Spikes or voltage surges can sometimes be a big nuisance as far as the safety of the various electronic appliances are concerned. Let's learn how to make a simple AC Mains surge protector circuits at home.
What is AC Mains Voltage Surge
A sudden surge or a spike is basically a sharp rise in the voltage lasting not more than a few milliseconds but enough to cause damage to our precious equipment almost instantly.
It thus becomes imperative to stop or block these from entering vulnerable electronic gadgets like our personal computers.
Commercial spike busters are though available pretty easily and cheaply too, cannot be trusted and moreover have no reliability test arrangement so it becomes just a "assuming" game, until it's all over.
Designing AC Mains Surge Protection
The circuit of a Simple AC Mains Surge Protector Device below, which shows how to make a simple homemade AC mains surge protector device is based on very simple principle of "speed breaking" the initial jolt through components who are well equipped in the field.
A simple iron resistor and MOV combination are more than enough to provide the protections we are looking for.
Here R1 and R2 are 5 turns of iron wire (0.2mm thick) over a 1 inch diameter air core each followed by an appropriately rated varistor or an MOV connected across them to become a full fledged spike protector system.
Surge entering the input of spike are effectively tackled and the "sting" absorbed in the course by the relevant parts and a safe and clean mains is allowed to go through the connected load.
Surge Protector Circuit Using Inductors and MOV
Question Regarding Surge Protection for Electronic Ballast
Hi swagtam, I found your email address from your blog. I really need yr help. Actually my company has customer in china we make UV lamps and we use electronic ballast for it. now the problem is in china because of Over Voltage the ballast burn out so i design circuit which is in attachment which dosen't help either?
so i found your Ultimate High/Low Voltage Protector Circuit which i wants to build. or can you tell me the update if i can do in my circuit that will be great. sorry if i am bothring you. but i really really need yr help to save my job thanks Thank You Krishna Shah
Solving the Query with a Resistor/MOV based Surge Protection
Hi Krishna, According to me the problem may not be with the voltage fluctuations, rather it's because of the sudden voltage surges that's blowing of your ballast circuit. The diagram shown by you may not prove very effective, because it does not incorporate a resistor or any kind of barrier with the MOVs. You may try the following circuit, introduce it at the entry point of the ballast circuit.
Hope it works:
Using an NTC and MOV together for added surge protection:
The following image shows how two different surge suppressor devices could be tied up with the mains line for achieving a double edged surge protection.
The NTC here enables an initial switch ON surge protection by offering a higher resistance due to its initial lower temperature, but in the course of this action its temperature begins increasing and it begins allowing more current for the appliance until a normal working conditions achieved.
The MOV on the other complements the NTC output and makes sure that in case the NTC is unable to stop the surge onslaught correctly, it switches ON itself shorting the residual high surge content to ground and as a result establishing a safest possible supply for the connected load or the appliance.