Among the growing number of consumer and industrial goods now in short supply, electricity will likely join that list alongside baby formula, semiconductor chips, building supplies, water, and aluminum.
As summer heats up and air conditioners work overtime to keep homes and businesses comfortably cool, the U.S. power grid may not have what it takes to keep the lights (and A/C) on for everyone. Rolling brownouts could be in the cards for anyone across the country.
State officials and media outlets warn consumers and businesses alike to plan for longer, more frequent outages.
Beyond the obvious (comfort, productivity, sanity), what else is at risk? Millions of dollars of electronics, appliances, and investments keep our homes and businesses running smoothly.
What Causes Power Surges in Electronic Systems?
Sudden power surges can happen whenever electricity is cut off and immediately reconnected. When a large-scale power grid failure occurs known as a blackout, the jump of electricity coming back on can force too much current through your electronics, which can damage them, reduce their lifespan, and cause problems with your home or business’s investments.
Brownouts are another common grid-related issue. In a brownout, the voltage provided by the power supply drops below its standard value, but the electric service is not interrupted completely.
Reduced voltage may seem better than having no voltage, but brownouts can be worse than blackouts in many cases. Electrical devices are designed for a specific voltage range and can suffer damage when exposed to a voltage that is too high or too low.
Power grids aside, epic summer thunderstorms with lightning strikes can result in the same damaging effects. Your standard North American electronic devices are rated for 120 volts.
A major lightning strike creates an electromagnetic pulse that can send millions of volts into a building or home’s electrical panel, wiring system, and connected devices, frying them instantly.
Installing A Whole-Home Surge Protector
While many people have point-of-use surge protector strips on televisions, computers, and gaming equipment, most people forget about protecting larger appliances like their HVAC system, freezer, pool system, or even their commercial machinery.
The most effective solution is a whole-home surge protector that protects the circuits directly at the electrical panel, modulating and controlling your home’s power. A surge suppressor will help protect your electronics from internal and external power surges.
Don’t let transient power spikes get the best of you. Protect your investments. ICM Controls offers a complete catalog of Surge Protective Devices and Line Voltage Monitoring Relays designed for single and 3-phase applications.
Power Surge Protection Devices:
ICM517 – (Single-Phase 120/240 VAC, Type 2 Surge Protective Device. Max surge current 100,000 amps, NEMA 3R Rated Metal Enclosure)
ICM518 – (Split/Single-Phase 240 VAC, Type 1 & Type 2 Whole Home Surge Protective Device. Max surge current 100,000 amps, NEMA 4X Rated Enclosure)
ICM530 – (3-Phase Delta 240V & WYE 120V/208V, Type 1 & Type 2 Surge Protective Device. Max surge: 150,000 amps, NEMA 4X Rated Enclosure)
ICM531 – (3-Phase Delta 480V Or WYE 277V/480V, Type 1 & Type 2 Surge Protective Device. Max surge: 150,000 amps, NEMA 4X Rated Enclosure)
ICM532 – (3-Phase Delta 600V Or WYE 346V/600V, Type 1 & Type 2 Surge Protective Device. Max surge: 150,000 amps, NEMA 4X Rated Enclosure)
ICM533 – (3-Phase Delta High Leg 120V/240V, Type 1 & Type 2 Surge Protective Device. Max surge: 150,000 amps, NEMA 4X Rated Enclosure)
ICM492 – (Single-Phase 90/240 VAC, Line Phase Monitor, LCD Display, 5-fault memory diagnostics fault identification)
ICM450A – (3-Phase Line Phase Monitor, LCD Display, 25-fault memory diagnostics fault identification)
ICM450A+ PLUS – (3-Phase Line Phase Monitor, LCD Display, 25-fault memory diagnostics fault identification, and Modbus communication)
Combination Voltage Monitor / Surge Protection:
ICM493 – (Single-Phase 200/240 VAC, Line Phase Monitor w/ built-in Surge Protection, NEMA 3R Rated Metal Enclosure)