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What is Rated Voltage, Operating Voltage & Nominal Voltage

Differences between Rated, Operating & Nominal Voltage

The voltage or potential difference is the difference in the electric potential between two points. It is measured in volts & denoted v.

What is Rated Voltage, Operating Voltage & Nominal Voltage

The electrical & electronics components are made for specific voltage & current ratings that it can withstand & operate on. Each of these ratings is mentioned in its datasheet. But there are various types of voltage ratings mentioned & each of them specifies its various behaviors.

Rated Voltage

Rated voltage can be defined as the maximum voltage at which the device can be operated safely. After further increasing the voltage, the device may fail to operate and may be damaged permanently. Hence, Rated voltage is the maximum voltage limit at which the device can be operated safely.

Rated voltage is mostly defined with the tolerance rate, where tolerance is given in percentage. The tolerance shows the minimum and maximum range. For example, if the rated voltage of the device given is 100v with a tolerance of 10%. It means that the maximum will be 110v and the minimum range will be 90v. The minimum range shows that the device will fail to operate below 90v. While the maximum limit shows that the device will fail to operate after further increasing. The device must be operated in the range, neither above nor less. The designers of the device provide a data sheet where the rated voltage is mentioned with % tolerance.

Operating Voltage

The operating voltage is the voltage at the device is being operated. For normal operation, the devices must be operated in their rated voltage range. If the induction motor needs to be operated 440 ±10% then this induction motor can be operated in the range of 396 to 484 volts. Further increasing or decreasing will damage the machine. Operating voltage is straight forward the voltage at which the device is operating at the instant of time.  It is the instantaneous voltage so it can be measured directly using a voltmeter. Most household appliances like fan, TV, fridge, etc. are being operated in the rated range of 220 nominal voltage.

Nominal Voltage

Nominal voltage is the naming voltage for a specific voltage source. So, the voltage source can be recognized in which category it is. For example, a battery with 12V Nominal voltage means that the source battery’s output will be exactly or nearly 12v. The output voltage of a 12-volt nominal voltage battery doesn’t mean that its output will be exactly 12 volts. It may be 11.5 or 12.5 or any output voltage near to 12 volts. That is how a battery is marketed.

In electrical systems, the nominal voltage is the voltage of the electrical power system. Electrical power systems are named according to their voltage. A system with 11k nominal voltage does not mean that the system will have exactly 11.00kv but the value of the voltage will be something near to it. That’s how electrical systems are categorized (named) according to their voltage that they can provide. Electrical systems with some famous nominal voltages are 440 V, 690 V, 3.3 kV, 6.6 kV, 11kV, 33 kV, 66 kV, 132 kV, 220 kV, 400 kV, and 765 kV.

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