Surge protection devices: your best defence
Every day, lightning strikes homes and properties somewhere in the world. Any structure in the path of an electrical storm is at risk. While only lasting for a few microseconds, lightning causes a dangerous voltage surge that can destroy your electronic devices. Installing surge protection devices, SPDs, can reduce or even prevent damage to your valuable possessions.
Did you know?
• Every day there are about 8 million lightning strikes globally.
• The tallest structure is the most likely point of contact in a lightning strike.
• Isolated structures on large expanses of flat land are likely to attract lightning strikes.
• While some structures are more likely to attract a strike, lightning is 100% unpredictable.
Lightning risk worldwide
Lightning strikes can't be predicted, but some regions of the world are more affected than others. Areas marked violet and pink have the highest stroke density, followed by regions in red, orange, yellow, green and blue.
Destruction of electronics
A power surge can enter your house either via a direct strike, or indirectly. Direct strikes occur when lightning passes directly through a building, often causing major damage and fires. Indirect strikes occur when lightning strikes ground nearby, or power lines directly connected to a house. When this happens, any connected appliance or electronic device can be destroyed.
• High replacement costs of electronics and circuitry
• Disruption of your personal and/or professional connectivity
Think your equipment is protected?
Think again. Even if you already have a lightning rod installed, it might not be enough. It can direct a strike around the exterior of a structure, but some overvoltage can still enter the building’s electrical circuitry and damage any electronics that are not protected by SPDs.
In a direct lightning strike on a building with no protection, a voltage spike can enter your home through the switchboard and destroy all your electronic equipment.
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When lightning strikes near a building with no protection, it can travel inside via power lines directly connected to the switchboard.
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When lightning strikes a building with a lightning rod, most of the overvoltage is directed to ground around the outside of the building. However up to half the overvoltage can still enter your home via the electrical circuitry.
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When lightning strikes near the building even with protection, it can travel into your home via power lines directly connected to the switchboard.
Protecting your equipment with surge protection devices
A lightning strike near a building or overhead supply lines suddenly increases the voltage from 230 V to 3 or 6 kV. The resulting surge, which lasts a few microseconds, can destroy electronic components such as memory, processors, capacitors, and screens.
An SPD can damp the spike down to a value compatible with that which most connected appliances can withstand: approximately 1.5 kV. All devices within 10 meters of the switchboard are effectively protected. If your devices are more than 10 meters away from the installed SPD, additional protection needs to be added, such as a type 3 SPD in a nearby switchboard of a power strip with integrated surge protection.
SPDs protect sensitive appliances and electronics by directing energy surges in the supply line straight to the ground.
Protective power strip
Connecting your appliances to a power strip with integrated surge protection will greatly reduce the risk of damage during a lightning strike.
How to get support from your electrician
Trust a qualified electrician to advise you of the right Schneider Electric SPDs: Type 1, 2 or 3.
Your electrician can help choose the right SPD rating: 20kA or 40kA, depending on your geography and building type.
For increased protection, your electrician can advise using lightning rods together with SPDs.
Electrical Installation Wiki
Learn about voltage surges and overvoltage protection
With over 8 million lightning strikes occurring globally every day, it’s crucial to know how to protect your home with surge protection devices.
Protect your electronic equipment from lightning related damage
Safeguard your technology from lightning
You’ve invested a lot in the technology that makes your family’s lives easier and more enjoyable. Now you need to protect it from lightning strikes.