The 9 types of power problems are:
- Power Failure
- Power Sag
- Power Surge
- Electrical Line Noise
- Frequency Variation
- Switching Transient
- Harmonic Distortion
The levels of power protection are:
1. Power Failure
- A total loss of utility power.
It can lead to hardware damage, data loss, or total system crashes and
can be caused by a number of events:
- lightning strikes;
- downed power lines;
- grid over demands;
- tripped facility breakers;
- accidents; or,
- natural disasters.
2. Power Sag
- Short-term low voltage.
Similar to power failures, sags can damage the hardware and can be triggered by:
- the startup of large loads;
- utility switching;
- utility equipment failure;
- lightning; or.
- power service that is too small for the demand.
3. Power Surge
- Also known as a Spike.
Short-term high voltage above 110% of nominal. The results can potentially damage hardware. With voltages above 110% of nominal, surges can be triggered by:
- a rapid reduction in power loads;
- heavy equipment being turned off; or,
- utility switching.
- Also known as a Brownout.
Reduced line voltage for extended periods of a few minutes to a few days. Undervoltage can lead to equipment failure. Can be caused by:
- an intentional utility voltage reduction to conserve power during peak demand periods; or,
- other heavy loads that exceed supply capacity.
- Increased line voltage for extended periods of a few minutes to a few days.
Overvoltage almost always results in data loss or hardware damage. Can be caused by a lightning strike and can send line voltages to levels in excess of 6,000 volts.
6. Electrical Line Noise
- High frequency waveform caused by RFI or EMI interference.
Introduces glitches and errors into programs/files as well as damaging hardware components.
Can be caused by either RFI or EMI interference generated by;
- welding devices;
- SCR driven printers;
- lightning; or,
- a variety of other electrical
7. Frequency Variation
- A change in frequency stability.
This often results from generator or small co-generation sites being loaded and unloaded. Frequency variation can cause:
- erratic operation;
- data loss;
- system crashes; or,
- equipment damage.
8. Switching Transient
- Instantaneous ender voltage (notch) in the range of nanoseconds.
Normal duration is shorter than a spike and generally falls in the range of nanoseconds. Can result in quirky computer behavior and puts stress on components which can lead to premature failure.
9. Harmonic Distortion
- Distortion of the normal waveform generally.
Can cause communication errors, overheating and hardware damage. Examples of
non-linear loads that can cause this condition are:
- Switch mode power supplies;
- variable speed motors and drives;
- copiers; and.
- fax machines.