People sometimes complain about being shocked by touching a showerhead or a metal fixture of a swimming pool, or a dairy farmer may notice milk reduction .
All of these can be symptoms of stray voltage. But the question is, what are the causes of stray voltage, and how to detect and fix this voltage problem? Can LoRa technology help detect it? In this article, we’ll answer all these questions.
What Is Stray Voltage?
It’s a small voltage (less than 10V) that can be measured between two contact points. When a third object (a person or animal) connects to these points, the current starts to flow. In simple words, there will be stray voltage when a power source leaks unconstrained electrical currents. The Power source can be a transformer or an electric cable.
Stray voltage mostly exists near a pool, boat dock, or marina. The main reason is that electrical current doesn’t have much resistance to transit in the presence of water. And the good news: these issues can be managed, controlled, and fixed quickly.
Causes of Stray Voltage
There are various causes of stray voltage. But the most common causes are given below:
- Electrical panel issues
- Defective lighting systems
- Poor grounding conditions
- Incorrectly grounded fencers
- Hanging overhead power lines
- Damaged or broken electrical lines
- Faulty or outdated electrical wiring
- Damaged electrical boxes and devices
- Poor connection on the ground wire system
Now, you’re familiar with the causes of stray voltage, but it’s essential to hire the right person to prevent the dangers of it.
How to Detect Stray Voltage?
There are various options to detect stray voltage. But nowadays, devices contain high-quality sensors for detection. It’s essential to find out the source of this problem. Manufacturers use LoRa technology in devices to detect small amounts of currents.
Moreover, sensors installed on towers use LoRa technology to detect stray voltage. The main reason for using this technology is it can transmit data even when LTE doesn’t work.
Arshon’s wireless Stray Voltage Detection system is a perfect choice for detecting stray voltage. It can help monitor and detect current flow. This detector from Arshon technology is installed on electrical equipment. It doesn’t only measure current flow, but it can transmit information as well.
But if you don’t want to use this technology, you can seek the help of professionals. They will use electrical tester pens, digital-analog voltmeter, and multimeters to detect the leaked voltage. More importantly, they can help identify the root cause of stray voltage.
When Does Stray Voltage Become a Problem?
As mentioned earlier, this leaked voltage is less than 10V. Therefore, sometimes it’s not possible to detect it. But when people start getting electric shocks, then it becomes a safety concern. If not corrected or fixed, it can cause serious problems.
Stray voltage can cause problems for almost anyone but mostly dairy farms become victims of it. Mainly it affects milk production in dairy farms.
How to Prevent Stray Voltage?
Some people feel that it’s not possible to prevent this issue, But it’s not the case. With some simple steps, you can avoid stray voltage.
- Proper Wiring
It can reduce the risk of stray voltage significantly. You can improve poor grounding conditions by clearing away faulty loads and correcting fault-neutral connections.
- Installing a Neutral Isolator
Another way to reduce stray voltage is to install a neutral insulator. The role of a neutral isolator is to block the electrical current surge between different grounded systems. Converting a neutral insulator into a four wire system can significantly reduce the voltage in the grounding system.
- Install Equipotential Bonding
This option is very common and can help you prevent stray voltage. It’s a copper wire grid that is installed in a concrete base and acts as a magnet to contact any leaked voltage. As a result, the people around the area will remain safe from contact shock.
- Install a Spark Gap
It is possible that the current flows from the customer neutral system which is grounded to the utility grounded neutral distribution system . It can produce massive stray voltage. Therefore, to reduce the impact of this voltage, install a saturable reactor, solid state switch, or spark gap.
Dairy farms still lack resources and options to detect stray voltage. Therefore, they suffer from massive loss, especially in the shape of milk reduction. But using the latest technologies like LoRa can help detect voltage and take measures to fix it.
Arshon Technology uses LoRa technology and offers various solutions for detecting stray voltage. So investing in getting these solutions can help you with this problem and reduce financial losses.
Author: Eli(Elnaz) Sadafi, IoT design engineer @Arshon technology