Cooper Power Systems has introduced the UltraSIL polymer-housed Evolution distribution-class surge arrester, an arrester that enables electric utilities to upgrade the efficiency of the power grid and reduce environmental impact.

Historically, distribution-class surge arresters have been treated as a low-cost, commoditized asset, offering little added value beyond overvoltage surge protection. The Evolution surge arrester, however, demonstrates that, through technological advancement, the value of a surge arrester can be realized in its ability to improve energy efficiencies, reduce carbon emissions, boost asset utilization, streamline supply chains through standardization and improve system reliabilities.

“Electric power generation is one of the largest contributors of green house gas emissions in the world,” said Michael Skowronek, Cooper Power Systems Global Product Manager, Surge Arrester Products. “Because of this, environmental leadership is a role that utilities are taking on in increasing numbers, driving the demand for energy efficient technologies.”

Skowronek added that each year millions of distribution-class surge arresters are sold into the market to protect transformers and underground lines. Some large investor-owned utilities estimate that their arrester installed base exceeds one million arresters.

“A common, 10kV class surge arrester can generate up to 500 mW of power loss. For a utility with one million arresters on their system, this represents 4,380,000 kWh of unbilled energy annually, generating 3,4082 metric tons of CO2 emissions,” Skowronek said.

Using the Evolution surge arrester utilities can reduce watt loss to an average of 80 mW, and can avoid releasing 2,862 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.