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Panelboard Techniques
Transient Voltage Surge Suppression What is a TVSS unit? A TVSS unit is a device that attenuates (reduces in magnitude) random, high energy, short duration electrical power overvoltage caused by utilities, atmospheric phenomena (lightning), or inductive loads, such as inductive motors, which draw more current initially. These high-energy power spikes can damage sensitive electronic equipment, such as computers, instrumentation, and process controllers.

How do Surge Suppressors work? Surge Suppressors are designed to divert high-energy power away from a load by providing a lower impedance path to common point earth ground. Surge suppressors used most often for panelboard protection have metal oxide varistors (MOVs) connected in parallel. . METAL OXIDE VARISTORS are designed to protect various types of electronic devices and semiconductor elements from switching and induced lightning surges. They conduct transient currents away from the load to protect equipment.

Causes of Transients? Lightning or utility power factor correction grid switching causes externally generated transients. Inductive loads cycling on and off primarily cause internally generated transients. The most dramatic cause of transients is lightning, and it still remains the least understood. Below is a map showing where most thunderstorms occur in the U.S., which is directly related to the likelihood of lightning strikes.

What does this mean to YOU? Depending on where your customer is located, he or she should be given the above information. Useful in selling our TVSS products. It is also helpful to describe the following:
You may find the old saying "pay me now or pay me later" often holds true. You can spend money on the prevention of a strike, or pay to rebuild the equipment later. However, there's one important change to remember today. You must consider the cost of business "downtime" while replacing damaged equipment after a lightning strike. Typically, this downtime is higher than the cost of the damaged equipment. Therefore, strike prevention is increasingly becoming the protection method of choice.

Since internal TVSS units are placed in the bottom of the lighting panel and attached directly to the bus, it is not possible to have a sub-feed breaker or feed thru/sub-feed lugs in the panel along with a TVSS unit. Not enough space. Both options are available in a power panel where there is sufficient amount of space. Externally mounted TVSS is available. This unit would be close nippled and fed from a circuit breaker in the panel. TVSS units are available for the following panels: P1 120kA, 160kA, and 240kA SE 100-600A - 160kA, 240kA S4/S5/F1/F2 - 160kA, 240kA