It is very important to ensure that your studio and transmission equipment is powered from clean and secure supplies, immune from black-outs and brown-outs, as well as from lightning strikes.
Most equipment warranties become void if appropriate measures have not been taken to ensure suitable power supplies, so as well as taking you off-air, costly equipment repairs or replacements can be required if you fail to adequately address this issue.
AVR’s (automatic voltage regulators)
In many countries the mains power supplies can vary considerably. Excessively high voltages can cause irreparable damage to studio and transmission equipment, whereas too low a mains voltage can result in distortion and equipment failure.
Variations in incoming supply voltage can be controlled using automatic voltage regulators, ideally models without any moving parts, which can provide a constant output even if the input varies by +/-20%.
UPS’s (uninterruptable power supplies)
These provide protection against temporary loss of incoming mains power, typically by powering an invertor from a battery which is charged under normal supply conditions.
UPS’s are often used to power equipment until a standby generator can be started, and can be supplied with generator change-over systems. They can also be used to shut-down servers and other mission critical equipment in a controlled and sequenced manner.
Damage resulting from lightning strikes can easily take a station off-air, and in many instances can cause irreparable damage to equipment. One of the main entry points for lightning strikes is via electrical power cables, and considering that a strike can induce short-term levels of tens of thousands of volts, which in turn cause thousands of amps to low for fractions of a second, it is not surprising that many electrical components are literally ‘fried’ as a result.
By using a combination of specialist surge arrestor devices and large isolating transformers it is possible to eradicate this source of failure.
In locations where protracted loss of mains power is common, standby generators with suitable change-over switching are essential.
The Clyde Broadcast PCU1
The Clyde PCU1 Power Conditioning Unit has been specifically designed for installations where there is erratic mains
power and a high incidence of mains induced lightning strikes, such as Nigeria and surrounding countries.
The PCU1 contains a highly effect Lightning Suppression Unit, a solid state AVR with bypass switch, a UPS and battery pack – also with bypass switch, and a set of circuit breakers for feeding a total of 10kVA of power to various studios and other technical areas within the station.
The PCU1 is a 24U extra deep heavy duty rack, fully pre-wired, requiring installation by qualified electricians. The PCU2
contains a diesel change-over controller.
View our Power Conditioning brochure