Reduce Power Interruptions With a SAG Ride Through Power Conditioner

A SAG ride-through power conditioner could be your first line of defense against costly voltage disturbances.

A sudden voltage SAG ripples through your electrical system. Equipment malfunctions, processes grind to a halt, and the financial losses start mounting. Could this scenario have been prevented? Absolutely. 

In this Power Grid Podcast Episode, Brian Branigan unravels the mystery behind voltage SAGs and swells and how SAG ride-through power conditioners can safeguard your critical operations.




About Voltage SAGs and Swells

Voltage SAGs and swells are fluctuations in the electrical voltage that deviate from the normal operating range.

Voltage SAGs:  A voltage SAG is a brief decrease in voltage, typically lasting less than a second.  These dips can be caused by a variety of factors

  • Grid Switching: Utility companies often switch power sources, causing temporary voltage drops.
  • Storms: Lightning strikes or downed power lines can create voltage disturbances.
  • Motor Starting: Large motors draw a significant amount of current when starting, which can cause a voltage SAG.
  • Utility System Faults: Problems within the power grid, such as equipment failures or overloaded circuits, can result in voltage SAGs.


Voltage Swells:  Conversely, a voltage swell is a brief increase in voltage.  

  • Large Load Changes: Sudden reductions in electrical load can cause a temporary spike in voltage.
  • Abrupt Load Reduction: When a large load is disconnected from the system, the voltage can briefly surge.
  • Power Line Switching: Similar to grid switching, power line switching can create voltage swells.
  • Loose Connections: Poor electrical connections can result in intermittent voltage swells.


Brian Branigan Sag Ride Through Power Conditioner

The Effects of Power Surges

Even brief voltage SAGs, lasting mere milliseconds, can have a significant financial impact on your business.  

Sensitive equipment can be damaged or malfunction, leading to costly repairs or replacements.  

Production processes can be disrupted, resulting in downtime and lost productivity.  In some cases, products in the manufacturing process can be damaged or ruined, adding to the financial losses.


The Importance of Voltage SAG Ride Through

Voltage SAG ride-through refers to the ability of equipment to continue operating during a voltage SAG.  This is particularly crucial for critical processes and equipment that cannot tolerate even momentary interruptions.

Business Continuity

For many businesses, uninterrupted operation is essential. Voltage SAG ride-through ensures that critical processes can continue during brief voltage disturbances, preventing costly downtime and ensuring business continuity.  

This is especially important in industries like manufacturing, healthcare, and data centers, where even a few seconds of downtime can have severe consequences.

The Power Grid Podcast Sag Ride Through Power Conditioner

How SAG Ride-Through Power Conditioners Work

SAG ride-through power conditioners (SRTCs), also known as active voltage conditioners, are sophisticated devices designed to actively monitor and correct voltage fluctuations. 

Constantly monitoring the incoming voltage and detecting any SAGs or swells and injecting a corrective voltage in series with the supply voltage to compensate for any deviations from the desired voltage level.


Key Components of a SAG Ride Through Power Conditioner:

  • Transformer: Used for voltage injection and isolation.
  • Rectifier: Converts AC power to DC power for the inverter.
  • Inverter: Converts DC power back to AC power and generates the corrective voltage.
  • Bypass Mechanism: Provides a safe path for current to flow in case of a fault or overload.

Inrush Current Management:

One of the key advantages of SRTCs is their ability to handle high inrush currents.  Inrush current is the initial surge of current that occurs when equipment is first turned on.  

This can be several times higher than the normal operating current and can cause problems for some power protection devices.  

SRTCs are designed to withstand these high currents, making them ideal for applications with large motors or variable frequency drives.

Sag Ride Through Power Conditioner

Benefits of SAG Ride Through Power Conditioners

SRTCs offer a range of benefits for businesses and industries that rely on reliable power:

SRTCs protect against both voltage SAGs and swells, ensuring a stable and consistent voltage supply for your critical equipment.

These devices react to voltage fluctuations in microseconds, minimizing the impact on sensitive equipment.

SRTCs also operate with high efficiency, meaning they consume minimal energy and have low operating costs.

Unlike uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), SRTCs do not require batteries, reducing maintenance requirements and eliminating the need for battery replacement and disposal.

Many SRTCs are modular, allowing you to easily add capacity as your power needs grow.

Active Voltage Conditioner vs. UPS: Which is Right for You?

While both active voltage conditioners (SRTCs) and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) offer protection against power problems, they serve different purposes.

  • Active Voltage Conditioner (SRTC): Primarily designed for voltage regulation and SAG/swell protection. They do not provide backup power during outages.
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS): Provides backup power during outages, allowing critical equipment to continue operating for a limited time. Some UPS systems also offer voltage regulation and SAG/swell protection.

Choosing the right solution depends on your specific needs and priorities.  If your primary concern is voltage SAGs and swells, an SRTC may be the most cost-effective and efficient option.  If you also need backup power during outages, a UPS system may be a better choice.

PQU-university Sag Ride Through Power Conditioner


SAG Ride Through for High Voltage Applications

SAG ride through technology is not limited to low voltage systems.  High voltage capacitor banks can also be equipped with SAG ride through capabilities to protect entire facilities or specific high-voltage equipment.  

This is particularly valuable for industrial plants, utilities, and large commercial buildings.

A high voltage capacitor bank with SAG ride through can act as a buffer during voltage SAGs, maintaining a stable voltage level for your entire facility or a specific high-voltage load.  


Sizing Your SAG Ride Through Power Conditioner

Choosing the right size SAG ride through (SRT) power conditioner is crucial for ensuring effective protection. 

An undersized unit may not provide adequate correction during deep voltage SAGs, while an oversized unit can be unnecessarily expensive. Here are the key factors to consider when sizing your SRTC:

  • Load Size: The total power demand (in kVA) of the equipment you want to protect is the primary factor in determining the size of your SRTC.
  • Inrush Current: Many electrical devices, especially motors and transformers, experience a high inrush current when they are first turned on. SRTCs are designed to handle these inrush currents, but it’s important to select a model with sufficient capacity to accommodate the inrush of your specific equipment.
  • Voltage SAG/Swell Tolerance: Different types of equipment have varying tolerances for voltage fluctuations.
  • Future Expansion: Consider your future power needs. If you anticipate adding more equipment or increasing your power demand, select a modular SRTC that can be easily expanded to accommodate your growing needs.


Brian Branigan- Sag Ride Through Power Conditioner

Partnering with Power Protection Products for Your SAG Needs

Power Protection Products (P3) is your trusted resource for SAG ride through power conditioners and comprehensive power quality solutions. 

We understand the critical role that reliable power plays in your operations, and we’re committed to providing the expertise and support you need to safeguard your facility.


Power Protection Products Expertise

Our team of experienced engineers has a deep understanding of power quality issues and SAG ride-through technology.  

We can assess your facility’s power quality needs, analyze your load profile, and recommend the most suitable SRTC model for your specific requirements.


Custom Solutions:

We recognize that every facility is unique, with different power demands and sensitivities to voltage fluctuations.  That’s why we offer customized SAG ride-through solutions tailored to your specific needs and budget.

At  Power Protection Products, we can help you make informed decisions about quality surge suppression solutions tailored to the unique demands of your operation.

The Power Grid podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative.