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What is phantom power, and does your microphone need it.

And do you need it to power your microphone?

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What is phantom power, do condenser mics need phantom power, do dynamic mics need phantom power, can phantom power cause damage, key takeaways.

Phantom power is a way of carrying electric current to power microphones without using a separate power supply. It's typically used to power condenser microphones and the 48V DC power itself is supplied by most mixers, audio interfaces, and preamps.

If you're shopping for a microphone or audio interface, you've probably seen the term phantom power. But what exactly is phantom power, where does it come from, and do you need it to power your microphone?

Phantom power is a method of providing power to a microphone without an external power supply or battery. While some microphones don't require phantom power, other, more sensitive microphones do.

Phantom power works by carrying DC electric current over an XLR cable that plugs into your microphone. This way, a single cable carries power to the microphone as well as the audio signal from it.

The official standard for phantom power specifies that it can carry anywhere from 11 to 52 volts of DC power. Studio microphones most often run at 48 volts, so you'll see phantom power referred to as +48v.

The power needs to come from somewhere, and in most cases it comes from a mixer or audio interface . While most audio interfaces feature phantom power, not all of them do. You can tell by looking for buttons labeled +48v or similar, usually near the gain controls.

Phantom power isn't the only way to provide power to a microphone. Lavaliere mics, for example, typically rely on internal batteries for power. Larger vacuum tube microphones also require more power, so they use their own bespoke power supplies.

Every condenser microphone requires power, due to the way this type of microphone operates. In the majority of cases, this is phantom power. There are only two cases where condenser microphones use other power sources, which we'll look at in a moment.

Condenser microphones are very sensitive, with a conductive diaphragm next to a solid metal plate. As the diaphragm vibrates, the distance between it and the metal plate creates changes in capacitance.

This signal requires a built-in preamp to lower the impedance and amplify it. This is why condenser microphones require power, and, in most cases, this is phantom power.

The first of the two exceptions is tube condenser mics, which, as mentioned above, use their own power supplies, so they don't require phantom power. The other exception is USB microphones , which get their power from the USB connection.

Dynamic microphones don't require phantom power because they work differently from condenser microphones.

A dynamic mic essentially works like a speaker in reverse. Instead of sending a sound through a speaker, which vibrates and makes noise, dynamic microphones vibrate from noise in the air. This signal then travels through a circuit in the mic and to your XLR cables.

These signals are high enough in volume that the signal can go directly to your mixer, preamp, or audio interface. The only issue is that some dynamic microphones, like the Shure SM7B , have very low output.

For these mics, you can use an inline preamp to boost the signal. These inline preamps sometimes use phantom power instead of an external power supply. In this case, it's the preamp that is using phantom power, not the microphone.

While it's possible to damage microphones with phantom power, it's not common or likely.

One type of mic more prone to damage from phantom power than others are ribbon microphones. There are two types: active ribbon microphones, which actually require phantom power, and passive ribbon microphones.

Passive ribbon microphones used to be more prone to damage from phantom power running to them. These days, these microphones have circuitry built in to avoid this type of damage. The only way you'll likely damage a ribbon microphone with phantom power these days is from an XLR cable with faulty wiring.

The only other way to damage a ribbon microphone is a mistake you should avoid with any type of microphone when using phantom power, and that's forgetting to ensure it's off before plugging or unplugging cables. Never plug in a microphone with phantom power enabled. Switch it off, make the connection, then switch it on.

Follow the above, and you shouldn't ever have to worry about damaging anything with phantom power.

Related: What Is Audio Distortion, and What Causes It?

  • Performance & Production

What is Phantom Power & Why Do I Need It?

Phantom power…what a strange name!? If you're new to home recording, this term can be confusing. If this is the case, we can help...

Phantom power, sounds funny, doesn't it? If you're new to home recording, this term can be confusing. Thankfully, we can help...  

Shure Beta 181

Phantom Power is a term given to the process of delivering DC (Direct Current) to microphones requiring electric power to drive active circuitry. Condenser microphones such as Shure's KSM range all have active circuitry and require phantom power.  

How Does Phantom Power Work?

The power can be provided by a battery located inside of the mic; an example is the Shure PG81 (now discontinued) that operates from a single AA battery. Alternatively (and most commonly) the DC power is provided by the pre-amp/mixer and delivered to the condenser microphone via the mic cable. This method is referred to as phantom power. The worldwide standard for phantom power is 11 to 52 volts of DC (typical studio mics run on 48v). Your preamp will typically have a button labelled 48v, which allows you to turn this on/off. However, some older mixers and cheaper audio interfaces may not have phantom power. In this case, an external phantom power supply can be added between the condenser mic and the preamp.  

Will Phantom Power Damage My Dynamic Mics?

A dynamic microphone, like the SM58 , does not require phantom power because it does not have active electronics inside. Nonetheless, applying phantom power will not damage other microphones in the vast majority of cases. The reason is that modern dynamic  microphones are designed to accept phantom power without issues, but we advise checking your manual or consulting with the manufacturer first before connecting; particularly if you have a ribbon microphone. Additionally, it's a good idea to turn phantom power off while plugging and unplugging microphones to prevent any potential power surge and general pops and loud noises, which could damage your speakers/headphones over time.  

Why Is It Called Phantom Power?

Condenser microphones made in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s required a special power supply to operate. This power supply would often be located quite near the microphone and was usually large, heavy, and cumbersome. In the 1960s, work began on a new powering concept that would eliminate the need for a separate power supply. Schoeps and Neumann (German microphone manufacturers) were leaders in this development. Eventually, a new condenser mic powering standard emerged. The DC power to operate the condenser mic was provided by the mixing board and delivered via the mic cable; eliminating the need for an external power supply. And what does one call a power supply that is working, but invisible? It is a phantom power supply! - Source Shure Inc Applications Engineering

Marc Henshall

Marc forms part of our Pro Audio team at Shure UK and specialises in Digital Marketing. He also holds a BSc First Class Hons Degree in Music Technology. When not at work he enjoys playing the guitar, producing music, and dabbling in DIY (preferably with a good craft beer or two).

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Phantom power: what it is, when you need it and how to use it

Phantom power: what it is, when you need it and how to use it

What is phantom power?

48v phantom power, sometimes referred to as 48v, is a means of sending direct current (DC) from an audio interface , mixing desk or pre amp to a piece of equipment which requires power to operate. The most common piece of equipment that we use in home studios which requires phantom power is a condenser microphone . There are also some DI boxes which require 48v. Phantom power is sent to the device from the interface via a balanced XLR cable, the same one used to send the audio signal from the device to the interface. Your interface will usually have a button labelled 48v which is used to switch phantom power on and off.

Phantom power and mics:

As we’ve already established, condenser mics require phantom to function. That’s because they contain active circuitry. The same is true of active ribbon mics which also require phantom power to operate. Because dynamic mics and passive ribbon mics do not contain active electronics, they do not require 48v.

So, what do you do if, like most of us, your audio interface only allows you to turn on 48v globally. In this case, you can either switch it on for all connections, or none at all. But how does this work if you want to use a combination of condensers, dynamics and/or ribbons at once? Let’s establish a few guidelines.

Old/vintage mics:

When it comes to old/vintage ribbon mics and even some older dynamic mics , sending phantom power to them could very likely cause damage. As such, it’s important to do some research into a specific vintage mic. Make sure it’s absolutely safe to use that mic with 48v switched on before connecting it. If you are in any doubt, don’t connect it, as the risk for damage is high, particularly with ribbon mics.

Modern mics:

With newer dynamic and ribbon mics, the vast majority are designed to accept 48v despite not requiring it to function. Their ability to handle 48v will usually be stated in their manual. So double check there if you have any concerns.

That said, there are a few instances when even a modern ribbon could be damaged if presented with 48v . Connections made through mis-wired cables, damaged/worn out cables, or damaged/worn out cable connectors are one cause. Additionally, a mic could be damaged if you connect or disconnect it from your interface with phantom power already switched on, rather than connecting/disconnecting the mic before switching phantom on or off. Also, making connections between mics and your interface/desk/preamp via a patch bay with phantom power switched on can cause damage. That’s because, when TRS cables are inserted or removed from the patch bay in order to route signals, power can momentarily be shorted (i.e. routed along an unintended path) to the ribbon mic’s element.

48v best practices:

With the above in mind, there are a few codes of best practice to follow to protect your mics when working with phantom power… Be sure that your cables are properly wired and in a good state of repair. Make sure that you turn phantom off before connecting or disconnecting mics. Not just ribbons, but condensers too. This will protect not only your mics, but also your speakers and your ears as well. Also, be sure that phantom power is switched off before you do any routing on a patch bay. Finally, when it comes to vintage ribbon mics or dynamic mics, do some research before connecting them to an interface which is outputting 48v to be absolutely sure that the mic can handle it. If in any doubt, don’t connect it.

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Phantom Power: What Is It and How Does It Work?

If you have an XLR condenser microphone, you need phantom power to use it. But what is phantom power, and where does it come from?

With streaming, podcasting, ASMR, and home recording becoming a thing, many aspiring content creators have started to look for XLR condenser microphones. The thing about many condenser microphones is that you'll need a phantom power supply to power the large diaphragm inside the microphone.

Some condenser microphones use batteries or USB to power their active electronics. But if you have an XLR condenser microphone, your only way of powering it is through phantom power.

So what is phantom power exactly? How does it work? And where can you get one?

What Is Phantom Power?

Phantom power is the mode of supplying DC voltage through a balanced audio connector to power a condenser microphone. To apply phantom power, you'll need a phantom power supply to produce the correct power and a balanced XLR connector to transmit this power to the microphone.

A phantom power supply is not a pre-amp, although it may sound like it. A pre-amp boosts frequencies by amplifying the audio signals coming from a microphone, whereas a phantom power supply provides the needed voltage your microphone requires to operate. Many recording setups use both devices for clear and audible audio outputs.

So why is it even called phantom power in the first place?

The term "phantom power" was coined in the 1960s after a successful attempt to fuse data and power lines in one cable. Before that, condenser microphones had a large separate power supply to provide the needed power for the device. This meant that operating a condenser microphone before the 60s meant having two separate cables, one for power and one for data output.

Since both cables were combined, it seemed like a hidden power source was powering the microphone. Thus, the industry started calling it phantom power.

How Phantom Power Works

Two components are needed for phantom power, a phantom power supply, and an XLR connector. First, let's start with how a phantom power supply works, then move to the XLR connector.

A condenser microphone uses active circuitry to function. This circuit must be supplied with the proper amount of power to work. Plugging your condenser mic straight from an electrical outlet will destroy the delicate circuitry within your microphone and likely trip your electrical service panel. For this reason, a dedicated phantom power supply must be used to power your condenser microphone.

Most condenser microphones usually require a smooth and steady 48V DC power. However, the power from an electrical outlet is likely 110V or 220V AC (depending on your country), and the task of a phantom power supply is to transform the electricity from your outlet into usable power for your microphone.

A phantom power supply might sound complicated, but it's just like any other power supply. And just like any other power supply, a phantom power supply is composed of a transformer, a rectifier, and filters. These components are arranged in a way that the incoming high voltage AC input becomes a smooth low voltage DC output. In general, this is a three-step process.

  • Step 1: Lower the 110V/220V AC to 48V AC using a transformer.
  • Step 2: Convert the 48V AC into pulsating 48V DC using a full-bridge rectifier.
  • Step 3 : Smoothen the pulsating 48V DC through a series of filters composed of capacitors and inductors.

Now you have the correct voltage and current needed to power your microphone. Next, it's time to transmit this power to the condenser microphone. And with that, let's talk about XLR power delivery and data transmission.

An XLR's balanced pins allow for power plus data transmission and common-mode rejection (CMR) capabilities. These functionalities are a big reason why an XLR cable is the best match for microphones, even with all the audio cables available .

An XLR connector is a three-prong audio connector that uses two of its pins to deliver power to active microphones and transmit data to audio processing devices.

An XLR connector uses pin-2 as a positive terminal, pin-3 as a negative terminal, and pin-1 as ground/shielding. Connecting your condenser microphone to the phantom power supply creates a bridge between the positive and negative XLR terminals, allowing current to flow, which then powers your microphone.

With power flowing through the active components of your microphone, sounds detected by your mic are converted into digital data. This data is transmitted to your audio recording device through the same pin-2 and pin-3 connections that power your microphone.

Aside from power delivery and data transmission using the same cable, balanced connectors like XLR also ensure a better audio output by utilizing its two pins to transmit two out-of-phase signals. These signals are then automatically stacked together when it reaches your audio processing device. This final audio output combines all the differences between both signals and cancels/rejects all the common signals resulting in one clean audio wave.

Awesome, now you know how phantom power works! But where can we get a phantom power supply?

Where to Source Phantom Power

Phantom power can be sourced in several devices. Finding the correct device that matches the content you want to create is an important consideration. Here are three of the most common devices where you can source phantom power.

1. Audio Mixer

These devices take microphone/instrument inputs and output audio signals through USB. Mixers also have pre-amps and various controls for mixing audio and adding various effects on the fly. A mixer is a great option if you're planning to go busking, streaming, or any other activity where you perform live, and audio needs to be pre-processed.

2. Audio Interface

An audio interface also takes microphone/instrument inputs and outputs them through USB. Having only a few controls, such as a gain knob and a phantom power button, audio interfaces are devices streamlined for audio recording. An audio interface will benefit you best if you do podcasts, voice-overs, general home studio recordings, or any instances where the audio will be post-processed for content.

Phantom Power Adaptors

The sole purpose of these devices is to provide phantom power to your microphone. They usually come as single or dual-channel adaptors. No extra features or controls make adaptors cheap, pocket-sized, and uncomplicated. It is an excellent option for those who only want to power their condenser microphones and nothing more.

Phantom Power Converts AC to DC

That's a lot of info to take in if you're new to audio recording.

To solidify what you've just learned: a phantom power supply is a step-down AC to DC converter commonly configured to produce 12V to 48V DC. Powering a condenser microphone on a single balanced cable is known as phantom power, and it's known as phantom power because the data wires of an XLR cable are the same wires that power the microphone.

You can apply phantom power to your condenser microphone through various phantom power supply devices such as a mixer, an audio interface, and a dedicated phantom power supply.

Now that you know what phantom power is, how it works, and what devices can act as phantom power supplies, you are now a step closer to producing better audio. Don't forget to buy a suitable phantom power supply for your needs and learn to use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to maximize your microphone's potential!

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  • Mic University

KNOW THE BASICS ABOUT PHANTOM POWER

phantom power connector

What is phantom power?

phantom power connector

Why do microphones need power?

Is it standardized.

phantom power connector

Is phantom power always 48 volts?

What if the voltage is less than 48 volts, how much current can you draw, must the p48 be switched off if i don't use it, what if my device does not have phantom, do miniature microphones also need phantom power.

phantom power connector

How is it possible to carry both AC and DC?

phantom power connector

Can P48 power anything else but microphones?

When was phantom power invented, can phantom power damage a microphone.

phantom power connector

How to check the phantom power?

phantom power connector

Does P48 circuitry have any effect on the input impedance?

How much current draw can you expect from a microphone, mic university.

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Acoustic Guitar

Everything You Need to Know About Microphone Phantom Power

Doug Young

  • March 27, 2017

I f you’ve used microphones for live performances or in the studio, you’ve almost certainly encountered phantom power—that slightly mysterious-sounding button found on many mixers and preamps. Phantom power provides a source of electricity to some microphones. Most of the time, the phantom-power feature just does its job silently, but a bit of knowledge can help when things go wrong or when choosing the gear with which you work. As a guitarist, you may also encounter some less common scenarios related to phantom power.

These pointers will help demystify phantom power.

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Phantom power is a way to provide power to microphones that require electricity to operate, typically condensers. On the other hand, dynamic mics—the ubiquitous Shure SM57 and SM58 , for example—do not require power. Phantom power involves a clever scheme that leverages the multiple wires in a typical balanced-XLR cable to provide voltage to mics that need it without affecting those that do not, in most cases. You can usually plug either type of mic into a mixer that provides phantom power, and the condenser mic will detect and use the power, while most dynamic mic will ignore it. This trick is why the scheme is referred to as phantom —it’s there for mics that need it, but generally invisible to others!

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One complication with phantom power is that there are multiple standards for voltage levels. Most modern mixers provide 48 volts, which has become so common that many people assume that phantom power automatically means 48 volts. However, the ANSI standard (IEC 61938) that covers such things allows for 12, 24, and 48 volts. As a result, you may encounter gear that supports any of these voltages. Several popular acoustic guitar amps provide 24 volts. One popular acoustic preamp even provides just 15 volts.

In most cases, these different levels should not cause concern. Most mics work fine over the voltage range of 12-48 volts, although many mic manufacturers specify 48 volts for best performance, and some mics may be more problematic than others when encountering lower levels of phantom power—you may notice some loss of output or sensitivity with lower voltages. In any case, a lower voltage won’t damage the mic, so you can always see for yourself if a lower voltage will work.

Phantom power is a complex subject, but for most of us, it’s a matter of matching the requirements of our mics—or other gear—with the features of the mixer.

Some DIs or preamps can be powered by phantom power (the popular L.R. Baggs ParaDI , for example), and these may not work with lower voltages. The amount of current provided by the phantom power source is another factor. Most mics require only a few milliamps of current, which any modern mixer should easily support, but some mics—as well as phantom powered preamps—may have higher current demands. Some studio microphones, most notably tube mics, require so much power that they use their own dedicated power supply instead of relying on phantom power.

Although it is usually safe to plug a dynamic mic into an input that provides phantom power, there are exceptions. Some ribbon mics (usually used only in studios) can be damaged by phantom power if a cable or the mic is mis-wired. It’s a good idea to be wary of any vintage microphone or one that has been modified in any nonstandard way. It’s also best to plug microphones in before turning on phantom power. At the very least, doing so while phantom power is active can cause a loud, audible pop from the speakers if the volume is up. In addition, plugging in other electronic devices—a keyboard or an effects pedal that has an XLR out, for example—is less certain. Check your instruction manual to be sure that the device is safe for phantom power, and assume that it is not safe if the manual is silent about the issue. For multiple reasons, it’s a good practice to use a DI between such devices and a mixer, including isolating them from phantom power.

Other Powering Schemes

A frequent source of confusion for guitarists is that some microphones use different powering schemes. One such approach is known as bias power—also called plug-in-power. Bias power is frequently required by internal guitar mics, as well as mics used with some portable recorders, wireless systems, and more. Bias power uses a two-wire system, unlike the XLR 3-wire system supported by most mixers. A voltage, usually around 5-9 volts, is applied directly to the mic’s “hot” wire. This voltage is not “phantom,” and you cannot use bias-powered mics directly with a phantom power supply, or vice versa.

Acoustic guitarists often encounter bias-powered mics as part of dual-source pickup systems. In commercial dual-source systems with onboard electronics, such as the L.R. Baggs Anthem or DTar Multi-Source , the mic is powered by the onboard electronics and battery, so you don’t even have to be aware of it. But many guitarists like to build their own systems by adding a mic, such as K&K Sound’s Silver Bullet mic, to an existing pickup. In these cases, the mic can be powered by wiring it to the ring terminal of a stereo jack in the guitar, and then using a stereo guitar cable to plug into an acoustic guitar preamp that provides the bias power on the ring of the cable. The Grace Felix and Headway EDB-2 preamps are examples of guitar preamps that support this feature. Rolling your own dual source pickup system can be daunting, and requires planning out your entire system. A good guitar tech can clear up any confusion and help you set up such a system correctly.

Unfortunately, many preamp and guitar-amp manufacturers incorrectly label bias power as “phantom” power—they are not the same thing! However, the difference is usually obvious from the connectors: If you have an amp or preamp that provides power for a mic, an XLR-mic connector almost certainly indicates real phantom power. A system that provides power through a stereo ¼-inch guitar jack generally indicates bias power. The mics are similar—a mic with an XLR connector expects phantom power, a mic with two wires, or a simple non-XLR connector, probably expects bias power.

Phantom power is a complex subject, but for most of us, it’s a matter of matching the requirements of our mics—or other gear—with the features of the mixer. When in doubt, consult your instruction manual or get in touch with the manufacturer.

Doug Young

Doug Young is a fingerstyle instrumental guitarist, writer, and recording engineer. He is the author of Acoustic Guitar Amplification Essentials .

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What is Phantom Power: All You Need to Know

What is Phantom Power: All You Need to Know

Alrighty folks - it's tech time once again! You may have heard of phantom power, and even use it regularly. But do you know what it is, and how it works?

In this article we're going to look at everything phantom-y. By the time you're done reading you'll be able to hold your own next time the formidable microphone conversation strikes up in the pub.

What Is Phantom Power Exactly?

In a nutshell, phantom power is a direct current (DC) signal sent to microphones in order to power the active circuitry inside.

While the accepted standard for phantom power around the world is 11 - 52 volts dc, most studio mics run on 48V.

It's called phantom power because it's discreet - the current is sent along an XLR cable from the microphone input.

Do All Microphones Need Phantom Power?

Not all microphones work in the same way; some are passive, and some are active, and it's the active microphones that need phantom power.

You may have heard the general rule that condenser microphones require phantom power, and dynamic mics don't. For the most part this is the case, but there are exceptions to the rule; some condenser microphones don't need phantom power, and some dynamic microphones do. More on that later.

Can Phantom Power Damage Mics?

Most modern dynamic microphones are designed to accept phantom power even if they don't need it to work. So it's (generally) considered safe to use a mixture of dynamic and condenser mics on a console or interface supplying phantom power universally to all mic inputs.

On the other hand, an active ribbon microphone requires phantom power, but can be damaged if you 'hot plug' it - connecting it to the mic input with the phantom power switched on.

If you're using TRS connections on a patch bay damage can also be done to any microphone when hot switching connections. Because the connections on a TRS cable are designed sequentially, electrical shorts happen when plugging or unplugging the cable. If the phantom power is on this can wreak havoc with your mic collection.

This is all quite sciencey, so if it's a bit hard to digest a good safety measure is to turn off the phantom power supply before plugging/unplugging any microphone.

Can Phantom Power Damage Other Equipment?

Since phantom power is only routed through the mic signal the DC current isn't going to affect anything else connected to your interface or console. Wireless mic receivers are balanced and can handle the DC voltage safely.

However when you connect or disconnect XLR cables leaving the phantom power on can result in clicks or pops, which could in time damage your speakers or headphones. So it's generally a good idea to disable phantom power when plugging or unplugging your mics.

Can Phantom Power Damage Me?

Unless you're particularly sensitive to DC power, the answer is no.

How Do You Send Phantom Power

There's three main sources of phantom power supplies:

Audio interfaces

Mixing consoles.

  • Microphone Preamplifiers

Most audio interfaces come with the option of turning phantom power on or off. This can be a switch or a button located on the front or back panel of the interface. Often this will send power to all the mic inputs and channels can't be isolated individually.

phantom power connector

Smaller mixers may also have a single button to provide phantom power for all the channels

On larger mixing consoles you'll find that each channel has a dedicated phantom power button, allowing you to chose which mics make use of it.

phantom power connector

Microphone preamplifiers

Mic preamps will also have dedicated phantom power switches. Depending on how fancy it is you may have individual control over each channel, or have a 'one button to rule them all' phantom power option.

phantom power connector

Sorted, right?

Not necessarily. On some lower-end models the voltage supplied by phantom power may not be up to scratch, and deliver less than the 48V needed. While some condenser microphones can operate on less voltage, others need the full 48V to work the active electronics in the mic.

Enter the external power supply.

phantom power connector

If your interface isn't cranking out the necessary voltage you can always use an external power supply to get that electric power to drive your active circuitry. Shazzam!

To add to this conundrum, some mics need more than 48V to work properly - pretty much all tube microphones for instance. In situations like these you'll need an external phantom power supply, often shipped with the mic itself.

phantom power connector

Take a deep breath, because things are about to get technical...

The Super-Nerdy Tech Stuff

The aim of this section is to furnish you with a detailed understanding of how phantom power works, and why we need it.

First off, let's take a look at how sound is captured in condenser microphones.

Why Do Condenser Microphones Need Phantom Power?

Condenser mics work on what's called 'variable capacitance'. A variable capacitor is one that can be changed repeatedly, either mechanically or electronically. In condenser microphones this is what turns physical sound waves into audio signals.

A condenser microphone's transducer element - capacitor - is made up of a diaphragm and a fixed plate. Sound waves hit the diaphragm, causing it to vibrate, changing the distance between the diaphragm and the fixed plate (also known as the backplate). This change in distance creates a change in voltage maintained between the two, and this is the electrical signal that gets sent down your balanced XLR cable and turned into a glorious audio signal at the other end.

In addition to powering the capacitor, phantom power also provides the juice to a teeny tiny preamp inside the condenser mic. This preamp is used to magnify the small electrical changes from the capacitor before the signal leaves the mic.

You may already know that condenser mics are commonly more sensitive than dynamic microphones. It's the capacitor that makes them so acute to sound, and without a phantom power supply there as useful as a fish on a bicycle.

How Does Phantom Power Work?

Standard phantom power is generally 48 volts dc (direct current). This is usually provided by a mixer or interface, and sent via balanced audio cables.

In a balanced XLR cable, the 48 volts is sent through pins 2 and 3 (the positive and negative audio audio), and referenced to pin 1 - the return, which is also the ground pin.

In a balanced TRS audio cable the 48V is sent through the tip and ring relative to the sleeve.

Since the voltage is sent through a balanced audio cable it doesn't interfere with the audio signal.

phantom power connector

Once the voltage reaches the microphone it's sent where it needs to go to power the active electronics.

Balanced microphones that aren't phantom powered - for instance a dynamic microphone - are designed to ignore this voltage, and will generally not be damaged if 48 volts is being sent through the XLR cable.

But if you have unbalanced microphones like ribbon mics do not even talk about phantom power when they're out of their box.

OK, Cool. So Which Microphones Actually Need Phantom Power?

So now you know that active microphones need power to do their jobbo I'm going to throw a spanner in the works and say that while most microphones in this category use phantom power, not all do.

But let's keep this short and sweet. The following types of microphones need a phantom power supply to function:

  • True condenser microphones
  • Electret FET condenser microphones
  • Active FET ribbon dynamic microphones

And the following microphones don't need phantom power:

  • Moving coil dynamic microphones
  • Passive ribbon dynamic microphones
  • DC-biased electret miniature microphones
  • Tube microphones

Confusing, right?

The most prudent thing to do is RTFM to see if your microphone needs, and more importantly, can handle phantom power.

Do All Microphones Use 48V Phantom Power?

Although the universal standard for phantom power is 11-52 volts DC, most studio mics run on 48 volts, hence the +48 button on your audio interface. However different microphones sometimes need more or less than this to operate.

In the cases where a condenser microphone needs less phantom powering than 48V it'll just take what it needs, and discard the remaining volts in a feat of engineering magic that I don't fully understand.

When microphones need more than 48V phantom power they'll need an external supply. This is normally distributed with the mic itself, so not something you need to worry about. Unless of course you lose it.

Again, if in doubt, read the manufacturer's instructions regarding how many volts your mic needs to work.

Other Sources of Power

Sometimes folks refer to phantom power when in fact they mean one of the following sources of power. Don't get them confused; it's all a lie.

Phantom power is not the only source of voltage for microphones. Some condenser microphone models on the market make use of a battery to power the circuitry inside. It's always a good idea to remove batteries when not in use to prevent corrosion and damage to the internal workings of the mic.

Plug-In Power

Plug-in power (PiP) is a low current supply that's found on some consumer-grade gear like portable recorders and computer sound cards. This is an unbalanced, low voltage interface and as such very different from phantom power. Never use 48V phantom power with a microphone that's designed for PiP.

DC Bias Voltage

The term phantom power is sometimes used to describe the small electric current that powers aviation microphones. While technically it is 'phantom' (it can't be seen), it runs on a much lower current - 1.5-9 volts. In audio engineering situations it's generally used to power microphones like miniature lav mics.

Other Uses For Phantom Power

Since we're going deep, phantom power is used in other areas, not just in microphones. These include:

  • Active antennas
  • Low noise block downconverters (the thingummy on satellite dishes that takes the signal and converts it)
  • Power over ethernet cables

A Brief History of Phantom Power

Photo by Claus Grünstäudl on Unsplash

Phantom powering was first used in landline telephone systems based on copper wire in the early part of the 20th century. It's still used in this capacity today, although how long landlines will be around is another topic of discussion.

Tube microphones came on to the market in the 20s (1920s that is), followed by a breakthrough in the 40s from Bell Labs in the form of transistors.

This in turn led to the release in 1964 of the Schoeps Model CMT20, the first commercially available phantom powered microphone. Back in those days however these kinds of microphones came with bulky external power supplies which had to be located close to the microphone itself.

A combination of Norwegian desires and German smarts led to the development of what we know as phantom power today. NRK - the Norwegian broadcasting corporation - had requested phantom powering microphones that didn't need a separate power supply, since they already had a 48 volt power supply running in their studios for emergency lighting.

Neumann stepped up to this task, and developed a mic that would on the 48 volts of DC power already in place in the NRK studios.

This was the first methods to power condenser microphones through an audio cable, and thus was born the modern day phantom powered microphone.

So there you have it - everything you need to know about phantom power, and some extra tidbbits to boot.

Choosing the right microphone for the job is important, regardless of whether it uses phantom power or not. Check out our article on microphones types to help you work out which one(s) are right for you.

Now go forth and capture those sounds!

phantom power connector

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Connector Tips

Connector Tips has connector and electrical connector news, product highlights and and editorial coverage.

Getting one wire to do more, Part 2 – Phantom power for the microphone

January 20, 2022 By Bill Schweber Leave a Comment

Using one wire in two very different roles is widely done, requiring some simple circuity and basic components.

Powering microphones over the audio cable

A classic engineering objective is to figure out a way to get one set of wires to provide a second function at little cost. This second part in the series looks at phantom power in more detail.

The “phantom power” technique was developed in the mid-1960s, spurred by the wider use of microphone elements such as the electret. This element provided far-superior audio signal-quality compared to the dynamic microphone but needed an applied bias power. Power was also needed for low-output microphones, which had a preamplifier located at (or within) the microphone itself. The voltage used for phantom power is usually 48 V, although some 12 and 24-V systems are in use. It eliminates the need for batteries in the microphone, which is an obvious nuisance.

Although wireless microphones are now often used by performers instead of wired ones, wired units are still popular due to their consistency, reliability, immunity to deliberate or accidental RF interference, battery issues, and more. They are also common in fixed installations such as studios where multiple microphones are in use.

Phantom power is fairly standard as defined by IEC 61938:2018 (DIN standard 45596), “Multimedia systems – Guide to the recommended characteristics of analog interfaces to achieve interoperability” and is intended for use with the XLR connector used for most audio equipment (Figure 1) .

phantom power connector

This shielded three-pin connector has the needed electrical and mechanical ruggedness but also is easily grasped for connection/disconnection due to its large body with a locking tab at the top. The XLR connector, which stands for External Line Return, was invented by James H Cannon, founder of Cannon Electric in Los Angeles, California. The connector design was modified several times in its early years and started to see widespread use by the 1950s; it is still widely used today for individual microphones and studio/performance equipment, including mixers and consoles (Figure 2) .

phantom power connector

Using phantom power, direct current is applied equally through the two signal lines of a balanced audio connector using both pins 2 and 3 of the XLR connector. The supply voltage is referenced to the ground pin of the connector (pin 1 of the connector), which is typically connected to the cable shield, a ground wire in the cable, or both.

The phantom power causes no problems for dynamic and other microphones that do not need power and is “ignored”. However, some audio consoles allow the phantom power to be shut off for the case where other equipment will be connected, for which it might be a problem. The phantom on/off switch in many consoles is labeled “P48” to signify “Phantom Power 48 volts.”

The circuitry to deliver phantom power is fairly simple. It begins with a standard 48-V AC/DC supply isolated from the AC line by a transformer for safety as part of normal supply-design architecture. (In some special cases, the 48 V is provided by batteries, so there is no transformer.) The current and power required for phantom power are modest: the supply needs to deliver up to 100 mA (under 5 W), but most modern microphones and preamplifiers need much less than that value. Only a small amount of circuitry is required in the microphone console or mixer to add this phantom power to the XLR cable and connector going to the microphone (Figure 3) .

phantom power connector

The current goes from the positive terminal of the 48 V supply (at the right), onto the microphone cable, then to the microphone XLR connector (at the left). Inside the microphone, this current is used for the microphone element (or preamplifier), and returns to the power supply via the ground lead (cable shield) of the XLR connector.

Looking at the circuit in more detail, the 48 V at the mixer or console is routed via R1 and R2 (standardized at 6.8 kΩ) from pins 2 and 3 to the power rail connection of the microphone or preamplifier. At the same time, bulk capacitor C9 (10 µF) smooths the DC. At the same time, the balanced audio single from the microphone travels back to the console via C7/R3 (22 µF/10 ohms) and C8/R4. Diodes D1 through D4 are for overvoltage protection and are not part of the phantom-power functionality. No special circuitry is needed in the microphone itself, as the microphone’s active electronics just draw on the power at pins 2 and 3, with pin 1 as the power-return ground.

The next part of this article looks at using an RF-carrying coaxial cable to also provide remote power.

Related EE Word Content

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  • The complexity of wireless receiver testing
  • Gadgets: Several Decisions To Be Made Before Selecting New Headphones
  • Microphone Product Family Adds Calibrated System With Phantom-Powered Preamplifier

External References

  • ProSoundWeb, “ A Primer On Phantom Power For Condenser Microphones ”
  • SweetWater, “ What is Phantom Power and why do I need it ?
  • Electrical Engineering,” Can anyone explain Phantom Power and, specifically, how it’s used in satellite television systems? ”
  • Elliott Sound Products, “ 48V Phantom Feed Supply for Microphones ”
  • Instructables, “ Make a Mobile Antenna to Listen to FM Radio Without Headphones ”
  • Learning Electronics, “ Antenna Input & Audio Lineout Adaptor For Portable Radios ”
  • Skyworks Solutions, AN383, “ Si47xx Antenna Schematic, Layout, and Design Guidelines ”
  • NXP Semiconductor, AN11420, “ NXP GPS LNA – GPS LNA voltage supply via a coax cable coming from the GPS receiver ”
  • Maxim/Analog Devices, Application Note 6166, “MAX20328 Adds FM Radio Antenna Path to Smartphones with USB Type-C Interface”

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What Is Phantom Power: Everything You Need to Know

Nick Webster

  • Updated November 18, 2023

What Is Phantom Power Everything You Need to Know

Ever wondered what the numbers on condenser microphones mean?

Well, you’re in for a treat!

This article will answer the question, “What is phantom power?”, understanding the concept of phantom power more and what it does for the sound of the microphone.

Are you ready? Let’s dive right in!

What Is Phantom Power?

Phantom power is a method of providing power to microphones, more specifically condenser microphones. Phantom powering is in the form of DC voltage.

Phantom power provides DC power to the active components within certain active condenser microphones.

You can think of it as a way to send DC voltage through an XLR cable.

There is no power cable to show how the phantom power is supplied, which is how it got its name, “phantom,” meaning “ghost” or “invisible.”

What sets phantom power apart from other methods of providing power supply is it travels from the source through the same cable that carries the audio signal.

Through the XLR-3 connector and balanced cables, the power supply is delivered to condenser microphones.

Remember that Pin 2 and Pin 3 carry 48 V and 4 V DC, while Pin 1 is 0 V.

It is usually labeled as 48 V on most audio equipment such as audio interfaces, preamps, mixing consoles, and converters. However, it can also be labeled as 12V, 15 V, 18 V, and 24 V.

Phantom powering will result in identical voltage measurements between pin-2 and pin-1 and pin-3 and pin-1.

What Does Phantom Power Do?

What Does Phantom Power Do--

Now that we understand phantom power, let’s discuss what it does next. First, we’ll tell you a little bit about how condenser microphones work.

The phantom power supply is commonly found in condenser microphones, as they have active electronics .

The distance between the diaphragm and the backplate changes as sound waves travel through the diaphragm.

This changes the capacitance of the condenser microphone.

The microphone input will not be translated into an audio signal without a proper power supply. Essentially, the condenser microphone is mute .

Condenser mics require phantom power to polarize the microphone’s transducer element, a.k.a, the capsule.

Once the phantom power supplies the needed voltage, the condenser microphone can translate the sound waves to the audio signal that audio software can read.

Phantom power supplies the needed voltage where you require it.

However, phantom power will not affect balanced dynamic microphones as there is no voltage difference.

How Does Phantom Power Work?

How Does Phantom Power Work--

Since we understand the function of phantom power, let’s dive into the mechanics of the process.

Here, we’ll explain how phantom power is generated and supplied to the microphones. Let’s go!

Step 1: Production of Phantom Power

Phantom power is produced from electricity from the power mains or batteries that power the phantom power source.

This includes the following:

  • Standalone phantom power supply units
  • Microphone preamplifiers
  • Audio interfaces
  • Audio mixing consoles

What makes these sources possible of supplying phantom power is their active units that convert battery power into phantom power.

Step 2: Flowing Through Audio Cables

The Audio Engineering Society would agree that the positive voltage produced by phantom power sources will then pass through balanced audio cables.

XLR cables are wired with the following wires:

  • Pin 1 = Ground/shield wire
  • Pin 2 = Positive wire
  • Pin 3 = Negative wire

Audio signals are sent down through Pins 2 and 3, with Pin 2 carrying the positive polarity mic signal and Pin 3 carrying the negative polarity version of the same signal.

With the two signals canceling each other out, noise or electromagnetic interference will affect both equally.

This means that the sound quality of the audio will not be affected.

Step 3: Voltage Travels to the Mic’s Output Connector

The voltage the phantom power will supply travels through the cable and towards the microphone’s connector to be prepared for use.

Passive microphones block the phantom power through an output transformer, such as in the case of some types of ribbon microphones.

Dynamic mics that have moving coils do not have an output transformer , but this will not be affected by phantom power damage.

Don’t worry, though!

Sending phantom power to a microphone that needs it is okay, even when you are not using the mic yet.

These microphones are designed to block the DC power voltage from entering circuits where it is not required or from reaching parts of the microphone that it may damage.

Step 4: Doing What the Mic Requires

Phantom power usually performs the following functions:

  • Powering the impedance converter
  • Powering the active circuit board components
  • Polarizing the externally-polarized capsules

You can think of phantom power as the right amount of power supplied to the right components at the right time!

Of course, your condenser mic might not even require +48 V, but don’t worry! Your microphone is designed to adjust the phantom power depending on its needs.

If you want to find the true voltage output of your phantom power source, you can always check the specifications sheet of the device.

Alternatively, a voltmeter can be used to check the voltage across Pin 2 and Pin 1 and across Pin 3 and Pin 1.

Step 5: Turn the Phantom Power Off

Yes, you must turn phantom power sources off and on depending on your use.

Some equipment, such as audio interfaces and consoles, have their own phantom power switches for each channel.

Some older models of mixing consoles may have phantom power buttons.

Let’s Look Back: History of Phantom Power

Before the concept of phantom power, vacuum tubes powered microphones. This type of microphone can still be seen today in wired microphones.

Bell Labs invented the transistor in 1947, and scientists have found that they are smaller and require less power.

In the 1960s, manufacturers began using transistors in place of vacuum tubes, and they discovered that power could be supplied through the XLR cable carrying the mic audio.

In 1965, the CMT20 was produced by Schoeps, considered the first solid-state microphone.

In 1966, Neumann GmbH, an audio technology company, visited the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). They collaborated on the idea of a microphone running on Pins 2 and 3.

That same year, Neumann produced the CMV3, which is hailed as the first phantom-powered microphone in the world.

Does Phantom Power Make the Sound Better?

Does Phantom Power Make the Sound Better-

The phantom power supplies the needed DC voltage for the condenser microphone to work. It also powers up the preamp inside the mic.

Condenser microphones need phantom power to work, but this method DOES NOT affect your microphone’s sound quality .

Phantom powering is simply a method to power microphones through the XLR mic cable . To understand the question, “What is phantom power?” we must also know what it is not .

It is a type of power supply for microphones that require phantom power. However, phantom powering does not include noise reduction.

The mic signal will not be affected when your microphone needs an external power supply like phantom power unless the XLR cable malfunctions and the phantom power is affected too.

Do All Mics Need Phantom Power?

No, not all mics require phantom power to work . Passive microphones that do not have active electronics do not need it.

One example is a dynamic microphone. A dynamic microphone does not have any active circuitry like a condenser mic.

Dynamic mics use a different principle to generate sound. A dynamic microphone contains a mechanical moving coil that sends an electrical signal for recording.

Furthermore, dynamic microphones don’t need the +48V power like condenser microphones.

Another type of mic is ribbon mics . A ribbon microphone is a sub-category of dynamic microphones.

But, instead of a moving coil vibrating within a magnetic field, a ribbon microphone has an extremely thin strip of metal suspended in a strong magnetic field.

Some contemporary ribbon mics require an external power supply like condenser microphones.

However, be careful as some do not require +48V.

Frequently Asked Questions [Q&A]

Frequently Asked Questions [Q_A]-

Here are all the questions related to phantom power and other phantom-powered devices!

Is Phantom Power an External Power Supply?

An external phantom power supply rides on the same microphone cable that balances audio signals.

In that sense, phantom power voltage is a type of external power supply.

This is because a microphone has no batteries or will work independently. Phantom power is a powering method that does not involve batteries or any tangible source.

The volts DC are not sent through a physical mic cable that is required for tube microphones.

A phantom power supply is for devices that do not have their own microphone preamplifiers.

A plug-in-powered microphone or those that require DC bias voltage need a separate conductor from the cable carrying the audio output. This is usually the case for a dynamic mic.

Tube microphones require a separate power supply, such as being plugged into sockets or an audio interface.

Some true condenser microphones that get power from the tube require separate conductors for bias and audio.

Do Digital Microphones Require Phantom Power?

The analog-to-digital converters effectively convert the analog output into audio information, which is why they DO NOT need to apply phantom power to their process.

ADCs are found in USB microphones and other professional microphones used by YouTubers and other musically-inclined individuals.

Will Phantom Power Damage Dynamic Mics?

If your device is not a phantom-powered microphone and you accidentally send phantom power to it, there is no need to worry as it will not be damaged!

Most microphones nowadays are designed to accept phantom power without sustaining damage, even if they are not designed to be powered by it.

Even then, we recommend you read the manual properly, especially if the phantom powered input is of a high volts DC, such as +48 V.

Active microphones also risk sustaining phantom power damage if the DC power is inappropriate.

That’s why we recommend you check the voltage recommended for a microphone or equipment before plugging it in. A sudden overload may still cause some damage.

Turning phantom power off while plugging and unplugging microphones will prevent a sudden urge for electric power.

This will save your speakers, headphones, and audio interfaces from long-term damage over time!

Are Microphones Balanced or Unbalanced?

Unbalanced microphones consist of only two connectors containing two conductors for each connector.

These audio lines are used to connect instruments to amplifiers or portable recorders. These are not to be confused with the signal conductors in devices requiring phantom power.

On the other hand, balanced microphones are those that have three conductors containing three wires.

You may be curious, “ What’s the difference, then ?”

A balanced microphone uses the extra signal wire to filter noise through polarity inversion. They also have a longer cable length compared to unbalanced ones.

Balanced audio cables come in two connectors known as External Line Return (XLR) and Tip-Ring Sleeve (TRS) cables.

Analog and digital devices that require phantom power are equipped with XLR cables since this type of power runs through the same cable to power up the device.

Do I Need to Have a Preamp for Phantom Power?

Not necessarily.

Yes, microphone preamplifiers are one of the main phantom power sources, but you don’t have to buy one to use a condenser mic.

There is also another type of source called standalone phantom power supply units .

These are usually required if you want to plug in a mic to an input that does NOT supply phantom power .

You can find a wall plug and battery-powered standalone phantom power units.

Is Phantom Power Dangerous?

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the topic of phantom power and its safety. Phantom power is NOT DANGEROUS to humans.

It is called phantom power because it uses an existing cable inside a microphone to transfer power, which means that causing bodily harm to humans is out of the question .

What you need to know, however, is that phantom power can cause damage to microphones.

There are multiple situations wherein phantom power can cause damage.

  • Firstly, electrical shorting. This can happen when the voltage is sent up on only one audio conductor rather than both. The voltage can enter the wrong components and cause damage.
  • Another way is through power surges . The sudden spike in the electrical current after a brownout or a blackout can fry certain wires or active components in the mics.
  • Lastly, unbalanced microphones may cause overload and have irreversible damage . Phantom power needs a balanced connection to work properly.

Again, it is NOT dangerous for humans, but microphones and other devices that utilize this powering method have a possibility of being damaged due to various circumstances.

What Can I Do to Avoid Power Surge?

If you are in a place where power shortages are common due to circumstances, it would be advisable to invest in power conditioners.

Power conditioners are devices used to protect sensitive loads, such as microphone wires.

They work by smoothing out voltage fluctuations such as spikes, transients, and electrical noise.

If an electrical outage happens and it immediately comes back, the sudden spike in the current will be smoothened out. This is important for phantom-powered devices.

Investing in power conditioners will not only be SAFER for your musical equipment but also ensure that they continue to function properly with their appropriate powering method.

What Is Digital Phantom Power?

To understand digital phantom power, we must first understand the concept of a digital microphone.

A digital wireless microphone transmits digitally-modulated waves towards a digital wireless receiver.

Instead of the usual analogue interfaces, a digital wireless microphone creates a waveform with only two values. The digital receiver understands this simple language.

Digital phantom power is not much different from regular phantom power, just that the power is sent via the XLR or the XLD connector .

The XLD cable is a variant of the XLR, but it has a different groove for connection , preventing the interchange of digital and analog devices.

Should I Use Phantom Power?

If you use a condenser microphone that requires phantom powering, the ONLY WAY for you to use the microphone is through phantom power.

However, if your microphone is not designed to receive phantom power, there are many other ways of powering up a mic.

These are some of the powering methods for microphones:

  • T-power (A-B power)
  • Plug-in-power
  • External PSUs

DC-biasing is a powering method for an unbalanced microphone usually supplied by wireless lavalier transmitters.

One of the methods for powering through audio cables, T-power uses resistors between the positive wire and negative wire pin.

Phantom power replaced this as it is safer for the mic.

Another type is plug-in power. These are mostly used for microphones that connect to audio equipment such as computer sound cards . It is a low-current source with a supply of +5 V DC.

External power units are for tube microphones. They act as converters and amplifiers for signals.

Battery-powered microphones can also be charged through one of the techniques above.

Do Miniature Microphones Require Phantom Power?

It is possible, but not necessarily.

The thing is, most miniature microphones are designed to connect with wireless transmitters.

These transmitters provide less than 10 V, which is not compatible with the voltage provided by most phantom-powered devices.

NOT ALL miniature microphones have XLR cables , which is crucial for transferring the current. However, adaptors are available to convert.

These conversion adapters change P48 to a relevant voltage that will power the miniature microphone.

For example, DPA miniature microphones work in the range of 12-48 volts.

Therefore, most miniature microphones do not require it, but there is a way for a miniature microphone to be a phantom-powered device .

My Condenser Mic Is Not Working. How Do I Fix This?

If your condenser mic is not functioning properly, there are multiple possible causes.

It may be true that one or more active component in your mic is not receiving the proper voltage that it requires or is simply dysfunctional .

If it is the first cause, the best thing to do is check the condenser microphone for the voltage and plug it properly .

If it is the second cause, then the best thing to do is to have it checked by professionals.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts-

We hope you learned something from this article about phantom powering, how it works, and how it helps different types of microphones.

Phantom power might be a confusing concept to grasp at first, but it is important to understand how it works if you are in the music production industry .

Good luck and happy producing!

About the author

cd38730de4e65cc7ce515086e48ba144

After becoming obsessed with the beats that were the soundtrack to his youth, Nick became a student of hip hop, digging for vinyl records, looking for the perfect break. Before he got his hands on an MPC sampler, he would mash these records, beats, and breaks into mixtapes and live DJ sets.

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New modification of Russian VVER-440 fuel loaded at Paks NPP in Hungary

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — After the recent refueling at power unit 3 of the Hungarian Paks NPP, its VVER-440 reactor has been loaded with a batch of fresh fuel including 18 fuel bundles of the new modification. The new fuel will be introduced at all four operating power units of the Paks NPP, and the amount of new-modification bundles in each refueling will be increased gradually.

Development of the new VVER-440 fuel modification was completed in 2020 under the contract between TVEL JSC and MVM Paks NPP Ltd. Its introduction would optimize the hydro-uranium ratio in the reactor core, enabling to increase the efficiency of fuel usage and advance the economic performance of the power plant operation. All VVER-440 fuel modifications are manufactured at the Elemash Machine-Building Plant, a facility of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal, Moscow Region.

Paks Nuclear Power Plant

“Introduction of a new fuel is an option to improve technical and economic performance of a nuclear power plant without substantial investment. We are actively engaged in development of new models and modifications of VVER-440 fuel for power plants in Europe. The projects of the new fuels for Loviisa NPP in Finland, Dukovany NPP in the Czech Republic, Mochovce and Bohunice NPPs in Slovakia, are currently at various stages of implementation. Despite the same reactor model, these projects are quite different technically and conceptually, since we take into account the individual needs and requirements of our customers,” commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.

For reference:

The project of development and validation of the new fuel has been accomplished with participation of a number of Russian nuclear industry enterprises, such as OKB Gidropress (a part of Rosatom machine-building division Atomenergomash), Bochvar Institute (material science research facility of TVEL Fuel Company), Elemash Machine-building plant and Kurchatov Institute national research center. At the site of OKB Gidropress research and experiment facility, the new fuel passed a range of hydraulic, longevity and vibration tests.

Paks NPP is the only functioning nuclear power plant in Hungary with total installed capacity 2000 MWe. It operates four similar units powered by VVER-440 reactors and commissioned one by one in 1982-1987. Currently, Paks NPP is the only VVER-440 plant in the world operating in extended 15-monthes fuel cycle. The power plant produces about 15 bln kWh annually, about a half of electric power generation in Hungary. In 2018, the project of increasing the duration of Paks NPP fuel cycle won the European competition Quality Innovation Award in the nomination “Innovations of large enterprises”. Russian engineers from TVEL JSC, Kurchatov Institute, OKB Gidropress, Bochvar Institute and Elemash Machine-building plant provided assistance to the Hungarian colleagues in accomplishment of the project.

  TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organizations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants. TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom provides nuclear fuel for 73 power reactors in 13 countries worldwide, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power reactor in the world operates on fuel manufactured by TVEL.  www.tvel.ru  

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Rosatom Starts Life Tests of Third-Generation VVER-440 Nuclear Fuel

  • 16 June, 2020 / 13:00

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World Energy

Rosatom Starts Production of Rare-Earth Magnets for Wind Power Generation

TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom has started gradual localization of rare-earth magnets manufacturing for wind power plants generators. The first sets of magnets have been manufactured and shipped to the customer.

phantom power connector

In total, the contract between Elemash Magnit LLC (an enterprise of TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom in Elektrostal, Moscow region) and Red Wind B.V. (a joint venture of NovaWind JSC and the Dutch company Lagerwey) foresees manufacturing and supply over 200 sets of magnets. One set is designed to produce one power generator.

“The project includes gradual localization of magnets manufacturing in Russia, decreasing dependence on imports. We consider production of magnets as a promising sector for TVEL’s metallurgical business development. In this regard, our company does have the relevant research and technological expertise for creation of Russia’s first large-scale full cycle production of permanent rare-earth magnets,” commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.

“NovaWind, as the nuclear industry integrator for wind power projects, not only made-up an efficient supply chain, but also contributed to the development of inter-divisional cooperation and new expertise of Rosatom enterprises. TVEL has mastered a unique technology for the production of magnets for wind turbine generators. These technologies will be undoubtedly in demand in other areas as well,” noted Alexander Korchagin, Director General of NovaWind JSC.

For reference:

TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organizations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants. TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom provides nuclear fuel for 73 power reactors in 13 countries worldwide, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power reactor in the world operates on fuel manufactured by TVEL. www.tvel.ru

NovaWind JSC is a division of Rosatom; its primary objective is to consolidate the State Corporation's efforts in advanced segments and technological platforms of the electric power sector. The company was founded in 2017. NovaWind consolidates all of the Rosatom’s wind energy assets – from design and construction to power engineering and operation of wind farms.

Overall, by 2023, enterprises operating under the management of NovaWind JSC, will install 1 GW of wind farms. http://novawind.ru

Elemash Magnit LLC is a subsidiary of Kovrov Mechanical Plant (an enterprise of the TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom) and its main supplier of magnets for production of gas centrifuges. The company also produces magnets for other industries, in particular, for the automotive

industry. The production facilities of Elemash Magnit LLC are located in the city of Elektrostal, Moscow Region, at the site of Elemash Machine-Building Plant (a nuclear fuel fabrication facility of TVEL Fuel Company).

Rosatom is a global actor on the world’s nuclear technology market. Its leading edge stems from a number of competitive strengths, one of which is assets and competences at hand in all nuclear segments. Rosatom incorporates companies from all stages of the technological chain, such as uranium mining and enrichment, nuclear fuel fabrication, equipment manufacture and engineering, operation of nuclear power plants, and management of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. Nowadays, Rosatom brings together about 350 enterprises and organizations with the workforce above 250 K. https://rosatom.ru/en/

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