The green light for Clixtrab surge protection

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Written by Mark Lloyd, Senior Product Manager- Power Supplies & Surge Protection

Safety-related systems, such as signalling systems found on our railway networks, require reliable lightning and surge protection. You could imagine the outcry if a lightning strike was to take out a trackside signalling system and stop trains in their tracks (no pun intended)!

Our new family, CLIXTRAB, is specifically designed for use in the kind of safety-related systems you find in the railway industry but is also suitable for many other industry sectors.

For this kind of safety critical application, the surge protection devices must remain impact-free, and must not affect other signal paths and this is the most critical consideration.

This is achieved using a series connection of a metal oxide varistor (MOV) and gas discharge tube (GDT) and as a result prevents any impermissible influence on signals from leakage currents.

Without going into too much detail the CLIXTRAB range incorporates all the features you would expect from Phoenix Contact surge arrestors, including overload protection/thermal disconnect, visual status indication, pluggability and the ability to test the plug using the Checkmaster 2.

CLIXTRAB is also compatible with the Termitrab Complete remote monitoring set which allows signalling for up to 40 surge arrestors per monitoring set back to a control system. Crucially this does not need to draw any power from the signals to be protected.

CLIXTRAB is the result of collaboration between the Surge Protection and the Terminal block business units, so provides the best of both worlds. The terminal block part serves as the base element and is just as critical as the surge plug it mates with.

Up until CLIXTRAB the common solution requires 2 terminal blocks per signal pair plus an additional terminal block with a direct DIN rail contact used for dissipation of surge currents. Effectively three terminals with an overall width of approximately 15 mm on the DIN rail for 1 signal pair. The CLIXTRAB terminal block features an integrated DIN rail contact, reducing the space requirement per signal pair to just two terminals or only 10 mm. So, a saving of a 3rd of the required space which is not insignificant.

The base element has been designed as an integral component of the already established CLIPLINE complete terminal block system meaning it can make use of standard accessories for the terminal block system. It can therefore be integrated perfectly into existing installations as well as new. It also opens up other design opportunities by for example combining with other terminal blocks that can accommodate larger cross-sections, using Plug-in bridges to create potential distribution systems, as well as various test-disconnect and grounding connectors that are available for measurement and installation tasks.

The connections are Push in Terminals with all the advantages that come with this connection technology (speed and ease of installation, better resistance to vibration, etc), and the knife disconnects that make insulation and current loop measurements a breeze.

Figure 1. CLIXTRAB features & benefits at a glance.

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In a world of ever increasing digitalisation, by integrating CLIXTRAB into your digital infrastructure, you will be ideally prepared for the future so “Be on the safe side with CLIXTRAB”.

For more information, contact Mark on 07717 335477 or email



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