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Joules and Surge Protection

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Old 04-15-2006, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Joules and Surge Protection

What role does the Joule play in surge protection. I assume higher is better. I've seen some rated at 2700, 2200 ,3500 etc. How important is this and what does it mean?
Thanks in advance,
Rich
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdrichtv
What role does the Joule play in surge protection. I assume higher is better. I've seen some rated at 2700, 2200 ,3500 etc.
If you dropped your 100# plasma off the stand - it would hit the floor with about 3500 joules of energy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joules - similar in energy to a large 4th of July fireworks whoomph!! (1kg flying up to about 35 meters)
-or - 0ne joule is -
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the energy required to lift a small apple (102 g) one metre against Earth's gravity
the amount of energy, as heat, that a quiet person produces every hundredth of a second.
the energy required to lift a small apple 10 centimetres (1/10 metre) by converting the heat that the quiet person produced, on a hundredth of second, in work, with 10% efficiency.
1/100th of the energy a person can get by drinking a single droplet of beer.
50,000 joules in a pint of Guiness
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Last edited by maicaw; 04-15-2006 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdrichtv
What role does the Joule play in surge protection. I assume higher is better. I've seen some rated at 2700, 2200 ,3500 etc. How important is this and what does it mean?
Thanks in advance,
Rich
You need to divide the rating by the number of outlets being supplied.
Then you will know the joule rating at each point. Generally it speaks to the amount of energy a protective device (such as an MOV, that is commonly used) can resist effectively.
Joule rating alone is not a reliable indicator. The better brands of suppressors, line-conditioners, etc offer sufficient protection for most any condition outside of a direct lightening strike.
Clamping voltage (you want 'lower') is more relevant. Generally, the better units will not allow more than 330V before directing the surge to ground.
More sophisticated units will open the circuit in the presence of too high OR too low voltage excursions. Or some will actually asborb large surges with a special circuit and have little effect on the device being protected.
A UPS can switch to a battery powered inverter very quickly in the presence of line voltages that vary beyond preset parameters.
Signal conditioners and even isolation transformers can be effective against various anomalies.
There are many means of protection. Budget and type of equipment being protected are all factors to consider, along with your own environment.

Here is a fairly good breakdown of surge protection. (no pun intended) from an insurance perspective, but maybe that's not such a bad way to look at things.

http://www.statefarm.com/consumer/vh...s/surgprot.htm
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by daleb
You need to divide the rating by the number of outlets being supplied.Then you will know the joule rating at each point.
If the MOVs, "carbon/heat-coil" arrestor, etc or whatever surge protective device is monitoring and protecting the circuit ahead of the distribution (outlets) - won't it respond and absorb the energy without regard to the number of outlets (components) downstream - here's an article with some pictures of the innards of common consumer devices. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/su....htm/printable
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:44 PM   #5
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Default Surge Protectors and the Joule cont.....

To macaiw--Thanks for the physics lesson, but we're talking about Joule ratings and what it means in relation to HDTV surge protection. Context, context....

Last edited by hdrichtv; 04-15-2006 at 08:46 PM. Reason: additional comment
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by hdrichtv
To macaiw--Thanks for the physics lesson,.... Context, context....
the context is --
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No surge protector is 100 percent effective, and even top of the line equipment may have some serious problems. Electronics experts are actually somewhat divided over the best way to deal with power surges, and different manufacturers claim other technologies are inherently faulty. .... Surprisingly, surge protectors are an extremely controversial piece of technology, and they have sparked a great deal of debate on the Web.
- Research research, research or as the academics like to say --RTFM -- if you really want to learn about surge protection

Last edited by maicaw; 04-15-2006 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maicaw
If the MOVs, "carbon/heat-coil" arrestor, etc or whatever surge protective device is monitoring and protecting the circuit ahead of the distribution (outlets) - won't it respond and absorb the energy without regard to the number of outlets (components) downstream - here's an article with some pictures of the innards of common consumer devices. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/su....htm/printable
A mistatement on my part. While technically the number of joules advertised is supposed to represent what is available at EACH outlet (ie; the same), many earlier devices (and cheaply made) would multiply the number of outlets by the joule rating, giving an impression of more protection than what is actually available. Deceptive advertising, but it was a common practice. In those instances, we WOULD divide the joule rating by the number of outlets to get the true rating.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by maicaw
the context is --- Research research, research or as the academics like to say --RTFM -- if you really want to learn about surge protection
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:01 PM   #9
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