Everything You Wanted To Know About Everlast Welders and Basic Welding: A Discussion on Transformer Converts
Setting the reliability question aside from the previous discussion, additional questions we often deal with are usually from transformer converts. We find these are more easily quantifiable questions like power consumption and weight. On both of these counts inverters clearly win. Power consumption can be reduced as much as 1/3 or more. This will depend upon PFC and design of course, but a transformer will nearly always consume more power. Inverter weight is usually 1/2 to ¾ of similar transformer products. Related directly to weight, size differences exist as well. Inverters can be one quarter or less the size of similar welding machines made with transformer technology. But one of the biggest questions comes in the area of arc performance. While a perfect arc is hard to describe, we can rely upon the bulk of the comments from our customers themselves and the basic science of how an arc is generated. Quite simply a well-designed inverter generates a better and more stable arc than a well-designed transformer, because of the way the arc is generated with faster switching, and the way a DC arc is rectified yielding a more consistent “straight line” with less humps and gaps. The AC arc is no different with the AC arc capable of being engineered in an inverter and “bent” and improved upon so that it provides the most desirable arc characteristics for a specific application. The only thing to rival a DC arc of an inverter is the old generator design which puts out nearly perfect DC power with its brush design. Due to weight, size and power requirements, these are nearly extinct in the market outside of engine driven equipment.
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