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I have 2 dedicated circuits in my circuit breaker box that…

I have 2 dedicated circuits...
I have 2 dedicated circuits in my circuit breaker box that are 240V, they each have 2 hot wires going to them. The circuit is terminated to an individual plug (L6-20R) for each circuit. The device I'm plugging into each of these plugs is a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) which expects an input voltage of 230V. If the voltage the device receives fluctuates more than + or - 8 Volts or so the Automatic Voltage Regulator kicks in to make sure the output voltage that goes to the devices plugged into the UPS always receive 230V. It can handle an input voltage of 158V to 278V. Is there any way to make the voltage coming from the circuit breaker be 230V instead of 240V so the UPS receives power closer to what it expects as input. This is the device: https://www.tripplite.com/smartpro-230v-2.2kva-1.92kw-line-interactive-sine-wave-ups-2u-rack-tower-extended-run-snmpwebcard-option-lcd-display-usb-db9-serial~SMX2200XLRT2U/
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Answered in 37 minutes by:
11/11/2017
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,461
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC General Class License
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Unfortunately, most electrical utilities have a + or - 5% voltage delivery tolerance which equates to + or - 12 volts on a 240 volt distribution system. Therefore, the combination of 120 and 240 volts into a panelboard can constantly fluctuate. The reason the manufacturer incorporated a voltage regulator into the UPS is because of this reason.

2) The built-in regulator is obviously performing to what it was designed for. Therefore, there shouldn't be any issues on your end.

3) If you have a digital volt meter handy, measure the voltage at the 2 hot phases on the panelboard main breaker and you will see that the utility delivery voltage is fluctuating and is never the same measurement at any given time.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi Kevin,Thanks for your quick response!The issue I'm experiencing is because the input voltage is starting at 240V + or - 12V the fluctuation of the voltage causes the Auto Voltage Regulator (AVR) to engage and disengage more frequently vs only flipping on when it is needed. See the attached video of the fluctuation of the voltage on the display of the UPS. I was wondering if there's any type of device I can use to step down the voltage from the circuit from 240V to 230V (-10V) so the UPS would be seeing the input voltage going from like 226V to 234V instead of the current fluctuation of 236V to 244V. The UPS engages the AVR when the voltage goes over 237V which happens more frequently. I tried attaching the video to this response but it might be too large but after I add the file, the Send button gray's out and I can't click it. I will attempt to upload it to my google drive and share the link so you can view the video.

Thanks for the replies.

1) A possible alternative is to install a buck/boast transformer to get the output voltage on the double pole breakers down to a consistent 230 volt level, but there is no guarantee that the buck mode transformer would constantly maintain a 230 output voltage level since the utility delivery voltage can always fluctuate. Therefore, even with a transformer configured to the buck mode, the voltage can still change.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Here's the link to the video I uploaded to Youtube here: https://youtu.be/15nq-X1Iw9AIf you copy and paste the into your web browser the video should come up so you can watch what the devices are doing.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
or it looks like you can click it. You'll see what the device is doing.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
That buck/boost transformer looks like what I'm looking for to step-down the voltage from 240 to 230. I think that would be exactly what I need. Assuming that it would then give me a voltage to the plug that would fluctuate from like 226 to 234 volts.

1) Yes, buck/boast transformers are sold at most local electrical supply stores. They come in a variety of voltage ranges. You will need a buck mode with a nominal input voltage of 240 volts and a buck mode voltage of 230 volts. In addition, the transformers are also sized according to output amperage or wattage ratings. Since the circuit is a 20 amp, you will need a buck transformer that can support a 20 amp load. The buck transformer will install downstream of the double pole circuit breaker.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The circuit breaker has a 30 on it, so is it 30 amps 240 volts? I did some google searches, I'm not finding anything that will specifically do single phase 240 volts to 230 volts (-5%). Must not be a common voltage change.

1) If the receptacle is a 20 amp and is being protected by a 30 amp breaker, that is a code violation since the 30 amp breaker is overfusing the circuit. A 20 amp receptacle needs to be protected by a 20 amp breaker and not a 30 amp breaker.

2) Yes, a buck mode from 240 down to 230 is not that common of a voltage. This is due to the 230 volts still being within the nominal voltage range of the delivery voltage @ 240 volts.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thanks for the clarification on the circuit breaker. I had an Electrician come out to install this equipment and I had a few people tell me it looks like they didn't use the correct sized breakers or gauge wires. I will make sure to call them ASAP to make sure they remedy the mistakes they made. The UPS has a 15A circuit breaker inside itself so I'm assuming that it will never try to pull more than 15A through the circuit.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thanks for explaining. if I was to start from scratch with nothing yet installed, is there a recommended configuration to connect this device which expects 230V input that fluctuates the standard + or - 5% from the utility? My question here is how should this be properly setup?

1) That is what I'm not understanding on your question. The UPS regulator was designed and incorporated into the UPS to account for delivery voltage fluctuations from the local electrical utility. A 230 voltage is within the fluctuation range of the utility voltage as well as within range of the UPS. In my opinion, there is nothing to be added since the UPS is already regulating the voltage. Why are you trying to get the voltage to maintain a constant 230 volts when you already know that the utility voltage can vary. Even if installing a buck transformer, the utility voltage will fluctuate, therefore nothing really gained other than maybe a few less volts which will not have any impact.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Well, my primary concern is potential damage to the electrical equipment or shorter lifetime of the UPS since the Auto Voltage Regulator (AVR) is clicking on/off frequently, sometimes I've heard it clicking much as 2 to 3 times per second because it turns on the AVR when the input voltage from the utility gets to 237V or higher. If you had the chance to review the video I shared on Youtube (https://youtu.be/15nq-X1Iw9A) you can see and hear the AVR engaging/disengaging as the power fluctuates around 237V. When the voltage from the utility goes below 237V the AVR turns off but the voltage usually quickly goes back up to around 240V within the second and AVR quickly turns back on again. I was hoping to have the power fluctuating around 230V (226V to 234V). If it normally fluctuated around that range the AVR still wouldn't engage until the volts rose to 237+ which doesn't happen as often. I believe this UPS is actually an "international" model and they might have 230V as a more common connection overseas.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I believe the UPS is expecting the utility to be providing 230V because it's an international model and the AVR would engage when the incoming voltage drops below 223V and goes above 237V. The Auto Voltage Regulation function isn't always on, I believe it causes the UPS to consume more electricity. I didn't know if there's a way to change the incoming voltage from the utility to get it down to fluctuate around 230V

Yes, I also suspect it is an international version. Many other countries outside of the USA have a nominal voltage of 230 volts. Here in the states, our nominal voltage is 240 volts. Sounds like the UPS was manufactured for a 230 volt nominal voltage, even though the voltage is within range according to the manufacturer specs and that would explain why the frequency of the regulator is repeatedly clicking ON/OFF.

Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,461
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC General Class License
Verified
Kevin and 87 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now

Thank you for the positive service rating as well as the bonus............both are very much appreciated!

If you have any other questions, just let me know.

Take care and have a great evening............Thanks again............Kevin:)

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