Every country has its own varying alternating current. Generally, most of the world operates on 220-240 VAC (Volts Alternating Current). North America is one country that operates on 110-120 VAC. When you travel from one country to another, if you are to experience a voltage fluctuation, you need to be well prepared to convert the voltage to match your appliance’s voltage requirement. If you fail to do so, you could severely damage your appliances.
Use a voltage converter to convert these voltages. These equipment convert electricity up or down as required while travelling overseas. In addition, you may also need a plug adapter, which may either be built into the converter or sold separately for usage with multi-voltage devices that are designed to convert power internally. Two types of voltage converters are available to choose from – transformer and solid state converter. The one you should choose should depend on the type of equipment you use.
Transformer or solid state converter?
Generally, it is the transformer that is used with any electronic or motor device. This equipment is sized by their wattage capacity and the wattage requirement of your device. The appliance’s wattage requirement should be equal or below the transformer’s maximum wattage rating. Usually, transformers are heavy because they are made of metals like steel and copper. But, transformers that are designed for travelling purposes are generally limited to 50 watts. Some examples of devices that use such transformers are camcorders, battery chargers, cd players, digital cameras, electric shavers, radios and cellphones. Get the best and most appropriate transformers from Miracle Electronics, the leading transformer manufacturer in India.
Lightweight solid state converters are used with high wattage heating appliances because their wattage demands are very high and transformers in such cases can get too heavy. Devices that use solid state converters include hair dryers, hair rollers, cloth steamers, food warmers, electric blankets, heating pads and irons.
How to find the voltage and wattage rating of an appliance?
To find the right kind of transformer or converter, you must first know the voltage and wattage requirement of the appliance you want to use it with. This information is generally mentioned at the bottom or back of an appliance, or in the specifications section of its manual. You must check for the frequency of the appliance too. The input voltage will be mentioned in volts; and the wattage as watts. If there is no mention of watts, you can check for Amps or mA, which is the amperage. Multiply this amount with the input voltage quantity, and the result you will get is Watts. (Volts x Amps = Watts)
What cautions need to be taken?
- Don’t use voltage converters with electronics like TVs, computers and VCRs.
- Don’t use transformers with heating appliances like hair dryers and irons.
- Don’t use non-heating electronics like audio players, electric razors and calculators with solid state converters.