How do voltage regulators work? What to look for when choosing, how to connect them in order to extend the life of especially demanding household electrical appliances? How to determine that a stabilizer is needed and is it possible to somehow do without it? Let’s figure it out now.
What is a voltage regulator
A voltage stabilizer is a device that maintains a given voltage and thereby organizes a “healthy power supply”. For example, if instead of 220 volts there are only 200 volts left in the network, then after connecting the stabilizer, its output will again turn out to be 220 volts.
Similarly, the stabilizer copes with overvoltage, power surges and other difficulties. The device is useful, but do you personally need it? This needs to be clarified.
How to identify unstable voltage in the network
How to understand that the voltage is unstable in the network? Check with a multimeter or wattmeter. You need to measure the voltage in the network at different times: in the morning, in the evening and during the day.
Many uninterruptible power supplies, which are used to protect a computer, not only work as stabilizers, but also know how to keep logs and build graphs, from which it is clear that even in urban conditions the voltage “walks” well.
Voltage drops can also be traced visually. For example, incandescent lamps – they will change brightness. You can also notice that some devices work half-heartedly, incorrectly, or even turn off altogether.
The modern standard is plus or minus 230 volts. Many devices are capable of operating in a fairly wide voltage range, but it will not be superfluous to play it safe, especially if the device is expensive.
What to protect with the stabilizer
What kind of devices need to be protected with a voltage stabilizer ? Devices equipped with an electric motor or compressor are the most demanding on the quality of power supply. These are refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, heating boilers, pumps, etc. As well as any devices with a switching power supply. That is, almost every electrical appliance: from a smartphone charger to a TV.
And if the charging of the mobile can be changed, then for complex equipment, solving the problem will cost more. Inverter refrigerators especially do not like power surges, and their repair can seriously hit the pocket. Sounds intimidating. But how significant is the problem?
How Dangerous Is Low Voltage
To find out how dangerous a low voltage is, let’s conduct a simple and visual test with a light bulb and an electric kettle. The devices are so simple that they can work at literally any voltage. A laboratory transformer will help in the tests. With it, the output voltage can be adjusted, both in plus and minus.
We connect one lamp to the transformer network, where the voltage can float, and connect the second through a stabilizer. And here it is – the first result. At a voltage of 190 volts, the light bulb is noticeably dimmer, but the lamp connected to the stabilizer shines normally.
It is worth noting that with voltage drops in large ranges, some stabilizers, for example, of a relay type, affect the operation of the lamps: despite the connected stabilizer, the lamps will either shine brightly or dim.
But if things are pretty good with the light bulb – it still continues to shine, then with the kettle it turned out more interesting. At an underestimated voltage, the kettle basically works. But the boiling time almost doubled, and the automatic shutdown worked a minute after the kettle boiled. If you set the voltage even lower, the automatics will not work and the kettle will boil to the last. This is already dangerous, since it is fraught with fire.
Even if such primitive devices are sensitive to voltage levels, what can we say about a more complex technique. For this reason, the stabilizer will not be superfluous. But what parameters should you pay attention to?
Range and power of the stabilizer
The minimum and maximum voltage that the stabilizer can work with determines the stabilization range. If the voltage goes beyond these limits, the stabilizer will simply turn off. It is important to choose a model that suits your specific conditions.
For example, if the voltage is often low, then it is better to select the range from 140, and not from 180 volts. Or even lower – some models work even at voltages below one hundred volts. But this is more of an industrial solution. It should also be borne in mind that this will affect the cost: the wider the range, the more expensive the stabilizer is usually. In a domestic environment, it is better to pay attention to power.
A 600 W model can only protect a TV or a small refrigerator. Therefore, several such devices may be required in an apartment. But a 10 kW stabilizer can be installed in an apartment, and it alone will protect all devices.
There are 30kW devices. This is enough for a large private house to cover all electrical appliances, even including electric heating.
What happens if you exceed the maximum load? For example, if you connect a two-kilo kettle to some kid? The circuit breaker will immediately trip, and the stabilizer will turn off. So calculate the load in advance, even before buying, and choose the capacity with a margin.
Voltage stabilizer ERA SNNT-10000-Ts
With ordinary low-power stabilizers, everything is clear, they have an ordinary plug and several sockets. But what about more serious models? They have no cable, no socket, no plug.
The manufacturer did not forget to put them in the kit. The fact is that such a stabilizer is installed on the whole apartment at once. If you decide to independently connect such a device, remember: electricity is a serious thing. You need to approach such work with all responsibility. Think over the scheme in advance. The connection is simple: two cables – to the input, two – to the output, and two more – to the ground. If the cable is stranded, it must be crimped into the terminals with a crimper. It is convenient, fast and reliable.
The connection itself is not difficult, everything is simple here. The stabilizer body has all the markings. If the wiring is initially connected correctly, then the blue cable is zero, and it is denoted by Latin N, brown is the phase (Latin L), and yellow-green is the ground, it is indicated by a special icon.
On the unit we start an unstable voltage, and on the 2 we connect the “consumer”, that is, the cable that goes to the switchboard with circuit breakers. That’s all.
The stabilizer, by and large, has only one function – to protect the connected devices from power surges and provide them with a “healthy power supply”. Stabilizers are especially appropriate in villages, garages or a country house. But even in a big city with a seemingly stable power supply, it will not hurt to additionally secure expensive devices.