What is Surge Protector : Working and Its Applications

Nowadays, complaints regarding the loss of electronics used in homes are increasing due to sudden voltage or burnt. So appliances will not work properly due to all of the sudden fluctuations within the input voltage. As the voltage rises suddenly to an extremely high value in a short span of time, then it is named as voltage surges. To overcome this problem, standard equipment is available namely surge protector. Generally, this device is connected near to a computer system. There are different designs of protectors available. They allow us to plug numerous gadgets or devices into a single power outlet. This is absolutely a helpful device.

What is a Surge Protector?

The surge protector definition is an electrical device that protects the computer system as well as various electronic devices from sudden voltages within electrical power otherwise transient voltage that supply from the power supply. In India, the limit of standard voltage used for home, office, or buildings is 230 volts. If the voltage is increased over this amount then it is considered as transient voltage. This voltage can harm all the electronic devices which are plugged into a channel. Although surges are so short, they are calculated in nanoseconds. These can cause huge harm to electronic devices.


Fortunately, a surge protector protects electronic devices from voltage surges. Even though, these devices always do not guard against the voltage surge because of lightning. They definitely guard the devices from the voltage surges which can be caused due to many reasons.

How Does Surge Protector Work?

A surge protector working principle is by directing the additional voltage into the grounding wire of outlets, avoiding it against supplying through the devices while at the equal time permitting the usual voltage for maintaining along its lane. The surges can harm the computer system through blazing its wires otherwise slowly over time wearing down the interior components of the equipment and also destroy any saved data. These protectors are also used for protecting cable as well as telephone lines because these also hold electric current.

These protectors are normally shields apparatus from lower voltage surges. These types of surges occur often in current electrical wiring. For instance, electronic devices like air conditioners & refrigerators require to use more energy to control motors, as well as compressors, forming surges within the power, which can disturb the stable flow of voltage.

Power surges can cause by defective wiring, faulty devices, and down power lines at the power source that can cause power surges too. Alternate names of surge protectors are surge suppressors, power strips & transient suppressors.


Surge Protector Circuit Diagram

The circuit diagram of a surge protector is shown below. This circuit helps in protecting the equipment from the damage which is caused by transient surge voltages like strikes of lightning & apparatus switching operations.

This circuit can be built with GDT (Gas Discharge Tube) which efficiently switches to a small impedance condition to redirect the energy away from the equipment whenever an over-voltage is noticed. This gas discharge tube includes insertion loss as well as low-capacitance by high accurateness spark above voltages and used for high accuracy designs.


The connection of this circuit can be done among the live & mains lead that usually doesn’t have a flow of current. But, when the voltage among the terminals is upper than the voltage rating amount of GDT & Varistor, then the flow of current will be there through the used components. The flowing current will never flow high than the fixed value otherwise the fuse will smash & this circuit will be sheltered. Once the flow of current is usual, the fuses retune and maintain its function.

This circuit is mainly designed for protecting responsive electronic devices from overload, short circuit, over-voltage transients in standard mains voltage. Two lamps like neon pilot are located to illustrate the condition of load supply as well as input. Varistor protects the circuit from overvoltages by including them into a circuit.

Whenever the circuit is activated, then they will force the flow of current which is formed through the overvoltage which is away from the responsive components. This circuit basically defends responsive components against over-voltage transients without controlling the normal operation of the device. This circuit is used in different applications like power lines, the safety of motor devices, and the telephone line.

Surge Protector Types

Surge protectors are classified into four types which include the following.

  • Service Entrance Type
  • Branch Surge Panels
  • Service Entrance Type
  • Surge Protection Modules

Power Strips

Generally, this kind of surge protectors is placed above the major service entry among the utility pole on the line side, wherever your electrical energy goes into your service panel.

This type of surge protector protects from an exterior power surge. Generally, this type of surges occurs through switching of utility capacitor bank otherwise lightning. This type of surge protector is not used for defense of your home. But these are rated for outside use & some protectors are designed with inbuilt alarm systems to give an alert once the life cycle of the device is ended & needs to be changed.

Branch Surge Panels

This kind of surge protectors is arranged on the load side to the entrance of the main service to guard the entrance of electrical service from motor-driven searches, lightning energy & other inside produced surges.

The main intention of this protector is to defend responsive electronics as well as different loads based on microprocessor through transient voltage limiting. These surge panels are used in different applications like commercial, residual and industrial.

Power Strips

These are secondary surge protectors. A power strip is used to plug into any electrical channel. These strips are available with numerous channels so that several electrical devices can connect into. If there is an electrical surge occurs then the power strip will cut the power. This is the most useful feature to protect the devices from damage.

Surge Protection Modules

This kind of protector provides a different type of summit to view the protection of surge than the power strips provide. These protectors offer defense for industrial applications like PLCs, automation of factory, motors drives which are obtainable in both configurations like DIN mounted and standard wall. These protectors also give wired within the protection of surge for devices used in commercial and industrial equipment cabinets. There are several types of surge protectors available in the market that can guard few devices in a home as well as commercial services in the whole electrical system.

Advantages & Disadvantages

The advantages of surge protectors include the following.

  • These devices guards’ electrical equipment from voltage spikes
  • It controls the voltage in your electrical equipment to keep the equipment at a safe level
  • These are affordable
  • Maintenance costs will be reduced
  • Repair costs and replacement will be reduced

The disadvantages of surge protectors include the following.

  • The surge protector for owl home is expensive
  • The cost of installation for owl home is also costly
  • Its usage is limited and strip surge protectors shouldn’t be utilized through with hard-wired machines such as a stove otherwise a dishwasher.

Applications / Uses

Surge protectors are used to guarding electronic equipment against surges. The equipment which is at risk includes the following.

  • Speakers
  • TV receiver
  • Computer systems
  • LCDs and Plasma TVs
  • Router
  • Phone System
  • Game consoles

Thus, this is all about the Surge protector. From the above information finally, we can conclude that by using these protectors, electronic appliances used in homes like refrigerators, laundry units, dishwashers will also be sheltered from harm. It provides expediency by opening up additional obtainable outlets to you; however, they can also conserve your money when you control the multiple devices by a flick of the knob only. Here is a question for you, what is the function of a surge protector?