How to Control High Voltage Spikes

Posted October 2, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

Hi, my name is Andy Lewis with Innovative IDM. A lot of the times when I'm out in the industrial sector, I find a lot of my customers have problems with transients aka surges, sags, or swells. Generally, what occurs here is due to your utility company who provides a power factor correction.

Now this can be done in a variety of ways. Switching due to time, temperature, or it could be fixed based upon certain times of the day or temperature once again. Whenever this occurs, this actually sends a spike throughout your electrical circuit through your service entrance down to your intermediary bus duct and right into your machines.

What does this cause? Parameter failure and/or loss, PLC reset, and down time due to machines having to be restarted. This causes a lot of problems for production, lots of money, lots of time, and headache.

There's a couple of ways you can fix it actually. At the service entrance, you can actually use a MOV and selenium stack transient suppression unit. What this does is the MOV's will take on the instantaneous voltage spike, but it can't handle it for too long because they're self sacrificing.

What will happen then is there's a handshake from the MOV's (metal oxide varistors) to the selenium stack, which will handle the brute force of the transient. After that, you could actually have surge protection in an intermediary way at the bus duct, which will include once again the MOV's and the selenium stack, but once again not in as large of a size.

Finally, at point of use you could actually use MOV's to help protect the machine from anything that's come down stream already.

If you'd like more information on this please contact us at and remember Innovative IDM is the home of the legendary customer experience.

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