How to use low voltage equipment safely

How to Use Low Voltage Equipment Safely

Gadgets and equipment rated as low voltage electric equipment including circuit breakers, controllers, master switches, capacitors, and resistor and devices using these components use a power of 50 V and below. It is important to choose low voltage components and equipment made following industrial standards, for instance, the CHINT low voltage electric equipment. This assures the safety of usage and durability.

In comparison, high voltage equipment is rated between 600 to 5,000 volts of power. These include transformers used for supplying power to our homes and industries.

Low voltage electric equipment is most preferred in many residential and commercial applications because they conserve energy and reduce power bills, in addition to being safe to operate. This type of equipment is also easy and quick to install.

Common low voltage equipment uses 50 volts of power and below. The type of equipment classifiable as low voltage equipment around our homes include home security sensors, home, and industrial telephone systems, low voltage bulbs, doorbells, thermostats, door openers, and landscape lighting. Low voltage gadgets also include standalone transformers inside of radios, TVs, and motors.

Voltages classifications

High voltages

In most cases, the classification of voltage depends on the governing authority. NEC classifies, under normal situations, high voltage as voltage ranging between 1000 to 4160 V. while the ANSI standards classify high voltage as ranging from 115 kV and 1100 kV.

This amount of voltage is dangerous to work with in home use. The amount of voltage can be found in power plants, stocked generators and power generators that supply industries with backup power. They can also be found in transformers in electric supply or distribution lines.

Medium voltages

The voltage classified as medium voltage is one between 50 and 1000 V according to NEC standards, while ANSI classify high voltage as voltage between 2.4 kV and 69 kV as medium voltage. Medium voltages are found in industrial motors, industrial electrical equipment such as supply generators and stepped-down transformers in supply lines, power substations, and small power plants.

Low voltages

Any voltage below 600 kV is known as low voltage as per ANSI and 0 – 49 V as per NEC standards. We find this amount of voltage in standalone power supply batteries, control units, small generators, and small transformers in electronic and electric equipment.

Advantages of using low voltage electric equipment

Low chances of giving shock

Low voltage electrical applications include measuring power, securing homes and providing safety, facilitating communication, and enhancing our daily lives. Perhaps the greatest benefit of using low voltage electrical equipment is that they reduce the chances of suffering electrical shocks.

Safe to handle

Since they transmit low current, they are safer to handle by children and adults alike. These gadgets and equipment are safe to operate even when they are running.

Consume low energy

Another important advantage of using Chint low voltage electric gadgets such as low voltage bulb is that they consume low energy and save on electric bills.

Usually, in layman language, energy is expended in the form of generating heat and light in an electrical system, although a small amount is also spent in transitioning energy from one form to another.

In the real sense, energy is not used up but transitioned from one form to another. In many electrical systems, heat does come out as wasted energy as the form is being transitioned.

Since low voltage electric applications do not give off much heat, they are best at conserving energy in an electrical system.

This also means they also do not add the extra cost for cooling and the bulkiness of systems which may make them difficult or impossible to carry around.

Adding extra equipment for repairs and to cool means an extra cost to the owner in terms of buying and labor. Equipment that would need air compression to cool at high voltages does not require any at low voltages.

Energy efficient

That said, energy efficiency is at its best when low voltage electric equipment is used compared to high voltage electric equipment. If you are running a motor and other rotating or running equipment at low voltage, it turns out quieter and the maintenance is low.

Low maintenance requirement is also a benefit for all other low voltage electrical equipment.

Long lasting

Besides, whether the low voltage electrical applications involved residential or commercial settings, low voltage equipment minimizes the possibility of fire.

This means your equipment and residential and commercial buildings will serve you for extended periods.

Easy and quick to install

These systems are also easy and quick to install and repair without requiring extra installation effort, expertise, and equipment.

They are also built to order to fit with the equipment targeted, come in a range of powering technologies and provide low profile models.

Applications of low voltage electric

As stated previously, low voltage equipment and systems are used within commercial and residential settings alike.

They are applied on doorbells, garage door opener controls, automobile batteries, garden, and home lighting, and heating and cooling thermostats. We also see low voltage equipment being used on industrial alarm systems.

Low voltage lighting systems are common nowadays with LED bulbs. However, a low voltage transformer can still produce a high current after step up.

These applications may employ circuit breakers, controllers, starters, master switches, capacitors, and resistors, all fitted by a contractor to suit the system in question.

The contractor will usually wire these systems using telephone cables that are very small since the current inside the circuit in these systems is very low.

These systems usually involve a supply of power via a battery and will not provide a shock via a contact. Some systems such as an auto car battery may have a high current yet low voltage and can cause an arc and burns.

How to use low voltage equipment safely

Avoid overloading and overusing equipment: This means the equipment is not damaged within a short time. Overloading electrical equipment spoils it when it generates excessive heat as it carries the excess load. The equipment need also be used for the required application.

Protection via covering and other construction: Protection of electrical equipment, for instance via plastic covering of control units and sockets, and locking generators in special construction is always an important safety precaution for all electrical equipment of low or high voltage.

Isolation and protection prevent tampering by children and adults, and unfortunate situations such as liquid spoilage on them, which can short the equipment.

Proper maintenance: Electrical equipment bought must also be of the required standards and safety construction to avoid the risks and to prevent spoiling. Besides, regular maintenance ensures they are kept at sync with safety requirements by contractors. They require being removed and replaced when damaged.

Following standard installation procedures: They also must be installed following the required installation procedures to ensure safety of use.

Bruce Valdeo
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