What is at Risk?

Surges or transients can damage, degrade or destroy the sensitive electronic equipment in offices or businesses resulting in:

  • Equipment damage
  • Equipment downtime
  • Losses in resulting revenues
  • Productivity losses due to downtime
There are three main types of effects that transients have on your electronic equipment:
Disruptive effects:

These effects are usually encountered when a transient enters the equipment by inductive coupling. The energy source for this inductive coupling can act on the data output lines that integrate an electronic installation. The electronic components then try to process the transient as a valid logic command. The result is system lock-up, malfunction, erroneous output, lost or corrupted files, and a variety of other undesirable effects.

Dissipative effects:

These effects are associated with repeated stresses to IC components. The materials used to fabricate IC’s can only withstand a certain number of repeated energy level surges. After long-term degradation, the device fails to operate properly. The failure is due to the cumulative build-up of transient-created stresses which result in arc-overs, shorts, open circuits, or semiconductor junction failures within the IC.

Destructive effects:

These effects include all conditions where transients with high levels of energy cause equipment to fail instantaneously. Very often, there is actual physical damage apparent, like burnt PC boards or melting of electronic components.
Destructive effects can occur when noise pulses are too fast for power supply regulator circuits to respond by limiting transient voltage to acceptable levels. Also, transients on the power line may subject electronic components to overwhelming voltage levels. For example, components like rectifier diodes can fail immediately when their Peak Inverse Voltage (PIV) rating is exceeded. PIV diode ratings in a well-designed computer can be in the 1 kV – 1.5 kV range. Transients on AC lines can easily exceed 1.5 kV.

What are the Symptoms of Surge Damage?

There are several possible symptoms to look for to determine whether surges are affecting your office or business.

  • Computer lock-ups or latch-ups
  • Unexplainable data corruption
  • Equipment shutdown
  • Flickering lights
  • Premature failure of electronic ballasts or printed circuit boards

There is no such thing as a transient free facility. Many people do not realize that their company’s productivity and profitability is being significantly impacted by the effects of transients. The problems described above result in billions of dollars of lost profits to U.S. businesses every year.