Control & Automation
A word on surge protectors in the modern facility
Energy Management spoke with Kevin Ashton, general manager for BELKIN CONSERVE, to learn more about surge protection. Here’s is what he said:
Surge protectors were originally devices that provided extra outlets and, as surge capabilities were added, they became devices to protect vital electronic equipment.
Today, state-of-the-art surge protectors add important conservation features, helping buildings save energy by automatically shutting off idle equipment. There are three types of energy-saving surge protectors to consider: master/slave units, units with timers, and units with remote switches.
Master/slave devices are good for computer and audio-visual set-ups that have attached peripherals. Users plug computers or projectors into the master outlet, and plug peripherals like speakers, printers and desk lamps into the slave outlets. When the ‘master’ device is powered down, the surge protector will sense this and automatically shut off power to the ‘slave’ devices.
Units with timers allow workers to ‘check in’ at the start of the day by pushing a desktop button that powers the station. After 11 hours when, hopefully, workers have gone home, the surge protector will power down all devices. The worker can also ‘check out’ when leaving by simply pushing the button again.
Remote switch units (such as the Belkin Conserve Switch) allow workers to power devices down just like they are turning off a light switch.
All three systems can save considerable amounts of electricity, depending on how they are used and what would otherwise be left on.
In our experience, most facility managers are very smart about paying attention to the details of their operations. In today’s economy, they have become masters at making every cent count. Managers also ensure that any measures they take add to the comfort and convenience of the people using their facilities. This may be one reason why sales of our energy-efficient surge protectors are growing. Facility managers truly see the value in energy conservation.