The Power Problem

Q Why are we suddenly having this power problem?

A Over the years, electricity has been relatively problem free source of energy. Until the “new kid on the block“ (the integrated circuit or IC chip) came along and dramatically changed our business and personal environments. Now we’re all faced with the complexities of this new technology and it’s predicted that a ¼ Chip will soon house several million components. Naturally, as it’s processing capabilities become more complex. This “new kid” is finding it more and more difficult to get along with it’s environment.

Q Why don’t the utility companies, or even the manufacturers of this sensitive equipment, make the necessary changes to accommodate this problem.

A Because there are too many variables. It simply wouldn’t  be cost effective and would end up costing the consumer more in the long run.

Unfortunately, the problem is your problem, and it’s costing you time and money!!

What are the most common power line problems?

Transient (Spike) is a brief surge of excess electrical energy superimposed on the sine wave lasting 8.3 milliseconds or less (less than ½ cycle on the sine wave.)

Surge is an over voltage 8.3 milliseconds or longer (greater than ½ cycle causing a swelling of the sine wave. Longer in duration than a Transient.

Sag is a short drop in voltage on the sine wave (under voltage) lasting >1/2 cycle.

What causes power line problems?

There are dozens of causes! They can vary in frequency and intensity and be generated externally and internally.


Lightning– a direct hit can be catastrophic.
Distant lightening– strikes several miles away and transmits large voltage (spikes along transmission line).

Brownouts/blackouts– under voltage (Sag). Followed immediately by an voltage Transient, unusually high.

Grid switching-utility companies switching transmission lines from one supply to another.

Other users– on the same feeder line.


Electric motors switched on & off this is the # 1 cause of Transients (spikes), surges and Sags  (ie. elevators, air conditioners, power tools, copy machines, even coffee makers and light switches.)

  • Energizing and de-energizing- of relays or solenoid systems, power overloads short circuits or grounding of electrical circuits.
  • Power loss- in transformer or regulators due to utility failure causing high voltage Transients followed by Sag Opr blackout.

Transients are the most destructive! Transients are the leading cause of software and hardware problems and one Transient can degrade or destroy expensive hardware. Every microprocessor installation should be protected against these destructive Transients As thousands of dollars and needless man hours are being wasted in the repair and upkeep of sensitive equipment.

Can you afford even one of these problems? 

Upsets (software failure- no damage)
• Memory loss
• Erroneous characters

• Intermittent system halts
• Data errors of substandard performance
• Degraded information

Erosion (soft or hard- premature failure)
• Daily etching down of chips (micro bullets)
• Breakdown of the chip installation
• Contact erosion
• Shortening of component lifespan
• Thermal runaway of transistors

Burnout (hard failure)
• Frequent or requent or unexplained board failures
• Systems failure
• HAED crashes
• Loss of power supplies

The solution
You have the problem but we have the solution! Since the average number of distributors are well over 100 per month, it’s simply good business to protect your equipment from destructive Transient over voltage phenomena.

What should you look for in protection?
Response time– fast enough to stop incoming Transients (5 nanoseconds or less).

Clamping voltage-ability to begin clamping a low enough voltage to prevent equipment damage.

Suppression capability– sufficient energy dissipation of Transient or Spike.

Backup protection– secondary stage takes over if the first stage takes a destructive hit.

Filed repair ability– easily replace modules without removing the entire unit from the site or shut down of equipment or operations.

Automatic reset– resets itself instantaneously after each occurrence.

Northern technologies S.A Transient control systems offer reliable protection.

You cannot afford to be without it

Our unique design and technology offer solid state dependability that will provide clean, ability that will provide clean, Transient- free power year after year while maintaining the integrity of your equipment. Best of all, Transient control systems have primary and secondary protection, providing your equipment with continuous non-uninterruptible protection!

More great features:
Reliable solid state protection
• True redundant system
• Non-degrading technology
• Response time less than 5 nanoseconds
• Medical and industrial quality

Indicator lights/ Automatic reset
• Power on light
• Primary and secondary stage failure lights
• Instantaneous reset –can sustain repetitive hits without failure or deterioration

Fused components
• Continuous parallel performance
• Prevents loss of power to critical loads if a hit or strike occurs

Field repairable
• Modular design
• No need to return to factory
• Can be repaired on site

Easy installation
• Plug in modules are supplied with medical or industrial grade receptacle and are easily installed in minutes
• Hardwired units are easily installed by a local licensed electrician

Additional features
• Minimal energy consumption
• No cooling required
• No moving parts
• Free maintenance
• Each unit is factory tested
• All UL approved components
• 3 year warranty

The benefits
• Suppresses destructive Transients
• Safeguards against costly damage

• Prevents unscheduled downtime
• Extends life of equipment
• Reduces costly service calls

Engineering and custom design
Our engineering department will assist you in choosing a standard Transient control system or a custom designed and engineered to meet your particular need or application.

We have the technical experience and personnel to handle destructive Transients.
Our entire staff of professionals is always available to provide assistance to a Facility’’s Engineer, Manager or Department Head.
We can analyze and identify power line problems, evaluate data or make appropriate recommendations for any application requirement, whether it’s one piece of equipment or an entire facility.