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Auroras News Position:Home > News & Events > Industry News > Demystifying 347V and 480V lighting installati

Demystifying 347V and 480V lighting installations

Date: 2014-08-01 16:08 Source: Auroras Lighting | Read:

Breaking down the challenges with 347V & 480V for lighting devices.

Many LED & conventional lighting products are intended to derive power from standard 120V or 240V power sources. Power supplies for these products (usually called “Drivers”) may be designed to operate at either of these voltages, or often, from any voltage between 100-277V (universal input supplies).

The challenge

Many commercial & industrial installations receive primary power at 347V (in Canada) or 480V (US),which exceeds the rated input voltage for most lighting products. It is hazardous to operate a device beyond its rated voltage & is not acceptable by the local electrical authority.  Note: Electrical supply in both Canada and the US typically operates at 60 Hz (frequency).

Nominal standard supply voltages in Canada
Nominal Supply Voltage – Canada Typical Uses
600V 3-phase (line-to-line) High-Power Industrial and Commercial loads
347V 3-phase (line-neutral) High-Power Industrial and Commercial loads
208V 3-phase (line-to-line) Commercial, Industrial and some large Residential loads
120V 3-phase (line-to-neutral) Commercial, Industrial and some large Residential loads
240V split phase (line-to-line) Residential large loads
120V (line-to-neutral) Residential, common use

Note:  Nominal standard supply voltages in the USA

The U.S. has some similarities with Canada on the 208/120V 3-phase & 240/120V split-phase supply but differences on the higher voltage side as follows:

Nominal Supply Voltage – Canada Typical Uses
480V 3-phase (line-to-line) High-Power Industrial & Commercial loads
277V 3-phase (line-to-neutral) High-Power Industrial & Commercial loads

What happens if the voltages are incompatible?

A supplementary device to reduce or “step” the voltage down is required.  This is when an installer would use a step-down autotransformer.

Autotransformers are a simple type of transformer consisting of a single coil wound around a steel core that takes a higher voltage input (e.g. 347 or 480V) and “steps it down” to a lower voltage (e.g. 240V or 120V).

Tip: These transformers must bear Safety Certification markings as a way of complying with the requirements for the local electrical inspection authority.

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