Furman comes back to AVI LATINOAMÉRICA pages with important topics of energy management. This time Christos Desalernos addresses the issue in the A / V systems churches.
By: Christos Desalernos *
In the A / V facilities of churches there are usually many false conceptions when it comes to the role of energy management. For some reason, energy is often ignored as a problem in general. When expensive and modern amplifiers and equipment fail, the equipment is usually blamed, regardless of the reason for failure; it is simply repaired or replaced.
Another problem is the budget. Now more than ever, budgets are tight and when looking at any tender, energy management is usually the first thing we do not consider for energy savings, as it is considered simply as extra outputs and not as protection. With this point of view it is understandable that they want to cut spending. Unfortunately, these assumptions are incorrect.
The fact is that our energy infrastructure was designed more than 100 years ago for motors and power lights and non-highly sensitive A / V equipment. The energy that comes out of the electrical outlets is not 100% clean and stable. Some places are worse than others, but pollution is present in all sources of energy. The ultrasensitive circuits in the current professional A / V equipment are technologically extraordinary, but they are also fragile. This has made it increasingly imperative to use an advanced energy protection system such as the power conditioner for professional A / V systems.
What is the situation?
According to NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association), a surge or transient is a short peak passenger surge or disturbance on a waveform of energy that can vary in intensity from just a few volts to ends of tens of thousands of volts. These disturbances are not as rare as one might think, and can cause damage, deterioration and even destruction of the electronics inside a commercial building or a family house.
However, transient spikes and contamination of the ground connection are not the only problems facing today's sensitive electronics. There are also sustained overvoltage conditions, sometimes called extreme voltages, and they are more common in older installations due to poor neutral connections that can cause overvoltages above the 240 VAC.
Many electric shock suppression devices may not be able to protect equipment against sustained surges and these conditions are, in fact, the most dangerous and damaging to equipment. They are the kinds of situations that cause the nightmare environment that represents turning on the equipment and seeing that they start to smoke. Most extreme voltage conditions result in destroyed equipment or, in the best case scenario, the destruction of a power surge suppression system. In any of the cases, the maintenance of the equipment is undoubtedly required.
How to choose the power management solution
Before doing anything, the contractor should always check the electrical integrity by a qualified electrician. They must verify the impedance, the voltage stability, the harmonic distortion and the quality of the main power supply transformer. The transformer must be in good condition and be large enough to provide the necessary current. If the power is deficient, the transformer may need to be replaced. A poor impedance on the neutral can cause the power supply to heat up and produce a thermal break. In this case, the neutral may have to be restored.
Then, the capacity of the system (or how much energy is going to be required) must be determined and then compared with how much energy is actually available. This will help determine what kind of energy management solution is needed; that is, a product 15, 20 or 120-A. When selecting a product, churches should keep in mind that most AC terminals and older power management products feature inexpensive electric shock suppression devices that are designed to self-sacrifice when exposed to sustained surge or peak conditions. of transient voltage.
This will protect your equipment, but there are no indications that the electric shock suppressor has been compromised, so the next shake will go through directly. The newer energy management products are not "self-sacrificing" and feature extreme voltage interruption circuits, which constantly monitor the incoming voltage and once the voltage has increased approximately 15% above the nominal, they trigger and cause the power relay opens, thus cutting off the supply to all connected components and critical circuits. Once the voltage is corrected, the unit is reset and operation can continue.
Another factor that must be taken into account is the training of the staff. Since volunteers and untrained church personnel are usually the main operators of A / V equipment, great care must be taken to ensure that the components are turned on and off correctly. Sequential energy control is needed whenever different kinds of equipment need to be started in stages, instead of simultaneously.
In audio systems, usually the sequenced power is needed to allow transient driving amplifiers low and processors back to normal before turning on any power amplifier, since the simultaneous feeding may result in noise high, annoying and potentially destructive in the speakers. In addition, any large system whose components have an inductive load to the AC line (including electric motors, power supplies and power amplifiers of all kinds), the sequenced power can prevent current excessive inrush that make circuit breakers They are falling.
Churches must include energy management in their budgets. The standard range that must be reserved ranges from 3% to 10%. At the lower end, 3% would be for installations in newer buildings with an acceptable infrastructure already in place. 10% would be for more advanced technology in older buildings where the wires can not be laid back. In these cases, a voltage regulator may be necessary.
A voltage regulator accepts a wide range of voltage inputs from the power supply, and then transforms them into a safe and stable voltage that is then sent to the connected equipment, keeping it under correct operation and avoiding damage caused by electrical shocks. As with most energy management products, some technologies are more effective than others. Many voltage regulators use technology based on motorized noise-inducing transformers. These products are not only large and expensive, they are also unreliable and really add noise to the AC line. This noise is masking many of the details that are required to achieve the best possible audio and video. To avoid this, it is best to find a regulator that uses electronic circuitry.
Energy management as a safe
Churches should consider energy management as an insurance, since a single product for that purpose can save thousands of dollars in replacement and repair of equipment. For example, I turned my garage into a recording studio. As I live two blocks from the energy grid, I am subject to many cuts and fluctuations in it.
Last November, I was in my studio when the power was cut off. My Furman UPS was activated and I was able to finish my recording session normally. When I finished, I realized that there was a huge energy fluctuation, which I could see from the exploded light bulbs in the kitchen. Also, all my Furman units were experiencing an extreme voltage interruption. After doing the calculations, I determined that I had saved US $ 70.000 from the equipment price simply with a US $ 800 energy management system.
Many churches can easily say they have invested US $ 70.000 in electronic gear (as demonstrated in the example), so that the benefits of energy management for churches and other organizations that have tight budgets, are lighter than water . Replacement of equipment is extremely expensive. With an A / V system high cost on the line, it just makes sense to invest a little in protecting equipment.
* Christos Desalernos is Furman's national sales manager, manages pro-sales, systems design and noise elimination. He received the Tec Auxiliary Equipment award at the 2001 for the HDS-16 / HRM-16 audio distribution system for hearing aids and is an artist registered with BMI. Christos has an electronic engineering degree from the ITT Technical Institute.