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Author Topic: Battery Backup - Get One  (Read 12012 times)
Stoic Joker
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« on: June 06, 2009, 12:06:57 PM »

Florida where I live is called (but is actually 3rd) the lightning capitol of the world. That being said we took a damn near direct hit about an hour ago ... My wife's treadmill is fried. I had to reconfigure the BIOS on my $2,000 main comp to redefine the RAID array to get it to boot. However it did boot. The battery backup took the brunt of the hit and still survived.

My $4,000 Server is also still running just fine ... Its battery backup however is fried. I can afford (sort of) a new battery backup ... but there is no way in hell I could replace the server right now.

Mind you it is not my intention to brag about the cost/value of my equipment, I'm sure a lot of folks here understand the need to invest in ones career ... and have even better stuff. I'm simply trying to show "the numbers" payoff for an investment I made years ago in making sure that surge protection was taken seriously.

If you've ever thought of buying a battery backup some day, make it today. It is worth it.
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bob99
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 01:23:21 PM »

Quote
The battery backup took the brunt of the hit and still survived.

I would still be cautious about trusting this one too much.  There is a good chance that while it didn't fry, the protection and filtering circuit that took the hit has been weakened.  And you may not be as lucky on even a smaller storm.  I had one one that protected my system.  But then afterward I started hearing it beep and switch over for short times (few seconds at a time) for what seemed to be no reason.  Sunny days without a cloud in the sky.  It started seeing and reacting to the transients in the AC that it had been filtering out before.  There are devices that can monitor and provide counts of AC transients on the line.  It is amazing on the number that can occur over time and how high they can be.  They are only milliseconds in duration but do weaken power supplies, UPS and other sensitive devices.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2009, 01:44:29 PM »

Quote
The battery backup took the brunt of the hit and still survived.

I would still be cautious about trusting this one too much.  There is a good chance that while it didn't fry, the protection and filtering circuit that took the hit has been weakened.
True, I'll be keeping an eye on it for a while but it seems to checkout ok for now. The toasted one on the server however has adopted much the same behavior you described (battery went to Zero & it beeps occasionally). Sure it'll power up...but it's a gonner. (Crack-the-whip effect: Last device on the circuit takes the biggest "hit")


Interesting side note: The server's battery backup is plugged into one of those cheap-O "Surge Strips" ... The breaker in the strip never tripped.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 01:48:25 PM by Stoic Joker » Logged
bob99
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 02:17:15 PM »


Quote
The toasted one on the server however has adopted much the same behavior you described (battery went to Zero & it beeps occasionally). Sure it'll power up...but it's a gonner.

On mine even the battery still worked fine.  It just stared kicking in/out more frequently.  I went to a seminar once, by coincidence hosted by a mfg located in FL, that discussed lightning versus AC powere transients.  One of the things that came out of it was constant power transients can be just as damaging as a lightning event.  I've seen it on equipment I provide.  In some areas even where they haven't had any recent storms they still lose equipment due to the transients.


Quote
Interesting side note: The server's battery backup is plugged into one of those cheap-O "Surge Strips" ... The breaker in the strip never tripped.

This was one of the things that was brought up during the seminar.  The type of protection circuit in the strips is also weakened over time with hits as well as transients.  And over time the protection portion of the strip just won't do anything anymore.  People think if the light on the strip is working so is the protection.  Not the case.  All they have is a power strip and false sense of security/protection.  Sounds like what may have happened in your case.  It went straight through the strip and into the battery back-up.

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westom
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 05:27:15 PM »

  What is this protection and filtering?  Where are the numbers for this?

  Noted was how properly sized protectors fail - they degrade.  Any protector damaged by a surge provided no protection, violated absolute maximum specs from the manufacturer, and is how to get the naive to buy more such protectors at exaggerated costs.

  Effective protection means you never even knew the surge existed.    Still some believe these outright lies that a protector will somehow stop what three miles of sky could not.  That a few hundred joules in a power strip will absorb surges of hundreds of thousands of joules.  Some are so easily lied to as to believe protectors are sacrificial devices.

  Any informed resident in FL knows what is essential for and what provides surge protection:
   http://members.aol.com/gfretwell/ufer.jpg

  Either a surge is harmlessly absorbed before entering the building.  Or it will find paths to earth destructively through an appliance.  The scam is to grossly undersize a protector so that its failure light reports failure.  That gets the naïve to recommend more of them. Then claim that magic box will block what three miles of sky could not stop.  Nothing stops a surge.  And surge damage is routinely averted by techniques well proven even 100 years ago. Effective protection means a protector earths a direct lightning strike, the surge does not enter the building, and the protector remains functional.

  That surge hit the server and UPS simultaneously and equally.  Protection already exists inside all electronics (ie that server).  But a surge too small to overwhem protection in the server easily destroyed a grossly undersized UPS protector circuit.  No problem.  If that UPS is purchased using myths, then the damage gets the naive to buy more ineffective protectors.  Effectively earthed protector is even necessary to protect UPSes that have virtually zero protection.  Enough to claim a subjective 'surge protection' in color glossy sales brochures.  But virtually zero protection.

  If honest in that seminar, far more important than a summary conclusions were numbers and what those numbers represent.  If selling a scam on junk science, then numberrs are not provided - just like the zero protection inside that battery backup device.   If they did not provide numbers, then what scam was being promoted?    Those who want to be scammed even think filtering will stop what three miles of sky could not – set themselves up to be scammed.

  So what were they selling in that seminar?
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app103
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 05:39:48 PM »

Any informed resident in FL knows what is essential for and what provides surge protection:
   http://members.aol.com/gfretwell/ufer.jpg

Did you check that link before you posted it? AOL shut down member pages in October 2008 and deleted the contents of all accounts. Your link has been dead for the last 9 months and won't be coming back.
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bob99
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 06:17:48 PM »


Here's a couple of links on surge and transient.
http://www.cvel.clemson.e...Protection/t-protect.html
http://www.extremetech.co...le2/0,1697,1155237,00.asp
Both are from the links at the bottom of the page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surge_protection

My only point is that protection devices can weaken and not be as effective and some you won't know if they are still working.
It is good to be careful and make sure whatever you are using is in working order.
Even then, mother nature can still prevail.  smiley
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 07:37:46 PM »

Interesting side note: The server's battery backup is plugged into one of those cheap-O "Surge Strips" ... The breaker in the strip never tripped.

I'm not an electronics expert but someone technically adept in electronics told me never to plug one surge protecting device into another.  According to this dude, it's worse than having no surge protection at all.  Some mumbo jumbo about wave forms or something.  Just thought I'd pass it on. Maybe a search(not surge) will turn up the technical info if he was right.

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cranioscopical
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2009, 07:53:05 PM »

Maybe a search(not surge) will turn up the technical info if he was right.
Just make sure that information is current!
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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2009, 10:54:25 PM »

Maybe a search(not surge) will turn up the technical info if he was right.
Just make sure that information is current!

I can see you just couldn't resist that pun!! smiley
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2009, 11:44:26 PM »

My only point is that protection devices can weaken and not be as effective and some you won't know if they are still working.
 That point is accurate when we add a few facts.  For example, that is true for one type of protector component - MOVs.  And then we add other facts (the numbers).  When properly sized, MOV degradation becomes insignificant.

  Meanwhile, at least one of your citations makes the important point.
> Transient protection devices attempt to re-direct the energy

Diverting surges - not stopping or sacrificing itself - is what protectors do.  But a protector that has nothing to divert energy into may divert that surge energy destructively through the adjacent appliance.

  Why are every FL telco switching computers, connected on overhead wires all over town, not damaged?  Is everyone in the OP’s town without phone service for four days?  Of course not.  Telcos do what every FL homeowner does to not have surge damage.  Telcos connect every protector short to earth ground.  For a homeowner, short would mean 'less than 10 feet'.  Surges diverted to earth need not find earth ground destructively inside the building.

Returning to the OP’s post.    OP’s battery backup provided no protection.  A surge was too small to overwhelm protection in that server and numerous other household devices.   Surge too small to harm most appliances converted a battery backup into a victim.  Internal appliance protection is not overwhelmed if a surge is earthed before entering the building.

  What does a protector do?
> Transient protection devices attempt to re-direct the energy
which is why effective protectors are located where utility wires enter the building AND make that short connection to earth ground.  Earth – where surge energy is harmlessly dissipated.  Earthing is what telcos have been doing for over 100 years to have no damage.   OP’s surge was not earthed; was permitted destructively inside the building.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 12:40:38 AM »

Okay guys that's enough punishment Wink
@MilesAhead - While that is true, it only applies to daisy chaining two UPSs (Uninterruptible Power Supplies). I was using only one UPS and a cheap-O Surge-Strip which can't conflict with anything. The strip is used only due to cord length issues...I know they don't actually work.

@bob99 - While I agree with the power transients/fluctuations being damaging to sensitive electronics, I'll have to call BS on their effect on a Surge-Strip. The breaker in a SS uses a bimetal bar that flexes and breaks the circuit when heated by a sufficient rise in the current flow. This incidentally is also their inherent weakness. Their function assumes that there will be a sufficiently sized rapid "spike", which is frequently not the case. a low or slow building rise in current is typically not enough to trip the silly things ... but never the less very bad for the device it's "protecting".

How many times can the bimetal strip handle being heated? Thousands. (I'm guessing you want an example, okay...) The turn signal flasher in an automobile has used the same bimetal heat/flex technology to operate for roughly 100 years. The click click noise the turn signals make is the bimetal "breaker" doing a pop/reset over & over & over. Sure they do go bad after 4, 5, 7 years...but that's after flashing how many times?

The problem isn't that the strip won't last; it's that it didn't really work in the first place. Wink

@weston – Good god man, what the hell are you on about.  When the TV goes blank and the lights go out for a three block radius as energy builds up before the discharge, you notice. When there is a blinding flash in the front yard just outside the window one is sitting next to, you notice. When the lights in every room of a building go dim (or out) just before they get really bright, you notice. A surge that isn’t noticed isn’t a surge, it’s a voltage fluctuation.

Lightning (actually) strikes from the ground up, the brilliant flash of light seen coming from the sky is just an arc tracing the (approximate) path of where it happened (note the past tense). If lightning hits a building “directly” the building is already grounded, by virtue of being on the ground. Sure, having the wiring properly ground helps, but it’s not a cure-all for a damn thing. The part of the strike that goes through the electrical system is inductively transferred ambient discharge. How “direct” the path is only makes a difference on whether you have a fried appliance, or a burnt wall.

Electricity seeks the path of least resistance, the trick is to not to be the path. I don’t care if the machine is unplugged and sitting in the middle of the room, a truly direct hit will still render it dead because of the ambient discharge that passes through it. ESD 101 30,000v for visible arc (when "Zapping" your sister...), 3v to toast a circuit board.

I started the thread by stating (rather clearly) that it was damn near (but hence not) a direct hit. But never the less close enough to have a rather noticeable impact. That impact can be mitigated by a UPS, I’ve seen them make a difference too many times to doubt. I’ve seen it hit an office building one suite had a UPS on their server, and one did not. …Only one of them had to replace their server. Our office (a steal building) was hit a few years back, the T1 equipment (which someone plugged it incorrectly) got fried, the servers (all on UPSs) are all still with us. Etc..

Oh, and FL Telco's run most of their wiring underground.
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bob99
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 09:45:16 AM »

Below are a couple of excerpts from the following site.
http://www.nmsu.edu/~safe...n_saf/Surge_unit_info.htm

"The MOV is the heart of surge suppressors. The role of the MOV is to divert surge current. However, MOVs wear out with use. As more surges are diverted, the MOVs life span shortens, and failure becomes imminent."

There is no forewarning or visual indications given - just failure. And while failing, they can reach very high temperatures, and actually start fires."

Most surge protectors will continue to function as a power strip, even though the surge trap mechanism may have been destroyed by the power spike. This presents two possible dangers:"

Quote
My only point is that protection devices can weaken and not be as effective and some (edited to) sometimes you won't know if they are still working (edited to add) properly.
It is good to be careful and make sure whatever you are using is in working order.

@Stoic Joker - Your subject topic is a good recommendation.


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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 10:04:41 AM »

@bob99 - We're on the same page man, just different paragraphs... You're talking about a proper surge device that actually has power conditioning circuitry. I'm talking about one of those Cheap-O power strips (that most end users seem to end up with) that only has a breaker in it. Like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Pro...aspx?Item=N82E16812120802

...Those don't do squat, unless you're trying to "protect" something with all the electrical sensitivity of a space heater.

You're talking about something more like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Pro...aspx?Item=N82E16812107131

Correct?
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westom
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 10:41:07 AM »

"The MOV is the heart of surge suppressors. The role of the MOV is to divert surge current. However, MOVs wear out with use. As more surges are diverted, the MOVs life span shortens, and failure becomes imminent."

 All quite true.  And then we add facts.  A protector designer views numbers.  Then designs so that degradation becomes irrelevant.   As noted,  what a protector must never do.  Fail.  Fail so that its thermal fuse trips and the light indicates failure.  That failure light only reports one type of failure ... that must never happen.  See scary pictures for further problems.

  Failed surge protectors will continue to operate as a power strip because nothing exists between the surge and appliance.  Surge confronts appliance and protector equally.  A surge too small to overwhelm protection in the computer can still overwhelm the surge protector.  Making it woefully too small gets the naive to promote myths and sales.  "My surge protector scarified itself to save my computer."  Reality: protection inside the appliance protected itself.  A failing protector gets the naive to recommend a grossly overpriced and woefully ineffective protector.

  Effective protection means nobody even knew the surge existed.  Protectors did not fail.  Your telco switching computer (CO) suffer maybe 100 surges during every thunderstorm.   How often has your entire town been without phone service for four days while they replace that computer?  Surge protection from direct lightning is that routine when using protector that actually connect to protection.  No power strip protector even claims such protection.  But again.  Read the manufacturer datasheet.  Where does it list each type of surge and protection from that surge?  It does not even claim protection.  So why do some here *know* a protector is protection?  Word association.  "Protector" sounds like "protection".  Therefore it must be protection.

  Grossly undersizing the protector means no effective protection.  It also means these scary pictures:
 http://www.hanford.gov/rl/?page=556&parent=554
 http://www.westwhitelandf...es/Surge%20Protectors.pdf
 http://www.ddxg.net/old/surge_protectors.htm
 http://www.zerosurge.com/HTML/movs.html
 http://tinyurl.com/3x73ol
 http://www3.cw56.com/news/articles/local/BO63312/
 http://www.nmsu.edu/~safe...ed/surgeprotectorfire.htm
 http://www.pennsburgfireco.com/fullstory.php?58339

      Norma on 27 Dec 2008 in alt.fiftyplus entitled "The Power Outage" also describes the danger of power strip protectors:
>  Today, the cable company came to replace a wire.  Well  the cable
> man pulled a wire and somehow yanked loose their "ground" wire.
> The granddaughter on the computer yelled and ran because sparks
> and smoke were coming from the power surge strip.

  That same protector may be on a pile of desktop papers, or behind furniture on the rug?  That same protector circuit is in the OP's solution.  What did it do?  A surge too small to harm the computer AND also 100 other 'unprotected' appliance somehow harmed the battery backup?  Of course. What protected the dishwasher? Instead, that unacceptable failure got to OP to recommend it without first learning how the technology works.

  Every telco CO suffers 100 surges during every thunderstorm - without damage.  They use something far less expensive AND that remains functional every after direct lightning strikes.   OP is invited (repeatedly)  to post those specs that claim his protector provides protection.  He will not because he cannot.  No such protection specs exist.  His own example demonstrates a completely ineffective protector.  And still he recommend that grossly undersized protector using speculation – without first learning what happened.  A surge much too small to harm that computer easily destroyed the protector.  The protector did what its numeric specifications said it would do – fail.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 11:05:50 AM by westom » Logged
westom
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2009, 11:00:57 AM »

I started the thread by stating (rather clearly) that it was damn near (but hence not) a direct hit. But never the less close enough to have a rather noticeable impact.
   You are assuming it was only a nearby hit.  However once we trace the surge path, nearby hits are discovered to be direct hits.  For example, a nearby strike to utility wires down the street is a direct lightning strike to your household appliances.

  A nearby hit was only 50 feet from a 100 foot long antenna.  That induced thousands of volts on that antenna.  So we installed an NE-2 neon glow lamp on the antenna lead. That lamp conducted milliamps of current causing thousands of volts to drop to ten.  Induced surges are that trivial.  A milliamp neon glow lamp is even used as a surge protector because induced surges are myths - only create damage when the electronics has no protection.  All appliances contain protection that makes induced surges irrelevant.  Only direct strikes cause the damage you saw.  But then which one of us actually did this stuff? 

  Lightning strikes a lightning rod.  A direct strike.  Lighting traveled to earth on a wire only four feet away from a PC.  That 20000 amps created electromagnetic fields only feet outside the building.  And the computer did not crash.  Did not even flicker.  Why?  Those induced surges  get promoted using junk science.  Those induced surges are subjective myths.  Those induced surges are so trivial as to be earthed even by an NE-2 neon glow lamp.   What you had was a direct strike and protection so inferior as to suffer damage.

  There is a difference between us.  I learned this stuff by doing it.  And thinking like an engineer.  You saw something.  Observation alone was sufficient to make a conclusion?  No.  Observation without first learning how this stuff works creates junk science.  Your conclusions based only on observation are classic junk science.  Myths the manufacturer needs so that you will promote his ineffective products.  Where is that numeric spec that claims protection?  You could not provide it for very good reason.  So you made a junk science conclusion.
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bob99
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2009, 12:49:19 PM »

@Stoic Joker - Good way to say it... different paragraph.

I was trying to point out that over time, internally, a more expensive surge unit can turn into the less expensive unit (plain power strip) without knowing it. 

Quote
Most surge protectors will continue to function as a power strip, even though the surge trap mechanism may have been destroyed by the power spike.

Quote
There is no forewarning or visual indications given - just failure.

Although there are units, typically the higher quality ones, that have a type of indicator of how the protection circuit is functioning.  Some that have a separate indicator, one unit I read about says:

"* NOTE REGARDING SURGE PROTECTORS:  The surge protector power switch is typically illuminated with a red light that should be on when the surge protector is operational.  If the light is off but the power is on, that is an indicator that the "surge protection functionality" of the unit is NOT FUNCTIONAL and should be replaced."

Since all AC power is subject to surges, doesn't have to be lightning, and suppressors are working 24/7 it is a good idea for anyone using a surge strip to check and see if theirs provides any type of indication like this.  And not get lulled into a false sense of security just because the strip is there.
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westom
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2009, 01:42:01 PM »

 
Although there are units, typically the higher quality ones, that have a type of indicator of how the protection circuit is functioning.  Some that have a separate indicator, ...
 So how did we design that?  Normal failure mode for MOVs is degrading.  Nothing inside a protector can report that 10% voltage change.  Don’t agree?  Then tell us how degradation is measured?

  Another failure is catastrophic.  MOV manufacturers say that failure is not acceptable anywhere.  It occurs when a surge is so large as to vaporize the MOV.  LED can only report that failure mode.   If a surge as so large as to be indicated by the light, the protector was grossly undersized – even a fire threat [see scary pictures].

 Meanwhile, a degraded protector (an acceptable failure mode) will never report that failure on its light.    So manufacturers simply forgets to mention what that light really reports.  Others will fill in the blanks with myths and half truths.

  View this picture.  MOVs are completely removed from the protector and the light still says it is good.  Just another example of what that light will not report in better protectors:
 http://www.zerosurge.com/HTML/movs.html

  If AC is so full of other destructive surges, then we are all trooping to the hardware store daily to replace dimmer switches, GFCIs, and clock radios?  What protects the dishwasher?  Have you replaced that dimmer switch today?   Reality:  all appliances – even dimmer switches - contain internal protection that makes trivial surges irrelevant.  Those other surges are myths promoted by the naive.   If those surges exist, then you are replacing electronics in the furnace how many times a day?
  
  Install one effective surge protector to make lightning irrelevant.  That same solution  (for about $1 per protected appliance) makes minor surges irrelevant. If those power strip or battery backup protectors really did anything, then every poster in every reply has quoted those specs.  Nobody has because no manufacturer claims that protection.  And so the unsubstantiated myths and half truths (ie other surges) are posted even without citation – even without any numbers.  No numbers is the characteristic of junk science reasoning.

  A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.  Just another reason why COs everywhere in the world routinely suffer 100 surges during every thunderstorm – and no damage must ever occur.   Telcos spend tens or 100 times less money to have real world protection.  That means wasting no money on ineffective plug-in solutions – when even the indicator LED deceives.  Those plug-in protectors are classic examples of lulling into a false sense of security.  Where does it even claim to provide protection?  No one has yet to post those spec numbers - for good reason.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 01:46:07 PM by westom » Logged
Stoic Joker
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2009, 01:50:23 PM »

I started the thread by stating (rather clearly) that it was damn near (but hence not) a direct hit. But never the less close enough to have a rather noticeable impact.
   You are assuming it was only a nearby hit.  However once we trace the surge path, nearby hits are discovered to be direct hits.  For example, a nearby strike to utility wires down the street is a direct lightning strike to your household appliances.
(Um…) Not even close.  A nearby utility pole strike is discharged through all routes to ground (e.g. houses on the block). Being spread out lessens its impact on any one individual dwelling. Not to mention that that path routes most (but not all) of the surge current through the main system ground (which you are so fond of) … Which indeed does lessen its impact on internal devices. If however the strike hits (a tree towards the back of the house (opposite the service entry point) the system is effectively back fed which puts a rather different spin on the proverbial “ball”. The appliances now become the closer alternate routes to ground on its way to the half inch rod pounded into the soil next to the meter box.

So… just for the “record”, you are stating unequivocally that any type of surge suppression, power conditioning, battery backup is pointless, foolish and dangerous. Because all you really need is a properly grounded system, Correct?

Being that I’ve actually had occasion to tour the local Telco, and seen their array of power conditioning equipment, I find it odd that they would waste all that money and space on something that could have simply been handled by a ground wire. Not to mention all of the fabric switching and redundant systems that prevents outages from being major.

Frankly you are assuming far too much about my background.  While my work experience has always been technical in nature I hate engineers. Their inability to discern theory from practice constantly causes them to sit there pontificating on what should have happened (under laboratory conditions) instead of taking into account what really did happen.

I’ve lived in Florida for 42 years, and in said time period have a great deal of firsthand experience regarding lightning and its effects of one’s surroundings. Unlike most tourists, I do not leave a streak of shit in mid air on the way to the ceiling every time there is a thunder clap.

Why you keep vacillating between your favorite pet theory and a numbers game is frankly beyond me. The only numbers that are relevant (in the very fine print) are the ones that state that any of the $X,000 protection “warranties” don’t apply in the state of Florida (Including mine which was an APC Back-UPS XS1500). This is simply because the odds of it hitting you directly are far too high for the suites to swallow (This is what “They” refer to as “Just Business”). Unlike (let’s say) Michigan which typically gets four strikes a year for the whole state. I lived there once for 6 months during their “rainy season” …cripes what a boring bunch of storms. I had to come back to Florida for sanity sake as I actually missed the lightning.

My only point is simply this; a good quality UPS is just as effective as airbags in a car are.
If you hit a tree at 10mph they are a pointless nuisance & expensive to repack (I’m giving you that one…)
If you hit the same tree at 60mph … Well now there is a damn good chance that they will save your life (the point I’ve been driving at…)
If you hit the tree at 100mph … The undertaker’s job may be a tad easier…but you is still dead. (Which is the outside extreme that you seem to keep driving at?)



@bob99 – I’m with ya man, I just hadn’t expected to be dragged into a theoretical pissing contest while trying to share the events of my day with the crew.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2009, 02:46:00 PM »

Gentlemen,
Thank you for these electrifying insights but the direction in which we're heading could soon become shocking.
Allow me to provide a receptacle for this debate.
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Chris
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2009, 03:13:28 PM »

@Stoic - I opened the door with my reply to your initial post - sorry  wallbash.
I've dealt with theory vs. practical people over the years also.  
Both are needed and the good ones I've worked with have a grasp on both ends of the rope.

While looking around for info on, let's change the term to power disturbances, I found this site.
http://www.fpl.com/largeb...utions_for_business.shtml
Ironically it's your own FPL.
Some good info.  I like the FAQ's, FPL Lingo, etc. toward the bottom of the page.  If surges, sags, spikes and the like didn't exist why would they be discussing them, what they affect and methods of prevention?  A rhetorical ques.  Wink

Found another one on Pacific Gas & Electric's site but can't get just the link to copy. It is to a pdf on their site.  If anyone is interested:
http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt...13kspvf9k/EXP=1244489196/**http%3a//www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/about/news/outagestatus/powerquality/avoid_pwr_disturb.pdf  

There's also some good info on some of the different manufacturers and consultants web sites.  Don't want to post them for fear of being considered a spammer.
Google or Yahoo 'power quality disturbances' and take your pick.

All done for me.



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Shades
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2009, 03:19:46 PM »

In Holland any electrical installation you can think of has to be grounded...by law. Insurance companies don't even pay if your house burns down because of an electrical failure if no proper grounding is in place.

Thunderstorms that form over land have trouble passing over a (significantly) large body of water. When I was living in Holland I leaved in an area with tall trees and three churches (300 meter radius) and next to a channel used as an international shipping lane. Although we didn't have that much storms, the ones that were there stayed for a long time (before those were able to pass over the body of water.

What I can tell you is the it is very impressive to see a church tower getting hit by lightning. One of the church towers was only 40 meters from my house. I cannot remember having any problem in any electrical equipment caused by lightning. And never used devices as UPS.

Now I have to say that electrical installations have circuit breakers that react when too much power goes through them, when they are used for prolonged periods at (near) max capacity and also when the "level" of the ground alters (for example: when you are making a short circuit, but also if the voltage level of the iron pole in the ground changes). The last trick is done with magnetism and works faster than any UPS, MOV or Protector without degrading. These breakers are expensive, will set you back 100 US dollar for a single line that carries 240 Volt and a max of 16 Amp. A house that is fitting for a standard size family in Holland has to have 5 of those (safety regulations).

Don't know if that kind of breakers are available and/or used in the US.  

There is quite some interesting material on the subject of grounding electrical installations from all different types and sizes. And they require quite some mathematical knowledge as well.
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2009, 03:25:06 PM »


Quote
Both are needed and the good ones I've worked with have a grasp on both ends of the rope.

Shouldn't have said this... my apologies!
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westom
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2009, 03:29:40 PM »

 A nearby utility pole strike is discharged through all routes to ground (e.g. houses on the block). Being spread out lessens its impact on any one individual dwelling. … If however the strike hits (a tree towards the back of the house (opposite the service entry point) the system is effectively back fed which puts a rather different spin on the proverbial ball.
 Exactly.  Slowly we are working towards reality.  Apparently you don’t realize the ground rod must be the single point earth ground.   Again, you are too quick to challenge rather than learn the significance of what you have just posted.    Failure to install the single point earthing means a struck tree is also a direct connection to household appliances if the building earthing is performed incorrectly.

  So why would you have damage?  Follow the current from cloud to earth.  Down to the tree, through earth, up the ground rod, into the building through appliances, out the other side of the building via improper earthing, then miles to those distant charges.  That is why homes are routinely built or upgraded with Ufer grounds or equivalent.

  Same problem was in the Orange County emergency facilities.  So they installed no plug-in protectors.  Instead they fixed the problem:
    www.psihq.com/AllCopper.htm

Why did you have damage?  According to your own words, defective earthing.  A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.   And yours apparently sucks.

  Yes, direct strikes to AC mains are distributed to all homes – as IEEE papers discussed.  So a 50,000 amp surge is distributed to all homes – 12,000 amps?  Or, some homes take the brunt of that surge. Which direction will currents go to find those earthborne charges?  Reality – a direct strike to AC mains is a current that seeks earth ground even through household appliances.   Induced surges are not destructive.  Damage is when the surge current is not properly earthed – conducts destructively through appliances.

  Contrary to what you imply – it is routine to have direct lightning strikes to the utility wires or that tree – and no damage.  But it requires a human to first learn the concept.  No foolishly buy plug-in solution that do not even claim such protection.  In your case, the computer saved itself.  The battery backup was so pathetic as to be damaged by a trivial surge.

  Moving on, you are confusing big with effective.   All that AC mains conditioning equipment has little involvement with surges.  It mostly addresses other problems including harmonics, brownouts, blackouts, and noise.  

  Did you view the chambers where every wire entering the building is first earthed (as short as possible) to single point earth ground?  Then you never saw nor learned about surge protection.  You never learned what has been standard surge protection for over 100 years.  That is my point.  We know how surge protection works for over 100 years.  That battery backup violates those principles as well as not even claim such protection.  Why would you recommend something when the manufacturer will not even make that claim?

  Many only believe the first thing a told by a retail store salesman.  You have described the reason for surge damage: your earthing is defective.  A protector is only as effective as its earth ground – which is why that telco CO has massive earthing.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2009, 03:30:51 PM »

Quote
Both are needed and the good ones I've worked with have a grasp on both ends of the rope.

Shouldn't have said this... my apologies!
It's all good man... Wink
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