Voltage Converters/Regulators

A visitor had requested to know a little more about the voltage regulator I spoke of (in a post on the electricity here in Yemen).  I suggested getting one if you will have American  electrical products (computers, etc) for the purpose of being able to use them here (110) (as 220 is used here), but also for the purpose of protecting your products from surges/jumps in the electricity which could fry your electrical products.


Here is a picture of one.


(Voltage Transformer/Converter)

This one doesn’t have a meter/needle on it. Ours has a meter so that you can see the power that’s coming in (you can see if its dipped below 220, which is  helpful because then you know that maybe you shouldn’t turn on quite so much stuff at that time.


Also, make sure that it says 110 on it (if you will be using American products) because some are only for 220. We purchased one that stays on for 15 minutes after the power turns off if its been charged up for around $60.


Update: after a little more searching, I found  one that show a meter:svc1000_s

(Voltage Regulator)

If you are electronically challenged (like me) , here’s a FAQ page about them:




What is the difference between a voltage converter and a voltage regulator?


A voltage regulator functions as a voltage converter as well as a voltage stabilizer.
A voltage stabilizer will stabilize the electricity to fixed current.
This unit is usually used in countries where the voltage currency is not stable.
The voltage regulator will stabilize a voltage fluctuation between 75v-130v to 110v (+- 4%).
The voltage regulator will stabilize a voltage fluctuation between 180v-260v to 220v (+- 4%).

 Source: http://www.voltageconverters.com/faq.htm



Instead of just a transformer/converter (to be able to use 110V products), you will probably want to get a voltage regulator  (to convert as well as stabilize) for Yemen because the voltage currency is NOT stable here.


Why does the power go off so much in Yemen?

Alhamdulillah, we have been here for five years and I knew that the power going off so frequently/regularly was something that was regulated. However, I just recently learned what this phenomenon was called and thought I’d share with others who were “in the dark” (pun intended) on the issue as I was…..its called a “Rolling Blackout.”

“Rolling blackouts are deliberate power cuts which are designed to reduce the load on an electricity generation system and grid. They usually result from a situation where demand outstrips supply, but they can also be caused by power production problems, fuel shortages, and antiquated systems. Many developing nations struggle with rolling blackouts.”

Typically, power consumers are broken up into prioritized outage blocks. These outage blocks are widely distributed across the power grid, to ensure that a large community will not experience a complete power failure. This is primarily for safety reasons; periods of extended power outage have been associated with crime and looting. In addition, the isolated outage allows people to go to the homes of friends and neighbors with electricity while the power is out. Typically hospitals, police stations, and other vital infrastructure are assigned a special outage block, and the power company will not deliberately cut power to this outage block at any time.

Restoration of power after a rolling blackout can still damage appliances, just as restoration after an unscheduled blackout can. You should make sure that electrical devices such as computers are turned off during a rolling blackout, and turn appliances on slowly after a rolling blackout to avoid power surges. You should never plug a generator into the wall during a power outage, as it can send high voltage current through the power grid, potentially seriously injuring utility workers.



Currently, it is estimated that only 40 percent of the total population in Yemen have access to electricity from the national power grid. Even for those connected to the grid, electricity supply is intermittent, with rolling blackout schedules maintained in most cities.



Here’s a personal account of I believe a native Yemeni on the power situation which I thought was interesting (its heavy on the editorial side, but towards the end, were some good observations about the wiring and what not).



Bottom line: ________________________________________  🙂

 (which I think I may have mentioned on a page here), it really depends where you live whether or not you will experience a high rate of the blackouts. Some neighborhoods we lived in, it was like clockwork, everyday that the power went off. It typically stays off for 1- 1 1/2 hours.  In other neighborhoods, it rarely went off.  And  only rarely, like maybe 2-3 times in the whole 5 years has it been off for over 24 hours, probably due to a specific problem.