Joule of the Nile?

     Well not Really, I thought I would write a short blog about this unit of measurement that we seem to be confronted with when trying to purchase surge suppressors. Advertisers have decided to use this scientific unit of measure to promote how good their product is at clamping down on power surges. A joule is most easily described and NOT accurately as a “generic energy unit” well that description would probably make James Prescott Joule turn over in his grave.  But it helps me make the point; that all forms of energy can be converted to joules, so that different forms of energy can be compared to each other on an equal basis.  Heat energy could be let’s say compared to horse power.  Both could be converted to, or from, a joule energy unit. The energy unit we are more familiar with, and I think is easier to understand when talking about electronic equipment would be the  watt-hour.  (In an attempt to prevent myself from being too geeky, I will let you do an internet search and get the hard facts about joules.  it is a very interesting subject. I want to focus more on how it relates to surge suppressors.) To be blunt, one Watt-Hour is equal to 3600 J. So you can see the number in terms you are more familiar with, I have included a link to an energy converter calculator, so you can play with this concept yourself.


                As far as I can tell, there is no set standard for the rating of surge suppressors, unless you get one that is UL approved. The most common answer to joules rating is; the amount of energy it can divert before the clamping will fail. But again there is no set standard.   I have called companies and had them to explain their meaning of the joule rating, and have had different answers.

                In conclusion, the joule rating is important. But other factors may supersede a really high joule rating. Again, continue to read and learn. I hope this short article will help with that piece of the puzzle.




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