Automation reliability requires reliable power: ChatGPT tips

Power protection is important to ensure the reliability of automation, controls, and instrumentation systems. See 5 tips for power reliability.

By Mark T. Hoske April 9, 2023
Courtesy: Phoenix Contact


Learning Objectives

  • Understand automation design tip for power protection, such as: Use surge protection devices, use high-quality power supplies, consider uninterruptible power supplies.
  • Review how monitoring power quality and relevant standards can help with providing reliability power to automation, controls and instrumentation.

Power insights

Automation reliability needs reliable power to protect against surges and other potential issues in automation, controls and instrumentation applications.

Users can protect their systems by using surge protective devices, install uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), follow relevant standards and more.

Automation reliability depends in part on reliable power protection against surges, spikes and other power quality issues. Control Engineering asked ChatGPT in February for advice about appropriate power protection for automation, controls and instrumentation with attention to successful applications and necessary standards.

ChatGPT gives 5 automation power protection tips

Here are five key pieces of advice regarding power protection for automation.

1. Use surge protection devices.

Surge protection devices can help protect sensitive electronic equipment from transient voltage spikes and surges. These devices are often installed at the point of entry for power and data lines and can help prevent damage to equipment caused by lightning strikes or other power disturbances.

2. Choose high-quality power supplies.

Power supplies are a critical component of automation and control systems. Choosing high-quality power supplies with built-in protection against overvoltage, overcurrent, and short circuits can help ensure equipment is protected against power-related failures.

3. Install uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).

UPS systems can provide backup power in the event of a power outage or brownout. These systems can help prevent data loss, equipment damage, and downtime during power disruptions.

4. Monitor power quality.

Monitoring power quality can help detect potential issues before they cause equipment failures. Power quality meters can be installed to monitor voltage, current, and other electrical parameters and provide alerts if any issues are detected.

5. Follow relevant standards for power protection.

There are several relevant standards for power protection in automation, controls and instrumentation, such as IEC 61000-4 for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and IEC 61131-2 programmable logic controllers – part 2: Equipment requirements and tests (has sections on power supply and overvoltage, immunity limits for power ports, testing and EMC and wiring). It is important to follow these standards to ensure systems are protected and compliant with industry best practices.

In an online or “double conversion” topology, the UPS is never in standby mode. Diagram shows the bypass is active during startup and overload, as explained in a 2021 Control Engineering article from Phoenix Contact. Courtesy: Phoenix Contact

In an online or “double conversion” topology, the UPS is never in standby mode. Diagram shows the bypass is active during startup and overload, as explained in a 2021 Control Engineering article from Phoenix Contact. Courtesy: Phoenix Contact

By following this advice, users can help ensure automation, controls, and instrumentation systems are protected against power-related issues and are operating efficiently.

[Editor’s note, ChatGPT advice isn’t necessarily all inclusive. More on standards includes, especially for UL 508A panel manufacturers, that a short-circuit current rating (SCCR) for equipment is required by National Electrical Code (NEC®) 409.110(4) Industrial Control Panels and 670.3(A) Machine Nameplate Data. If you are an engineer with experience in power protection for automation and controls and would like to share that expertise, please see]

This content was created by ChatGPT in February 2023. Due to the limitations of AI tools, this was edited and reviewed by our content team, in this case by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology,


Automation power protection, ChatGPT advice


Do you give special attention to power protection of most-critical automation and control applications?


While power protection issues aren’t exclusive to motors and drives, see power-related topics here:

Also see:

5 things to consider before implementing a UPS

Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.