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IEC 61000 series standards must be adopted and practised in India

November 25, 2023 12:06 pm

EPR (Electrical & Power Review) | EPR Magazine
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Innovations, smart grid integration and maintenance strategies are required for enhanced electrical infrastructure resilience.

This article explores innovations, integration into smart grids, maintenance strategies, and specialised solutions for optimal resilience. Anandu Gopan shares his views in a talk with EPR Magazine.

How can the Surge Protection Devices manufacturers catalyse uniform pricing of power and efficient resource use in the country? 

Low voltage surge protective devices (SPD) are relatively new components in electrical installation. As a result, installation challenges are often a bigger subject to discuss rather than pricing. Even in IEC, the performance standards on SPD are still being improved. This means there is further scope for improvement in the product to make it safer and more reliable. Most SPD’s installed violate the installation rules (such as connecting wire length), making them inefficient in protecting from surges. Hence, the manufacturers shall concentrate more on product and installation improvements rather than uniform pricing. 

What emerging technologies and materials are revolutionising surge protection devices, enhancing the protection of critical electrical infrastructure? 

There are two main emerging technologies in LV SPD to address product limitations and installation limitations. The first one is the Phase gas discharge tube (PGDT), which has a low follow current, unlike its predecessor, which had a high follow current; this leads to good device health and no nuisance tripping of protective devices. It also has low residual voltage, making it suitable for sensitive electronics. The second one is SPD with an integrated HRC fuse. These SPDs solve installation challenges, such as avoiding backup protection and reducing the connecting length. 

How can SPDs seamlessly integrate into smart grids and electrical infrastructure to provide real-time surge protection? 

It is commonly noted that in electrical infrastructure, priority to continuity of supply is mandatory. It is recommended to proceed with SPD with an integrated fuse so that continuous/frequent operation of the surge protective device will not create disturbance in the reliability of the power distribution system. Coordination LV SPD consisting of Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 is to be employed to achieve full protection of electrical infrastructure. SPD related to network line protection is also to be used to avoid network interruptions and damage to communication systems. 

What strategies and tools are available for effective maintenance and performance monitoring of SPDs, ensuring they remain effective over their lifespan? 

All new generation LV SPD has a life indication, generally green meaning working and red meaning replaced. Some advanced ones have a yellow stage, meaning they must be replaced after a few surges. Generally, in the yellow stage, the user is ready with the spare to replace as and when it turns red. Products such as ProSLS and ProSCT can also give a detailed condition of the SPD. The ProSLS is a leakage current monitoring device that can be used to determine the life of a high-energy MOV; the ProSCT is a portable SPD tester that can test the MOV, TVS, and GDT. 

What specialised surge protection solutions should be implemented to safeguard power infrastructure from electromagnetic pulse (EMP)-)-related disruptions?

IEC 61000 series standards must be adopted and practised in India. Methods as prescribed in the IEC 61000 series and advanced electromagnetic simulation software must be used to design critical buildings capable of withstanding EMP. EMP measures in all data centres, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure must be designed such that they utilise the building foundation and structural steel to provide for the best shielding effect, and electrical design should be as per the NEC of India 2023 along with what is recommended in the IEC 61000 series for radiated surges. Preferably, SPD’s used in critical installation shall be VDE/KEMA certified to ensure high quality.

Spokesperson:Anandu Gopan, Member of ETD 30-Surge Arresters Sectional Committee-Application Engineer- Cape Electric 

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