Prilux focuses on surge protectors in its R&D investment

ED technology for public and industrial lighting installations has many advantages, such as its durability and increasing levels of energy efficiency. However, among its drawbacks, its high sensitivity to overvoltages is due to the fact that it is based on electronic equipment. With the aim of achieving maximum performance and durability, the Prilux Group includes an additional surge protector inside the product in its road luminaires and most of those destined for industrial use.
“When we started this new stage in the business group in which we focus on our own manufacturing, we were clear that investing in R & D was the key to opening a niche in such a competitive and mature market. Although our main idea was to design quality products and innovative, we see it imperative to invest in all those elements that help to extend the durability and maximize the efficiency of each product. We detected the surges as a great LED weakness and we saw that we had to work hard to find solutions, “explains Carlos Alberto Pretel, CEO Prilux.
Surge arresters are essentially based on an electronic component, the varistor, consisting of two disks slightly separated by metal oxides. The latter, however, are of short duration and are due to three reasons: disturbances from the power grid itself, industrial motor starters, voltage surges generated by storms or lightning and surges caused by the accumulation of electrostatic charge in the luminaire. Surge arresters are essentially based on an electronic component, the varistor, consisting of two disks slightly separated by metal oxides. It is these transient overvoltages that can easily cause serious damage to LED luminaires.
Two main types of overvoltages can be distinguished: permanent and transient. The former refers to a mains voltage maintained above its nominal value over a long period of time. The latter, on the other hand, are of short duration and are due to three reasons: disturbances from the electrical network itself, industrial motor start-ups, voltage peaks generated by storms or lightning and surges caused by the accumulation of electrostatic charge in the luminaire. It is precisely these transient overvoltages that can easily cause serious damage to LED luminaires.
In order to reduce defects in luminaires due to overvoltages, Article 16.3 of the Low Voltage Electrotechnical Regulation (REBT) stipulates that “protection systems for low-voltage interior or receiving installations shall prevent the effects of overcurrents and overvoltages that can be foreseen in these installations due to different causes and shall protect their materials and equipment from the actions and effects of external agents”. According to the technical instruction ITC09, chapter 10, which regulates the grounding of Class I luminaires, the luminaires must be properly grounded and the installation of the grounding line must be adequate.
Until recently it was recommended to install surge protectors as close as possible to the electronic equipment, however, it has been shown that installing the surge protector in the pole register, even if far away from the luminaire, is also effective protection. It may therefore be advisable for the installer to use additional surge protection at the base of the pole in addition to the other protection devices. The great advantage of installing the protector on the column is that maintenance is much easier and more convenient.
The Prilux Group includes as standard in most public and industrial lighting products, within the luminaire itself, an additional surge protector from one of the pioneering and highest quality manufacturers of this type of device. Similarly, the LED modules designed by the R&D department include specific protections to protect the LEDs themselves from overvoltage. With this, the Prilux Group ensures that it has some of the best-prepared equipment on the market to overcome overvoltages, with the driver’s own protection, specific double protections on the LED modules and additional protectors inside the luminaire.
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