EM offers latest surge-protection technology to cope with grid instability


The instability in the electricity grid due to ongoing load-shedding is increasing the possibility of overvoltage events. CPT Cirprotec, an industry leader and pioneer in lightning and overvoltage protection devices for the past 25 years, is distributed locally by ElectroMechanica (EM).

Having an effective surge-protection device installed is crucial. Most people associate surge protection with lightning protection. While the latter is important, especially if you live in an area where this is needed, it is not the only form of surge that can damage equipment.

Overvoltage events are now much more common, warns EM Product Manager Christo van Rensburg. This not only damages equipment, but reduces the lifespan of infrastructure and incurs costly downtime for repairs.

CPT Cirprotec’s class-leading lightning and surge-protection devices are at the forefront of innovation and design. Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, the company has invested in two purpose-built surge-protection test laboratories, and has conducted over 30 000 tests to date.

It also employs a team of electrical engineers, is represented on key international standard committees, and invests significantly in research and development, all of which translate into world-class products and solutions. This enables CPT Cirprotec to offer a product range complying with IEC, UL, and NFC standards.

CPT Cirprotec solutions are available from EM for a range of industries, from transportation to energy, water treatment, commercial buildings, data centres, and industrial and residential installations. The brand is a key component of EM’s low-voltage product offering.

Products include modular plug-in Type 2 and combined Type 1 and 2 surge-protection devices. With the increasing demand in photovoltaic (PV) installations, EM also offers a PV (DC voltage) surge-protection range from CPT Cirprotec.

Latest developments available from EM include the SAFEGROUND® range. This is thought to be the first protection device on the market that, in addition to indicating it is properly wired, guarantees an adequate path to ground, which is essential if the protection device is to shunt the energy peaks to ground effectively.

In addition, the unit can also indicate, depending on the colour and flashing sequence, whether the installation is permanent undervoltage (<195 V), permanent overvoltage (>275 V), or high potential neutral ground.

“Nobody knows what percentage of surge-protection devices are properly installed to provide effective protection,” van Rensburg cautions. Here SAFEGROUND® stands to play a vital role, especially as it is based on the impedance loop technology already patented, sold, and implemented by CPT Cirprotec in thousands of protection solutions.

It is a known fact that electronic equipment is more sensitive to overvoltage (Ue = 1.5 kV). Due to this, it is highly recommended that surge-protection devices are installed in these type of applications.

It is also recommended that surge-protection devices are protected against any short circuits by DF fuses or Hager circuit breakers. “This ensures that, as a complete solutions provider, we can cater for all of our customers’ requirements,” van Rensburg concludes.


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