What is a surge counter and how can it help to achieve optimal protection

The digital transformation and the IoT revolution (Internet of Things), permanently interconnected teams, are making everyday life and economic sectors more and more dependent on technology. However, due to their dependence on a constant flow of energy and data for availability and performance, all electrical appliances are especially sensible to overvoltages and need to be protected to prevent possible accidents and economic losses. The information given by the overvoltage counter “Surge Logger” lets you register and learn about these events in order to achieve an optimal protection.

The overvoltages are sudden voltage peaks in the power line, measurements in between two conductors. Depending on their duration they can be classified into 2 different categories, transient overvoltages (have a short duration, microseconds) or permanent overvoltages (Keep on going through different cycles). When produced, they can cause premature ageing of the components as well as damage to equipment connected to the electrical network.

If they keep on going for an extended period of time (permanent) can lead to the loss in service of electrical and electronic equipment, can even cause permanent damages and security problems like fires due to overheating for a long period of time.

The reliance on interconnected equipment in domestic environments and economic sectors is increasing, therefore being appropriately protected against overvoltages is something essential for the maintenance of any activity. The substitution of any damaged element or its rapid degradation involves large financial costs that in some occasions can be difficult to cope with.  Overheating on the other side, rises the probability of having a fire and in consequence, personal injuries.

Aplicaciones Tecnológicas has a wide range of surge protection devices (SPD) for a variety of environments, from industrial to domestic, in order to meet the most demanding requirements. However, knowing how many overvoltages/surges an installation can keep up with and the value of these overvoltages is valuable information, that enables any system to be adapted and upgraded to prevent future damage.

Valuable information for a more efficient protection

When a surge takes place is important to know if the protection we have installed has worked the way it should, and if the electrical network and the devices connected to it are safe. Knowing when the surge happened as well as the value it had lets us redesign the protection in order to make it more adequate and secure. The Surge Logger is the most suitable device in order to gather this valuable information.

The Surge Logger developed by Aplicaciones Tecnológicas counts and measures current pulses generated by lightning strikes. It is able to detect direct impacts (equivalent to a 10/350us wave) or indirect (equivalent to a 8/20us wave). It has an internal memory capable of storing up to 110 events, which it records with their corresponding date and time by using a RTC (Real Time Clock).

The device uses batteries, this means it is isolated from the electric network which is being monitored. This way we avoid surges that might happen in the power supply cables. Its installation must be installed in the earthing point of the protector previously installed in the switchboard and must only be installed by professionals.

Once Installed, the Surge Logger can be configured via its built-in display or via the mobile app, which can also be used to download data and access information on the surges recorded by the device.

The Surge Logger will remain in low power mode and wake up when an overvoltage occurs. When this happens the device shall log the event and return to its hibernation state. In the built-in display, the device will show that a new event has happened by showing an icon, furthermore, it will give basic information about the surge (kA and polarity).

Communication and registering of events trough the mobile app

The Surge Logger can store up to 110 events in its internal memory, Information that can be read using the menu in the built-in display as well as being downloadable via a USB port towards a mobile app created and developed by Aplicaciones Tecnológicas. This app allows the collection of all the details of the overvoltages that the installation has withstood via the Modbus protocol.

Once the mobile device has been connected, the app will show all the information about the events in a visual and easy to understand way.

In addition to downloading the event information recorded by the Surge Logger, the app itself can be used to configure different aspects of the device in a most intuitive way than by using the built-in display.

For more information about the Surge Logger and Aplicaciones Tecnológicas’ transient and permanent surge protection solutions, please contact us via this link.