What is an electrical surge

In electrical terms, electrical surge also referred to as spikes are quick, short duration electrical transients in voltage, or transferred energy in an electrical circuit. These fast, short duration electrical surge / transients in the electric potential of a circuit are commonly caused by the following:

  • Lightning strikes
  • Power outages
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • Short circuits
  • Power transitions in other large equipment on the same power line
  • Malfunctions caused by the power company
  • Electromagnetic pulses (EMP).
  • Inductive spikes

Electrical surge protection devices can redirect this transitory current thereby minimizing voltage. However voltage spikes can also have more simple causes like as an error in a transformer or high-voltage lines plummeting to lower-voltage lines as a result of mishap or storm damage.

For sensitive electronics, overmuch current can flow if this voltage spike exceeds a material’s breakdown voltage, or if it causes avalanche breakdown.

Voltage spike, better known as an electrical surge, may be created by a quick build up or breakdown of a magnetic zone, which may bring around energy into the associated circuit. The effect of a voltage spike is to produce a corresponding gain in current. For example, a general mode voltage spike may not even be detected by a protector installed for average mode transients. Nevertheless some voltage spikes may be created by current sources. Voltage spikes may be longitudinal mode or metallic mode. Voltage would gain as needed so that a constant current will flow. A continuous voltage increase that lasts more than a minute is regarded an overvoltage.

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