Tag Archives: surge protection

Earthing, Lightning & Surge Protection Conference

WAPP is proud to be a sponsor at the upcoming Earthing, Lightning & Surge Protection conference in Perth on the 9th and 10th of April.

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The usual marketing line of, “Great line up of speakers” is often overused and misused. However, in this case, the last time Phil Jones (Principal Engineer, ERICO) presented recently at the Engineers Australia auditorium in Perth, it was to a pack audience who stayed back for more discussions long after the presentation ended.

Few topics generate as much controversy and debate as that of earthing and the associated topics of surge protection, shielding and lightning protection of electrical and electronic systems. Poor earthing practices can be the cause of continual and intermittent difficult-to-diagnose problems in a facility. This seminar will explore these issues from a fresh yet practical perspective to help delegates reduce expensive downtime in their plant and/or equipment by identifying the correct application of these principles. Based on reported fatalities on a long-term average basis, lightning is often considered the second most dangerous of all natural phenomena (the first being flash floods).

Lightning can cause extensive damage when it strikes buildings and facilities. Electrical systems are exposed frequently to lightning induced surges and the effects may be felt in locations that are several miles away from the actual point of strike. The aim of this seminar is to demystify the subject of earthing, lightning and surge protection and present the subject in a clear, straightforward manner. Earthing as a subject has been underrepresented over the years and this event will attempt to remedy the gaps in technical knowledge and improve practices in the industry.

Click here to download the e-brochure.

Register here as we hope to see you there.


ProtExpo 2018

This year’s event had a collective over 100 years of electrical engineering experience from the ERICO representatives. We had the privilege of having Phil Jones present on the new technological advances in ERICO’s surge protection devices. Phil is the Chairman of Standards Australia’s Surge Arrester Committee EL007-03 and is the Australian representative on the International IEC SC37A Surge Protection committee.

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Many of those who attended commented that they gained new knowledge of products and solutions which they will consider in implementing in their projects. At WAPP, we have at numerous times come across specifications of products that are not typically used in Australia which causes grief with availability and lead times, not to mention, increased costs to source them. By showcasing the right solutions for the right applications, hopefully this will help our clients select more cost-effective designs for their projects and jobs on site.

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The event was also an excellent opportunity for attendees to network, as among those in attendance were engineers working on some of the major projects in WA (e.g. FMG, Roy Hill, Forrestfield Airport Link) who represented a good range of industries.

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For those who missed out, or if anyone who attended would like more information regarding any particular area, please feel free to contact us.


ERICO’s new generation Surge Protection

Although lightning is the most critical external source of surge generation, there are other internal sources which may cause serious damage to the system. These include switching of power circuits, the operation of electrical equipment by neighbouring industries, the operation of power factor correction devices, and the switching and clearing of faults on transmission lines. All these may generate transient – a momentary variation in voltage impairing the system. It is estimated that 70 – 85% of all transients are generated internally. Fortunately, this can be prevented by implementing the patented Transient Discriminating (TD) technology embedded surge protection device that ERICO has developed.

Generally in the traditional technology, the surge protection device just disconnects safely during a temporary over-voltage event (such as lightning) and needs to be replaced immediately or else the surges can harm the system. However, with the TD technology, the patented Quick-Switch allows robust protection to limit the incoming transient and helps providing safe and reliable transient protection even after a temporary over-voltage condition has occurred. Unlike the traditional technology, the TD technology allows a continuous protection from multiple surges and also provides the surge protection device to have a much longer operational life. Though ERICO provides both options for traditional or TD technology, the latter is the better option.

With the modern industry being highly dependant on electronic equipment and automation to increase productivity and safety, using TD technology will be able to prevent these from disruptions and replacements, therefore preventing downtime of the system and maintenance work. It is recommended that the cost of protection should approximately be 10% of the cost of the facility’s economic risk.

There are different classes of surge protection devices, Class I, II and III. Class I protective devices are used at points of high exposure, where it might be hit by lightning directly or at the point of entry to a building fitted with a lightning protection system. Class II protective devices are used at the building’s main power entry in a non-exposed location (such as locations next to taller buildings) or at sub panels within the building. Class III are installed at the equipment themselves, they only protect them from the remaining voltage surge after Class I or II.DT2

The transient surge filter from ERICO has replaceable surge modules, which reduces the downtime and unprotected time during maintenance with its compact, space saving design.

Surge Reduction FilterThe surge reduction filters from ERICO reduce let-through voltages and rate-of-voltage rise and helps provide optimum protection for electronic equipment. Both the surge protection device and surge filter use the TD technology, providing increased service life.

Read more about ERICO’s new products in DINRail mounted or non-DINRail mounted Surge Protection Devices.


Stop Telling and Start Selling

ListeningAs an electrical wholesaler, sales representative or manager, if during your sales presentations you are hearing your voice more so than your client. Then you are probably telling them what they want, without finding out what their key triggers are to make a buying decision.

What you may perceive as value or benefit, your electrical prospect may see as an objection. Therefore, talking less and listening more is a key strategy that will not only change the way you deliver your presentation, but the outcome by increasing your ability to close more sales.

Our mouth is what usually gets us into trouble. Make a conscious effort to speak less and listen more. To put it into perspective. Let your prospect talk 80% of the time to your 20%, by asking questions and following up at the end with your solution and close.80 20 Rule 1

Why ask Questions?

  1. To qualify your prospect to see if your solution suits their requirement and if they are in a position to buy
  2. It allows us to gather intelligence. It helps us to identify their triggers to buy, and fine-tune your solution to close.
  3. It establishes a rapport as a solutions partners that is interested in solving rather than selling and builds a relationship of trust. Questions 1
  4. It allows you to pre-empt and avoid objections
  5. Allows you to better control the direction of the sale and the final outcome

 There are 7 types of questions

  1. Rapport Building Questions– Create and establish a trusting relationship.
  2. Need Questions–Identifies the problem that your prospect is trying to solve
  3. Uniqueness Questions– Tell us if the prospect has tried a solution in the past
  4. Budget Questions– To see what their financial ability and expectation is.
  5. Influence Questions– Confirm the prospects authority as the decision maker.
  6. Timeline Questions – Identify the urgency of the solution
  7. Confirmation Questions– Used to reinforce the solution to the problem. They can also be used to draw out the prospects real objections.

Examples of these type of questions are:

  1. Rapport Building Questions
  • How long have you been with the company? Questions
  • Tell me a little about what you do?
  1. Need Question:
    • What are you finding most challenging right now?
    • How is this problem affecting you?
  2. Uniqueness Question:
    • Have you tried to solve this problem in the past?
    • Are you evaluating other solutions?
  3. Budget Question:
    • Have you set aside a budget for this?
    • What are you expecting to invest in the solution?
  4. Influence Question:
    • Who else needs to be involved in making this decision?
    • Who else needs to approve this decision?
  5. Timeline Question:
    • What kind of deadline are we working with?
    • What timeframe are we looking at?
  6. Confirmation Question:
    • What are your thoughts so far?
    • Do you have any concerns so far?

 Here are 7 additional tips:

  1. Ask open ended questions
  2. Assume nothing, question everythingSolve me something
  3. Listen carefully
  4. Do not interrupt
  5. Write down key intelligence to use as part of your solution
  6. Add value to your solution that is relevant to your prospect

By focusing on strategic questions that gather intelligence, you are not just selling, but solving. Your electrical contractor or prospect will appreciate the opportunity to be heard and understood when querying earthing, grounding, surge, lightning protection etc… They will feel more comfortable in having a trusted solutions partner who is interested in their current problems and requirements. Making the difficult buying decision, easy!

For tips and support to win more sales contact Emmanuel Lardis from West Australian Power Protection (WAPP) on (08) 9353 5300 or email wapp1@wapp.com.au for a FREE no obligation consultation.

How Climate Change is Affecting Lightning

Climate change has been a controversial topic for government, scientists and economistGlobal warmings globally. Whilst there is speculation on its existence, there is evidence that the world’s climate is changing. The more data we gather about a warming climate, we begin to see alarming changes in our earth that cannot be ignored:

  • Rising sea levels
  • Increase in global temperatures
  • Warming ocean temperatures
  • Regressing ice sheets

One major implication caused by climate change is the increased rate of lightning strikes. Scientific studies recently released suggest lightning strikes are anticipated to increase by at least 12% for every one degree Celsius rise in temperature.

What Does Increased Lightning Mean for Safety?

Cloud to ground lightning strikes are more common than most would think, with about 100 strikes occurring every single second worldwide. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.

The annual global death toll is 6,000. According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric), over the last 20 years. This puts lightning strikes in second place, just behind floods for the deadliest weather condition.

Engineers and asset owners must also consider facility protection to safeguard infrastructure and capital, such as building structures and valuable electronic equipment.

This natural anomaly causes many other concerns:

  • Company downtime
  • Damage to electrical and sensitive equipment
  • Loss in revenue and resources
  • Data and intellectual property loss

Facility Protection with an Integrated Approach

It’s recommended that engineers take an integrated and collaborative approach to lightning protection to ensure safety for personnel and assets. Pentair (formally Erico) have created the ERICO Six-Point Plan of Protection for facilities.

The six steps include:

  • Capture the lightning strike using an air terminal system.Shield
  • Convey the energy to the ground through a downconductor.
  • Dissipate energy into a low impedance grounding system.
  • Bond all ground points together to create an equipotential plane.
  • Protect incoming AC power feeders from surges and transients
  • Protect low voltage data / telecommunications circuits

Following the 6-step method above will protect your facility and personnel now and in the future from lightning strikes.

Did you know there are other several lightning protection methods that provide full facility protection? Click Here for more details

For more information on innovations and current lightning protection products, systems and design support click Here or please call (West Australian Power Protection) WAPP on (08) 9353 5300 or email wapp1@wapp.com.au