Protecting Against Surges with Mersen

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.


Are You Compliant with New Wiring Devices Standards?

No matter the industry, you cannot be too safe when it comes to electrical wiring. The National Electric Code (NEC) is regularly updated to stay at the forefront of safety. Any hazards must be evaluated and have preventative control implemented. This includes identifying threats, creating a plan and training employees on following through. Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems offers a variety of key products, rated for the new NEC standards.

Advantage™ Series Switch-Rated Pin & Sleeve Devices

 Advantage™ Series Pin & Sleeve Switch-Rated Devices meets NEC Requirements for both motor and branch disconnecting. Available in both 30 and 60 amp, the series can be used with existing IEC Pin & Sleeves, which makes it flexible and provides cost savings. There’s no doubt when you’ve made a successful connection, because when the shuttle is locked into place, LEDs illuminate.

Most importantly, Hubbell’s Advantage™ Series is designed to be clean and safe. The products can withstand extremely hot temperatures, and being sprayed at high pressures from various angles. The devices are designed for superior water ingress protection and can withstand the toughest environments.

Watertight Devices

Hubbell’s line of Watertight Devices include plugs, connectors, and receptacles; FD boxes and angled adapters; portable outlet boxes and covers; straight blade devices; Twist-Lock® devices; duplex receptacles; and spare parts.

These devices are ideal for harsh, wet conditions including water treatment plants, food/beverage processing, agriculture, outdoor entertainment and factories.

XClamp Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

The most recent NEC changes were in relation to electrical receptacles.  Tamper-resistant receptacles reduce the risk of injury by preventing foreign objects from making electrical contact. Hubbell’s line of XClamp Tamper-Resistant Receptacles are ideal for use in residential, hospitals, childcare centers, hospitality guestrooms and increasingly in schools, waiting rooms and retail.

According to NEMA, over a 10-year analysis in the U.S., more than 24,000 children under the age of 10 were treated in emergency rooms for receptacle-related incidents. Hubbell’s X-Clamp meets the NEC to help make receptacles safer. In new branch circuits NEC will allow AFCI receptacles as alternate to AFCI breaker. Dorms now also require AFCIs.

If you’re interested in learning more about these or other Hubbell Wiring Device-Kellems products,  contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.  You can visit our website to purchase or check current stock and pricing on Hubbell products.


2017 National Electrical Code®: Changes in Overcurrent & Surge Protection

Mersen recently released a guide to understanding its changes in overcurrent and surge protection in the 2017 National Electrical Code®. These changes are to increase worker safety and help prevent arc flashes.

Arc flashes are the result of a massive release of energy due to an arcing fault between two phase bus bars, neutral or a ground.  This energy discharge burns the bus bars, vaporizing the copper and thus causing an explosion, which destroys everything in its vicinity and creates deadly shrapnel as it dissipates. Short-circuit current ratings (SCCR) indicate what fault current a system can handle without unacceptable damage in the case of a fault. Proper documentation is essential to ensure the available short-circuit current does not exceed the SCCR and that suitable precautions are in place.

We offer Mersen safety solutions to help you comply with the updated code and increase your workplace safety. Mersen’s guide covers nine key changes to the 2017 National Electrical Code®:

  1. Arc energy reduction

    Any fuses rated 1200 A or higher must have their location documented and available. The fuses must also have a method to reduce clearing time if their clearing time is not already 0.07 seconds or less.

  1. Field marking of available fault current

    Industrial control panels, industrial machinery and motor controllers of multimotor and combination-load equipment must have the date the current short-circuit calculation was performed and available short-circuit current rating (SCCR) documented.  If the available short-circuit current exceeds its short-circuit current rating, they shall not be installed. Elevators must also have the maximum short-circuit current clearly marked.

  1. Branch circuit and ground fault protection for single motor power conversion equipment

    Semiconductor fuses and instantaneous trip circuit breakers must now be installed as a single unit if instantaneous trip circuit breakers are permitted.

  1. Short-circuit current rating for elevator control panels

    Elevator control panels must be marked with their SCCR. If the available short circuit current exceeds its short-circuit rating, elevator control panels shall not be installed.

  1. Surge protection for emergency elevator, dumbwaiter, escalator, moving walk, platform lift, or stairway chairlift

    Surge protection shall be provided if the elevator has been designated as supplying an emergency system load.

  1. Surge protection for critical operations data systems

    A cascading protection scheme should be used throughout the entire operations data system.

  1. Surge protection for industrial machinery

    Industrial machinery with safety interlocks are required to have surge protection.

  1. Surge protection for fire pump controllers

    Surge protection was required previously for emergency systems at distribution level, but are now also required in or on the fire pump controller.

  1. Short-circuit current rating documentation and field marking

    Transfer switches can often have several different SCCR, so the rating based on the protective device and settings shall be externally marked.

Want to learn more about the changes in the 2017 National Electrical Code® or how best to implement them in your workplace? Contact your French Gerleman Account Manager or e-mail info@frenchgerleman.com to learn about Mersen safety solutions.


Hazardous Locations: NEC 2017 Code Updates

A hazardous location exists when a manufacturing, storage or handling process provides a fuel, consisting of a flammable gas vapors, combustible dust or combustible fibers are or may be present in the air in sufficient quantities to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures.

Appleton recently released their National Electrical Code® Review. The Appleton experts have reviewed the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC) and have developed a guide to reflect the code changes that keep you, and your employees, safe. You can download the guide from the Emerson website HERE.

Appleton has products that address these new requirements.

Appleton offers a variety of options in cable connectors and cable glands. The TMC2/TMC2X are suited for NEC cables MC and MC-HL. Both feature true 360 degree grounding and a compact design and are NEMA 4X/IP66 rated.  The TMC2 can be used in Class I Div 2, Class II and Class III. TMC2X features quick sealing liquid resin (cures in <30 minutes) and its design permits disassembly.  TMC2X is rated for use in Class I, II and III environments.

TC Tray Cable Glands are for indoor and outdoor use tray cables as well as extra hard usage cord in ordinary, wet or hazardous locations. They are Class I Div 2, Class II Div 2 and Class III Div 2 compliant. They feature a displacement seal that allows for a tight seal on cable inner bedding, as well as a removable insert in each gland that allows for fitting to terminate the widest range of cables available in a single hub size.

Appleton offers a variety of lighting options for hazardous locations.  Since fixtures produce heat, they must be selected with an appropriate “T” rating for the specific classified location.  Appleton Mercmaster LED, CodeMaster LED and Areamaster LED fixtures offer a variety of lighting options for area or flood lighting.  Download the Appleton Lighting Catalog for detailed product information.

Interested in learning more about the new NEC requirements and Appleton products for hazardous locations, download Appleton’s NEC® 2017 Code Review or give your French Gerleman Account Manager a call for a copy today!