Here you will find an overview of important standards and specifications for surge protection.
Classification of surge arresters
Surge protective devices are items of equipment whose key components are varistors, suppressor diodes and/or spark gaps. Surge protective devices are used to protect other electrical equipment and electrical systems against impermissibly high surge voltages and to create equipotential bonding.
Surge protective devices are grouped according to their application and protective function:
- Surge protective devices for use in low-voltage systems with a nominal voltage of up to 1000 V. The national installation specifications for low-voltage systems must be observed for product selection and installation, such as IEC 60634-5-53 Part 534 and VDE 0100 Part 534. The product standard is EN (IEC) 61643-11. According to this standard the devices are split into 3 arrester categories:
Type 1: Lightning arresters for the effects caused by direct or close-up strikes designed to protect the installation and equipment at the interfaces between lightning protection zones LPZ 0 and 1 (incoming supply). Type 1 arresters are always recommended if the building has an external lightning protection system.
Type 2: Surge arresters for the effects caused by remote strikes, inductive or capacitive coupling, and switching surge voltages designed to protect the installation, equipment, and termination devices at the interfaces between lightning protection zones LPZ 1 and 2 (main distribution and sub-distribution).
Type 3: Additional surge arresters designed to protect particularly sensitive termination devices in lightning protection zone 1 or 2, in order to further reduce the voltage level. These may include devices for permanent installation in distributions or portable protective devices in the socket area directly before the termination device that is to be protected.
General information can be found in the IEC 61643-12 Application Guide. The four parts of EN (IEC) 62305-…/VDE 0185-305-… cover the basics of lightning protection, the lightning protection zone concept, and risk analysis.
- Surge protective devices for use in AC voltage networks with a nominal voltage of up to 200 kV. The product standard is EN (IEC) 60099 Parts 1 - 5. Applications primarily in medium and high-voltage systems. Part 5 describes the rules for product selection.
- Surge protective devices for use in telecommunications and signaling networks designed to protect against the indirect and direct effects of lightning strikes and other transient surge voltages. These also include low-voltage data systems, measurement and control circuits, and voice transmission networks with nominal voltages up to 1000 V AC and 1500 V DC.
The product standard is EN 61643-21 VDE 0845 Part 3-1. According to this standard the devices are split into categories A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, and D1, D2 in order to define the test requirements and performance classes. A protective device can be marked and tested for various categories and performances classes.
General information can be found in the IEC (TS) 61643-22 Application Guide. Parts of VDE 0800… and VDE 0845… provide additional information. In some countries, in particular the USA, Norway, and France, additional national specifications must be observed. France is currently very progressive in the field of photovoltaics.
General standards for lightning protection, installation specifications, and product selection of surge protective devices
The various standards explain the requirements for installation and safety as well as the use of products in various applications in detail. The main individual topic areas are listed below. Click on the links to view the names of the corresponding international standards.
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