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  • Writer's pictureGabriel Gandra

What's a distribution surge arrester or lightning arrester?


A distribution surge arrester (also known as a lightning arrester) is an electrical protection device used to mitigate overvoltage events caused by lightning or other sources. It works by limiting the voltage of the power distribution system and diverting any excess current to ground. This helps protect equipment connected to the distribution system from damage caused by a sudden surge in voltage.


The purpose of a distribution surge arrester is to protect your electrical infrastructure against sudden increases in voltage, commonly known as “surges”. These surges can be caused by either lightning strikes or other transient events, such as switching operations on power lines or nearby industrial equipment. Without proper protection, these surges can cause significant damage to sensitive.

How does it work?

Distribution surge arresters are connected to the distribution networks. When a surge in voltage occurs, the arrester detects the increase and immediately diverts the current to ground. This helps prevent any further damage caused by the surge.

The most advanced surge arrester type for distribution networks is the ZnO MOV blocks surge arrester.

How does ZnO MOV blocks works?

Zinc oxide MOV blocks help protect distribution surge arresters by providing a low-resistance path for current to follow. The zinc oxide MOV block is designed to conduct high levels of electricity, allowing it to absorb the voltage and dissipate excess energy while limiting any damage to the distribution system.

How to rate a distribution surge arrester?

When rating distribution surge arresters, it is important to consider the surge rating of the device. This is usually expressed as a voltage rating and indicates its voltage levels operating conditions and how much energy an arrester can divert away from your distribution network. Read more about this topic on this article.

It is also important to take into account the size, construction materials and dimensions of the arrester you are purchasing, as this will affect overall performance.

Where surge arresters should be used?

Surge arresters should be used in distribution networks to protect lines, transformers and other electrical equipment from lightning strikes or power faults. This can help to reduce downtime, repair costs and loss of revenue due to outages.

Where to buy?

If you want to know more about the surge arrester manufacturers in the US please read the article "What are the surge arrester companies in the US?"

Mobile surge arresters

It's also recommended that you use mobile surge arrester on high lightning density area, this way you can save maintenance costs by replacing the surge arrester in 1 minute without outages. Read more here.


Surge arresters are vital components in distribution networks, protecting equipment from lightning strikes and power faults. Research should also be conducted into which manufacturers have the best quality arresters available in order to get the best product for your distribution network. Additionally, speaking with an expert can help you make a more informed decision.

By doing all of these things, you can ensure that your distribution network is optimally protected against power surges and outages.


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