Cheaper is Not Better: Copper versus Aluminum

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Why do ACUPWR transformers cost a bit more? One factor is workmanship; our products are meticulously built by hand and rigorously tested on the workbench before shipping. A second factor is parts and materials, such as the type of wiring used for our transformer’s conductivity. ACUPWR uses only copper for the primary and secondary coils, in the end making for a high-quality product that will last for decades. Contrast that with our competition, much of which is manufactured in Asia with inexpensive materials, particularly aluminum.  

 

Copper? Aluminum? What’s the difference? When it comes to electrical conductivity, it’s everything. All metals conduct electricity but some are much more efficient than others. That said, copper ranks #2 behind sterling silver insofar as conductivity, with efficiency ratings of 100- and 105-percent, respectively. Aluminum, however, ranks #4 with a 60-percent efficiency rate. Better conductivity means electrons move through wire more freely, with less resistance and less heat buildup. Nonetheless, because aluminum is almost half as conductive as copper, more of it is required ultimately yielding a transformer that is larger and heavier.

 

Still, it’s aluminum’s availability combined with the cost factor that results in its popularity as an electrical conductor. But with the cost savings comes a trade-off in safety and performance. Transformers that fail within 5 to 15 years almost always use cheap aluminum coils. Contributing to that short lifespan is aluminum’s heat inefficiency. With a resistance of 2.69 ohm-meters compared with copper’s 1.67. That difference accounts for the heat buildup and safety hazard (including electrical fires and potential electrocution) synonomous with cheap voltage transformers—you know, the ones that are housed in identical black boxes.

 

In the end, investing a bit more in a high-quality, safe and efficient transformer product that uses copper wiring—such as the transformers offered from ACUPWR--will save mucho dinero over time.

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  • Mike Bieber
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