POWER CONDITIONING PRODUCTS
What is a power conditioner?
A power conditioner is a device that was designed to provide clean power to specific equipment in a facility. Traditionally a power conditioner is a combination of an isolator and a voltage regulator. We will address all three devices in this section, as I generically will refer to all three as conditioners (improperly). The next logical questions are 1) what is an isolator? and 2) what is a voltage regulator?
An Isolator is a device that isolates the main circuit from the utility, and bonds the neutral to the ground at the isolator to establish a clean neutral. The isolators also use different techniques to filter noise from the line. Each manufacturer focuses on their own ways of doing this. The isolators are a good way to protect your facility from general line noise that is caused by the machinery in your facility, utility switching, lightning, motor starts and stops, etc. To get the best isolator, you will want to look for an all copper wound, high k rated (K13, K20, etc.) transformer. Many of these are available with custom voltages and some come pre-wired with TVSS.
A voltage regulator is a device that takes a wide voltage input window and feeds out a narrow voltage output. This is a device that is very helpful for voltage sensitive units like lasers. The voltage regulators generally have an input of +10% to -25% with an output of ± 1%. Any machinery that is sensitive to voltage fluctuations will see an immediate improvement by installing a voltage regulator.
A power conditioner combines both these traits to really supply super clean power to your load. Of course manufacturers are always looking for different ways to do things, and because of this there are different technologies for this.
Ferro Resonant Power Conditioners
The ferroresonant design of power conditioners is an old design that keeps getting better. The ferro design relies on a large iron core that is magnetized when electricity is applied to the primary. Once the core is saturated, it can handle large input fluctuations with a
Tap Changing Power Conditioners
Tap Changer based power conditioners have many uses. A Tap changing transformer literally has inputs "tapped" into the primary windings on the front end of the transformer. As the voltage moves up or down the power conditioner logic senses this and changes taps to keep the output within a specified level. Many of the tap changers are +10% to -20 to 25% for the input voltage range. Within this range you will want a power conditioner that will regulate from ±3 to 5%.
I personally like to use units that have not only a 3% regulation, but I also prefer units that are microprocessor adjusted and controlled vs. the old potentiometer adjusted units that are still on the market with some vendors. These are only as good as the field engineer that adjust the potentiometers during setup. As the machinery utilization at your factory changes, the unit needs to be adjusted again.
We specify tap changers for many different industries including manufacturing with CNC machines, machine tools, automation equipment, robotics, PLCs etc. We also install units for medical facilities and labs, commercial buildings, wastewater treatment control centers, etc.
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This site was last updated 02/06/08
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