Various techniques protect heavy-duty machines and equipment on work sites. An isolation transformer is one of the most frequent approaches for ensuring safety and operational efficiency. Isolation transformers used in a medical setting are commonly referred to as medical grade isolation transformers.
What is a Medical Grade Isolation Transformer?
A medical grade isolation transformer is a protective device that allows electricity to be transferred from a source (typically AC) to a connected device (output) in a medical setting. An insulating component inside the device separates the primary and secondary windings. On the other hand, an autotransformer has linked or shared primary and secondary windings. Medical grade isolation transformers have a 1:1 turns ratio, which means the primary and secondary voltages are the same (output). This configuration protects output-linked circuits and operators/patients from currents flowing between the earth and powered conductors.
Isolation Design Methods
To accomplish isolation, medical grade isolation transformers employ two design options: safety ground and strengthened or double insulation.
Standard transformer isolation is used in safety ground transformers. Leakage current maximums are maintained via a safety barrier between the primary and secondary coils, with insulation between the shield and each coil. The safety barrier must be thick to pass the mandatory testing standard. If the isolation fails, the electrical line is halted on the ground, which ensures safety.
There is no “safety” barrier in a transformer with double or reinforced insulation, but the insulation is substantially thicker, as the name suggests. It ensures that all insulating layers pass the standard thickness and high potential voltage testing. If one of the insulating layers fails, the following layer can offer the necessary protection. A transformer with double/reinforced insulation often has a lower leakage current than one with a safety shield since there are no extra mechanical barriers that separate primary and secondary output.
How Does an Isolation Transformer Protect People?
If the electrical circuit is at ground potential, it will shock anyone who touches it without an isolated transformer because that individual completes the circuit. If the network has an isolated transformer, the reference voltage will not achieve ground potential. Hence, the person touching it will not be electrocuted.
Benefits of Medical Grade Isolation Transformers
- Reduced time spent on safety testing
- Low Current Leakage
- Increased compliance with international safety standards
- In-built thermal protection
According to the American Hospital Association, in 2017, there were 6,210 hospitals in the U.S. If you are in need of medical grade isolation transformers for your healthcare center or hospital, give us a call today!