Overvoltage protection – can you handle it?
We all want to protect our valuable equipment against dangerous and damaging overvoltage situations. This happens more often than you might think. Even with the best planning, mistakes happen, and you are never really in full control of the situation. A bad cable, a loose connection, someone accidentally disconnecting the neutral wire – BOOM!
To protect against this, many power distribution units are fitted with ‘voltage monitoring relays’. These are clever little devices were created to protect electric motors in industrial applications.
An effective solution – or not?
However, these relays are almost always too slow to protect the sensitive equipment used in the event industry. They are fine for electric motors but the switch-mode power supplies used in LED video displays and lights are much more sensitive to over-voltages. When these relays finally cuts the power, the damage is often already done. Too little, too late.
To be fair, it’s not an easy task. Over-voltages can occur within a fraction of a second and modern electronic products are not designed to cope with even very short overvoltage events. And to make things even worse, most manufacturers of lights, video screens, audio equipment, etc. have removed even basic overvoltage protection in their products to save costs.
Stagesmarts to the rescue!
But we were determined to solve this all too common with often disastrous consequences. And we did – all StageSmarts distros supplied since our launch in early 2017 are fitted with our unique and in-house developed loss of neutral protection sensor which cuts the power faster than any off-the-shelf relay.
And yes, it really works.
Written by Mats Karlsson, CEO of StageSmarts AB