AUTOMATIC VOLTAGE REGULATOR BUYERS GUIDE
HERE ARE THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS IN BUYING AN AVR:
1. WHEN DO YOU NEED AN AUTOMATIC VOLTAGE REGULATOR (AVR)?
An Automatic Voltage Regulator or AVR is a device used to regulate the supply line voltage to a level that is safe for the equipment connected to it. In areas where the line voltage is not stable, fluctuations from 150Vac to 280Vac is possible. This can destroy or shorten the lifespan of your electrical and electronic equipments. You need an AVR to protect your equipment from such abnormalities.
2. WHAT CAPACITY DO YOU NEED?
In choosing the capacity of an AVR, first, you have to verify the power consumption of your equipment that is to be protected. You have to know the VA(volt-ampere) by simply getting the product of the voltage rating and the current consumption of the equipment(load). This value should be the minimum capacity of your AVR if it is designed based on Philippine National Standard that is of True capacity. But if you'll be using other than such, then you have to give at least 30% allowances for good brands in the market. Or even 60% allowances for cheaper brands.
3. WHAT VOLTAGE FLUCTUATIONS SHOULD IT BE ABLE TO HANDLE?
This particular requirement depends on the area where the AVR is to be used. You have to know the lowest and the highest voltage in your area and look for an AVR capable of handling such range. For example, the line voltage in your area go as low as 180Vac (when most are using more electricity) and go as high as 250Vac (usually during midnight). Therefore, the AVR that is suitable to your area should have an input voltage range rating of at least 180 to 250 Vac.
4. WHAT SHOULD BE THE OUTPUT VOLTAGE?
In determining the output of the AVR necessary for your equipment, first, you have to verify the equipments input voltage specification. For example, the indicated input voltage for your equipment is 230Vac, then you need an AVR with an output voltage specification of 230Vac nominal.
5. WHAT IS THE OUTPUT ACCURACY?
The output voltage of an AVR will seldom be exactly as it is specified. It always comes with a tolerance (error). The lesser the tolerance, the more accurate it is. But for cost-effective designs, and less sensitive applications, an AVR with nominal tolerances is acceptable. Just that, it is within the safe operating voltage range of the load. Normally, within +/- 10% of the nominal voltage rating.
6. WHAT IS THE RESPONSE TIME OF THE AVR?
Response time of an AVR is determining how fast it can cope up with the voltage fluctuations. This parameter is very important specially when fluctuations are extreme, this can determine if an AVR is effective or not for your needs.
7. WHAT TYPE OF AVR SHOULD FIT YOUR PARTICULAR REQUIREMENT?
7a. Relay Electronic Type
Description: Acceptable nominal accuracy 5 to 10% with relatively fast response time; Efficient and Low cost
7b. Servo Motor Type
Description: Good accuracy 1 to 5%, smooth voltage changes, but relatively slow in response time; Efficient and nominal cost for good brands
7c. Ferro resonant Type
Description: High accuracy within 1 to 2%, with instantaneous response time; Inefficient and expensive
7d. Triac type Electronic AVR
Description: High accuracy 2 to 5% depends on the design, ultra fast response time around 1/2 cycle(0.00833s) per step; Efficient but expensive.
8. WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF QUALITY PRODUCTS?
1. Better Cost Effective.
2. Lower cost in the long run.
3. Lower maintenance cost.
4. Fewer waste and recycling of raw materials compared to cheap and short lived products.
5. Lesser erosion of our natural resources.
9. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAKE AVR AND REAL AVR IN THE MARKET
AUTOMATIC VOLTAGE REGULATOR BUYERS GUIDE:
FAKE AVRs IN THE MARKET
When you order your 500 WATTS AVR from your supplier, this is what you get:
There’s no 500 WATTS as they are trying to claim. In fact, if the capacity is provided (500 WATTS), it even have to come with the input voltage range and the output tolerance(accuracy) to make the rating useful. The manufacturer’s name also, was no where to be found. Through which on this alone, is already a violation to the Consumer Act of the Philippines.
If we try to analyze, this things that we know, and they know, have to be properly marked on the AVRs, was not done for only one reason: This is to avoid accountability to such product whenever it causes problems and hazards to your customer.
You can see the workmanship clearly, the wire sizes used for tapping was too small, and the circuitry was too simple then, to provide proper control and consistency. The transformer are too small to be rated at 500 WATTS, unless it is useless enough to be classified as FAKE AVRS.
YES, these are FAKE AVRs. Either not, it serve you any or, provide you with hazards for free. With such problems, it is really safer for the consumer to plug their computer directly to the ac line.
Some, even have provided a 110VAC output to lure further the consumer and, in fact this 110VAC output is just 50 WATTS or less. And yet, if used to 50 WATTS, the AVR is already fully loaded. But, the consumer understood it as 500 WATTS AVR, so they load it further at 220VAC output, which is very hazardous.
See Figure 3. An AVR designed based onPhilippine National Standard (PNS) on safety.
TRUE AVRs IN THE MARKET
As you can see, printed on the back panel, are the proper specifications required by the PNS. Given are the following: Capacity, Output voltage, Output Frequency, Input voltage, Operating temperature, and Protection Classification.
WITHOUT THESE MARKINGS, YOU CAN HARDLY KNOW WHAT THE AVR IS ALL ABOUT!
We have a few questions for you to consider:
1. Through our crusade against unscrupulous fake AVRs, our detractors have this comment: “NONE YET BAD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANY OF SUCH AVRs AND WHAT WE’RE SAYING ARE JUST PROPAGANDA”. If what we’re saying are not true, then why can they not just place the proper specifications and their company’s name on their AVRs?
2. Without proper marking and manufacturer’s name, who is going to be responsible when hazards occur? A few hundreds pesos of damage maybe they will provide but, worst comes to worst, lets hope this things will not happen, what if millions worth of properties and lives are lost, do you think with such attitude of cheating the consumer, they’ll be responsible enough to accept the blame? Or, shall they leave to you all the burden?
3. WITH SUCH FAKE AVRS, ARE THEIR MANUFACTURERS BRAVE ENOUGH TO USE IT THEMSELVES?