Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Silent LED Message Center Killers: Power

-Deacon Wardlow
Improper power can damage the longevity and performance of your LED message center. Lightning strikes can instantly destroy expensive electronics without warning. In other cases, brown outs, under/over voltage and current spikes caused by excessive power demand can also damage electronics. The electrical grid that delivers power is subject to disturbances and potential failure.

Top 5 Power issues:

· Voltage Spike: An instantaneous increase in voltage from 300 to 6000 volts (normal is 120 Volts) caused by lightning or grid fault

· Over Voltage: a longer-term event caused by a large load instantaneously taken off the grid causing voltage to rise above 138 volts

· Under Voltage (Brownout): Too much load on the power grid resulting in voltage decreases from 120 volts to below 90 volts

· Power Outage: Zero voltage lasting for 2 seconds to several hours

· Voltage Sag: Caused by a large load placed on the grid resulting in delivery of less than 100 volts for up to 2 seconds

All grid disturbances can potentially damage sensitive electronic components. The most common and under-reported grid disturbances are Voltage Sag and under voltage events. In some cases, Voltage Sag occurs 30 to 100 times per year. The Under Voltage event is similar to a Voltage Sag, but last longer – sometimes for hours, days, and weeks or even years before the inevitable long-term damage is visible and the problem isolated to under power on the system. Voltage Spikes can also cause serious damage, including fire, but are less common and damage can usually be avoided with surge suppressors which should be a standard component for a reliable manufacturer of LED message centers.

Under Voltage and Voltage Sag events in the power grid cause the most serious damage because they chip away at the integrity of the equipment with each event and there can be hundreds of events in a year. When a Voltage Sag or Under Voltage event occurs, it is also followed by a current surge or current inrush when the proper voltage is restored. The constant fluctuation of power will shorten the life span and performance of the system.

Protect your business and your investment. Any installation of an LED message center should include power metering which most electricians and LED sign dealers should be able to do. This one time metering will save you lost business when a system fails years early due to consistent under voltage or other power issues which could have been caught at the time of initial installation.

The power company won’t step up and do anything until you have proof positive there’s a problem. By monitoring a new installation over a weekend or (even better) a week, you’ll know if the power is good or if there’s a problem. You can be sure you, your brand and your reputation (along with the investment in the LED message center) will be safe for the long haul.

*Always feel free to comment here and/or email me directly with requests at deacon@vantageled.com. Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (http://www.vantageled.com), please check it out when you have a moment. Advertisements/promotion for your business and inappropriate comments will be deleted.. Thank you!

**Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

No comments:

Post a Comment