Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Low, High Voltage and Electronics
Name: Steven
Status: Student
Grade: 9-12
Location: TX
Country: United States
Date: Spring 2010


Question:
For any home appliance or electronics, let us say a television or refrigerator, what would be the effect if we provide under-voltage? What would be the effect if we provide over-voltage?



Replies:
That is a good question. This is what I found experimentally for undervoltage (125V ---> 100V):

A compact fluorescent lamp will draw the same current, but be dimmer. An ordinary AC motor driving a pump will draw more current and rotate slower. A normal fluorescent lamp will draw less current, less power, and be dimmer. A sophisticated motorized polishing machine will operate the same, but consume less power. An LCD computer monitor will work the same, draw the same power, with current increasing proportionally.

There is one rule that always works: simple restive loads (like incandescent lamps or toasters) will be dimmer and draw less current and power.

For devices, circuits, and machinery that are not simple, the effect of undervoltage depends on the details of the circuit and electromagnetic parts.

Robert Erck



Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory