Driving a Brighter Future


Citel Surge Protection

Founded in 1937, CITEL is the leading manufacturer of surge protection devices (SPD’s) in France. CITEL has manufacturing facilities in France and China and has sales office located in France, Germany, USA, China and Eastern Europe. It is also the leader in the fast developing market for products to suit the LED outdoor lighting market. If we look into the technology, we quickly find the MOV (metal oxide varistor) which is a device widely used by the electronics industry and in recent times by the lighting industry.

One thing that is not clearly understood is that the life of the MOV cannot be predicted, it will age through life, will not tell you it’s condition and will not tell you when it has ceased to function. This does not sit well with outdoor LED lighting where the expectation is long reliable and trouble-free lifetimes!

CITEL is an innovator with 75 years’ experience in the field of GDT (gas filled tube) production. It has been producing SPD devices for this market sector for some years which combine MOV’s and GDT’s and include such features as thermal fusing and visual indication of status. Typically, these devices are fitted into the luminaire or at the base of the pole; in extreme conditions devices will be fitted in both locations. A rated life however is not available again due to the aging characteristic of the MOV in particular.

CITEL’s knowledge of GDT’s led to the development of a new generation of products called gas filled spark gaps (GSG’s) suited to connection to AC mains networks. What followed was the invention of a technology codenamed 'VG' which combines the GSG with the MOV and provides one very important feature, long life.

VG technology is CITEL's exclusive and patented technology.

CITEL originally developed the “VG” technology for low voltage Type 1 surge protectors and has then extended it to Type 2 surge protectors and to Photovoltaic applications. Now it is available for Type 3 applications including LED outdoor lighting. The new MLPX series of SPD’s are ultra-compact devices fitted with ‘VG’ technology. OAK Electronics will offer a ten-year guarantee when fitted to approved luminaires.

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