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Characteristics of AC Surge Protective Device

2023-10-17

An AC Surge Protective Device (SPD) is a device designed to protect electrical systems and equipment from transient voltage surges and spikes in alternating current (AC) circuits. Transients can occur due to lightning strikes, power grid switching, electromagnetic interference, or other sources.

The primary function of an AC SPD is to divert excessive transient voltage away from sensitive equipment, preventing damage to components and ensuring the proper functioning of the system. AC SPDs typically incorporate metal oxide varistors (MOVs), gas discharge tubes (GDTs), or other surge protection components that can absorb and dissipate the excess voltage.

AC SPDs are widely used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications to protect appliances, electronic devices, communication systems, and other electrical equipment. They are installed at various points within the electrical system, such as the main service panel, distribution panels, and individual equipment or circuit outlets.

When selecting an AC SPD, it's important to consider factors such as the voltage rating, surge current capacity, response time, clamping voltage, and coordination with other protective devices. AC SPDs are available in different configurations, including plug-in devices for individual outlets, panel-mounted devices for distribution panels, and modular units for larger systems.

Proper installation and maintenance of AC SPDs are crucial for their effective operation. They should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines and adhere to applicable electrical codes and standards. Periodic inspections and testing may be necessary to ensure the continued functionality of the SPDs.

It's worth noting that AC SPDs differ from DC SPDs, as they are specifically designed for the characteristics of alternating current systems. Therefore, it's essential to use the appropriate type of SPD based on the AC or DC nature of the electrical system being protected.

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