Power problems, your vessel and your electronic toys.
Power quality problems are everywhere – including when you plug into the marina dock pedestal. Most of us just assume that the power being provided is going to be ample and clean. The worst of this is that it could be, but the vessels around you can also be the cause of power surges. Suddenly starting and stopping large electric motors can cause huge fluctuations in power. These surges can be 20,000 volts or more and are so short in time duration they do not open a breaker.
Now this surge can run through your shore power system and wipe out anything in its path. IPods, WiFi, inverters, fans, TVs, computers, stereos – all are common victims and certainly amongst my my favorite toys! For Yacht Charter companies this really creates a problem when they lose A/C units and controllers. Now we are talking missing charters and therefore lost revenue.
The answer to this problem comes from the household market: a cascaded system of Surge Protection Devices (known as SPD’s) that can be easily mounted throughout your vessel and protect all of your electronic devices. By clamping down the spike as it moves through your system each device can reduce the power surge to a manageable size before it hits your equipment. A large unit on your incoming panel, together with the smaller plug-in units spread around your outlets for each device, will usually do the trick. On larger vessels a large unit on each panel would be recommended.
Back on terra firma, for households we recommend:
- a 50 Ka unit and above on the incoming mains disconnect
- a smaller trap unit on each panelboard
- lastly a wall unit for each device will protect you quite well.
- There are also telephone and cable units available to provide protection from back door surges.
So, if you’re concerned about power quality and you want to protect those essential electronic toys, think SPDs!