Inventronics: Surge Protection Devices

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James Prietzel, Product Manager at Intelligent LED Solutions (ILS)

James is the ILS Product Manager for everything related to LEDs and has been with ILS since 2012. He is dedicated to understanding the latest technologies and innovations from leading suppliers in the OptoElectronics world, from optics, to LEDs and to Intelligent LED Drivers.

Surge protection devices (SPDs) work to safeguard your electronics by protecting them against sudden and unwanted power surges. For many electronic devices, even a tiny spike in voltage can damage them and become a safety hazard.

What Can Cause a Power Surge?

A power surge can occur when something triggers electricity to flow back into the system, or when the flow of electricity is interrupted and restarted. This could be caused in several ways, including lightning strikes, electrical overloading, faulty wiring, and restoration of power after an outage.

A power surge could be as little as 5 or 10 volts from an additional outlet being turned on, or thousands of volts from a lightning strike. Luckily, power surges caused by lightning strikes are rare. But when they do occur, the large power surge will cause instantaneous damage, “frying” circuits and melting plastic and metal parts.

More commonly though are low-level surges, which can still be damaging. These may not melt physical parts or blow any fuses, but instead they can prompt “electronic rust,” which gradually degrades the internal circuitry eventually leading to complete failure of the outlet.

Most homes have multiple items which are susceptible to power surges. Any devices containing a microprocessor are particularly vulnerable to irreparable power surge damage. These small digital components are so sensitive. Even a small fluctuation can damage their functioning.

How SPDs Can Help

An SPD will help prevent damage to electrical devices as they limit any voltage surges that may arise within the electrical system. They provide point-of-use protection against current spikes and overvoltage by diverting surging current and limiting any surplus of voltage to a level that will not damage the protected device or appliance.

SPDs encompass surge suppressors and surge arrestors. The suppressor works to protect outlets from spikes in voltage, by blocking or shorting to ground the incoming current. Whilst arrestors protect from external occurrences that may cause over voltage transients. Essentially an SPD can help by safeguarding your device or appliance.

Osram Push-in Surge Protection Device SPD-15-275-G2

Osram Surge Protection Device 20-275-P5-G2

About Inventronics

NB: In May 2023, OSRAM sold its LED Drivers, Lighting Controls, LED Flex and LED Modules business to Inventronics. These products continue to be branded OSRAM but are now owned, designed, manufactured, and developed by Inventronics.

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