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.

Check the video below to see how it is made.

Cost of surge arrester

  • 12kV 10.2kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$300 /phase
  • 35kV 29kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$500 /phase
  • 69kV 57kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$600 /phase
  • 138kV 108kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$2,000 /phase
  • 230kV 180kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$3,500 /phase
  • 345kV 264kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$6,500 /phase
  • 500kV 318kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$17,000 /phase
  • 765kV 467kV MCOV porcelain station class arrester: ~$28,000 /phase

Note: The cost includes the price of structural steel for 138kV and above arresters.

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.

An industrial facility is plagued with voltage flicker (due to harmonics) and poor power factor at the service entrance. Which device would you install to fix both issues?
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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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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 make sure the sources are synchronized?
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For which event should a surge arrester operate? Check all that apply.
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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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Your score is

The average score is 40%

Aleen Mohammed

Aleen Mohammed

Registered Professional Engineer | MSEE
Skillset: Substation Design | Power System Studies | Arc Flash Study
DISCLAIMER: ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE MINE ALONE.

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