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- TYPICAL REACTION TIME OF LESS THAN 1nS
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- PROTECTION AGAINST LIGHTNING, E1/E2/E3 EMP, SOLAR FLARE, ESD, BROWNOUT SURGES, LOAD CYCLING, AND MORE
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An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), also sometimes called a transient electromagnetic disturbance, is a short burst of electromagnetic energy. Such a pulse’s origin may be a natural occurrence or man-made and can occur as a radiated, electric, or magnetic field or a conducted electric current, depending on the source. EMP interference is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment, and at higher energy levels a powerful EMP event such as a lightning strike can damage physical objects such as buildings and aircraft structures. The management of EMP effects is an important branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering.
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. A buildup of static electricity can be caused by tribocharging or by electrostatic induction. The ESD occurs when differently-charged objects are brought close together or when the dielectric between them breaks down, often creating a visible spark.
ESD can create spectacular electric sparks (lightning, with the accompanying sound of thunder, is a large-scale ESD event), but also less dramatic forms which may be neither seen nor heard, yet still be large enough to cause damage to sensitive electronic devices. Electric sparks require a field strength above approximately 40 kV/cm in air, as notably occurs in lightning strikes. Other forms of ESD include corona discharge from sharp electrodes and brush discharge from blunt electrodes.
ESD can cause harmful effects of importance in industry, including explosions in gas, fuel vapor and coal dust, as well as failure of solid state electronics components such as intrigrated circuits. These can suffer permanent damage when subjected to high voltages. Electronics manufacturers therefore establish electrostatic protective areas free of static, using measures to prevent charging, such as avoiding highly charging materials and measures to remove static such as grounding human workers, providing antistatic devices, and controlling humidity.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a significant release of plasma and accompanying magnetic field from the solar corona. They often follow solar flares and are normally present during a solar prominence eruption. The plasma is released into the solar wind, and can be observed in coronagraph imagery.
Coronal mass ejections are often associated with other forms of solar activity, but a broadly accepted theoretical understanding of these relationships has not been established. CMEs most often originate from active regions on the Sun’s surface, such as groupings of sunspots associated with frequent flares. Near solar maxima, the Sun produces about three CMEs every day, whereas near solar minima, there is about one CME every five days.
The largest recorded geomagnetic perturbation, resulting presumably from a CME hitting the Earth’s magnetosphere, was the solar storm of 1859 (the Carrington Event), which took down parts of the recently created US telegraph network, starting fires and shocking some telegraph operators. Some telegraphers, on the other hand, were able to continue operating with their batteries disconnected, powered by the aurora-induced currents in the lines, with normal or improved signal quality. A pair in Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts, conversed in this way for nearly two hours at the height of the storm, without any manmade power supply.
Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge during which two electrically charged regions in the atmosphere or ground temporarily equalize themselves, causing the instantaneous release of as much as one gigajoule of energey. This discharge may produce a wide range of electromagnetic radiation, from very hot plasma created by the rapid movement of electrons to brilliant flashes of visible in the form of black-body radiation.
Positive lightning strikes tend to be much more intense than their negative counterparts. An average bolt of negative lightning carries an electric current of 30,000 amperes (30 kA), and transfers 15 coulombs of electric charge and 1 gigajoule of energy. Large bolts of positive lightning can carry up to 120 kA and 350 C. The average positive ground flash has roughly double the peak current of a typical negative flash, and can produce peak currents up to 400 kA and charges of several hundred coulombs. Furthermore, positive ground flashes with high peak currents are commonly followed by long continuing currents, a correlation not seen in negative ground flashes
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