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What Is a Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) and How Does It Work?



Metal oxide varistor (MOV) is a type of electronic component that is widely used in electronic circuits and power systems. It is a voltage-dependent resistor that is designed to protect electrical and electronic devices from overvoltage spikes and surges. In this  article, we will explore what a MOV is, how it works, and why it is essential in modern electronic systems.


What is a metal oxide varistor (MOV)?


A metal oxide varistor or MOV is a type of resistor that exhibits non-linear voltage-dependent behavior. It is made of a ceramic material that contains a metal oxide and is sandwiched between two metal electrodes. The ceramic material has a high resistance at low voltage, but as the voltage increases, the resistance decreases rapidly, allowing the MOV to conduct current and dissipate the excess energy as heat.


How does a metal oxide varistor (MOV) work?


MOV works by clamping the voltage and limiting the voltage spikes that occur in electrical circuits. When the voltage across the MOV exceeds a certain threshold, it begins to conduct current, limiting the voltage by diverting the excess energy away from the electrical device. This protects the device from damage caused by overvoltage and voltage spikes.


MOV can respond to voltage spikes much faster than other protective devices like fuses and circuit breakers. This makes metal oxide varistors movs an excellent choice for protecting sensitive electronic devices against surges, spikes, and transients that can cause malfunction and damage.


Why is a metal oxide varistor (MOV) essential in modern electronic systems?


In modern electronic systems like computer networks, telecommunications, and power distribution systems, the risk of damage from voltage spikes and surges is high. A voltage spike can occur due to lightning strikes, power outages, electromagnetic interference, or other factors. Without proper protection, these voltage spikes can damage the electrical components, causing system failure and data loss.


Therefore, the incorporation of MOV in the circuit is crucial to prevent damage from voltage spikes. MOV is an inexpensive and versatile device that is compatible with a wide range of electronic circuits and devices. By placing MOV at the entrance of the circuit, it can ensure maximum protection against transient overvoltage. For reliable and top-quality MOVs, TGE is the leading zinc oxide varistor manufacturer, providing essential protection against voltage spikes for modern electronic systems.


Metal oxide varistor (MOV) is a crucial electronic component that protects devices from overvoltage spikes and surges. It is made of a ceramic material that contains a metal oxide and is sandwiched between two metal electrodes. The MOV provides non-linear voltage-dependant behavior and clamps voltage, making it an essential device in modern electronic systems. The incorporation of MOV in electronic circuits is a simple yet effective way to prevent device damage from voltage spikes and improve the system's overall reliability.




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