Wherever you live, power outages can be a major disruption. In fact according to one report in the US alone, around $164 billion dollars of business are lost each year due to power surges or failures. Although this sounds like a massive amount of money, just think about multi-national companies with huge turnovers. How much would they stand to loose with a power outage of say 1 hour? It probably doesn’t bear thinking about.
While you might protect your home/office from floods or violent storms you might not be aware of the number of power disturbances that can equally threaten home/office electronics. In order to put you in the picture, I’m going to touch on just six of them.
Transient power disruptions
These fall into two categories and known as ‘Oscillatory’ and ‘Impulsive‘ transients. Potentially these are considered among the most damaging of all power disruptions, yet impulsive transients are also among the most common. Triggered by a sudden event or cause that lowers or raises the current, they’re often caused by poor earthing, utility fault clearing or excessive power. It can result in physical damage to many types of electrical equipment including computers. Oscillatory transients as the name suggests are caused as the power rises and fall in quick succession. This often occurs when a large motor such as a generator or capacitor is turned off. This has the ability to trip fuses and computerised equipment such as speed drives.
Power loss by interruption
An interruption is usually caused by the complete loss of voltage or current for a short period of time. This can be anything from 2 seconds to over 2 minutes. While this might not be such an problem in the home, it has the ability to easily corrupt computer data in a business setting.
Under-voltage or sag
When a power source needing a lot of initial current is turned on it can cause the voltage to sag or drop. This can last for anything up to one minute. If you imagine a drop in water pressure when several taps are run at once, an under-voltage or power sag is exactly the same thing. Problems can include the loss of access to the internet or any other form of computer based communication systems.
Over-voltage or swell
The opposite of the above, an over-voltage or swell usually occurs when there’s a sudden reduction in a large or heavy power load, or alternatively a single-phase fault on a three-phase system. This causes the voltage to swell over and above the normal current. Lasting up to one minute, the sustained influx of high current can cause equipment to overheat and to shut down.
Fluctuations in Voltage
A series of small random changes in the electrical current are known as voltage fluctuations. It’s caused by any load that suffers from significant current variations. A good way to know if you suffer from voltage fluctuations is when you experience flickering lamps or lighting. Although not as potentially damaging as some of the other power surges or deficiencies, voltage fluctuations can still cause widespread disruption to IT equipment and might also be a warning sign that you have wiring issues.
In essence this is any type of surge or dip that upsets the natural wave pattern of current. To complicate matters slightly there are five types of wave form distortion. These include harmonic distortion, notching, noise, inter-harmonics, and direct current (DC) offset. Similarly to above, waveform distortions can also cause electronic equipment to turn off, go into safe mode and temporarily shut down.
The good news is that there are actions that you can take in order to protect your electronic equipment from any of the above. By contacting Static Electrics we can do an electrical evaluation on your house for total peace-of-mind. Why not talk to us on 0429 139 039 and book yours today.