Amber Technology Blog

What makes SurgeX's power protection products different?

Posted by Richard Neale

25/02/19 14:25

What makes SurgeX different?

There are dozens of power protection (surge suppression) products on the market, starting at under $100. So, why would you pay more for a SurgeX surge suppressor?

The answer to this question lies in the suppression technology used in different products and, as is usually the case in real life, ‘you get what you pay for’.

Inexpensive (cheap!) power protection products are almost always designed using a very clever electronic component known as a Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV). (A quick online search will reveal lots of details about MOVs for those who want to dig deep.) MOVs can do a great job at suppressing many surges – but it’s vitally important to understand that they have a finite life. Every time a MOV is hit by a large surge or a small transient, it gives up some of its useful life. A really big surge can eat up all of a small MOV’s capacity in one go! (Search online for MOV lifetime ratings for more details.) After the MOV has absorbed its lifetime rating, it ceases to function. In many inexpensive power protection devices, all subsequent surges and transients will simply pass to the connected equipment. Some more sophisticated products will disconnect (shut down) the mains power from connected devices once the MOV’s protection is ‘used up’.

Either approach (after the MOV has failed) can be a problem: leaving the connected equipment without protection can lead to expensive damage, but having the connected equipment turned off without warning can be pretty inconvenient as well.

It’s easy to tell when a power protection product has MOVs inside: somewhere on the label or in the instructions will be a Joule (energy) rating. Basically, when the MOV has absorbed the stated number of Joules, its life is over. More Joules are better – but any fixed number of Joules is a clear statement that the product has a finite protection lifetime?

So what’s different about SurgeX’s ASM (Advanced Series Mode) surge suppressor? Simple: they contain no MOVs or any other sacrificial components. SurgeX’s ASM circuitry captures and gradually releases surge energy, with virtually no let-through. The result is that the SurgeX ASM products have effectively unlimited capability to block surge after surge after surge over many years. Protected equipment remains protected; the power protection device never disconnects power from the protected equipment.

To read more about the difference between MOV-based products and SurgeX’s ASM technology, download the SurgeX white paper, here.

To find out more about SurgeX products on our website, click here.



Topics: power surge protection, surge suppression, surge protection, power surge, surge, SurgeX

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