We live in a world that is more reliant on electronic devices and circuits than ever, so how can we protect these devices and make sure the circuits stay up and running? The answer lies with transient suppressors. The right transient suppressor can shield an electronic circuit from high voltage surges and protect pieces of equipment from serious harm. To help your company choose the right transient suppressor, this article will break down what a transient suppressor is, what it is often used for and some of the common questions and misconceptions about transient suppressors.
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What Is a Transient Suppressor?
A transient voltage suppressor (TVS) is a device designed to protect circuits from sudden or momentary overvoltage conditions, which are called transients. Transients are temporary surges or spikes in voltage or current that can impact circuits and cause anything from a minor glitch to a catastrophic failure. This means that a voltage transient can range from a few millivolts to thousands of volts.
A transient can occur for many reasons, such as an internal event like motor arcing or an external event like lightning, and may last for only a few microseconds depending on how severe it is. Because there are many causes for transients, a transient voltage surge suppressor is a vital component for a circuit to protect it from all sorts of hazards and damage.
The primary purpose of a transient voltage suppressor is to keep the voltage level within a safe threshold, which is most often accomplished using one of the two most common TVS devices — metal oxide varistors (MOVs) and zener diodes. MOVs are great for protecting bidirectional AC power supplies, whereas zener diodes are better fitted for smaller, low-energy DC power supplies.
While MOVs are generally used to protect electrical equipment, zener diodes are mostly used in circuits to guard against overvoltage. Although MOVs and zener diodes are two of the most popular transient suppressor choices, there are other types of TVS devices to choose from — including transient suppression filters, voltage clamping transient suppressors and crowbar transient suppressors.
Switching inductive loads can produce high-energy transients that grow in magnitude with progressively heavy loads. Once the inductive load is switched off, the collapsing magnetic field becomes electrical energy in the form of a double exponential transient, which can majorly overwhelm a circuit.
The source of an inductive transient in electronic systems is typically a generator, motor, transformer or relay. The size of the loads will vary depending on the application, duration, wave shape, peak current and peak voltage. These variables must be evaluated before making a suppressor technology selection.
Uses for a Transient Suppressor
Transient suppressors can be used for essentially any application that relies on an electric motor or electrical equipment. As a transient voltage suppressor is intended to protect the transmission or data lines within electronic circuits, it is extremely useful for preserving any circuit prone to experiencing voltage spikes.
Businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on electronic devices to carry out crucial operations. This only expands the need for voltage protection devices to safeguard essential equipment from voltage spikes and surges so companies can keep up with everyday work processes. For business purposes, maintaining proper voltage levels can be an overlooked but important factor to keeping electronic devices fully functional.
In industrial-level equipment, a transient suppressor can control high voltage surges and subvert overvoltage to prevent damage to equipment and save on downtime. With the proper TVS, companies can work uninterrupted instead of spending time trying to fix a broken piece of equipment.
Voltage spikes and surges can spark from a variety of events. They either consist of high energy for a short period of time or occur intermittently for short periods of time, which is why MOVs are commonly used to account for unpredictable voltage surges. Because MOVs are available in a range of energy absorbing and voltage ratings, they allow for tight control over potentially destructive transients as well as over unpredictable voltage spikes. MOVs are also compatible with AC or DC applications, making them a popular and convenient transient suppressor choice.
Common Questions and Problems for Transient Suppressors
It’s important to note that though discrete semiconductor transient voltage suppressors like MOVs are the most common type of TVS, a transient suppressor device can come in many different forms. From filters and arc contacts to solid state semiconductor devices, there is a wide variety of transient voltage suppressors on the market.
Another common misconception is in understanding the two different ways a transient suppressor can be used in series with the voltage load. The first option is for the transient suppressor to either attenuate or reduce the transient’s energy value as a means of preventing its propagation through the circuit. Usually, attenuation of a voltage transient is accomplished through using low-pass filters connected in series with the load circuit.
The second approach is for the TVS to be used in parallel with the load to limit the residual voltage by diverting the transient away, typically into the ground. For diverting a transient, a voltage-clamping type of device like a crowbar transient suppressor is typically used.
Benefits of Buying Transient Suppressors From Global Electronic Services
With a variety of top-quality transient suppressors to choose from, Global Electronic Services is your place for protecting your electronic circuit from overvoltage. We keep thousands of parts in stock so you can count on finding the right product at all times.
In addition to supplying new, refurbished, obsolete and surplus equipment options, our facility expertly handles industrial electronic repairs. Thanks to the variety of parts we keep in stock, we can make repairs much faster than other repair services.
At Global Electronic Services, we regularly repair equipment from major companies like General Electric or Texas Instruments within five days or less so our clients can get their businesses back to full operation as quickly as possible. When you get a transient suppressor at Global Electronic Services, you’re partnering with a business that can help ensure your company’s equipment stays in commission.
Order Your Transient Suppressor Online Today
Your company can count on transient suppressors from Global Electronic Services to preserve your electronic circuits so your business can keep running smoothly. Check out our transient suppressor options to start protecting your company’s circuits today. To find out more about transient suppressors or to ask any other questions, call Global Electronic Services at 877-249-1701.