Today’s electronic equipment is particularly vulnerable to the voltage component of the transient energy. That’s because modern computer chips are comprised of millions of active circuits positioned upon a silicon wafer whose surface area measures no more than a square inch. There isn’t a lot of physical space separating the microprocessor’s components. It doesn’t take much of an overvoltage, lightning-induced or otherwise, to damage its components.
Surge suppressors, now more than ever, are required to protect electronic equipment. Transient overvoltage surges measuring as low as a few hundred volts/peak pack enough punch to damage sensitive electronic equipment beyond repair.
The voltage element of a transient surge is received like a slap in the face by modern integrated circuits (ICs), i.e., computer chips. In the same manner that we would feel a rush of pain if someone slapped us across the cheek, the computer chip will suffer in a similar sense albeit metaphorically. And while a series of quickly reoccurring and repeated slaps across our face would result with our feeling intense pain, multiple back to back transient surges occurring in quick succession will cause an otherwise healthy computer chip to fail catastrophically.
It becomes prudent to mitigate the potential damage associated with transients. That task is accomplished with surge protection devices (SPDs). SPDs have a fundamental purpose: to protect critical electronic equipment by diverting intense levels of transient current away from them while limiting the corresponding voltage amplitudes to safe levels. In other words, an SPD serves as electronic shock absorbers that attract transient surge energy and safely soaks it up before it gets to its protected equipment.