How much technology has ruined the voltage drops! If you do not want to be among the injured and suffer serious material damage, you should think about buying a voltage stabilizer in time. Yes, you will have to spend money, but imagine that during problems with electricity, the refrigerator, TV, washing machine and other expensive equipment will not suffer, as, for example, not so far-sighted neighbors. The advantages are clear – all that remains is to figure out which voltage regulator to choose so that it best suits your needs.
Do you need a voltage regulator?
Even a person who is far from electrical engineering understands from the name of this device that its main task is to equalize the voltage entering the dwelling so that the equipment does not suffer from sudden changes in this very voltage. The electricity supplier must provide a voltage of 220 V (± 10%) and a frequency of 50 GHz. And if the frequency is usually all right, then there are problems with the voltage.
With a serious voltage surge, the devices will simply fail, and with constant small fluctuations, the service life of the equipment is significantly reduced.
Who needs a voltage regulator?
Residents of country houses, summer residents, as well as those living in rural areas. Oscillations in power grids located far from the city are not uncommon.
Residents of city apartments, if there are problems with voltage stability. Serious fluctuations can give rise to interference in speakers and screens, flashing lights, change in the sound of the refrigerator and washing machine. Smaller drops can be detected with a multimeter. Measure the voltage at the outlet during peak power consumption (in the evening, for example) and at minimum consumption (work day). The permissible deviation is 10%, i.e. for a 220 V network, the voltage can be 198-242 V. If the fluctuations are more significant, then it’s time to think about buying a voltage stabilizer.
A voltage stabilizer is an adapter between a power source and all electrical appliances. It is capable of increasing / decreasing the voltage, or turning off the power supply in case of too low (less than 160 W) or high (more than 255 W) voltage. When choosing a voltage regulator, it is important to consider a lot of factors.
Network or trunk stabilizer?
Voltage stabilizers for home are:
network. They plug into an outlet and are designed to work with one or more devices. These are often used when installing a computer;
trunk lines. Used to connect all points of electricity consumption in the house, including lighting devices. Such a stabilizer is not connected to an outlet, but to an electric line.
Which voltage regulator should you choose? Ideally, trunk. But if you live in a city, then it would be appropriate to use only a network stabilizer with the most expensive and delicate technique.
Types of voltage stabilizers
Due to their low cost and sufficiently high control accuracy, such stabilizers have gained the greatest popularity. The power relay switches the transformer windings to obtain the desired voltage at the output. It is regulated in steps of 5-20 V. The higher the number of relays, the higher the adjustment accuracy, but at the same time the frequency of operations increases, hence the frequent and small voltage drops, which can affect the operation of lighting devices (flickering).
- compact size, light weight;
- the ability to work in a wide range of temperatures (-30 … + 400C);
- overload operation (several hours at 110% of nominal voltage and several seconds at 200% of nominal);
- high response speed;
- wide range of input voltage regulation, low sensitivity to its distortion;
- durability up to 10 years;
- low noise.
- step stabilization and, as a result, a change in the level of illumination;
- a large number of nodes in the structure reduces reliability.
The equipment is ideal for networks with small and infrequent voltage drops.
The stabilizer works by moving a contact transformer along the winding, which is driven by a servo drive. There are network and backbone.
- work with heavy loads;
- the ability to withstand serious voltage surges (a few seconds at a voltage twice the nominal);
- smooth voltage regulation;
- noiselessness in the absence of sudden voltage surges;
- the input voltage can be almost anything;
- high stabilization accuracy;
- low cost, but there are also expensive models with a high response speed.
- the speed of response to a power surge is limited by the speed of the brush (10-15 V / sec);
- the higher the power, the greater the weight of the device;
- the equipment will not operate at temperatures less than -50C and more than + 400C;
- noise at the time of voltage stabilization;
- the brushes and servo need to be replaced regularly (every 3-7 years).
Such a stabilizer is well suited for networks with stably low or high voltage. The lights will not flicker.
Thyristor and triac stabilizers
According to the principle of operation, they resemble relay stabilizers, but switching between the windings is carried out here by semiconductor switches, triacs or thyristors. Due to this, speed increases, noise decreases, and work efficiency increases. Many models are equipped with a display that shows the input and output voltage.
- reliability and durability;
- work with low and high input voltages;
- many models are able to withstand temperatures down to -200C;
- parts hardly wear out, since there are no moving elements;
- high-speed performance;
- high price;
- the complexity of the repair work;
- low resistance to overload;
- the higher the control accuracy, the higher the number of steps, and the lower the response speed.
Usually, such stabilizers are used to protect individual equipment (computer, washing machine) with frequent, but insignificant voltage drops.
The newest and most advanced stabilizers. They work on the principle of double energy conversion, due to which they are deprived of numerous disadvantages of other types of devices.
- work with an input voltage of 115-300 V, while at the output we get a stable voltage of 220 V;
- high accuracy;
- minimum delay.
- the operation of the equipment requires constant cooling, for which the fans are responsible, so you have to put up with a little constant noise.
The equipment is suitable for any type of technique.
Combines the advantages of relay and electromechanical devices. If there is a sharp jump in voltage, then the relay mechanism turns on, since speed is important here. At voltages close to standard, the servo motor operates.
Single phase or three phase?
For most apartments and houses, a single-phase stabilizer is suitable, since the network in them is also single-phase. If you have a three-phase network, you can take a three-phase stabilizer, or you can take three single-phase ones.
The power of the stabilizer must be selected with a margin of 20-30%. With network devices, everything is clear, but with trunk devices, you will have to apply a simple calculation:
- it is necessary to calculate the total power of all devices and lighting items, taking into account the active and reactive load;
active load is typical for devices that convert electricity into heat or light (light bulb, heater, iron, etc.). Measurement unit – kW;
reactive load is typical for devices with electric motors and capacitor banks. Their total power consists of active and reactive parts, measured in kVA. To calculate the power consumption, the active power must be divided by the cos (φ), both parameters must be indicated on the device. If it is not specified, then the average value is taken – 0.7;
total power is calculated according to the formula below, where P is active power and Q is reactive;
- keep in mind that there are devices whose starting current is significantly higher than the rated one.
Stabilized voltage range
This is one of the key characteristics of a voltage regulator. For example, a range of 130-270 V means that the device will be able to provide a stable voltage of 220 V at the output with an input voltage of 130 to 270 V. At a higher or lower voltage, the stabilizer will first change the output voltage by 15-18%, and then turn off everything devices.
To understand which voltage regulator to choose, you need to determine within what limits the voltage in your house jumps. Take measurements for several days at the moments of peak loads (morning and evening). Consider the lowest and highest value when purchasing.
This indicator indicates how much the output voltage will differ from the nominal (220 or 230 V). For most electrical appliances, a stabilization accuracy of 5-7% will be sufficient. For lighting fixtures, an accuracy of 3% will be better, which will ensure no flicker. Ideally, take a trunk stabilizer with an accuracy of 3%, and network ones can have an accuracy of 5-7%.
Stabilizers are installed wall-mounted or outdoor. Here it is already more convenient for someone. It is important that the room is dry, free of dust and critically low or high temperatures. There must be room around the appliance to ensure effective cooling. If we are talking about a private house, then it is optimal to install a stabilizer near the switchboard, and basements or attic rooms will definitely not work.
Also, when choosing, pay attention to the following parameters:
- the presence of a display is optional, but it will be useful if it is important for you to monitor the input and output voltage;
the manufacturer’s name is very important. The stabilizers Ortea (Italy) of the Gemini, Vega, Antares, Aqarius, Orion series and others have shown themselves well. Among the domestic manufacturers, we note Bastion, Resanta (assembled in China), Calm.
Some household appliances do not need to be connected to the stabilizer at all. Many heating devices equipped with heating elements can function with significant voltage surges, and devices such as a pump and welding machines have high starting currents, as a result of which protection in the stabilizer may work and the entire network will turn off.