Isolated converters, also known as ‘toroidal transformers’, are small, light and more efficient than other conventional converters. That being said, they’re the most popular choice for people who need portable power in the right voltage. Toroidal converters can be step up and step down in terms of what they do with the voltage from the battery or other power sources they draw power from. Without further ado, let’s talk about their main benefits in more detail.
An isolated power converter is about half the size of a conventional converter, due to the fact that it has the ideal shape and features windings which are symmetrically spread over the core. This not only makes the wire length much shorter, but also means that the overall build of the isolated power converter requires less material.
An isolated power converter can be mounted using a single bolt to its center. This not only results in an easier and quicker mounting of the transformer but also means that you won’t have to drill as many holes on the wall as you would when mounting a standard converter, which typically requires four bolts. Additionally, isolated converters can be mounted using pressure-less mounting plates, PCB mounting, resin center potting with brass inserts or encapsulation in metal or plastic housing.
Isolated converters are capable of providing over 90% of the power they draw from the power source, which you can’t really claim about generic converters where about a third or even half of the power is lost in transition. This is due to the fact that isolated converters are manufactured using high-quality grain-oriented steel in the core and because the windings are distributed symmetrically over the core’s circumference.
Although this may not seem like a big deal, isolated converters are very quiet-working. Conventional converters make a lot of noise because of the windings and core layers vibrating from the forces between core laminations and turns. However, isolated converters are designed to dampen the acoustic noise. The core is spot welded, tightly wound, coated with epoxy resin and annealed. The winding of the core doesn’t leave air gaps, meaning there are no loose sheets to vibrate.
Powering sensitive equipment from an isolated converter is safe, both for the equipment and the converter itself. That being said, if you’re powering medical equipment, low-level amplifiers, CRTs and other sensitive devices, you shouldn’t consider any other type other than an isolated converter.