Author Archives: Yun Hao Sim

Yun Hao Sim

About Yun Hao Sim

Yun Hao is a Product Marketing Engineer with Phoenix Contact SEA.

Predictive Monitoring of Protective Devices for Continuous Protection and Availability of Signals

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Lightning strikes over city skyline

Lightning strikes over city skyline

Plant safety in the chemical and petrochemical industries must satisfy high demands – reliability and availability are crucial factors for continuous production processes. Signal interfaces are at far greater risk of surge voltages than power supply systems. This is a result of the numerous cables laid in parallel and the more sensitive input and output interfaces. Based on the risk potential and safety level required for the interface, a variety of surge protective devices are used. These are installed directly before the signal inputs to be protected. The circuits of these protective devices are adapted to the relevant signal types.

Have you thought of what would have happened in the event when any existing non-pluggable surge protective devices (SPDs) are overloaded without any sign of status indication? Continue reading

IEC/EN 61643-11 International Standard – Are your Surge Protective Devices (SPDs) tested and compliant?

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Surge Protective Devices Must Meet Standards

Surge protective devices (SPDs) must provide defined protective functions and performance parameters in order to be suitable for use in corresponding protection concepts. As such, they are developed, tested, and classified according to their own international series of product standards.
Surge protective devices connected to low-voltage power systems are subjected to the requirements and test methods specified by the latest IEC/EN 61643-11 International Standard.

A true mark of quality is a product certification and approval from an independent testing institute. This confirms the fulfillment of the latest state-of-art product standard to ensure highest safety and integrity of the SPDs. The regulatory requirements placed on SPDs often require highly complex tests that only a few testing laboratories in the world are fully capable of carrying out.

How do you know?

The quality and performance of surge protective devices are hard for a customer to assess. Correct functioning can only be tested in suitable laboratories. Besides the external appearance and haptics, only the technical data provided by the manufacturer can provide any guidance. Even more important is a reliable statement from the manufacturer & certification/approval regarding the performance of the SPD and the execution of the tests specified in the respective product standard from series IEC 61643.

Safe Energy Control SPD

Safe Energy Control (SEC) SPD

In line with the revision of the most recent IEC/EN 61643-11 International Standard, the latest range of Safe Energy Control (SEC) SPDs from Phoenix Contact is furnished with independent certifications (i.e. KEMA/DEKRA, DNV/GL, UL). The SEC protective devices work discreetly in the background, providing consistent safeguarding for the entire system even in cases where high lightning surge currents are being discharged.

cb testing certificateCB Test Certificate ul certificateUL Certificate
dmv gl certificateDNV GL Certificate kema dekra certificateKEMA DEKRA Certificate

If you would like to download a copy of the certificate(s), just let us know by dropping us an email at!

SS 555 + IEC 62305 SER Lightning Protection Updates Seminar

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Building_lightningLightning is a natural and unavoidable event which not only risks the lives of livestock but also affects low-voltage systems (power systems as well as signal/communication systems) through several mechanisms. The obvious interaction is a flash to the power system, but other coupling mechanisms can also produce over-voltages.

Singapore is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of lightning strikes. Situated close to the Equator, the warm and humid tropical conditions are highly favourable for the development of thunderstorms which produce lightning. “On average, Singapore experiences 168 thunderstorm days per year. This refers to the number of days in which thunder is heard over Singapore, and gives an indication of lightning activity (as thunderstorms are associated with lightning)”, National Environment Agency, NEA.

A lightning rod or a mesh-shaped external lightning protection system cannot provide complete protection against direct lightning strikes. This means it is only possible to state the probability that a lightning will be trapped. The probability that a lightning will strike in the area protected by a lightning rod can be calculated in relation to the lightning protection level selected.

The need for protection, the economic benefits of installing protection measures and the selection of adequate protection measures should be determined in terms of risk management which is part of the subjects of the Singapore Standard SS555 (Code of practice for protection against Lightning). The criteria for design, installation and maintenance of lightning protection measures are also considered in SS555. Since the IEC 62305 standard is a normative reference in the SS555, an updated version of SS555 is soon to be reviewed and published due to the revised version of the IEC 62305 standard.

Phoenix Contact is pleased to present you the 3-day “SS 555 + IEC 62305:2013 SER Lightning Protection Updates” Seminar. This seminar aims to provide the participants with insight updates to the SS 555 Lightning Protection Standard, a clear understanding of the effects of lightning and what can or cannot be done to alleviate its effects. The various methods available for lightning protection of building structures will be described and some case study examples will be presented to illustrate their effectiveness or otherwise.

Click here to find out more and sign up for the seminar

The world’s narrowest, pluggable lightning arrester combination

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The Flashtrab-SEC-T1+T2 protective device combination consists of line-follow-current-free type 1 lightning arresters on the basis of a spark gap and varistor-based type 2 surge protective devices. This combination, in just one device, is the only one on the market worldwide.


Thanks to Safe Energy Control technology (SEC), the products are durable and powerful. The load of the entire installation is reduced to a minimum in the event of lightning. The lightning arrester combination provides specific protection for installation environments with frequent switching operations. High lightning currents are safely controlled from the spark gap free of line follow current and temporary surge voltages are reliably limited by the varistors. The resulting low voltage protection level and fuse-free use in 230/400 V power supply systems are further advantages of this product range.

The compact arrester reduces the effort required for installation and maintenance. All products are pluggable and can be tested with the test device for the Checkmaster 2 surge protective devices.

Durable and powerful type-1 lightning current arrester

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The Flashtrab SEC-PLUS type-1 lightning current arresters from Phoenix Contact, which are particularly durable and powerful thanks to Safe Energy Control Technology, have just been complemented by two product variants:

The Flashtrab SEC-PLUS 440 product variant is particularly suited to special industrial applications with 440/690-V networks or 400-V power supply systems. The products impress with their strong shock and vibration resistance. This compact variant can be used up to 400 A without an additional backup fuse.


The Flashtrab SEC-PLUS 350 variant is used in the pre-metering area of the main feed, or in industrial applications. High voltage fluctuations and lightning current loads are no problem for the type-1 arrester. The good protection level and backup fuse-free use up to 315 A deliver additional advantages.

Both variants are pluggable and can be tested with the CheckMaster 2 test instrument for surge protection devices. Like any other SEC family type-1 arrester, the Flashtrab SEC-PLUS devices are also type-2 arrester tested and certified.

Powerful PV overvoltage protection

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The new VAL-MB product family from Phoenix Contact provides powerful and compact protective devices for photovoltaic applications with generator voltages of up to 1500 V DC. The protective devices are specially adapted to DC application requirements and certified by KEMA.

Longer inlet funnels and higher screw shafts provide additional protection against arcing. The product range includes protective devices for generator voltages of 600 V DC, 1000 V DC and 1500 V DC, as type-1/2 lightning current arresters, as well as pure type 2 surge protection devices. Variants are available with or without remote signaling contact. All protective devices have a short-circuit protection of 2000 A and can also be used in high-altitude plants up to 6000 meters in altitude.

Intelligent Surge Protection for Process Technology

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Phoenix Contact’s Plugtrab PT-IQ surge protection devices for MCR and process technology warn plant operators before protection of the plant is lost. To achieve this, each voltage-limiting component in the protective plugs is continuously monitored. If the performance limit has been reached as a result of frequent surge voltages, this is indicated by a yellow signal on the protective device and via remote signaling. At this time, the arresters are still functional and the plant is protected. However, replacing the component is recommended to prevent unnecessary servicing.


Plugtrab PT-IQ Ex protective devices are available for intrinsically safe areas. These devices can be installed in Ex Zone 2. The intrinsically safe protective circuits can be routed up to Ex Zone 0.

Thanks to multi-level monitoring and signaling, the plant operator always knows the status of protective devices and therefore has an overview of surge voltage protection in the plant. This intelligent surge voltage protection is available with traditional screw connection technology as well as innovative push-in connection technology. A controller supplies up to 28 protection modules with voltage and allows for connection of a central remote monitoring system.

Pluggable lightning arrester with backup fuse

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The Flashtrab-SEC-Hybrid lightning arresters from Phoenix Contact are the world’s first pluggable type 1 lightning arresters with integrated arrester backup fuse without line follow current

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The products are based on the Safe Energy Control Technology (SEC) from Phoenix Contact, which enables even high discharge currents to be kept safely under control. With the new push-pull mechanism, the protective device plugs are easy to remove and latch after being inserted in the base element in a vibration-resistant manner. The integrated backup fuse allows the lightning arrester to be installed easily and flexibly.

In comparison to installations with separate backup fuses, the new devices save up to 60% space, reduce wiring costs and effort, and allow customers to freely choose the installation location. The type 1 lightning arrester is suitable for use in 230/400 V power supply systems without a back-up fuse.