Potentially damaging electrical overvoltage threats are an everyday occurrence in today’s electrical and electronic world. Their intensity ranges from very light electrostatic-discharge (ESD) events to very intense lightning strike-induced surges on data lines and power lines. These events have the potential to lock up microprocessors, damage sensors, cripple computer communications ports, cause severe damage to equipment, and even threaten harm to users through electrical shock or cause a fire.
To address this wide range of threats, an equally wide range of circuit protection technologies is available. Currently available components span from small, fast PCB-mounted components to large, rugged wall-mounted devices. Some of these devices are binary in nature—they switch on or off. Others are more proportional or linear in their response to events.