suppression equipment in use today.

Now, let’s dispel some myths regarding TVSS devices.  First and foremost, TVSS devices are not energy-saving equipment, although there has been an increasing number of them sold as such in recent years.  This is probably due to the growing attention on green technology and a desire to conserve power; however TVSS devices are not used in this capacity, and do nothing to actually assist in conservation efforts.  They are simply a shutoff switch that is triggered by electricity spikes that prevents that surge from hitting the equipment on the other side.

A TVSS is a guarding mechanism that prevents power system transients, which are generally known by the public as power surges or power spikes.  There are many things that can produce a power transient, including lightning strikes which can cause surges in excess of 50,000V.  One important note is that even with the installation of TVSS devices, a lightning strike (also known as an impulsive transient) will generally produce a surge so great that equipment damage will happen anyway. This is why Strikesorb SPDs (part of Raycap’s product line) are desirable. The Strikesorb technology is the most robust SPD technology available because it is capable of taking repeated power surges and continuing to work; while TVSS equipment is usually made of conventional surge protection technology (Silicon Avalanche Diode, Single MOVs, Gas Discharge Tubes), which may stop a surge, but will also sacrifice itself during that surge.  Strikesorb diverts the power produced from lightning strikes at industrial sites, then continues to work.  Therefore, Raycap’s Strikesorb SPDs (or TVSS) surge protection installed at the main service boxes provide the best protection from lightning strikes.

Equipment failures and damage as a result of transients is mainly due to power levels going beyond the point that integrated circuits in microprocessors can handle, effectively destroying them.  Each time there is a shutting off of power to a large piece of industrial equipment, a brief surge known as a switching transient occurs.  The continual turning on and off of industrial equipment degrades circuits over time, and although without the immediate effects of a lightning strike, the damage caused cans still be quite intense and  costly.

TVSS products are intended to be placed at AC voltage inputs and outputs.  Typically there is no change to the function on a daily basis, but in the event that the voltage difference between the power source and the protected line gets high enough, the switch closes and diverts the current away from the protected equipment.  In combination with other protection equipment from Raycap, your industrial equipment and data remains less susceptible to the damage that can be caused in an instant by a large power surge or over time from small ones.

Contact Raycap today to find out about the product options that will help protect all of your equipment, and extend its life by avoiding the degradation that will occur with nearly any overvoltage event.