Why variac transformer cannot be used as a stabilizer?

In everyday life, we often face the problem of poor-quality power supply. Due to power surges, expensive household appliances break down, audio and video equipment does not work correctly, and office equipment fails. The solution in this situation is to install a stabilizer.


In everyday life, we often face the problem of poor-quality power supply. Due to power surges, expensive household appliances break down, audio and video equipment does not work correctly, and office equipment fails. The solution in this situation is to install a stabilizer.

The company SUNTEK  has been manufacturing voltage stabilizers of various capacities for a wide range for more than 7 years: relay, electromechanical, thyristor. These are reliable and time-tested devices with high technical characteristics, in addition, the model range is regularly updated with new developments. Among SUNTEK products, one can easily choose the best option for any object, whether it be a small country house, a 3-storey cottage or a production workshop. But lately, more and more people are turning to us with the question that it is better to purchase a stabilizer or variac transformer (laboratory autotransformer) to equalize the mains voltage.

Indeed, it is easy to get confused, because both the one and the other device can regulate the voltage. But their purpose, operating principle and operating conditions are completely different for them, which means that it is impossible to use variac transformer instead of a stabilizer. Let's take a closer look.

A voltage regulator is a device designed to adjust the input voltage to a fixed value around the clock (220 Volts for single-phase, 380 Volts for three-phase models). Due to the design features of the output stabilizer, a slight deviation is possible, of the order of 3-8%, which is quite acceptable for most household appliances and does not replace the very essence of the process - the desire to give a voltage as close to the standard value as possible. The processor installed inside the stabilizer constantly analyzes the network condition and, depending on the situation, gives a command to increase or decrease the voltage. The reaction time is a fraction of a second, which allows you to make the power surge invisible to the connected equipment. And if the state of the network is critical and the stabilizer cannot provide the optimal voltage, then the power supply completely stops and resumes again, only after the normalization of the network. Thanks to this approach, household appliances will always be reliably protected from poor-quality power supply. In addition to this, it is worth noting that SUNTEK stabilizers are perfectly adapted for use in everyday life. They are made in a universal case that allows for installation vertically or horizontally, have a convenient display and can operate at sub-zero temperatures (SUNTEK relay stabilizers).

Variac transformer is able to regulate the input voltage not only to a strictly defined figure, but in a wide range (from 0 to 300 Volts). Its main purpose is to provide power to devices with non-standard voltage, as well as to smoothly change the voltage for a variety of tests and tests. The adjustment is made in manual mode, when the required output voltage is indicated using a special rotary knob. Although, in fact, the rotation of the knob sets not the voltage value, but the transformation ratio, the value by which it is necessary to change the current input voltage in order to achieve a given output. With a stable state of the network, we will get the desired result, but when the conditions change, for example, with a sudden power surge, the variac transformer will not change the transformation ratio automatically (for this you need to manually turn the adjusting knob). As a result, the output voltage will jump exactly as much as the voltage in the network. In addition, a laboratory autotransformer cannot be used around the clock. The period of continuous operation is not more than 6 hours. It requires constant attention and current level control.

All this suggests that variac transformer cannot perform the functions of a stabilizer. And even more. If you really need variac transformer to connect or test equipment, and the power supply is far from ideal, then it is better to install both devices at once, first a stabilizer to equalize the voltage, and then variac transformer to change the voltage within the declared range.

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