A voltage divider is simply a passive linear circuit which releases output voltage that is a small fraction of the input voltage. It is sometimes referred to as a potential divider. It is possible for the voltage to be divided because input voltage is distributed among the components found in the divider. Components that are usually used in voltage dividers are resistors. If a voltage divider has two resistors which are connected in a series, input voltage is spread across the two resistors. The application of high voltage across the two resistors ensures that output voltage results from the connection.
It is good for you to know that resistors are sufficient in voltage dividers of low frequencies and direct current. Resistors alone can only be able to divide low voltages. If high voltages are to be divided or the frequency response is over a wide area, it is vital that there is added capacitive elements. The addition of capacitive elements ensures that there is sufficient compensation of load capacitance. Capacitive dividers are effective passing alternating current because they do not pass direct current. Examples of applications that require capacitive voltage dividers are measurement of high voltage in electric power transmission and in oscilloscope probe. Other elements that can be used to create voltage dividers are inductors. Inductive dividers are responsible for splitting direct current input in accordance with the resistance of the voltage divider elements.
Voltage dividers have various applications. The resistor voltage is vital in the creation of the levels of signal attenuators at relatively low frequencies. They are also useful where the magnitude of voltage needs to be reduced so that it is possible to measure the voltage. If you want to create reference voltages, voltage dividers will make your work easier. Voltage dividers are also applied in bias active devices in most amplifiers. Devices that have voltage dividers are multi meter and Wheatstone bridge. The variable voltage divider responsible for volume control in most radios is the potentiometer. It is also possible for a voltage divider to allow a micro controller to effectively measure sensor resistance. The other vital application of voltage dividers is the crude logical level shifting. In this application, a voltage divider interfaces two circuits which have operating voltages that are different.
It is vital for you to know the right voltage for each voltage resistor. If you pass a higher voltage in voltages dividers that require lower voltage circuits, then you may end up damaging the voltage divider permanently. You also need to know that if your input impedance is capacitive, a voltage divider whose elements are only resistors limits the data rate. In this case, it is vital that a capacitor is added in series with the highest resistor so that the limitation of data rate is overcome by making the divider both resistive and capacitive.
Standard voltage dividers are mostly designed for indoors or outdoors applications. Voltage dividers can also be created for application in oil atmospheres and many other atmospheres. Voltage dividers have non-toxic insulating gas which is at low pressure so that it excludes moisture from the divider. Insulation material reduces internal corona as well removal of less stable electric constants.