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Old 04-21-2016, 08:37 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Autoformer

Not to steal the thread but cant help but try to utilize the great scientific minds assembled [not trying to be funny--I truly appreciate the depth of thought here], to help me understand how the "autoformer" appliance works. Owners swear it over comes resistance and raises voltage in their coach without affecting the rest of the campground inhabitants. Sounds like "cold fusion" or "perpetual motion" to me--help me understand.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:47 AM   #2
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Not to steal the thread but cant help but try to utilize the great scientific minds assembled [not trying to be funny--I truly appreciate the depth of thought here], to help me understand how the "autoformer" appliance works. Owners swear it over comes resistance and raises voltage in their coach without affecting the rest of the campground inhabitants. Sounds like "cold fusion" or "perpetual motion" to me--help me understand.

Someone else will no doubt post a more technical explanation....however I believe it uses a large transformer with a secondary winding that will raise the voltage slightly from what the primary winding is seeing.

Similar to how small "wall warts" that used to be common to power small electronics, would decrease the 120VAC to around 12VAC -- a transformer can be wired to raise voltage as well as decrease it.....so it could take in 100VAC and produce 110VAC for example.
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Old 04-21-2016, 04:42 PM   #3
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An auto transformer is one that operates super saturated meaning consuming powee.

It has a large magnetic field to allow storage of extra energy.

Costs a bit to use one.

Another type has switchable windings that can step up or down.

No magic there.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:12 PM   #4
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These posts were moved from a thread about a water powered generator.

Unlike that tech, Autoformers are proven appliances...don't totally know what's in the box, but they are a good thing for an RV - AFAIK.
https://hughesautoformers.com/



We are not affiliated.

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Old 04-22-2016, 12:24 PM   #5
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The uninformed claim the autoformer "steals" power from the campground or from other campers. This is impossible.

The circuit breaker on the campground power pedestal limits how much current you can use and prevents you from using any more current than you are paying for.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:26 PM   #6
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Ok--now we are getting somewhere--the point isnt about "stealing" power. Until now, almost everyone hailing the virtues of the autoformer say the "box" is raising their voltage with no impact on anyone else. Claims of "super saturated" and "huge coils/transformer" are truly impressive, but..... If everyone in an "underpowered" park [eg hot weather and 30 amp park], was using an autoformer, them the park could reduce its overall power consumption and everyone would be happy--including the park owners. I contend that those using the autoformer are enjoying higher voltage, but at the expense of everyone else in the park who is not--true or false?
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:51 PM   #7
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Has to be false...the voltage on the low side of the auto former is the same or close to it at each pedestal. The auto former raises the voltage on the camper side...
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:04 PM   #8
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True. (E=I x R). Always.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:09 PM   #9
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True. (E=I x R). Always.
Thus is true as long as you ignore inductive reactance. .....which we can in this case
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:32 PM   #10
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You can only get 30 amps of power at the campgrounds low voltage. That means you will be using less than what you paid for. On your side of the autoformer, you will have less than 30 amps available to use.

Now consider this, your air conditioner will be running more efficiently than others without corrected voltage, thus helping the overall situation.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
Not to steal the thread but cant help but try to utilize the great scientific minds assembled [not trying to be funny--I truly appreciate the depth of thought here], to help me understand how the "autoformer" appliance works. Owners swear it over comes resistance and raises voltage in their coach without affecting the rest of the campground inhabitants. Sounds like "cold fusion" or "perpetual motion" to me--help me understand.
Think of electricity like water in a pipe. You can increase pressure in a pipe be constricting it, which will also reduce volume. With electricity Voltage is your pressure and Amperes are your volume. An increase in voltage simply reduces the available amps.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:57 PM   #12
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You do not use voltage...You consume power.

The transformer consumes power.

It can boost or drop voltage to maintain a given voltage on the output.

It being saturated consumes some too.

So using made up numbers just for theory. ..say line in is 120 and out is 120 and actual load is 10 amps or 1200 watts.

The saturation part is over that by say 50 % so 600 watts wasted but added so total power is 1800 watts

Line voltage goes down and some of the wasted 600 watts is used to make up for it.

Load on system still 1800 watts and output voltage still 120.

Now remove load and the transformer still consuming power...more than that 600 too.

So when you plug in a true auto former it can load everyone else due to the load it adds.

If you have a switching transformer that has a computer that changes the ratios then it does not do the constant load but it will change windings to maintain output voltage and due to the "gain" if used to step up a lower voltage the current will go up on the input.

Just remember with volts or amps it is difficult to keep things straight but using power it is constant regardless of voltage.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:54 PM   #13
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PIE

I've found this Ohm's Law variant helpful in understanding how autoformers (or voltage regulators) work:

P = I * E

P = Power in watts
I = Current in amps
E = Voltage in volts

Assuming your (P) Power draw is fairly constant, as park voltage (E) goes down, current (I) has to increase to compensate.

Higher current is bad for inductive (ie motors) draws like ACs.

So an autoformer compensates by increasing voltage and thereby lowing current.

No magic. Just Ohm's Law.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:05 PM   #14
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Old Scout, below is a link to a well written article about autotransformers for RV's.
Autotransformer Use: "Stealing Power?"
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