In most cases, the voltage from the power lines to the cables keeps fluctuating. At one point it may be extremely high and at some other time, it may be low. Both two ends can have a negative impact on the normal operation of a device or an appliance.
The good news is it is possible to stabilize the voltage. Simply buy a voltage stabilizer. This is an important device that electronic appliance manufacturers prefer adding to their devices.
In this guide, we are going to dig into the deep details of everything that you should know about voltage stabilizers.
- 1 What is a voltage stabilizer?
- 2 How does a voltage stabilizer work?
- 3 Different types of voltage stabilizers
- 3.1 Single-phase stabilizer
- 3.2 Three-phase stabilizer
- 3.3 Four-phase (or quad phase) stabilizer
- 3.4 Universal voltage stabilizers
- 3.5 Multi-stage stabilizers
- 3.6 Digital voltage stabilizer
- 3.7 Standalone voltage stabilizer
- 3.8 Auto voltage stabilizer
- 3.9 Relay type voltage stabilizer
- 3.10 Magnetic coil type stabilizer
- 3.11 Servo controlled voltage stabilizers
- 3.12 Microprocessor-based stabilizer
- 3.13 Wound rotor type stabilizer
- 3.14 Static voltage stabilizers
- 4 Voltage fluctuations in electrical power supply
- 5 Components of a voltage stabilizer
- 6 Differences between voltage stabilizer and voltage regulator
- 7 How to choose the correct voltage stabilizer?
- 8 Conclusion
What is a voltage stabilizer?
The voltage stabilizer is a device that facilitates the user to keep the electric supply in the normal range. This stabilization of voltage ensures there is no fluctuation and hence appliances can work optimally.
A voltage stabilizer protects the devices from high voltage. An example may be a high-speed washing machine that works best with a 220 volt supply, but the input to it is fluctuating between 180 and 240 volts.
The fluctuation here may damage the machine over time. So, these types of appliances can run smoothly by inserting a stabilizer in between them and the main power line.
A voltage stabilizer is sometimes known as an automatic voltage regulator (AVR). AVR ensures there is no high fluctuation in the supply of voltage.
The AVR can be either a stand-alone device or it can also be integrated with some other appliance like TV, washing machine, etc.
The stabilizer is designed to regulate the input voltage before it is fed into the device or appliance.
The stabilizer comes with sensors that check the input voltage. No matter how it may fluctuate, the stabilizer keeps the supply at a constant level. The stabilized supply is then fed into the device or appliance through power line wires.
There are different types of voltage stabilizers and you will get to know them as you read on.
How does a voltage stabilizer work?
Now let’s look at the working principle of a typical voltage stabilizer.
To begin with, it receives the input power from a commercial power line. Then there is a step-down transformer that reduces the voltage to a level appropriate for the device or appliance. This may be 12V DC for home appliances and 220V AC output to run high voltage equipment like air conditioners etc.
A current sensor is placed in the power line to sense the flow of current. The sensor provides feedback signals to the control system to adjust the output voltage.
The output is then rectified, smoothed, and stabilized through a low impedance circuit. A voltage stabilizer will have set points for voltage levels that are specified according to IEC norms.
The above process goes on throughout the lifetime of the voltage stabilizer.
Different types of voltage stabilizers
There are different types of voltage stabilizers based on the purpose for which they are used. In this article, we will discuss all the major types. Let’s get started with them.
A single-phase voltage stabilizer consists of a transformer with resistance and capacitance to create an unbalanced load across the line. The unbalance will then induce a voltage into the line which will correct for any imbalance in the power distribution system.
The three-phase voltage stabilizer will generate an unbalanced load across all three phases. It is also known as a wye-delta stabilizer as it can be represented as a star connected to the delta, with both connected to the ground.
Four-phase (or quad phase) stabilizer
This stabilizer uses a four-phase system where A, B, C, and N are the phase designations. The delta connected A to D with the neutral as the ground is known as a 4-wire system. A to B with both ends grounded is known as a 2-wire system
Universal voltage stabilizers
This type of voltage stabilizer can be used for two or three-phase systems, depending on the model. The resistors and capacitors in these models are switched based on the number of phases.
Multi-stage voltage stabilizers use more than one stabilizing transformer. In the first stage, the power is stepped up from 230V to 400V or 500V as required by the next stage. The second stage can have a voltage range going from 200V-400V, depending on the voltage requirement of individual electronic appliances.
Digital voltage stabilizer
This type of stabilizer is a little more complex. It uses microprocessors and offers several advantages over the other stabilizers such as display, automatic sequencing, etc. However, you should be aware that it requires more maintenance
Standalone voltage stabilizer
Stand-alone voltage stabilizers are the simplest ones. They are suitable for low voltage applications such as 12VDC and 110VAC etc. These resemble a power strip with additional functionalities.
Auto voltage stabilizer
Automatic voltage stabilizers are better than stand-alone stabilizers when it comes to performance. Along with normal stabilization, they also have the intelligence to provide power line conditioning.
Relay type voltage stabilizer
Relay-type voltage stabilizers are popular in the US. They contain a set of relays that switch on/off the inverter if the voltage goes out of the limit. This will protect appliances from excessive fluctuations.
Magnetic coil type stabilizer
Magnetic coil type voltage stabilizers have a special magnetic coil to sense any abnormal rise or fall in the voltage. If it senses any, the output is adjusted immediately with the help of a control system.
Servo controlled voltage stabilizers
Servo-controlled voltage stabilizers use a servo motor to regulate the output voltage. This provides high stability and ensures an optimum power supply. They can also work as UPS and provide power backup during emergencies.
The microprocessor-based stabilizers use a microcontroller to regulate the voltage output. The microcontroller works through a series of predefined instructions to make sure optimum output is fed to the appliances. This provides high stability and ensures an optimum power supply. They can also work as UPS and provide power backup during emergencies.
Wound rotor type stabilizer
Wound rotor-type voltage stabilizers use an inductor and a diode to control the output. They provide superior performance for continuous 24×7 operation and need less maintenance as compared with other stabilizers.
Static voltage stabilizers
Static voltage stabilizers are simple voltage stabilizers where the control circuit is integrated with the unit. The entire assembly has a compact size and can be fitted anywhere inside the cabinet of appliances.
Voltage fluctuations in electrical power supply
Voltage fluctuations can lead to damage to sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, notebooks among many other devices and appliances. It affects the performance of equipment. But what are the reasons behind voltage fluctuations? And why do these fluctuations occur? Let’s find out.
There can be many causes for power fluctuations, but the most common ones are-
1) Incorrectly configured load: If the load is incorrect or defective, then it will draw more current. And if the current draw is more, it will trip the circuit breaker causing voltage fluctuations.
2) Aging of electrical equipment: As electrical appliances age or wear out, their performance decreases. They start drawing more current and this could lead to power fluctuations.
3) Voltage regulator failure due to overloading: Overloading can cause a stabilizer to trip and lead to voltage fluctuations.
4) Power factor: If the power factor is improper, it will draw more current from the supply. This could cause variations in voltage and hence fluctuation.
5) Grounding problems: Incorrect grounding of electrical equipment can also cause fluctuations as well as damage your appliances.
6) Inadequate supply of load: If the total supply to a certain area is less then it will be overloaded. This could lead to power fluctuations.
7) Damage to electrical appliances: Power fluctuations can also cause damage to some appliances such as air conditioners, air coolers, etc.
As you can see, some of these factors are beyond your control. You will only be safer if you install the right voltage stabilizers onto your electronic devices and appliances.
Components of a voltage stabilizer
A typical voltage stabilizer comprises various parts. The most important parts are discussed below.
The stabilizer design will play an important part in deciding the number of phases, wave type, and frequency. The output voltage is determined by the load impedance
A stabilizing transformer makes sure that there is no excessive feedback current in the control circuit. This would otherwise lead to a surge in current and a dip in voltage.
This removes electromagnetic interference from the control circuit and hence improves the stability of the device and voltage supply.
The regulator monitors the output frequency and phase angle for optimal performance. It continuously compares it with preset values such as line frequency and +/- 5%.
It works to rectify the AC power and provides DC power to the stabilizing transformer.
This is a fixed reference voltage that determines the output of the stabilizer. It also minimizes ripple current in the control circuit by feedback regulation.
It monitors input, output, and neutral line voltages. It also protects the stabilizer from overcurrent, short circuit, and high voltage events.
Differences between voltage stabilizer and voltage regulator
Voltage stabilizers are often confused with voltage regulators. However, the two are completely different. In a voltage stabilizer, the output is stabilized or fixed at a certain value. On the other hand in a voltage regulator, the input and output are always present unlike voltage stabilizers which don’t have input
Voltage stabilizing techniques
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
PWM is an old technique used for voltage stabilization. It uses a comparator to compare the input and output line voltages. If the input voltage drops, the PWM generator will reduce its duty cycle.
Phase angle control (or current-fed Buck converter)
With this method, the load impedance varies the reference voltage. In other words, the load impedance will vary the output voltage. This method is used in adjustable regulators.
Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS)
SMPS offers several advantages over conventional stabilizers such as high efficiency and flexibility in terms of load regulation. However, you should also be aware that it has several drawbacks. SMPS stabilizers are more prone to failures than conventional stabilizers, because of the complex circle.
How to choose the correct voltage stabilizer?
There are several factors that you should consider when buying voltage stabilizers. This is not an easy process since there are many factors. Before you finalize the model, you should consider your requirements carefully.
The following are some of the important factors that you need to consider before buying a voltage stabilizer.
1) Voltage stability requirement: Here, you have to consider the level of voltage stability that you would like to get on your electronic device.
2) Load type: You should analyze your load types and then select the stabilizing method. The load type determines the type of stabilizer to be selected.
3) Type of voltage fluctuations: You should consider your in place voltage stability before selecting a voltage stabilizer because this is one of the most important criteria in stabilizers.
4) Power consumption: The power consumption level can vary from less than 1W to 300 W.
5) Type of stabilizer: There are different types of voltage stabilizers such as PWM and SMPS. You should select the type of stabilizer with your requirements in mind.
6) Budget: The voltage stabilizers range from 50$ to more than 300$. You should set a budget and then include factors such as power, stabilization requirement, and load types. These factors will help you narrow down your options. For example, if you have a small power requirement, you can select a small power stabilizer. However, big appliances will need bigger stabilizers.Contact the manufacturer to inquire the cost of voltage stabilizers.
7) Efficiency: The overall efficiency of the voltage stabilizer is also an important consideration. If there is high input power required for the equipment, then choose a stabilized supply with higher efficiency
8) Warranty: Look for the length of the warranty when buying voltage stabilizers. The longer it is, the better it is for you.
9) Other things to consider: The number of channels that are required for your equipment, terminal arrangement, and maximum load rating should also be carefully analyzed before buying a voltage stabilizer. Do not compromise on any one of these factors for the sake of saving a few dollars. In the long run, it will add up to a lot of money
Voltage stabilizers are an important part of any electrical installation. They help maintain voltage stability which is vital for the proper functioning of all electrical appliances. The article discussed different types of voltage stabilizers, how to select them and what factors should be considered before buying one.
One last thing that you should know is to choose a reliable voltage stabilizer supplier in China. This is why we at ICRFQ are dedicated to helping you.
We are a reputable voltage stabilizer supplier and sourcing agent in China. We have a knowledgeable team who are trained to help you choose the best voltage stabilizer for your requirements. If you are looking to buy voltage stabilizers, contact us today.