Tag Archives: Overview of Electronic Ballast

Electronic Ballast: Its Overview, Importance and Working

People have grown up with sounds and sights of lamps being fluorescent that buzzes too life after some attempts. As new waves of saving energy appliances grips world, technology makes lamps fluorescent shrinking in thickness and reducing attempts numbers done by lamps shining their brightest. Presently, lots of homes use CFL lamps energy Saver and fluorescent tubes starting provision of light at moments they have been switched on. This light production instantaneously is achieved by uses of electronic ballasts. The electronic ballast is device that controls operating currents and starting voltages of lighting devices. It is built on principles of discharge of electrical gases. It refers to circuit parts that limit current flow by means of lighting devices. This varies from becoming single resistor too complex bigger device. In few lighting fluorescent systems like dimmers, it is responsible also for controlling flowing of electrical energies for heating electrodes of lamp.

Basic of Electronic Ballast: For lighting devices based on working of electric gas discharges, gas ionization in tubes are needed. Phenomenon taking place at high potential relative difference or/and temperatures other than normal lamp operating conditions is there. After arcs are set up, conditions brought down to normal are there. For achieving this, 3 ways of types are employed generally: rapid start, pre-heat and instant start. In pre-heat, lamp electrodes are heated to the high temperatures before voltages are impressed on them by help of starters. Ballasts instant start was developed for starting lamps with no flashing or delay. There is using of high initial voltages instead of temperature raised. Ballasts rapid start make trade-off in between instant start and pre-heat. This uses separate windings set for initial electrodes heating for less duration. Then there is using relative low voltages for starting lamp. Other type is programmed start ballast. This is variant of rapid start ballast. Any of the principles of starting could be used in ballasts. When gas is unionized initially, it offers high path to current resistance. But after occurrence of ionization, arc sets up, resistance drops to too much lower values thereby acting almost like short circuits. In case, this entire current are allowed passing through lamps, then lamp will either cause failure of power supply or burn out. So, ballast requires performing current limitations.

Electronic Ballast working: Electronic Ballast primitively employed principles generally of input power rectification and smoothening waveforms by passage of it by means of simple filters such as electrolytic capacitors. Rectifier converts AC to DC waveforms. Electronic Ballast improved presently is based generally on SMPS topologies. 1st step is rectification of input power. Then chopped signals for increasing frequencies. This ballast types operates in between 20 kHz to 60 kHz. Different ballasts such as magnetic ballast operates generally at line frequencies that is around 50 Hz to 60 Hz. There is suffering from problems like humming and flickering sounds. This is nuisance to ambience few times. Same circuit design ideologies have been implemented by utilizing notes of application provided by datasheets chip manufacturers. Rationale at back of frequency increasing in Electronic Ballast is that efficiency of lamp rapidly increases with change of frequency from 1 kHz to 20 kHz. After this, there is gradual improvement till 60 kHz. As operating frequencies of lamps are increased, current amount needed for producing similar light amount must be reduced. This is when compared with the line frequency that increases lamp efficiency. Performance increased at high frequencies is that at high frequencies AC cycle’s time period is shorter than time relaxation in between deionization and ionization consecutive of gases with alternating currents. So, ionization densities in lamps are mostly held constantly near optimal conditions operating over entire period of AC.


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