When working with any electrical equipment, safety comes first. Many industries, including UPS system and inverter manufacturers, rely on isolation transformers to manage large voltage swings. The demand for these transformers is on the rise due to the excellent safety features they offer.
By Shruti Mishra
Sensitive and complex electronic equipment require reliable power quality for smooth functioning. Isolation transformers come with galvanic isolation, an important safety feature that helps prevent high-voltage electricity from reaching places it shouldn’t, thereby assuring the longevity of electronic devices. Because of this key property, these transformers are becoming the preferred choice in the UPS system and inverter industries. In UPS systems, these isolation transformers are usually set at the output end of the inverter to enhance the overall performance of the system and improve the power supply quality of the connected loads.
In India, industries that use microprocessor-based devices such as medical electronics and automobiles are also prime consumers of isolation transformers. This is because such industries need a smooth and continuous power supply, and cannot afford to switch off their appliances even for a millisecond.
What do these transformers do?
An isolation transformer helps in achieving electrical isolation between the UPS system’s input and output. It acts as an electronic firewall that separates the sensitive electronic equipment from electrical impurities, while ensuring system performance and preserving the integrity of audio and video signals. The device also removes harmonic content on the load end, thus offering a better power supply.
Also, this transformer offers a way of eliminating general mode noise, which ensures a high level of security for electronic equipment.
Key market drivers
High electricity consumption in India is driving the UPS system and inverter market, which in turn is spurring the growth of the isolation transformer market. It is anticipated that due to rural electrification and rapid urbanisation, India’s electricity demand will grow at a CAGR of 7.1 per cent between FY17 and FY22, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). Based on this figure, one can easily conclude that the business of isolation transformers is poised to take off in the coming years. However, there are some other factors that have bolstered the demand for isolation transformers, as listed below.
Regional demand for UPS systems: Increasing income levels, the low quality of power and the growth of the IT segments are some prime factors responsible for the high consumption of UPS systems in India. A TechSci research study points out that the UPS market in India is projected to reach US$ 1.2 billion by 2021. The consumption rate of UPS systems is directly proportional to the demand for transformers. The main components in the manufacturing cost of a UPS system are the transformer and IGBT. Therefore, the more customers opt for UPS systems, the higher will be the demand for isolation transformers.
Development in T&D infrastructure: In a bid to bring efficiencies in power transmission systems, much of the electrical transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure is being upgraded across the country. This development is pushing the isolation transformer manufacturers to design devices that can easily operate on the new T&D platforms.
Replacement demands: There is a high replacement demand for transformers at present due to the ageing of the country’s grid assets. The higher investment in replacing ageing infrastructure will impact the isolation transformer market in a positive way.
The modernisation of electrical systems through the integration of new age technologies with new public policies has given birth to smart residential power distribution and generation systems known as the Smart Grid Gateway (SGG). The Indian government is also promoting a nationwide network of smart grids. To address the needs of these new age power distribution systems, smart transformers will be needed. Such transformers will strengthen the two-way communication needed for real-time monitoring and avoid power outages.
At present, smart transformers are at the pilot stage of manufacture but with the smart grid coming up, their market is expected to grow considerably in the coming years.
New products available in the market
Model: TOT AVR series, Manufacturer: Torus Power
The TOT AVR isolation transformers address voltage sags, power line surges and brownouts that can stress and shorten equipment life. The AVR technology provides stable voltage to keep equipment running in the optimal range of +/- 10V for. The models in this series also come with a free USB charger.
- Operating voltage range: 85V to 135V
- Power: 1200VA
- Frequency: 60Hz
- Output current: 10A
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 318mm x 101mm x 369mm
- Weight: 16kg
Model: Single phase isolation transformer, Manufacturer: Vertex Power Solutions Pvt Ltd
The single phase isolation transformer offered by Vertex uses optimum quality components and the latest technology. These transformers are manufactured in compliance with industry standards and norms, using superior quality raw material.
- Power: 0.5kVA-500kVA
- Ambient temperature: 0°C to 50°C
- Degree of protection: IP 31
- Cooling type: Dry type/air cooled
Model: IS250HG, Manufacturer: Tripp-Lite
This UL60601-1 medical-grade listed isolation transformer offers line isolation, continuous noise filtering and enhanced common mode surge suppression. An internal low-impedance isolation transformer component offers 100 per cent isolation from the input AC line. This device comes with a limited two-year warranty.
- Efficiency: 96 per cent
- Nominal voltage: 120V
- Frequency: 60Hz
- Total harmonic distortion: Less than 1 per cent
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 11.43cm x 12.07cm x 19.69cm
- Leakage current: Less than 100 microamps