Should you use Step Down Transformers for Voltage Management?

Step Down Transformers

A step-down transformer changes the entire power output from one specific voltage to another as the transformer’s secondary winding that delivers the energy has less turns than the primary winding.

Step-down transformers have many applications, from enabling US manufactured equipment to operate in UK voltage conditions (i.e. 230V to 120V),  to transforming 11,000V to 400V for HV distribution transformers in the UK.

Why step-down transformers should not be used for voltage management

Many people attempt to achieve a form of voltage management through changing the tapping of a step-down transformer to get a different turns ratio and the ability to control output.

However, this is not recommended as step down transformers should not be tapped beyond the settings they were specified and built to as this is when they will operate at their optimal efficiency. Utilising this as a method to reduce the voltage is inefficient due to the relationship between voltage and current. For this reason, transformers should be set to a tap based on the site requirements, such as site capacity, to ensure that they operate at maximum efficiency.

The most effective method of reducing voltage to achieve savings is through purpose-built voltage management technology as part of a combined solution involving an amorphous core distribution transformer integrated with electronic-dynamic voltage management, such as Powerstar HV MAX.

Powerstar HV MAX combines the benefits of a super low loss amorphous core transformer, which reduced load losses by up to 75% when compared with a traditional CRGO distribution transformer, with the benefits of LV electronic-dynamic voltage management, which reduces and stabilises the on-site voltage providing energy consumption and cost savings.

Due to this combination of technology Powerstar HV MAX is suitable for sites operating their own HV/LV supply alongside sites with a high incoming voltage profile and an inefficient HV/LV distribution transformer.

Learn about voltage management here

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