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High Low Voltage Cutout Without Timer
This inexpensive circuit can be connected to an air-conditioner/fridge or to any other sophisticated electrical appliance for its protection. Generally, costly voltage stabilizers are used with such appliances for maintaining constant AC voltage. However, due to fluctuations in AC mains supply, a regular ‘click’ sound in the relays is heard. The frequent energisation/de-energisation of the relays leads to electrical noise and shortening of the life of electrical appliances and the relay/stabilizer itself. The costly yet fault-prone stabiliser may be replaced by this inexpensive high-low cutout circuit with timer.
The circuit is so designed that relay RL1 gets energised when the mains voltage is above 270V. This causes resistor R8 to be inserted in series with the load and thereby dropping most of the voltage across it and limiting the current through the appliance to a very low value. If the input AC mains is less than 180 volts or so, the low-voltage cut-off circuit interrupts the supply to the electrical appliance due to energisation of relay RL2. After a preset time delay of one minute (adjustable), it automatically tries again. If the input AC mains supply is still low, the power to the appliance is again interrupted for another one minute, and so on, until the mains supply comes within limits (>180V AC).
The AC mains supply is resumed to appliance only when it is above the lower limit. When the input AC mains increases beyond 270 volts, preset VR1 is adjusted such that transistor T1 conducts and relay RL1 energises and resistance R8 gets connected in series with the electrical appliance. This 10-kilo-ohm, 20W resistor produces a voltage drop of approximately 200V, with the fridge as load. The value and wattage of resistor R8 may be suitably chosen according to the electrical appliance to be used. It is practically observed that after continuous use, the value of resistor R8 changes with time, due to heating. So adjustment of preset VR1 is needed two to three times in the beginning.
But once it attains a constant value, no further adjustment is required. This is the only adjustment required in the beginning, which is done using a variac. Further, the base voltage of transistor T2 is adjusted with the help of preset VR2 so that it conducts up to the lower limit of the input supply and cuts off when the input supply is less than this limit (say, 180V). As a result, transistor T3 remains cut off (with its collector remaining high) until the mains supply falls below the lower limit, causing its collector voltage to fall. The collector of transistor T3 is connected to the trigger point (pin 2) of IC1. When the input is more than the lower limit, pin 2 of IC1 is nearly at +Vcc.
In this condition the output of IC1 is low, relay RL2 is de-energised and power is supplied to the appliance through the N/C terminals of relay RL2. If the mains supply is less than the lower limit, pin 2 of IC1 becomes momentarily low (nearly ground potential) and thus the output of IC1 changes state from ‘low’ to ‘high’, resulting in energisation of relay RL2. As a result, power to the load/appliance is cut off. Now, capacitor C2 starts charging through resistor R6 and preset VR3. When the capacitor charges to (2/3)Vcc, IC1 changes state from ‘high’ to ‘low’. The value of preset VR3 may be so adjusted that it takes about one minute (or as desired) to charge capacitor C1 to (2/3)Vcc.
Relay is now de-energised and the power is supplied to the appliance if the mains supply voltage has risen above the lower cut-off limit, otherwise the next cycle repeats automatically. One additional advantage of this circuit is that both relays are de-energised when the input AC mains voltage lies within the specified limit and the normal supply is extended to the appliance via the N/C contacts of both relays.