Electrical protection terminology in the 21st century has many names. Lightning Arrester (LA), Surge Protector Device (SPD), Surge Arrester, Surge Suppressor, and Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor (TVSS) are the most common names used.
However, we can break down all of these names into two (2) groups.
Group 1 is Lightning Arrester/Arrestor (LA) which protects electrical transmission and telecommunications cables and insulation from lightning or a switching surge.
Group 2 is everything else. UL has defined this ground as surge protection devices (SPD’s). Most of the time they are only called SPD’s. An SPD protects the equipment from lightning and power surges.
Types of Lightning Arresters
Classes of Lightning Arresters
Equipment that needs Surge Protection Devices (SPD’s).
From the information above it is plain to see that electrical protection devices require a lot of thought and studying before any purchase.
Most electricians, facility managers, and electrical supply houses have very limited knowledge about electrical protection. Each electrical protection device should be sized for the required electrical device and the desired voltage and surge protection levels needed to protect that piece of equipment from lightning or a power surge.
If a facility manager does not know what properly sized electrical protection devices are needed and wants to protect the electrical equipment in the building from lightning strikes and power surges a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in electrical protection needs to be involved. SPD’s come in many different protection levels and price points.