Power: Unstable Supply Boosts Stabilizers Market
Top voltage Stabi-liser and automatic voltage regulator, AVR manufacturers are attracting additional market share as a result of the growing demand for stabilisers or regulators to protect equipment or machine occasioned by unstable power supply in the country. A voltage stabiliser is a device designed to deliver a constant voltage at its output regardless of changes in incoming voltage, while AVR is a device designed to deliver a constant voltage at its output regardless of changes in load in current.
They both protect equipment or machines against excessive voltage, under voltage, and other voltage surges. electricity Increasing number of users and business expansion has ensured that homes and firms in Nigeria are increasingly relying on stabilisers and regulators to counter unstable power supply and surges. Other driving forces behind increasing demand for the products are input and output range, automatic countdown delay, default delay time, high temperature protection and overload protection.
Due to poor power grid infrastructure, power generation and transmission which lead to unstable power supply, has become a major challenge for Nigeria. This, however, offers prospects to voltage stabiliser and AVR manufacturers and marketers to serve consumers with better and reliable power stabilising products. Large and international vendors are dominating the market. Many local and regional vendors are storming the market with low-cost options for both residential and commercial users.
While there are many brands in the market, investigations showed that seven brands dominate consumer preference and the market share. The brands dominating the market are Binatone, Mercury, Bluegate, QASA, Voltech Century and Hair Thermocool. In a bid to consolidate their hold on the market, these brands have introduced varieties of products with different capacities for different household equipment to suit the pockets of the various income bracket of the population.
These include new model stabilisers and AVR that have delay mechanism when the delay button is switched on, sizes and colours. The stabiliser and regulator, like every household appliance, have key features that differentiate them from one another which also determine consumers’ preference. For example, Binatone’s input voltage range is 100-280 volts,has advance Central Processing Unit, CPU control, automatic 10 seconds count down when switched on, has full protection against high and low voltage and high temperature, default delay time of six seconds (180secs if delay is selected) and accurate output regulation. Mercury has wide input voltage range of 130V to 280AC, over voltage and low voltage of 280 and 130 AC protection respectively; Soft start protection (necessary to protect expensive appliances) and has six steps transformer design in voltage stabilising.
Bluegate, on the other hand, offers 98 per cent efficiency, wide output voltage range, input, output voltage meter display, circuit breaker, high temperature protection, high and low output protection, overload and low load voltage protection. In the case of QASA, it has input of 100 to 280v AC 50 HZ, output of 230V AC, thin digital meter, its stability rate is 5 per cent, has extra handle, overload protection, multifunctional sockets, replaceable fuse for protection. Century has an analogue meter, time delay button, output 230V 50 HZ, complete output regulation, compatible features for large chest freezers, air-conditioners (split units). Hair Thermocool has high output voltage protection circuit breaker, high temperature protection, its load capacity is 500VA in single phase,100 per cent power output guarantee, can stabilise voltage of 2 horse power (HP) and 3HP split air-conditioners.
Consumers speak Co-owner of Vertical Repairs Enterprises, Alaba-Suru, Lagos- Badagry Expressway, Daniel Desmond, says he uses Voltech stabilisers for any device – refrigerators, TVs, deep freezers and split unit air-conditioners. “Relay type voltage stabilisers are only common for power ratings up to few kilowatts of power, generally maximum of up to 10 kilowatts; it also comes in power rating up to many hundreds of kilowatts,” he said. Adesegun Oluwa, a civil servant said: “I still buy stabilisers even though most household equipment now come with voltage regulators or stabilisers. I buy it for surge protection, particularly these days that most household equipment are expensive.” A trader, Eze Maduka who also sells at Alaba-Suru market, said he deals on only one brand, Century, of different capacities. He stated: “I sell more of the Century brand because consumers prefer it.
It is the best and it is durable. Another reason is that the coil is made of copper and not aluminium, though expensive.” Another trader in the same market, Chikodi Obi, who said that business has been slow agreed that consumers prefer the Century brand:“Everyone knows Century as the best.” Differentiating its capacity and function for different home appliances, Obi stated: “The 2000 watts is for refrigerators, 5000 watt is for air-conditioners while the1000 watts is for television and home theatres. A consumer, Gloria Adegor said: “I use Century stabiliser.
That is the only stabiliser I have in my house and I have been using it for years now and it still works perfectly well. Century is the best, even when you get to the market, they will recommend it to you.” Experts speak Andrew Kowe, a stabiliser repair expert with Logic Enterprises, a service company in Ikeja, Lagos said: “Stabiliser gives a stable output or breaks the circuit if the voltage drop is too high or low.
The regulator is a bit different in its response to that of the stabiliser.” He added: “The AC output just carries on with its voltage at the point when the stabiliser gives up. For instance, if the incoming mains should be 230V (100 per cent), the stabiliser should hold it correctly for a 90 per cent value (207 in, 230 out); if the input falls to 190 volts, the output would be 211volts. Motor-driven variance would hold 25 per cent for a +- 10 per cent input.
There are also moving coil regulators rated at 500kW, this is motor-driven.” James Abamji of Jaros Electrical Engineering Company, Mushin, Lagos said: “Most electrical appliances manufactureres these days have started incorporating electronic circuitry for power management. With electronic circuits like Switch Mode Power Supply, SMPS, voltage management has become much easier. Most LED televisions in the market today can work between 110 V and 290V and adding a voltage stabiliser does not help much other than providing surge protection. “Your TV can still work if the voltage is low.
But a stabiliser with surge protection may prevent it from burning during surges. However, powerful surges like those from lightning can still damage your TV. Similarly, most refrigerators (especially those with inverter technology) can easily work between 110 V and 290 V and again, the surge protection feature is helpful.”