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Protecting Against Surges with Mersen

There are many electrical risks you have to protect against, one of the most concerning being voltage surges. These spikes in power can be extremely dangerous if you do not take the proper preventative steps. Mersen is devoted to providing companies the best in technology and putting safety first, which includes protecting against surges. They have a wide range of products, so it’s important you understand which are the best for you.

What is an electrical surge and where does it come from?

Electrical surges are extremely brief spikes or disturbances up to tens of thousands of volts. These can damage or destroy your electronic equipment. Surges can come from external sources, such as lightning or utility grid switching. However, most surges come from internal facility equipment:

  • Inductive loads stopping and starting
  • Lighting load panels turned on and off frequently
  • HVAC systems
  • Elevators
  • Welders

Why do you need surge protection?

Surge protection is required in the 2017 National Electric Code (NEC), but there are many reasons why you would want it regardless. Surges can damage or destroy your property, result in downtime, and cause safety issues. The cost of being unprotected is high, so it’s important to include power protection at the point of entry, as well as near your sensitive equipment.

To learn more about the Overcurrent and Surge Protection requirements in the 2017 NEC Code, click here to download Mersen’s Guide.

How to choose a device

It’s important to find a reliable surge protective device (SPD) to protect your equipment. Keep an eye out for the following terms when selecting the best SPD for you:

  • Maximum Continuous Operating VoltageMax RMS voltage that may be continuously applied to MOV
  • Nominal Discharge CurrentStress test to measure durability of a product
  • Voltage Protection RatingMeasurement of the limiting voltage (let-through or clamping voltage)
  • Maximum Discharge Current of Surge RatingMeasurement of longevity (not an official UL measurement)

As mentioned, surges can come from internal or external sources, and it’s important that a system is protected where the power enters, as well as near the sensitive equipment. These different types of protection serve different purposes, and it’s important you put the correct type in the correct location. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have three location categories which correspond to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) type designations.

  • Type 1/Category C is designed to protect areas with a high risk of lighting strike, like incoming power supply panels, outside overhead lines, and service entrances.
  • Type 2/Category B is designed to protect areas with a low risk of lightning strike, often downstream of Category C, such as feeders, short branch circuits, and indoor service panels.
  • Type 3/Category A is designed to protect sensitive equipment such as outlets/receptacles or long branch circuits, and is always installed downstream of Category B.

Mersen’s SPD Products

There are many ways to protect against surges, and Mersen has a multitude of surge protection, lighting protection and power monitoring products to fit your needs.

  • SPD ComponentsThese are board level components, such as Mersen’s TPMOV and VSP fuses, which include a disconnecting apparatus in the case of a surge event.
  • SPD NEMAThese can be panelmounted and wallmounted for either the whole-facility or point-of-use equipment, and includes their STX and STZ series.
  • SPD DIN-Rail and SPD In-LineThese can be installed within industrial control cabinets, VFDs, disconnect switches or other power equipment for distribution, control and signaling.

French Gerleman has a wide variety of Mersen fuses available for purchase online. If you are interested in learning more about any of these products, or what may be the best surge protection for you, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Workplace Safety Starts with First Aid

Category : FG News

First aid is crucial—especially in the workplace. It’s important to make sure you have the correct supplies stocked to comply with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards and keep your employees safe. The ANSI 2015 standards for first aid went into effect summer of 2016, updating minimum performance requirements.

First aid kits should be checked regularly to make sure they are fully stocked, but now “fully-stocked” levels may have changed. Reviewing the ANSI 2015 standards gives a good baseline of what you’ll need, but since every workplace is different, appropriate content may be supplemented to fit its needs.

French Gerleman, in partnership with First Aid Only, has a vendor managed inventory (VMI) program which we can regularly inspect and replenish your first aid kits, based on each workplace’s individual needs, while meeting ANSI standards.


First Aid Only has released an overview of the new ANSI standards, listing what is now required for first aid kits in the workplace. Items include:

  • Adhesive Bandages and Tape
  • Antiseptics
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Breathing Barriers
  • Burn Treatments
  • Cold Packs
  • Eye Coverings
  • Eye Wash
  • First Aid Guides
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Pair Exam Gloves
  • Roller Bandages
  • Scissors
  • Sterile Pads
  • Trauma Pads
  • Triangular Bandages

These components are required in varying sizes and amounts depending on whether your workplace requires a Class A or B kit. In fact, there are four types of kits, some of which are meant to be portable vs stationary, and their level of durability. First aid supplies are organized by color in unionized kits.

Deciding which type, class and quantity of kits are best for your workplace is important, and many different factors should be considered including the potential risks and number of employees. If you have questions or are interested in our First Aid VMI program, contact your local French Gerleman account manager or e-mail info@frenchgerleman.com.


Staying Ahead of the Electrical Trends and Standards

Last month, at our St. Louis branch, we offered customers the chance to learn about the latest trends and standards within the electrical industry at our Trends and Standards Update. Attendees gained knowledge on the latest innovative products that can help customers stay compliant with standards and the latest trends to help drive safety, technology and efficiency.

These high-level presentations offered cutting edge solutions to help customers stay ahead of the electrical trends and standards.  The seminar offered updates from Mersen, SolaHD, Thomas & Betts, Hubbell Wiring Device- Kellems and LUTZE.

These presentations covered the following:

Mersen covered SCCR codes and standards, including UL 508A standards. The UL 508A marking confirms that the industrial control panel has been certified by inspection. If the UL 508A’s construction requirements are followed, then a panel builder is eligible to have their panel listed by UL. Mersen also explained short circuit current rating (SSCR) and the importance of properly labeling panels for Arc Flash compliance.

SolaHD has updated its SDU Series DIN rail AC UPS. Their A Series still combines an industry leading compact design with a wide operation temperature range and unique installation options. The SDU provides protection from impulses and power interruptions that could be potentially damaging. This updated product also offers a new interchangeable optional “COMM Card” accessory, that allows communication between fieldbus protocols and industrial Ethernet. SolaHD has also introduced a new CF Relay Card option that has replaced the RELAYCARDSDU option.

Thomas & Betts has created an evolution of compression tools. Their Color-Keyed coding system allows high quality UL-compliant connections at a low installed cost. Thomas & Betts covered the basics on how to properly prepare cable, determine the proper connector, choose the correct tool/die and crimp inspection. They covered how the Thomas & Betts Blackburn Color-Keyed® compression connector system can make inspections and certified installations easier.

Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems recently released the first UL Listed pop-up receptacle for countertops. To protect against spills, the receptacle assembly is sealed with patent pending silicone gaskets to repel liquids in both the down and up positions. The countertop receptacle is UL Listed to 498 Section 146 to be water resistant to a half gallon of liquid spilled on the device.

Hubbell also recently introduced both their Advantage Pin & Sleeve product line to promote safety and provide line of site disconnect and their inSIGHT Circuit-Lock™ Disconnects with LED indicators to promote workplace safety and improve troubleshooting time.

Do you know how Codes and Standards affect your choice of cables? The evolving NFPA 79 standard as well as NEC and UL 508a all have requirements on cable approvals. LUTZE highlighted how multi-listed cables are versatile and can help reduce the number of cables needed for code compliance. Also discussed were the latest trends in codes, standards and the general cable industry.  The great news is that LUTZE’s cables are designed for harsh environments and carry multiple approvals for standard and code compliance.

Be sure to check out our website for information on upcoming events.  If you have questions or would like more information on products or concepts covered in this recent event, please contact your French Gerleman account manager or e-mail info@frenchgerleman.com.

 


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