Protecting Digitized Assets

Protecting Digitized Assets

This piece was originally published in the April 2018 issue of electroindustry.

Danny Abbate, Industry Director, Building Infrastructure Division, NEMA

Digitized devices and complex electronic circuits are vulnerable to circuit threats like surges (also called transients), electrostatic discharges, and power quality disturbances. They can damage, degrade, or destroy sensitive electronic equipment in data centers, businesses, and industrial centers, resulting in equipment damage, equipment downtime, lost revenues, and productivity losses due to downtime.

Surge protection is a cost-effective solution to prevent downtime, improve system and data reliability, and eliminate equipment damage due to transients and surges for both power and signal lines. It is suitable for any facility or load (1,000 volts and below). Typical applications within industrial, commercial, and residential include:

  • Power distribution, control cabinets, programmable logic controllers, electronic motor controllers, equipment monitoring, lighting circuits, metering, medical equipment, critical loads, backup power, UPS, HVAC equipment
  • Communication circuits, telephone and facsimile lines, cable TV feeds, security systems, alarm signaling circuits, entertainment center and stereo equipment, kitchen and household appliances

NEMA’s Surge Protection Institute offers guidance materials and practical resources designed for engineers, contractors, and inspectors at

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