Surge Arrester: Learn the Purpose, Cost, and Lead Time to Procure

Surge Arrester
Surge Arrester

Purpose of surge arrester

Surge arresters are primarily used to discharge lightning strikes and switching surges to ground – protecting equipment in the process.

Note that arresters are not applied to relieve the system from temporary over-voltages. For instance, when a phase-to-ground fault occurs on one phase, the voltage on the healthy phases shoot-up by a factor of \sqrt{3}. A surge arrester is sized to withstand these (i.e. not overheat).

Insulation coordination study - Substation design calculations
Insulation coordination study

The size and location of surge arresters are based on a study – the insulation coordination study. Regardless, it is typical to install arresters near the dead-end structures where the t-line comes in and on the most expensive piece of equipment – the transformer.

Surge arrester installed on the dead-end structure.
Surge arrester installed on the dead-end structure.
Surge arresters on a transformer
Surge arresters on a transformer. Image credit: Western Area Power – Mead substation.

Cost of surge arrester

  • 12kV or 34kV arresters: ~$500
  • 138kV nominal voltage arrester: ~$2,000
  • 345kV nominal voltage arrester: ~$4,000

Lead time to procure surge arrester

~20 weeks for high voltage units. Extra high voltage may have longer lead times.

Information on cost and lead time is for your general knowledge only. Contact vendor with your equipment specifications for actual figures.

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Surge Arrester: Learn the Purpose, Cost, and Lead Time to Procure 1

Substation Major Equipment

It’s only stupid-simple, let’s begin.

For which event should a surge arrester operate? Check all that apply.
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A transformer develops an internal fault. Which device would you install on the transformer high-side to interrupt fault current?
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In a distribution substation, the available ground-fault current on the low side of the step-down transformer is excessive, over-dutying the switching equipment. What is your cost-effective solution to reducing the fault current?
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Which combination of devices would you use to implement power line carrier?
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What’s the purpose of a conventional power transformer?
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An industrial facility is plagued with voltage flicker and poor power factor at the service entrance. What’s the remedy?
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You are building an interconnect station, tying wind farm generation to the power grid. At the substation, the sources are tied through a tie-breaker. Which device would you install to check voltage magnitude and synchronization?
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