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Analyzing Performance Differences Between Spark Gaps and DC Decouplers in Over-Voltage Applications

By | Published: November 8, 2022
Key Takeaways

This webinar provides an overview of why over-voltage protection on isolation joints is needed and a brief description of the two most common protection technologies - spark gaps and solid-state DC decouplers.

Both isolating spark gaps and DC decouplers are commonly used to protect against over-voltage conditions on pipeline isolation joints and storage tanks where cathodic protection systems are applied. Though spark gap devices are often applied because of their relatively low cost, they are not designed for many over-voltage conditions that commonly occur on pipelines. Without fully understanding the limitations of spark gap devices, pipeline operators may unwittingly put their pipeline assets as well as operating personnel at risk from over-voltage events such as AC faults and lightning.

This webinar provides an overview of why over-voltage protection on isolation joints is needed and a brief description of the two most common protection technologies – spark gaps and solid-state DC decouplers. The primary focus however includes a detailed explanation of the limitations of spark gaps for use as over-voltage protection devices on pipelines and explains why properly rated solid-state devices should be used in place of spark gaps for most pipeline applications.

Attendees will learn:

  • An overview of over-voltage protection of isolation joints

  • A high-level understanding of spark gap and DC decoupler technologies

  • A detailed, data-driven analysis of spark gap performance in over-voltage conditions

  • An analysis of performance benefits in solid-state devices

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