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Old 29th June 2007, 08:04 AM   #1
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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Default Use of Power Conditioners

Hi,

I wish to ask what I am sure is essentially a dumb question:
I have an Aussie made 250VA, 240VAC, 50Hz, 1 A Conditioner made By Sola with two 3 pin power outlets.
It is an "industrial looking" 13.5 Kg unit so it's no toy.
I have no manuals or product info, it's an auction pick-up.
Website of Sola, now Powerware, no help.

Can anyone guide me in suitable uses & describe it's exact purpose.
Here on the Gold Coast the power supply is said to be "variable" but of course its hard to get a bead on what is meant by that, I think mainly the suggestion is that voltage can & does frequently fall below "legislated" levels, however I can't say I have noticed this affecting my audio gear, TV etc.
If I were to use this would I also need surge protection?

Peter O
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Old 29th June 2007, 08:10 AM   #2
Hartono is offline Hartono  Indonesia
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with that weight, my guess it's some sort of transformer , probably self regulating type, meaning it can regulate the AC output voltage, by a servo motor action. so if the line voltage drops, the mechanism automatically adjust the transformer ratio to compensate in order to stabilize the output voltage.
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Old 29th June 2007, 08:28 AM   #3
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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Default Inside the Power Conditioner

I did take a peek inside & took the opportunity to vacuum away accumulated dust.
I saw only 2 components:
A Cornell Dubilier "Soggy Foil" can, oval in cross section rated 60Hz, 90Deg C, size about 80 mm high x 60 across - function unknown.
And a huge transformer like device, three windings within a laminated steel hoop - never seen anything similar before.
Wiring connections are silicone insulated rated 150 Deg C.
Nothing else except a pilot light & the outlet plug bodies.
No servo motor visible.
No unique earth connection either which surprised me.

Peter O
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Old 29th June 2007, 08:31 AM   #4
Hartono is offline Hartono  Indonesia
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mysterious device

edit: not a variac ? (variable AC transformer ) it can be used manually to change the output voltage
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Old 29th June 2007, 10:13 AM   #5
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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Default Power Conditioner

No provision for manual adjustment.
Whatever this is exactly, it is clearly labelled:
"Power Conditioner" & it's obvious that whatever it does it is automatic.
I can't figure out how it does whatever it does with such a low component count.
Probably obvious to most here.

Peter O
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Old 29th June 2007, 10:35 AM   #6
ssmith is offline ssmith  France
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could be a simple isolation transformer.
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Old 29th June 2007, 11:37 AM   #7
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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Default Power Conditioner 20 guesses

If it's an isolation transformer it's unlike the mainstream.
And would an isolating tranni be marketed as a power conditioner?
This is a metal boxed piece of industrial gear with a makers name, clearly not a "one off".
There's lots of air around the components inside.

Peter O
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Old 29th June 2007, 11:43 AM   #8
Bone is offline Bone  United Kingdom
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Power conditioners are supposed to remove spikes etc. from the incoming mains supply to protect the equipment connected to it. No stabilisation takes place. The output is essentially the same as the input with the spikes removed. e.g. to protect computers etc. from lightning induced spikes.
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Old 29th June 2007, 11:46 PM   #9
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Perterlo,

What you describe might be a ferroresonant transformer -
http://www.solaheviduty.com/products...ioning/cvs.htm
http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_2/chpt_9/6.html

If it looks like the one in the first URL, it is a ferroresonant transformer.
They're noisey, inefficient, but within their constraints do their tasks quite well.

As to the specifics as to what a power conditioner should and shouldn't do, I'll let you guys argue the semantics amongst yourselves......
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Old 30th June 2007, 12:32 AM   #10
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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Default Ferroresonant Transformer as Power Conditioner

You found material on the web which I did not.
The metal box like configuration & description of extreme simplicity tend to confirm your assessment.
The specs do not look impressive to me:
Efficiency: up to 92%
Audible noise: 35 to 65 dBA
Distortion: 3%.
Also the use of a capacitor, which in my case might or migjt not be in good shape is of concern. In fact the can I described is not labelled with its capacitance so maybe its something else.
Looks like its time to plug this puppy in & see if I can put up with the noise & heat.

Thanks for the help
Peter O
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