After seven months of no load-shedding, we have just had a week of load-shedding! Many people have experienced the devasting damage caused by our rolling blackouts.
Here what you need to know to avoid damage to your electronics from load-shedding.
Back in 2015, we had a bit of load-shedding at the beginning of the year. This load-shedding damaged our industrial oven that we use to solder the components onto our PC boards. At the time we hadn't developed a mains surge arrester, and we had a fancy German branded surge arrester on our Electrical Board. The fancy German surge arrester didn't save my oven for getting damaged during a busy time when we were under pressure to complete an order for a major project. After finding a second-hand oven in the US and air-freighting it to SA at significant cost, I sat down and worked out why my fancy German surge arrester didn't save me from load-shedding. This is what I learned.
Most mains surge arresters only have Threshold Clamping Technology. What does that mean? Threshold Clamping Technology is traditional surge protection technology whereby surges are clamped once the threshold of a Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) is reached. This is the most common technology as it’s small and can be housed within most existing electrical distribution boards. The disadvantage of these devices is that the left-through overvoltage transients (surges) can be substantial, as much as the voltage threshold clamping rating of the device.
What do you need to stop Eskom from damaging your stuff?
You need a hybrid of Threshold Clamping Technology and Sine Wave Tracking Technology. Sine Wave Tracking Technology is an active surge protection technology that follows the sine wave and minimises the let-through surge. Also:
- suppresses high frequency, low energy ring wave transients (surges) at any phase angle that the surge may occur. This is typical of loads that generate a back EMF.
- suppresses RFI and EMI
- with conventional light bulbs being replaced with LED bulbs, household appliances being fitted with energy saving electronics instead of mechanical controls and the use of inverters has led to EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) interference. Sine Wave Tracking surge protection suppresses the noise generated by EMC related interference.
Do you want to have a look at our products? Visit: Single phase sine wave tracking surge arrester
P.S. Drop me a line, and I will email you our surge protection eBook or give me a call to get advice on a specific troublesome system.