I spent more than six months swimming through the internet, trying to find an exhaustive source that would give me textbook-like explanations of the overvoltage protection I needed for my project. After wading for so long, I bit the bullet and looked for a real textbook and bought this one.
Two weeks later, I knew everything I needed to know to finish my overvoltage protection design. A week after that, I had finished my design. All for ~$30. I'm bashing my head on my desk as I write for not getting this book sooner. This is a $150 value book being practically given away.
Dr. Standler follows a logical order for the overvoltage protection beginner. It begins with the source of overvoltages and how they end up propagating into your circuit (including a fun explanation of how nuclear weapons cause electromagnetic pulses!).
Standler then explains in detail all of the waveforms that are used to approximate the overvoltages. These include 8/20 us current waveform, 1.2/50 us voltage waveform, ring waveform, Electrical Fast Transient (EFT ), 10/1000 us, 10/700 us, and more. I remember seeing the 8/20 us nomenclature everywhere as I waded through the Internet, and having a foggy idea of what it was, but never getting a precise explanation of what it and other test waveforms were. For me, those chapters alone are worth the $150 value.
The book then continues from the approximate waveforms of overvoltages into exhaustive explanations of the protection devices used in electronic circuits. These include gas tubes, spark gaps, varistors of all kinds including MOVs, avalanche and Zener diodes, typical diodes and rectifiers, thyristors including SCRs and Triacs, the simple devices no one thinks to use - resistors, inductors, and capacitors, positive-temperature-coefficient resistors (PTC fuses), filters, and finally isolation devices such as isolation transformers, optical isolators, and fiber optics. Isolation devices is one of the places that this book is noticeably out-of-date, as it makes no mention of capacitive isolation devices such as the Texas Instruments ISO124 and DCP01 chips. However, the practical explanations of how to use isolation devices in your design are still valid and useful. Standler also has an in-depth discussion of the parasitic inductance of all of these devices (including the inadvertent transformer effect), how it can degrade the performance of the devices, and practical ways of reducing these effects.
Again, the in-depth explanations of all of the protective devices (that I kinda sorta maybe in a way knew about by using the Internet) and how to use them correctly, for me was worth the $150 value of this book. But then Standler takes the devices you just learned all about and applies them in ways that you need. There are about 100 pages of example circuits and explanations of how to apply the devices for several different applications, such as signal circuits, DC power supplies, and on the AC mains. Standler gives so many example design circuits that you are bound to find one that works for you exactly as presented. If not -- as it was in my case -- you can take several of the ideas from separate circuits in the book and combine them for the application you need. The amount of working designs that Standler presents here is astounding.
Finally, Standler finishes the book with methods to test the overvoltage protection of your design circuit, and safety measures while working in high-voltage environments.
You may be tempted to skip the first couple sections and go right to the applications section. While worth a look to really see how many different designs he presents, it's well worth it to read this book from beginning to end. There is such a wealth of information in every chapter and every section that I do not recommend skipping any of them. It's an easy read for anyone familiar with the basics of electronic design (i.e. diodes, resistors, capacitors, inductors, op amps, etc.), so I recommend doing yourself that favor and read it from cover to cover.
One last note: Don't be fooled by the low price of the book. Under its previous publisher it did cost somewhere around $150 like most textbooks do. However, since the previous publisher stopped publishing it, Dr. Standler and Dover Publishing have now started offering it at this low price. I've also tried another textbook, Overvoltage Protection of Low-Voltage Systems (Iee Power & Energy Series, 33), which cost ~$90 when I bought it, and it was absolutely useless for me. It had no explanations or practical circuit ideas like Standler presents here.
While it's always worth it to find as many sources as you can, this is quite simply the definitive source on overvoltage protection of electronic circuits. If you think you need it, buy it. You'll know what you need to know in two weeks flat.
For persective, I have a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, graduated 2007.