The voltage regulator has been used in different industrial applications for many years. In fact, VR is one of the more commonly used power conditioning pieces of equipment used since raw unregulated power coming from a power supply may damage the equipment to which it is connected.
Needless to say, voltage regulators have many functions depending on their application one of which is in broadcasting.
What is a Voltage Regulator?
A voltage regulator generates a fixed output voltage that remains constant no matter what the changes are to either a load or to the input voltage. Voltage regulators are classified into two categories: linear and switching.
A linear regulator acts as a variable resistor, continuously adjusting a voltage divider network to maintain a constant output voltage and continually dissipating the difference between the input and regulated voltages as waste. A switching regulator uses an active device (MOSFET or BJT switch) which switches on and off to maintain the average value of the output voltage.
Why are Voltage Regulators Significant in Broadcasting?
In such a highly competitive industry like broadcasting, any shortage or other issues in power can mean huge losses in revenue.
Voltage regulators are used to making sure that any changes in load power or supply power will not cause damages to different broadcasting equipment, appliances and machines so transmission stays consistent.
How are Voltage Regulators used in Broadcasting?
An electrical spike can be especially detrimental to the modern digital electronics used by the broadcasting industry resulting in a halt of the transmission of the show. But not only are the electronics vulnerable to voltage irregularities but even the most modern transmitters are at high risk from power surges. This is why voltage regulators have never been more important than now in the broadcasting industry. On the one hand, high voltages may cause damage to sensitive electronics, such as the exciter and transmitter, the microwave equipment, tower light controllers and other equipment at the transmitter site. On the other hand, low voltages may cause equipment to perform outside of its specifications and in certain cases even shut down.
Modern transmitters contain sensitive components within their electronic circuitry and low-level logic devices like microprocessors and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) which are sensitive to voltage variations, noise and voltage transients (spikes). They also use power supplies that use high-efficiency switch modes that require additional protection depending on the site and the specific needs of the transmitter.
Transmission sites typically use UPS devices for brief power interruptions while some bigger stations use diesel generators for long-term power outages.
Voltage regulators are not only needed to protect the transmitter and exciter but also to protect the tower light controllers and other equipment at the transmission site. A sudden low voltage can cause the equipment to function below its specification or completely shut down.
What Types of Protection can Voltage Regulators Offer?
Most voltage regulators offer two kinds of protection: spike/surge protection, and power conditioning
Spikes or surges may happen within nanoseconds or milliseconds and these transients can be from hundreds to thousands of volts. Power conditioning offers both transient protection and filtering to reduce the noise on the line while regulating voltage.
Consistency is highly needed in the broadcasting industry, especially with a more demanding audience. This is why stations should invest only in the best voltage regulators in the market today.
Staco Energy’s (www.stacoerngy.com) Voltage Regulators are by far the most widely used VR in the broadcasting industry boasting a lion’s share of the market. Staco Energy has wide experience in supplying back up power supplies not only for the broadcasting industry but for any type of application. Peninsula Technical Sales is the northern CA office for Staco Energy and has the technical expertise to provide engineering consultation for any power conditioning equipment. Call us at 650-965-3636 or E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
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