SPD Training Academy

I am proud to announce that the team at Surge Protection Devices Ltd are launching an SPD Training Academy.

What is the SPD Training Academy?

The SPD Training Academy is a new addition to our website offering. We aim to provide attendees with up to date information regarding surge protection through our range of webinar sessions.

All of our webinars are completely free and we are CPD certified, so every attendee will receive a CPD certificate. All webinars are given by Kirsty Johnson, our technical sales director. Kirsty sits on the JPEL panel to assist with the wiring regulations, so is well placed to give training on Surge Protection to the latest regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What topics are covered in the webinars?

SPD Ltd currently has the following courses available for immediate sign up:

Basics and the 18th Edition: This session is aimed at electrical contractors who may have limited or no experience with surge protection to give a basic understanding of what surge protection is and why we use it, through to how it works and where it needs to be installed. We will then cover the 18th edition guidance to finish off the session.

Apprentice: Introduction to SPD’s: This session is an apprentice only session where we will cover the fundamentals of surge protection to prepare apprentices to do the full basics and the 18th edition webinar (above).

Focus Training: Surge Protection Devices: These sessions are bespoke sessions for Focus Training learners, please contact your lecturer for further information.

 

 

 

 

Free CPD Training on Surge Protection: The Basics & Intro to 18th Edition

During these uncertain times, businesses are changing the way they operate in order to survive. We are exactly the same. We are a family owned and run company that strives to provide outstanding customer service at all times. We believe in a personal level of service at all times. We believe education is very important, especially when it comes to Lightning & Surge protection devices. They do say knowledge is power for a reason!

We are taking this time and opportunity to concentrate on on-line webinars focused at educating people from all over the country on lightning and surge protection devices.

In this 45 minute webinar we aim to explain the regulations surrounding the installation of surge devices, explain which device you need, and where to fit it.

We also open up the mic for a question and answer time at the end.

We have a range of dates and times to suit.

If you would like anymore information on these webinars, please contact Kirsty at kirsty@surgedevices.co.uk

 

Training – How to sell a domestic surge arrester…

This month we will be focusing on how to sell a domestic surge arrester. I wanted to start with the domestic market as it is generally more difficult to sell a domestic surge arrester than it is one for a commercial or industrial installation.

With a domestic installation according to the Regs it is only a recommendation that surge protection is installed, it’s not mandatory. So why do we need to fit them? I hear you all say. Well, its actually really simple… Every single household nowadays has some form of electrical equipment inside, whether this be just a kettle, microwave and a TV or on a much bigger scale, cinema room, LED lights and electronic gates, everybody has something of value to them that could potentially be destroyed by the effects of surges.

A lot of people know and use the trailing leads to protect 2-3 pieces of equipment, like a PC, laptop or a TV for example. These trailing leads only protect a few pieces of equipment at a time, unless you plug them into every socket in your house, which then gets very costly and looks messy. It is also impossible to fit them behind kitchen units to protect washing machines and tumble dryer’s. The only way around this dilemma is to buy and install a domestic surge arrester like our SY2DLED (pictured below).

SY2DLED-surge-protection-device

This compact device combines double pole protection in a single module unit, which is easier to install in a domestic situation. It has an LED light on the front, which is a requirement of the Regs that all surge protection devices should have visual indication. Once this light goes out its time to replace the device, but these will typically last 10-11 years.

SY2D in consumer unit

To install the SY2DLED into a consumer unit just clip it onto the din rail or mount it in an enclosure and connect the device in parallel across the board. From the bottom of the device take an earth wire up to the earth bar. From the top of the device take a neutral wire up to the neutral bar. Also from the top of the device take a live connection to an adjacent breaker that’s already in the board. And there you have it, your surge device is installed and ready to start protecting your electrical items.

So how do I sell one of these to my customers? Like I said before this is the tricky bit, as it’s not mandatory. I usually start by asking the customer what electrical items they have in their own home and asking them to add up in their head roughly what its all worth. The trade list price is £70.55 and they typically last 10 years. This equates to roughly £7 per year to protect all your electrical items in your house. It will even protect your mobile phone when you plug it in at night to charge it. Plugging any piece of electrical equipment in without protecting it makes it susceptible to damage caused by surges.

Because technology is getting smaller but faster and more complex the manufacturers are using smaller micro-components, which are extremely sensitive to surges. When a piece of electrical equipment sees a surge it prematurely degrades the micro-components, so the piece of equipment wont last as long as it should.

This particular surge device is a perfect add on to those purchasing consumer units for re-wires or a new board fitting. We are very competitively priced and provide outstanding technical knowledge as well as offering FREE site surveys.

If you would like to know more about Lightning & Surges, how to protect your sensitive electrical equipment or learn more about how to sell surge protection then please get in touch with us and we can arrange a staff training session completely FREE of charge. You can either email me at helen@surgedevices.co.uk or call me on 07969919161 to book the training.

Surge protection and the 18th edition regulations…

Today I would like to talk to you about Surge Protection and the 18th edition regulations…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There has been a lot of noise in 2019 about the correct use of surge protection devices while conforming to the 18th edition so today I am going to go through the regulations and use my specialist knowledge in surge protection to explain when, where and how SPD’s should be installed.

In the regulations there are a few installations where surge protection must be fitted:

(Page 101, Regulation 443.4)

Where the consequences of over voltage could:

– Cause serious injury or loss of human life.

Here everyone always considers hospitals and doctors surgeries, where in fact this single line covers a lot of the installations that most contractors work on daily. Under this regulation, any board feeding emergency lightning or fire alarm panels must have surge protection installed. This is because if this equipment was to be damaged, it could mean a potential injury to people within the building.

– Damage of public services or cultural heritage.

For public services this could be anything from a train station to a library, or even motorway services. If it can affect a public service an SPD must be installed. For cultural heritage, this is to mainly protect important historical remains from potential damage, especially when dehumidifiers, or other critical equipment are used to prolong the lifespan of historical objects.

– Interruption to commercial and industrial activity.

This one we have just covered in our last article, but is pretty self explanatory.

– Could affect a large number of co-located individuals.

This could be anything from a school to an exhibition centre or even a block of flats. If electrical damage can affect a large group of people, then an SPD must be installed.

When applying these regulations, it is important to understand that the regulations are not retrospective, therefore will only apply if you are installing a new distribution board or making a significant amendment to an existing installation.

For all other installations, either an SPD is installed or there is a risk assessment which can be performed which will give you a risk level, to state if SPD’s are needed in that installation. I will go further in to the risk assessment method in our next article.

The exception is single dwellings, where an SPD can be omitted if the value of the installation is not seen as significant. This is not a very clear regulation. Essentially it means that the contractor must discuss with the installation owner whether they want an SPD installed or not. It is recommended that if you discuss SPD’s with the home owner and they decline to have them installed, that you get a paper confirmation of this, whether that is on the quote itself or in a declaration such as the document available through NAPIT. This will ensure that if any damage is caused in the future, which could have been averted through the use of an SPD, that the contractor will have proof that it was declined by the customer.

That is most of the regulations surrounding the use of SPD’s. The last thing I would like to mention is the mixing manufacturers regulation. Essentially, as an SPD is installed from an MCB and not directly on the busbar system, it does not affect the integrity of the consumer unit. Also as an SPD is a voltage detection device, it does not have a short circuit withstand capacity, such as an MCB, so does not require type testing to any specific manufacturer. With SPD installation, it is very important to keep the cable lengths as short as possible, so by installing the SPD in the consumer unit, you are keeping these cable lengths to a minimum. Therefore, any manufacturer who states that a contractor must use their SPD is using this regulation for commercial benefit, not to enhance the safety and integrity of our electrical systems, which is what BS7671 was designed to do.

Thanks for reading, if you have any more questions please get in touch with our technical support team on 01484 851 747.

Kirsty Johnson, Technical Sales Director

Lightning and Surge protection in Commercial and Industrial installations…

Lightning and Surge protection in commercial and industrial installations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following on from my previous post on 21st November about Lightning protection in domestic installations we move on today to discuss lightning and surge protection in commercial and industrial installations.

BS7671 states that Surge Protection Devices (SPD’s) must be installed where the consequence of an over-voltage could result in an interruption of commercial and industrial activity, which in most commercial / industrial installations will be the majority of distribution boards.

When considering which device to install, we need to look at where on the electrical supply you are working. If you are working on a main incoming panel, you will need to assess whether the building needs a combined lightning and surge device (Type 1+2+3) to protect against direct lightning strikes. As discussed in the previous article, only buildings which are either fed by an overhead power line or have an external Lightning Protection System (LPS) will need a Type 1+2+3 device, otherwise a Type 2 device is sufficient. If you are working on a sub distribution board that doesn’t feed any external circuits, the device you will need is a Type 2, which will protect against any transient over-voltages.

If you were looking at protecting a whole commercial or industrial installation, rather than just the board you are working on, firstly a device will need to be installed on the main incomer, then any sub distribution boards more than 10 meters away will need their own protection. Unfortunately, surge protection has a limited range of protection, which is limited after a 10 meter radius, and as surges are most often caused inside the electrical installation rather than transmitted from the main incomer, it is important to ensure that the devices are installed as close to the equipment you wish to protect as possible.

If you want to discuss this any further please call our specialist surge team on 01484 851 747.

Lightning Protection in Domestic installations…

Lightning Protection in Domestic installations…

Following on from my post last week about surge protection in domestic installations today I want to talk to you about lightning protection in domestic installations.

Lightning Protection only needs to be installed on a domestic installation when the property is directly fed by over head power lines, or has an external lightning protection system (LPS) on the property.

Having an external LPS on a domestic property is rare, because the LPS system is designed to protect the physical building in a lightning storm. Most domestic properties are deemed not at risk from direct lightning strikes. The LPS is usually cross-bonded to the main incoming panel, so generally when an LPS is struck by lightning, 50% of the energy goes to earth through the earth rods, then 50% of the energy comes into the building via the cross-bond. Please see the photo below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the same principle with overhead power lines, except as the L&N supply come directly in to your incomer, if the overhead line is stuck by lightning the whole lightning impulse is then transferred through to the domestic electrical system.

This is why you need to install a combined lightning and surge device (Type 1+2+3) on the main panel where the LPS system is cross-bonded to, or where overhead power lines are connected to the internal electrical system.

If there are any consumer units more than 10-15 metres away from the main incoming panel then a surge device (Type 2) will need to be installed. This surge device will be taking care of all the surges generated internally to the property.

Please note that a combined lightning and surge device (Type 1+2+3) will not only protect against direct lightning strikes but also internally generated surges too.

If you have any more questions please get in touch with our specialist surge team on 01484 851 747.

Why do we need to fit domestic surge arresters?

Surge protection has made it’s way into the Wiring Regulations over the past few years, which has left everybody questioning the need for surge protection devices, and quite rightly so.

 

Surges are temporary rises in over-voltage and can also be referred to as spikes. These spikes are happening all the time within a domestic environment, e.g. when lights are turned on, a washing machine / tumble dryer starts up and especially when the power goes off and comes back on again. Now, these short spikes in the voltage will run around the electrical system and degrade the components inside domestic appliances. This basically means that appliances are only lasting a fraction of their lifespan due to seeing surges.

 

We are not really experiencing any more surges than we did 30-40 years ago, the problem we are having in this day and age is our technology. TV’s in the 70’s / 80’s were huge, they had massive components inside them that could withstand surges, and ultimately they lasted a long time (I can remember my parents having the same TV for 20+ years). TV’s built today are so thin, and they enable you to do so much more than just simply watch TV. These features mean the technology inside these TV’s has to be so much more sophisticated and faster. Technology in itself though is becoming smaller and more sophisticated, and most electrical equipment nowadays has very delicate micro-processor’s inside. These micro processor’s are very sensitive, especially to over-voltages (surges). The surges prematurely degrade these components, which leads to device failure.

 

In a domestic situation, this means expensive equipment having to be replaced more often than is necessary.

 

A Typical TV from the 1980’s 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compared to a TV from 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TASK…

Add up the value of the electrical equipment in your house and you make your own mind up if it’s worth protecting it all for about £60.

 

Please be aware that the SY2-D is a Surge Protection Device, not a Lightning Device. This means it will not protect your electrical equipment against direct Lightning strikes. You only need to install a combined Lightning & Surge Device if the domestic property is fed directly by overhead power lines, or it has an external lightning protection system on the building (copper tape and earth rods). To read more about Lightning Protection in Domestic installations please look out for our next article, which will be released next week.

 

To view the technical specifications or purchase the SY2-D please follow this link: https://www.surgedevices.co.uk/product/sy2-d-type-23-universal-pluggable-surge-arrester-2-pole-spn/

How to choose an SPD

Due to the changes in the 18th edition there has been the sudden appearance of many surge protection experts, so as a company with over 50 years of experience in the surge protection industry, the technical team at Surge Protection Devices Ltd would like to give you some pointers on how to choose an Surge Protection Device (SPD) for your installation.

Types of Protection

When discussing different types of surge protection, there are three main types:

Type What it does Where to use it
Type 1 Protection against direct  Lightning strikes At the mains incomer of any electrical installation where external Lightning Protection is installed, or is fed by overhead lines.
Type 2 Surge Protection At the mains incomer of any building that doesn’t need any lightning protection, and for use on any sub boards more than 10-15 meters from the main panel.
Type 3 End equipment protection On any piece of equipment where a low let through voltage is needed.

The types of surge protection are combined in most units, giving you two main types. Lightning Protection or Surge Protection.

What are we protecting against?

For the majority of installations we are protecting against surges. A surge is a voltage spike, these are very short elevations in the voltage supplying electrical equipment. Surges can be caused by quite a few different factors, such as switching events. In a domestic property this could mean switching on your washing machine, or commercially, all of the computers in an office being turned on at the same time when staff arrive for work, and industrially, generators or machinery that uses a high level of power when turning on. Nearby lightning strikes can also cause surges in the system as lightning can travel a long distance underground interfering with electrical equipment up to 2 miles away. So in most cases we are looking at a type 2 on the main incomer and type 2 on any subsequent sub boards.

What about lightning?

The only time that a direct lightning strike becomes a consideration is if the         building has either an external lightning protection system, or if the building is fed directly by over head power lines. In these two considerations both will cause a lighting strike to be transmitted directly on to the incoming panel of an installation. In these cases we would be looking at a type 1 device on the main incomer and type 2 on any subsequent sub boards.

How surge protection works

When a surge is detected by an SPD, the excess voltage is diverted to earth. The device then resets itself and is ready for the next surge. This whole process takes place in about 25 nano-seconds, so is extremely fast. The supply to the rest of the installation is never disrupted, as its only the over voltage which will be diverted to earth.

How to choose a device

Ok, so now we know what type of surge protection we need, now we need to consider which device. The most important things to consider are:

Is the device suitable for your earthing arrangement?
This is one of the most common issues with SPD installation. The most important consideration is for TT systems, where the device needs to be suitable. Surge Protection Devices LTD provide Devices suitable for every earthing arrangement, and are happy to assist in choosing the correct device for your installation

Is the device protecting both the live & neutral poles?
There are a few devices on the market with may seem inexpensive compared to other devices, but if the device is not protecting both live & neutral, surges may enter your property and bypass the SPD.

What warranty does the manufacturer provide?
This is generally a key indicator of the quality of the components used in the SPD. Surge Protection Devices LTD provide a 10 year warranty with all of our products

Do you feel confident that the manufacturer could assist with any technical information you may need?
With surge protection, you may require some additional information to complete your installation. You will need to have confidence in the manufacturer of the SPD to ensure they can help assist you. Surge Protection Devices LTD are the leading manufacturers of surge protection devices, we have been supporting customers in the U.K. market for many years. We work with leading training organisations to hold seminars around the country to expand the knowledge of surge protection and we also sit on the JPEL panel to aid in the production of the latest regulations.

Is the device from a trusted source?
Are you buying from a reputable wholesaler or distributor? Surge Protection Devices LTD have national accounts with all of the major Wholesalers in the UK, and we also work with many Independent Wholesalers to ensure you are provided with the correct information when you purchase your device.

For more information on any of the devices or would like to discuss your installation further, please give us a call in the office on 01484 851747, or visit our website www.surgedevices.co.uk

Lightning Strikes at a US whiskey warehouse and destroys nine million litres of whiskey

http://www.hazardexonthenet.net/article/171763/Lightning-strike-at-US-whiskey-warehouse-destroys-nine-million-litres.aspx?utm_campaign=NL190710&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&emailaddress={~email~}#JimBeam

Which Device Do I Need?

Here at SPD Ltd we like to make things as simple as possible, so have made a flow diagram that will guide you through a couple of key questions to determine which device you need. This is an excellent reference tool that you can take on site with you so it’s to hand when you need it.