Power Shield UPS Knowledge Base

What is electrical noise, what are the sources and what is the solution?

in FAQ

The AC utility mains supply is polluted with spikes, surges and other disturbances generally referred to as electrical noise. It is a natural by – product of the distribution and use of electric power.

As the demand for power increases and decreases, the power supply companies bring generator stations on and off line. This process is usually known as Grid Switching. As the power providers attempt to carry the process off smoothly it can result in a brief dropout in power, followed by a brief surge as nominal power is restored.

Lightning strikes are also a potential source of power line noise and high energy spikes. Even when the strike is miles away, surges and spikes measuring thousands of volts may be injected into the power supply.

In general, much more electrical noise is created right in your own building / local area by noisy electrical loads. The start / stop operations of heavy duty electrical machines, such as air conditioners, lifts or welding equipment, and also normal office items, such as fluorescent lights, copiers, coffee makers, vending machines and even computers can throw back noise into the electrical system from which they operate.

In such situations, where actual breaks in the power supply do not occur, the most cost efficient method of combating these problems is by the use of a Power Conditioner. Normally a Power Conditioner will also offer protection against general voltage fluctuations.