UV applications offer optimal solutions for water treatment, air and surface disinfection, and curing. To operate UV lamps, lamp drivers, also called electronic ballasts are commonly used. Depending on lamp type, the drivers take care of pre-heat, ignition, and warm-up of the UV lamps. Selecting the right UV lamp driver can optimize efficiency, prevent mains power supply problems, and improve ease of installation. Far from simply acting as a lamp driver, it improves the total cost of ownership and sustainability of your application, and, as a result, its viable use cases.
When selecting a high-quality UV lamp driver, there are several aspects which must be considered. In many cases, these aspects may only become apparent after the lamp driver has been in use for some time – the difference between a high-quality UV lamp driver and a poor one is not immediately obvious. We’ve listed some important criteria below:
Image source: IUVA 2019 Sydney Nedap – Powering UV sources
First, if your UV systems wastes less energy, due to better efficiency, it will have a smaller carbon footprint. Secondly, the Nedap high-quality UV lamp driver increases the lifespan of UV lamps significantly – an important reason for all major lamp manufacturers to recommend Nedaps lamp driver technology. Both features lead to a more sustainable operation.
There are two groups of drivers that are used depending on the specific type of UV project: Low-Pressure UV Lamps and Medium-Pressure UV Lamps.
Low-pressure lamps, limited to 1000W, provide exactly the right wavelength of light to fight bacteria and have several advantages compared with medium-pressure lamps. The conversion rate from electrical to UV energy for low-pressure lamps stands at around 34 to 38 percent. This means they deliver a higher rate of efficiency than medium-pressure UV lamp drivers, where the conversion is around 12 percent.
While the higher efficiency level of low-pressure lamps may be advantageous in certain circumstances, medium-pressure lamps can achieve higher levels of electrical power – as high as 36 kW. As such, medium-pressure lamp drivers are likely to be more suitable for projects that have limited space and need a high UV level, as in some space-restricted water disinfection systems.
Medium-pressure lamp drivers also produce light of multiple wavelengths, which is beneficial for advanced oxidation. Besides attacking the DNA of bacteria, they can also be combined with other solutions to help with the breakdown of chemical substances.
The efficiency of UV lamp drivers is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, poor quality lamp drivers can result in damage to the UV lamp from over-voltage or component stress. Before the advent of electronic lamp drivers, many businesses relied on electromagnetic devices, which were inefficient, offered less control in terms of power, and required extra attention in terms of their mounting and space requirements.
At Nedap, we are proud of the efficiency and power output levels we are able to achieve with our UV lamp drivers. We advise you to select UV sources with higher levels of energy efficiency, lowering costs for your customers business over the lifetime of a product, reducing carbon footprint, and improving your product reliability. Initial low-cost lamp driver systems offering limited features with regard to the power factor, THD, and efficiency will lead to higher operational costs during the lifetime of your UV systems.
Nedap’s driver technology is already employed to improve the safety of drinking water and optimize the printing process for millions of customers around the world.
Are you looking for a premium product at the right price? One that achieves the highest levels of efficiency and longevity in the market? Find out how Nedap can move your business forward with smart lamp driver technology.
Download the PDF version of the article here: