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Toronto AES Bulletin


Jan 2001

Power Trip SurgeX Series Mode Surge Suppression

Neil A. Muncy of Neil Muncy Associates, Toronto and Andrew Benton, Chief Engineer, New Frontier/SurgeX, New Hope PA delighted the audience with a highly interesting and entertaining presentation of power conditioning and surge protection. The presentation was presented in three parts and was based on the ongoing series of articles in Andrew Marshall's Audio Ideas Guide magazine.

Part 1, titled Building AC Power Systems, Power Conditioners & Filters, was covered by Neil and began with a tutorial on the nature of AC power systems and their performance characteristics and limitations. There was particular emphasis on the electrical power systems serving project studios, Audio/Video production and editing facilities, Home Theatres, Audiophile sound systems and other similar installations. A comparison of advertised specifications versus objectively measured performance parameters for a number of power conditioning devices widely marketed into the Professional, Audiophile/Home Theatre, and Office equipment markets was shown. This included live demonstrations of the actual performance of some of the best and worst examples of each.

In Part 2, titled Surge Protection, Andy Benton began with a review of IEEE research into the likely magnitude of power surges in buildings (as now incorporated into the ANSI C62.41-1991 Technical Standard for Surge Suppression devices). The basic concepts of the conventional shunt surge suppression technology were examined and the fundamental weaknesses exposed. Andy then introduced a radically different series-shunt surge protection technology and explained how the limitations of the shunt protection scheme were eliminated. An ongoing demonstration illustrating the robustness of this new technology was made. (This included the use of an ANSI/IEEE Surge Generator capable of delivering the maximum surge energy (6000 V/3000 A) likely to occur in a building as identified by IEEE research.)

In Part 3 both Neil and Andy fielded many questions from an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.

by Jim Hayward Chairman

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Originally posted: 16 Jan 2001
Last update: 16 Jan 2001