Voltage plays a paramount role in power electronics. An advanced power electronics leads to strengthen and optimize a power system to ensure the stability and safety of operation and improve the power quality better. Otherwise stated, appropriate voltage usage is necessary for an electric device to work.
In theory, voltage is defined as a pressure that forces the charged electrons to flow in an electrical circuit. Voltage is also known as the electromotive force, which is a quantitative expression of the potential difference in charge between two points in an electrical field.
In application, a circuit’s voltage level indicates a key to its operation. If an incorrect voltage is caused by a voltage drop, then it results in voltage surges causing the malfunction and overheating of your electronic device.
Nevertheless, you need to follow these 5 ways to minimize voltage drops to ensure the stability and safety operation of your power electronics.
What is a Voltage Drop?
A voltage drop is the voltage loss in transmission between the voltage source and the electronic load. It explains how much energy is reduced through resistance. In other words, the voltage drop is the supplied energy of a voltage source, reduced as electric current, that moves through the passive elements of an electrical circuit.
A voltage drop occurs when an electric current moves through a cable and grows increasingly weaker, causing an electronic device to appear dimmer.
Generally, a voltage drop is due to an increased load or energy used to an electronic device in the form of extra connections, components, or high-resistance conductors.
What are the Hazardous Effects of a Voltage Drop on Electrical Appliances?
Voltage Drop can cause overheating of your device
A low voltage forces a motor to draw extra current to deliver the power expected. It results in overheating of inductive loads such as motors, ballasts, etc. Hence, frequent overheating results in cumulative and irreversible damage.
If the overheating is grave, it could cause fire, most especially if the overcurrent or thermal protective device fails to operate properly.
Voltage Drop can increase your costs and inconvenience
Due to the low level of voltage, electronic devices operate in a short equipment life especially for sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, copy machines, laser printers, etc. This abrupt lowering of voltage results in data loss and equipment repair can increase the costs of consumers.
Further, resistive loads such as heaters and incandescent lighting will not provide the expected rated output.
Voltage Drop can cause inaccurate oscilloscope patterns
An oscilloscope or scope displays voltage signals as waveforms – a visual representation of the variation of voltage over time. It is a device that draws a graph of an electrical signal.
Note that a scope that is connected to a system with bad grounds can itself create a good substitute ground, which depends on the instrument’s impedance.
5 Ways to Minimize Voltage Drop
#1 Keep your electrical and electronic components cool
Temperature plays a vital factor in the functionality of a voltage. Simply because the increase of power voltage’s temperature reflects negatively on the productivity of electrical power. Hence, when the temperature of a power voltage increases, the voltage decreases significantly which leads to reduced power and efficiency.
To keep your electrical and electronic components cool, you need to invest in heat pipe integration, printed circuit board design, thermal interface materials, and micro fans.
Through these materials, it enhances the effectiveness of your device and lowers the costs of the cooling systems.
#2 Conduct a voltage drop test
Technicians use voltage drop testing to monitor voltage loss in a circuit. The voltage drop testing checks for voltage being lost along a wire, or through a connection or switch.
You can prevent a high resistance in the proper circuit operation through voltage drop testing. Circuits with high current draw cannot tolerate high resistance. As a result, it doesn’t allow sufficient cranking speed and possibly result in a no-start condition.
Further, voltage drop tests are cost-effective most especially where an electronic specialist doesn’t need to open every device and junction box of your house.
#3 Decrease the Length of Conductor
As a general rule, resistance is proportional to its length. The more is the length, the more is the resistance. Since the resistance of a conductor also changes with temperature, it is expected that the dimensions of the conductor would change as it expands or contracts.
You need to decrease the length of the conductor so its resistance will also fall.
Moreover, decreasing the length of the conductor is possible by installing panels and subpanels next to the external loads.
#4 Increase the Quantity/Size of the Conductors
Similar to the length of the conduct, the quantity or size of the conductors has a direct relationship with the voltage drop. A larger conductor means less voltage drop and higher efficiency.
As a result, it decreases the chance of voltage drop and increases the efficiency of your power voltage. Also, it lowers the overall power loss which is involved with standard-sized conductors.
#5 Reduce the Power Load
Overloading power in your circuit results in a sudden voltage drop. Power overload occurs when multiple devices connect on one circuit. Since the demand for electricity compounds, there is a high risk of losing power in the long run.
You should note the number of receptacles connected to each branch circuit should not be more than six. Further, each receptacle should be attached to an individual circuit that has a minimum capacity of 12 AWG (American Wide Gauge).
Voltage is a paramount element in power electronics. A circuit’s voltage level indicates a key to its operation. If an incorrect voltage is caused by a voltage drop, then it results in voltage surges causing the malfunction and overheating of your electronic device.
An excessive voltage drop causes electrical equipment to run unsatisfactorily in an electrical circuit. As such, too much voltage drop results in enormous damage to electrical motors such as overheating, increasing the costs and inconvenience of a consumer, and causing inaccurate oscilloscope patterns.
To ensure the stability and safety of operation and improve the power quality better, you need to follow these 5 ways to minimize voltage drops:
- Keep your electrical and electronic components cool
- Conduct a voltage drop test
- Decrease the length of the conductors
- Increase the quantity or size of the conductors
- Reduce the Power Load
In complying with these safety measures, your responsible electronic consumption sustains for a better living.