Surge Protection Is Not Power Conditioning
Integrators must move beyond rack-level and device-level surge suppression to renewable, whole-house power conditioning systems with UPS that are fully integrated into control solutions.
In the past, articles have been written comparing whole house surge protection, generally provided by utilities, to device-level surge protection. It was generally agreed that device level was a better choice, because most surges are caused from equipment within the house.
Today, power quality has become increasingly important to the enjoyment, performance and longevity of the equipment integrators install. As consumers add more microprocessors to each home, power quality is diminishing. Microprocessors are sensitive to power fluctuations.
The more microprocessors, the more catastrophic the consequences created by poor and unreliable power. This ultimately affects the enjoyment that your clients receive from their equipment. And your customer doesn’t call the local utility if there’s an issue, they call you, the integrator.
It will become increasingly more imperative to include power conditioning and battery back up in equipment in every system you install. Depending on the complexity, size and sophistication of the system, you will have to determine whether to install the equipment at the device level, the rack level or the electrical panel level.
You will also have to decide on the quality and ruggedness of the power quality equipment installed. The more “mission critical” the system, the more robust the power conditioning equipment should be.
'True' Power Conditioning Goes Beyond In-House
Power conditioning is much more than surge protection. Simply put, true power conditioning means eliminating surges, sags, micro interruptions, outages, providing protection from natures furies (such as lightning), and low distortion.
Until recently, there has not been a single device that can prevent or improve all the elements that make up power conditioning. Integrators have been limited to installing a variety of single purpose devices at the rack level, such as surge suppressers, power conditioners, and UPS.
The problem is that none of these devices can do everything and withstand long-term outages. “In-house” generated surges and sags require a substantial amount of battery backup that will not fit within a rack.
Integrators need a single device that incorporates:
- Complete ultra-low distortion power quality
- Zero transfer time UPS
- Large scale battery back-up
- Renewable integration
- Built to industrial “mission critical” specifications
- At the panel level.
As an example, RoseWater Energy Group's HUB SB20 uses a dual-inverter system with solar input that blends power conditioning (clean power to those microprocessors), battery backup (for catastrophic outages), a zero-transfer time UPS and renewable energy management in one pre-assembled, configured and integrated platform.
In other words, the system transforms an existing electrical system into a self-sustaining microgrid. Pure 120V power, 60 cycles. Always pure energy whether it’s coming from the utilities, a generator or solar.
It is our belief that our devices, and others like it, are the only viable solution to the power issues that will become more frequent and endanger the enjoyment of the systems we install and the longevity of the equipment that make up those systems.
Joe Piccirilli is managing director and CEO of RoseWater Energy Group.
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