Surge Protection for Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems

The latest release of NEC/NFPA 70 edition 2023 (NEC 2023) has placed a greater emphasis on increasing personnel safety by mandating the use of Surge Protective Devices (SPDs).

From 2014 to 2023, the number articles now requiring SPDs has increased significantly for applications ranging from Modular Data Centers, Fire Pumps, Elevators, Critical Power Systems, Dwellings (Dormatories, Homes, Hospitals, Hotels), etc. This article will focus on Emergency Systems and how they are defined by NFPA 70 Article 700.

What are Emergency Systems

As stated by Article 700, Emergency Systems consists of circuits and equipment intended to supply, distribute, and control electricity for illumination, power, or both, to required facilities when the normal electrical supply or system is interrupted.

Emergency systems will be identified by labels and use transfer equipment (such as automatic transfer switches) to switch from normal power to the emergency power source.

Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems will be supplied power by the emergency circuit. Protection at the power source and alternate power sources are important. We also recommend protection at the equipment which may use lower voltage.

Article 700.8Requirement
Requirement"A listed SPD shall be installed in or on all emergency system switchgear, switchboards, and panelboards.”

Selecting an SPD for Emergency Systems

The NEC/NFPA 70 also mentions the protection of the fire pump controller which is considered part of the emergency system.

Article 695.15Requirement
Requirement"A listed surge protective device (SPD) shall be installed in or on the fire pump controller.”

CITEL has a range of UL listed, NEC compliant, Surge Protective Devices (SPDs). This means selecting a surge protector is easier than it has ever been. There are only a few choices available for SPDs that are UL Listed for any of the most commonly used surge standards including UL1449 5th Edition, UL497B, and UL497E.

Recommended SPD for Emergency Systems

LocationEquipmentSystemSurge Protector Model#Link
Service EntranceSwitchgear277/480Vac MDS750E-277Y MDS750E-480D
Service EntranceSwitchboard480Vac MDS750S-480D
Distribution PanelPanelboard120/208Vac Power Input MS200-120Y MS200-120Y
Distribution PanelPanelboard240Vac Power Input${ITEM_LINK#2178920}<-No Item, #2178920 M50-240D-A${ITEM_LINK#2178920}<-No Item, #2178920 M50-A
Local EquipmentControl Panel480Vac Power Input DS74US-480D DS74US-480D
Local EquipmentPower Supply120Vac Power Input DS40S-120/G
Local EquipmentPower Supply24Vdc Power Output DS220S-24DC DS220S-24DC
Local EquipmentNetwork SwitchEthernet Cat 6A MJ8-C6A MJ8-C6A
Local EquipmentCommunication SignalsRS-485 DLA-12D3 DLA-24D3 v.2
Building Rooftop/Cell TowerRadioWireless P8AX09-6G-N/FF P8AX09-6G-N-FF