Are Voltage Regulators Really Necessary?

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The answer to this question could be “it depends”, but I’m going to go right out to end of the tree limb and say the answer is “yes”, voltage regulators are necessary, even here in the United States where the delivery of power is pretty consistent.

Consistent to the extent that it is better than in developing nations, but perfectly consistent? No.  In the U.S. there is a voltage drop of about 3-15% from the point where the electrical service delivers the power to where the power is actually consumed within any given industrial facility, mainly due to wire impedance.

3-15% may sound inconsequential, but multiply this repeatedly and you start to get the picture.  This is especially true for critical or highly sensitive machinery such as MRI and oncology equipment in medical facilities, and recording equipment.

Over time, voltage sags, surges, and variations cause equipment damage, diminish equipment life span, cause digital errors and memory reboots, and production delays which cost you more money by way of:

Ask yourself two questions: What does it cost per hour when your system is down?  How much will it cost to restart the system?  That should tell you whether automatic voltage regulation is important to your operation.

Automatic voltage regulators (AVRs) come in too many sizes, types and applications to list them all.  They can be as tiny as a component on a circuit board and as large as a tractor trailer. Voltage regulation is also the ultimate purpose of units referred to as power conditioners and usually combine that function with voltage drop compensation, surge suppression, short circuit protection, phase to phase voltage balancing, line noise reduction, harmonic  filtering, and more.

To know which of the following sample of AVR’s you will need, you will definitely want to do your homework with your engineer, electrician, and sales reps:

  • Ferroresonant transformer
  • Forroresonant voltage regulator
  • Tap changer
  • Tap-switching voltage regulator
  • Servo voltage regulator
  • Servo voltage stabilizer
  • Motorized variac
  • Variable autotransformer
  • Line drop compensator
  • Step voltage regulator
  • Electronic voltage regulator
  • Constant voltage transformer
  • Magnetic induction voltage regulator
  • On-load tap changer

And that’s just some of the options.

By the way, we do not sell voltage regulator equipment.  We do however repair industrial electronic
equipment and we see the results of this damage every day.  We can repair your damaged equipment and are happy to do so, but we know you would much rather avoid preventable repairs.

If you find yourself in the aggravating situation of needing industrial electronic repair services such as power supply repairs, servo motor repairs, plc repairs, drive repairs, encoder repairs, circuit board repairs, cnc equipment repairs you can click on any of these links or call our helpful customer service reps at 800-605-6419.  ACS Industrial Services is here to get you back up and running full speed ahead!