Don't Get Burnout from Brownouts

BrownoutsAs some cities record their hottest temperatures ever and the nation grapples with aging infrastructure, the frequency of brownouts is occurring at a rapid pace. The fallout from such brownouts can be as minimal as dimming lightbulbs or as extreme as loss of refrigeration for life-saving medication. But what can be done to prevent the worst? And why does it matter now? What even is a brownout? We’re here to answer these questions and more.

What is a Brownout?

An electrical brownout occurs when a facility’s power system experiences an intentional or unintentional drop in voltage. In an intentional brownout, the utility controlling the power output reduces the flow of electricity in order to prevent a wider blackout. Unintentional brownouts are less common, but can occur as a result of damage or malfunction within the power gird. During a brownout, electricity is still flowing, albeit at lower voltage levels than usual, unlike a blackout wherein there is a complete loss of electricity. You can typically spot a brownout - and the term’s namesake - when you see lights dim due to the drop in voltage.

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5 Reasons to Add Surge Protection to Your Preventative Maintenance Plan

Preventative Maintenance When you are managing a facility, you know there are certain things that need to be done now to prevent problems later. You may test fire alarms to ensure they sound as necessary, clean gutters to protect your roof, or replace air filters to prevent HVAC system failure. This periodic, preventative maintenance not only extends the lifecycle of your systems, but also creates a safer, more productive environment. You also recognize that paying for these services with some time and a relatively modest amount of money can prevent much larger problems and costs from happening in the future.

Just as you don’t know when a fire will occur or your HVAC system will fail, you may not know when a damaging power surge will affect your electrical systems. Applying surge protection to such systems is a simple, cost-effective preventative maintenance step that can prevent costly unplanned downtime caused by an unexpected power surge. If you haven’t already included surge protection as a part of your preventative maintenance strategy, here is why you should:

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Making a Case for Residential Surge Protection

Smart Home with Surge ProtectionYour customer calls you after they have awoken to a failed HVAC system. Upset and in a panic, they start to shift the blame to you, their installer, after their new heating and cooling system suddenly isn’t working anymore. They insist there were no overnight storms, so what gives?

You, an experienced professional, calmly explain that their home likely experienced an overnight power surge.

Power surges are one of the leading causes of HVAC system damage, but in-home damage from power surges can impact a host of other electronic devices. From computers and garage door openers to critical equipment such as security and burglar alarm systems, almost all in-home electronics are at risk of damage from power surges and spikes.

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Why Automatic Transfer Switches Need Surge Protection

2021 06 ROI 320The benefits of a backup power generator cannot be overstated. When it comes to keeping your family comfortable at home or maintaining normal business operations, you can count on a backup generator to mitigate the negative effects of an unexpected power outage. While you may think that the purchase and installation of a standby power generator automatically ensures power restoration in the case of a blackout, you may be missing one key piece of equipment – an automatic transfer switch.

In this blog we will cover what an automatic transfer switch is, why it is important, why you should protect it, and how to effectively do so.

 

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3 Reasons to Offer Voltage Monitoring to Your HVAC Customers

2022 05 HVACAs an HVAC installer, you work hard to provide quality products and service to your customers. Part of providing superior service includes informing your customers of all known risks to their system, including harmful undervoltage and overvoltage events caused by power surges and natural voltage fluctuations. Such events can cause catastrophic damage to HVAC systems, leading to costly repairs and diminished customer confidence.

Voltage monitoring and surge protection solutions are a proven way to protect HVAC systems against electrical dangers. If you are not already offering these solutions to your HVAC customers, here are 3 reasons why you should:

 

 

 

 

 

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Do You Know How Much of Your Power Budget You're Using?

Know Your PoE BudgetIntegrators and end users love Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices for their cost and time saving benefits as well as their ease of use. By delivering power and data over the same Ethernet cable, PoE devices can easily be connected, disconnected, and moved without the need for extensive cabling or electrical work. From IP cameras to access control systems and beyond, PoE is now the go-to solution for locations where power outlets or network connections are hard to come by.

The low-voltage install of PoE devices is further simplified by PoE switches, which provide power to peripheral devices via a number of ports. But these switches are limited in the power output available to each PoE port and the switch as a whole. For this reason, knowing how much of your PoE power budget you are using is essential before starting any new project.

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Presenting ROI Helps Sell Surge Protection

ROI helps sell surge protectionThese days it can seem as if budget is the primary planning consideration for customers purchasing or upgrading electrical and HVAC systems. Organizations of all kinds are watching costs more carefully than ever, and cutting back where they feel expenditures are not absolutely necessary.

However, customers who are reluctant to add costs to a Bill of Materials (BOM) will think differently about additional products when they are shown how they deliver a positive Return on Investment (ROI).
Surge protective devices are an excellent example of this. Making a case for the need to add surge protection is not difficult – and when the ROI is shown, it becomes an easy way to satisfy your customer while increasing your own revenues. The discussion quickly moves from the cost of surge protection to realizing a return on investment by protecting electrical and HVAC systems from damage caused by power surges.

Power disruptions are an expensive risk

You can make a compelling case beginning with the fact that the cost of power disruptions has risen sharply over the last several years. A 2018 study reported the total U.S. cost of sustained power interruptions at $44 billion per year (2015), a 25% increase since 2002. The majority of costs (70%) were suffered by commercial sector customers; the industrial sector accounted for 27% of the total cost.

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Understanding the Importance of Surge Protection to Boost Sales

Increase Sales with DITEK Surge ProtectionIn distributor and retail settings, sales are made one of two ways: passively or actively. In a passive sale, a customer comes in knowing exactly what item they want and purchases the product with no questions asked. Active selling requires counter sales, inside and outside salespeople, and even branch managers to actively assist their customers in finding the solution they need. The goal in active selling is to explain the benefits and importance of a product while appearing knowledgeable, so the customer is confident that they are making a good purchase decision. But before active selling can happen, the people doing the selling must first understand why a product is important or necessary so they can properly convey these benefits to their customer.

Case in point, surge protection has long been treated as an add-on or a “nice to have” for electrical systems and is therefore often overlooked. If the importance of surge protection was properly understood by low voltage, HVAC, and electrical supply professionals, active selling could take place. Surge protective devices (SPDs) should be seen as a must have for electronic system installs, leading to more sales and happier customers.

 

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How to Protect Electronics from an Aging Power Grid

Aging Power InfrastructureA recent federal initiative to improve America's aging infrastructure offers a glimmer of hope for a national electrical grid that a University of Pennsylvania lecturer once described as "a third-world electricity system."1 More than 3,100 electrical energy providers serve nearly 150 million customers in the contiguous 48 states.2 The grid switching required to meet shifts in demand makes the entire system vulnerable to electrical power disruptions, surges, and spikes.

Because much of the electrical distribution system is outdoors, environmental disruptions also play a role. These include direct and indirect lightning activity, wind-induced contacts with trees and vegetation, and downed poles from car accidents or rockslides. For example, in 2003, an unexpected contact between a distribution line and a tree resulted in a total blackout of Southeastern Canada and eight Northeastern states.3 Fortunately most disruptions aren't nearly as severe.

 

 

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How DITEK has maintained production levels despite supply chain crisis

Stocked ShelvesWhether you're a manufacturer, installer, or end user, it's no secret that there is a global supply chain crisis underway as the world gradually emerges from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due, in part, to disruptions in the global production of semiconductors and other electronic components, as well as labor shortages and rising shipping costs. Suppliers of raw materials and OEM parts are still trying to catch up, and manufacturers accustomed to only keeping a few months' worth of parts in inventory have felt the pinch. The lack of key electronic components in particular has limited companies from maintaining production of the vital technology their customers need.

Stockpiling parts as standard practice

Despite these global hardships, DITEK's production is as strong as ever. Because of our strategic planning and the smart inventory practices we have always followed, we have maintained a healthy supply of raw materials and components.

We have been able to manufacture our wide selection of surge protection devices (SPDs) without interruption. And because DITEK's surge protection solutions are made in the USA, in Tampa, FL, they are not impacted by the global procurement crisis. Our customers don't have to worry about their SPDs getting stuck in transit at an overseas port.

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