Perhaps there’s no better example of this new direction than the rise of inverter-driven AC systems. These newer systems make use of improved controllers and drive systems to apply variable-capacity and variable-speed technologies to AC and heat pump equipment systems, resulting in very high efficiencies compared to older technologies. Older technologies tended to cycle between “fully on” and “fully off”, in an inefficient fashion, to respond to cooling demand. In contrast, the newer inverter-driven systems generally operate more continuously at a lower level, making small adjustments to maintain more constant temperatures in cooled areas while operating at high efficiency.
Electrical Hazards for Inverter AC Systems
One factor to be aware of when choosing an inverter-driven AC system is that because of the way they work, they require a very stable input power voltage. In other words, the input power requirements are very specific, and they do not tolerate power fluctuations above or below their specified narrow ranges.
In addition, like all electronic systems, they can be damaged by electrical surges and spikes, including those disruptions coming in from neighbors or the electrical power grid, and those generated within the facility by welding, large motors and pumps, and similar equipment.
Because of these sensitivities, inverter-driven equipment manufacturers normally put conditions on their warranties, specifying that facilities and users purchasing that equipment take proactive measures to be sure the incoming power is held within the acceptable voltage range and is protected against surges and spikes.
Protecting Inverter AC Systems from Electrical Dangers
Responsible owners, therefore, are faced with the task of protecting inverter-driven AC systems against the full range of electrical dangers, including both voltage fluctuations and electrical surges and spikes. If they do not take specific action on both of these factors, it is likely that the manufacturer could void the warranty in the case of electrical damage or failure. In that case, the cost to make repairs could be very high! It makes much more sense to protect the investment in these important and costly systems.
Fortunately, there are new options for protecting inverter-driven AC systems that can simultaneously protect against both types of hazards. These purpose-designed products were specifically developed for this growing need, and are an easy, efficient, and effective solution.
For example, DITEK’s new DTK-KG2 is part of the Kool Guard family of voltage monitoring products. It is specifically designed to protect HVAC equipment from harmful under-voltage and over-voltage events that can damage sensitive electronic and mechanical components within the system. The DTK-KG2 also incorporates DITEK’s state-of-the-art surge protection design to shield the equipment from damaging transient voltage surges and spikes. This combination of protection is ideal for inverter-driven AC systems.
In addition, this compact unit is designed for fast, efficient installation indoors or outdoors thanks to the standard UL Type 4X polycarbonate enclosure – specifically designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments.
A Simple Decision
HVAC systems are a significant investment, and choosing the right system for your facility, your budget, and your priorities is more important than ever. Protecting that investment with a voltage monitoring product that includes electrical surge and spike protection is a prudent way to ensure a long and productive life for your equipment, and peace of mind for you.