We would like to give our sincere thanks to the people who are directly or indirectly attached in completion of our project “ELECTRICAL ENRGY THROUGH SOUND” during the academic year 2009-2010.

We express our deep obligation to “Mr. FAHEEMULLAH, H.O.D. of ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING” for his kind initiation, invaluable guidance and keen interest throughout the project work, and preparation of this report. We are also grateful to “Mr. SHAHEBAN” Electrical Engineering Department for his worthy help in progressing the work. Last but not least we wish to express our sincere thanks to all our professors, friends and colleagues who helped us directly or indirectly in the completion of this project.


1 Construction

• • • • • • • •

2 Polarity 3 Safety 4 Electrical behavior of electrolytics 5 Capacitance 6 Variants 7 See also 8 External links References

This project is to construct a Sound Battery (generation of electrical energy by sound energy) and to study the current variation

by different sound frequencies in front of speaker working as microphone under Faraday’s Law. The main idea behind this project is that Now day’s there are so many vehicles running on the road’s with which there is a lot’s of noise pollution on the road’s. Government has made many rules to stop this but still it is same as before. We have try to solve this problem, but we also cannot get the solution for this. So finally we decided that if we cannot stop this noise pollution, we can take use of this noise pollution in our daily life by generating electricity with it. The project appears to be very simple (and it is ), but the important basic electronic operation are very profound. Virtually every electronic circuit in our house uses one or more of the concepts we are about to consider. In brief the circuit operation is as follows. Loud sounds received by the speaker generate AC voltage. The transformer steps these AC voltages up to a higher level so that may be more effective in causing a meter reading. The diode (bridge rectifier) changes the AC voltage into DC voltage which is required to drive the meter or LED (light emmiting diode). The meter uses the DC current to move the pointer (needle) of the meter so that we can see the effect of the generated electrical energy.


2. Electrolytic capacitor Micro Volt Meter or LED SPEAKER . Speaker Transformer (step up) Diode (bridge rectifier) 4. 5. this consists of some components which are :1.The project is basically used to generation of electrical energy by sound energy. 3.

An object produces sound when it vibrates in air (sound can also travel through liquids and solids.a bell. but air is the transmission medium when we listen to speakers). carrying the pulse of the vibration through the air as a traveling disturbance. it pulls in on these surrounding air particles. let's look at a simple vibrating object -. is an electromechanical transducer which converts an electrical signal into sound. When it flexes out on one side. it pushes out on the surrounding air particles on that side. Those air particles in turn move the air particles around them. which creates another drop in pressure that pulls in particles that are even farther out and so on. Inside your ear is a very thin piece of skin called the eardrum. creating a drop in pressure that pulls in on more surrounding air particles. your brain interprets the vibrations as sound -that's how you hear. . When your eardrum vibrates. This decreasing of pressure is called rarefaction. the metal vibrates -. or speaker.flexes in and out -. which collide with the particles in front of them and so on. you first need to understand how sound works. These air particles then collide with the particles in front of them. The term loudspeaker is used to refer to both the device itself.A loudspeaker. When the bell flexes away. When something vibrates. Sound Basics To understand what and how speakers work. . To see how this works. Rapid changes in air pressure are the most common thing to vibrate your eardrum. and a complete system consisting of one or more loudspeaker drivers (as the individual units are often called) in an enclosure.rapidly. When you ring a bell. it moves the air particles around it.

which determines how loud the sound is. • Air-pressure level . The signal from a microphone gets encoded on a tape or CD as an electrical signal.In this way. we'll see how the speaker accomplishes this. just like the ones originally picked up by the microphone.A higher wave frequency simply means that the air pressure fluctuates faster. We hear this as a higher pitch. When the fluctuation wave reaches your ear. Sound waves with greater amplitudes move our ear drums more. It has a diaphragm that is vibrated by sound waves in an area. • A microphone works something like our ears. Differentiating Sound We hear different sounds from different vibrating objects because of variations in: Sound-wave frequency . Our brain interprets this motion as sound.This is the wave's amplitude. the amplifier sends it to the speaker. which re-interprets it into physical vibrations. In the next section. a vibrating object sends a wave of pressure fluctuation through the atmosphere. When there are fewer fluctuations in a period of time. Good speakers are optimized to produce extremely accurate fluctuations in air pressure. When you play this signal back on your stereo. the pitch is lower. it vibrates the eardrum back and forth. and we register this sensation as a higher volume. Making Sound .

CD. like a piston. creating sound waves. Players convert this stored information back into an electric current for use in the stereo system. and the negative pole of the electromagnet is repelled by the permanent magnet's negative pole. The electrical audio signal can also be interpreted as a wave. It takes the electrical signal and translates it back into physical vibrations to create sound waves.the electromagnet and the permanent magnet -. LP. We also learned that microphones translate sound waves into electrical signals.In the last section. In this way. The positive end of the electromagnet is attracted to the negative pole of the permanent magnetic field.interact with each other as any two magnets do. the speaker produces nearly the same vibrations that the microphone originally recorded and encoded on a tape. When the electromagnet's polar orientation switches. LPs. When everything is working as it should. A speaker is essentially the final translation machine -. we saw that sound travels in waves of air pressure fluctuation. which represents the original sound wave. When the coil moves. etc. tapes. These two magnets -. which can be encoded onto CDs. Making Sound: Magnets So how does the fluctuation make the speaker coil move back and forth? The electromagnet is positioned in a constant magnetic field created by a permanent magnet. . This vibrates the air in front of the speaker. it pushes and pulls on the speaker cone. This pushes the coil back and forth rapidly. so does the direction of repulsion and attraction. etc. dictates the rate and distance that the voice coil moves. The frequency and amplitude of this wave. and that we hear sounds differently depending on the frequency and amplitude of these waves.the reverse of the microphone. the alternating current constantly reverses the magnetic forces between the voice coil and the permanent magnet.

and we'll look at the main driver types used in loudspeakers. For this reason.and it is attracted to iron objects. Different driver sizes are better suited for certain frequency ranges. the north and south ends of the electromagnet switch. we'll find out how speakers divide up the frequency range. Essentially. such as iron. fluctuating between a positive charge and a negative charge on the red wire and black wire. usually wrapped around a piece of magnetic metal. If you reverse the flow of the current.a "north" end and and a "south" end -. This is exactly what a stereo signal does -. Making Sound: Voice Coil The voice coil is a basic electromagnet. determines the frequency and amplitude of the sound waves produced by the diaphragm. magnetizing the metal it is wrapped around. in turn.it constantly reverses the flow of electricity. In the next section. the current going through the speaker moves one way and then reverses and flows the other way. Running electrical current through the wire creates a magnetic field around the coil. you know that an electromagnet is a coil of wire. then you know that there are two output wires for each speaker -. the amplifier is constantly switching the electrical signal. Since electrons always flow in the same direction between positively charged particles and negatively charged particles.typically a black one and a red one. . But unlike a permanent magnet.This. in an electromagnet you can alter the orientation of the poles. This alternating current causes the polar orientation of the electromagnet to reverse itself many times a second. loudspeaker units typically divide a wide frequency range among multiple drivers. The field acts just like the magnetic field around a permanent magnet: It has a polar orientation -. If you've ever hooked up a stereo system.

usually from about somewhere around 3-5 kHz up to 20 kHz and beyond. The usable frequency range varies widely according to design. is designed to cover the middle of the audio spectrum. while others become unusable below 50 or 60 Hz. A tweeter is a driver capable of reproducing the higher end of the audio spectrum. also called a squawker. Whilst some woofers can cover the audio band from bass to 3 kHz. Some woofers are capable of very deep bass performance in the proper enclosure. typically from 200 Hz to about 45 kHz. A mid-range speaker.Types Of Speakers: A woofer is a driver capable of reproducing low (bass) frequencies. others only work up to 1 kHz or less. Midranges are used when the other drivers are incapable of adequately covering the mid audio range. .

yet transformer designs and materials continue to be improved. in most cases. A transformer comprises two or more coupled windings. the core requires negligible magnemotive force to sustain flux. Energy is coupled between the windings by the time varying magnetic flux that passes through (links) both .Transformer A transformer is an electrical device that transfers energy from one circuit to another by magnetic coupling. and all flux linking the primary winding also links the secondary winding. In this case. All operate with the same basic principles and with many similarities in their parts. a magnetic core to concentrate magnetic flux. Coupling by mutual induction The principles of the transformer are illustrated by consideration of a hypothetical ideal transformer. A changing voltage applied to one winding creates a time-varying magnetic flux in the core. The transformer is one of the simplest of electrical devices. and. without requiring relative motion between its parts. which induces a voltage in the other windings. The hypothetical ideal transformer has no resistance in its coils. A simple transformer consists of two electrical conductors called the primary winding and the secondary winding. Transformers come in a range of sizes from a thumbnail-sized coupling transformer hidden inside a stage microphone to huge gigawatt units used to interconnect large portions of national power grids.

so MMF tries to drive magnetic flux through a magnetic circuit. In accordance with Faraday's law of induction. . with an open circuit secondary winding. a current will flow in it producing a magnetomotive force (MMF). The effect. and. a voltage is induced in the neighboring coil. called mutual inductance. The primary MMF produces a varying magnetic flux in the core. is an example of electromagnetic induction. the voltage induced across the primary winding is proportional to the rate of change of flux: and where vP and vS are the voltages across the primary winding and secondary winding.primary and secondary windings. induces a back electromotive force (EMF) in opposition to . Just as an electromotive force (EMF) drives current around an electric circuit. If a time-varying voltage is applied to the primary winding of turns. Whenever the amount of current in a coil changes.

Np and Ns are the numbers of turns in the primary and secondary. In this way. Since the reduced flux reduces the EMF induced in the primary winding. The EMF in the secondary winding will cause current to flow in a secondary circuit. The MMF produced by current in the secondary winding opposes the MMF of the primary winding and so tends to cancel the flux in the core. The ratio of the currents in the primary and secondary circuits is inversely proportional to the turns ratio. Hence in an ideal transformer.NP and NS are the numbers of turns in the primary winding and secondary winding. the ratio of the primary and secondary voltages is equal to the ratio of the number of turns in their windings. respectively. dΦP / dt and dΦS / dt are the derivatives of the flux with respect to time of the primary and secondary windings. the primary and secondary windings are perfectly coupled. For example. the electrical energy fed into the primary winding is delivered to the secondary winding. The resulting increase in MMF due to the primary current offsets the effect of the opposing secondary MMF. In addition. In the hypothetical ideal transformer. Substituting and solving for the voltages shows that: where vp and vs are voltages across primary and secondary. the voltage per turn is the same for both windings. or equivalently. suppose a power of 50 watts is supplied to a resistive load from a transformer with a turns ratio of 25:2. increased current flows in the primary circuit. . (See note 1) Now with transformer change: . P = EI (power = electromotive force × current) 50 W = 2 V × 25 A in the primary circuit if the load is a resistive load. the flux density will always stay the same as long as the primary voltage is steady. or alternatively.

direct current applied to the winding will create only heat. N is the number of turns of wire on the winding.50 W = 25 V × 2 A in the secondary circuit. In a practical transformer. the relationship for either winding between its number of turns. voltage. Operation at different frequencies . magnetic flux density and core cross-sectional area is given by the universal emf equation (from Faraday's law): where E is the sinusoidal rms or root mean square voltage of the winding. it produces a steady MMF and so steady flux in the core. The universal electromotive force (EMF) equation If the flux in the core is sinusoidal. Since a direct current by definition does not change. Other consistent systems of units can be used with the appropriate conversions in the equation. this quantity does not change and so cannot induce a voltage in the secondary winding. f is the frequency in hertz. a is the cross-sectional area of the core in square metres B is the peak magnetic flux density in teslas.

fan cooled. transformers at hydroelectric generating stations may be equipped with overexcitation protection. and a given core is able to transfer more power. Generally. water cooled. so-called "volts per hertz" protection relays. circuit isolation). also increase with frequency. impedance matching. operation of a transformer at its designed voltage but at a higher frequency than intended will lead to reduced magnetising (no load primary) current. At a frequency lower than the design value. etc.) By purpose (distribution. By frequency range (power. etc.). amplifier output. losses. the magnetising current may increase to an excessive level. By application (power supply. Classifications Transformers are adapted to numerous engineering applications and may be classified in many ways: By power level (from fraction of a volt-ampere(VA) to over a thousand MVA). For example. other properties of the transformer. By operating at higher frequencies. and cooling to establish if safe operation is practical. radio frequency(RF)) By voltage class (a few volts to about 750 kilovolts) By cooling type (air cooled. arc furnace. such as losses within the core and skin-effect. with the rated voltage applied. By ratio of the number of turns in the coils Circuit symbols . rectifier.The equation shows that the EMF of a transformer at a given flux density increases with frequency. audio. to protect the transformer from overvoltage at higher-than-rated frequency which may occur if a generator loses its connected load. However. oil filled. transformers can be physically more compact without reaching saturation. Operation of a power transformer at other than its design frequency may require assessment of voltages.

In practice. may be less than 85% efficient. and would therefore be 100% efficient. and to magnetic effects primarily attributable to the core (known as iron loss). such as a plug-in "power brick" used to power small consumer electronics. highly efficient: large power transformers (over 50 MVA) may attain an efficiency as high as 99. in general. Transformer with electrostatic screen. Transformer with three windings. .75%. which prevents capacitive coupling between the. WINDINGS • Energy Losses An ideal transformer would have no losses. Step-down or step-up transformer. The dots show the relative winding configuration of the windings. energy is dissipated due both to the resistance of the windings known as copper loss or I2R loss.Standard symbols Transformer with two windings and iron core. Small transformers. but does not usually show the exact ratio. Transformers are. The symbol shows which winding has more turns.

At higher frequencies. a small amount of energy is lost to hysteresis within the magnetic core. Silicon is added to the steel to help in controlling eddy currents. Magnetostriction Magnetic flux in the core causes it to physically expand and contract slightly with the alternating magnetic field (producing a buzzing sound). The amount of hysteresis is a function of the particular core material. This in turn causes losses due to frictional heating in susceptible ferromagnetic cores. causing resistive heating. Adding silicon also has the advantage of stopping ageing of the electrical steel that was a problem years ago.Transformer losses Winding resistance Current flowing through the windings causes resistive heating of the conductors (I2 R loss). Eddy currents Induced eddy currents circulate within the core. Mechanical losses . an effect known as magnetostriction. skin effect and proximity effect create additional winding resistance and losses. Hysteresis losses Each time the magnetic field is reversed.

By concentrating the magnetic flux. Cooling system Large power transformers may be equipped with cooling fans. it. Construction A) Cores i) Steel cores Transformers for use at power or audio frequencies have cores made of many thin laminations of silicon steel. oil pumps or water-cooled heat exchangers designed to remove the heat caused by copper and iron losses. Since the steel core is conductive. creating a familiar humming or buzzing noise. These incite vibrations within nearby metalwork. The power used to operate the cooling system is typically considered part of the losses of the transformer. and be converted to heat. and consuming a small amount of power. Winding resistance dominates load-losses. more of it is usefully linked by both primary and secondary windings. whereas hysteresis and eddy currents losses contribute to over 99% of the noload loss. the alternating magnetic field causes fluctuating electromagnetic forces between the primary and secondary windings. such as the transformer's support structure. has . A portion of the leakage flux may induce eddy currents within nearby conductive objects. Losses may be either load-dependent('load-losses') or independent of it ('no-load loss').In addition to magnetostriction. too. Stray losses Not all the magnetic field produced by the primary is intercepted by the secondary.

and the insulation is used to keep the laminations from acting as a solid piece of steel. After the required thickness is achieved. That means that on one end all flux is only on every second E. the lower the eddy currents. Using a longer E and wedging it with two small Is will increase the overlap and additionally make the grains more parallel to the flux (think of a wooden frame for a window). and all the I's on the other creating a gap. some area is lost for a rectangular winging. For this to work the flux has to gradually flow from one E to the other. Very thin laminations are generally used on high frequency transformers. they have the advantage. The cut core or C-core is made by winding a silicon steel strip around a rectangular form. and the lower the losses. Like toroidal cores. that the flux is always in the oriented parallel the grains. Due to this interleaving a second gap in parallel (in an analogy to electronic circuits) to the gap between E and I is formed between the E-pieces. In the EI transformer. Each layer is insulated from the adjacent layer to reduce the energy lost to eddy current heating of the core. It is then cut in two forming two C shapes. leading to the name "EI transformer". More cores would necessitate a triangular cross-section. The thin laminations are used to reduce the eddy currents. so that the effective gap width is very small (in analogy to a capacitor). If an air gap is needed (which is unlikely considering the low remanence available for steel). The thinner the laminations. The cost goes up when using thinner laminations mainly over the labor in stacking them. usually after a few cycles of the applied . it is removed from the form and the laminations are bonded together. The core is then assembled by placing the two C halves together. all the E's are stacked on one side. the residual field will cause a high inrush current until the effect of the remanent magnetism is reduced. the laminations are stacked in what is known as an interleaved fashion. Due to the bending of the core. and holding them closed by a steel strap. When power is then reapplied. A typical laminated core is made from E-shaped and I-shaped pieces. The faces of the cuts are then ground smooth so they fit very tight with a very small gap to reduce losses. Usually two Ccores are used to shorten the return path for the magnetic flux resulting in a form similar to the EI.currents induced in it by the changing magnetic flux. The gap area is very large. That means saturation occurs at half the flux density. A steel core's remanence means that it retains a static magnetic field when power is removed. The E-pieces are pressed together to reduce the gap width to that of the insulation.

The thinner steel laminations serve to reduce the eddy currents. In order to maintain good voltage regulation. over the life of the transformer. Aircraft traditionally use 400 Hz power systems since the slight increase in thermal losses is more than offset by the reduction in core and winding weight. level. The additional leakage inductance limits the secondary winding's short circuit current to a safe. Military gear includes 400 Hz (and other frequencies) to supply power for radar or servomechanisms. Certain special purpose transformers use long magnetic paths. This technique is used to stabilize the output current for loads that exhibit negative resistance such as electric arcs. or safely handle loads that may become periodically short-circuited such as electric arc welders. insert air gaps. and neon signs. Distribution transformers can achieve low off-load losses by using cores made with low loss high permeability silicon steel and amorphous (non-crystalline) steel. induced currents due to geomagnetic disturbances during solar storms can cause saturation of the core. Gaps are also used to keep a transformer from saturating. On transformers connected to long overhead power transmission lines. Ferrite. or thinner steel laminations for the core are typically used for frequencies above 1kHz. distribution transformers are designed to have very low leakage inductance. Overcurrent protection devices such as fuses must be selected to allow this harmless inrush to pass. Some types of very thin steel laminations can operate at up to 10 kHz or higher. Ferrite is used in higher frequency applications. Steel cores develop a larger hysteresis loss due to eddy currents as the operating frequency is increased. ii) Solid cores . or a controlled.alternating current. extending to the VHF band and beyond. and false operation of transformer protection devices. mercury vapor lamps. so-called "metal glasses" — the high cost of the core material is offset by the lower losses incurred at light load. especially audio transformers that have a DC component added. or add magnetic shunts (which bypass a portion of magnetic flux that would otherwise link the primary and secondary windings) in order to intentionally add leakage inductance.

Some RF transformers also have moveable cores (sometimes called slugs) which allow adjustment of the coupling coefficient (and bandwidth) of tuned radio-frequency circuits. and also provides screening to minimize the core's magnetic field from generating electromagnetic interference. called ferrites. Cores are available in a wide variety of shapes. The top right is toroidal. The closed ring shape eliminates air gaps inherent in the construction of an EI core. from powdered iron. iii) Air cores High-frequency transformers may also use air cores. including toroids. but more expensive cores with circular crosssections are also available. depending on operating frequency. radio-frequencies (RF). Other shapes include so-called E-cores and C-cores. or ferrite. The bottom right is from a 12 VAC wall wart supply. which is made from a long strip of silicon steel or permalloy wound into a coil. Such transformers maintain high coupling efficiency (low stray field loss) by overlapping the primary and secondary windings. . At even higher. The primary and secondary coils are often wound concentrically to cover the entire surface of the core. The strip construction ensures that the grain boundaries are optimally aligned. improving the transformer's efficiency by reducing the core's reluctance. These materials combine high magnetic permeability with high bulk electrical resistivity. This minimises the length of wire needed. The cross-section of the ring is usually square or rectangular.Powdered iron cores are used in circuits (such as switch-mode power supplies) that operate above mains frequencies and up to a few tens of kilohertz. iv) Toroidal cores Various transformers. are common. Toroidal transformers are built around a ring-shaped core. These eliminate the loss due to hysteresis in the core material. other types of cores made from non-conductive magnetic ceramic materials.

either a wide. single-bolt mounting. Larger power transformers may be wound with wire. which is a varnished type of magnet wire. depending on the space available. less mechanical hum (making them superior in audio amplifiers). and more choice of shapes. A drawback of toroidal transformer construction is the higher cost of windings. and in the different windings. and sometimes additional insulation. The conducting material used for the winding depends upon the application. making a loop of conductive material that passes through the hole in the toroid. When fitting a toroidal transformer. it is important to avoid making an unintentional short-circuit through the core. flat toroid or a tall. compared to EI types. toroidal transformers are uncommon above ratings of a few kVA. Strip conductors are . B) Windings The wire of the adjacent turns in a coil. This last point means that. Small power and signal transformers are wound with solid copper wire. or aluminium rectangular conductors. physical size. must be electrically insulated from each other. and weight of switch-mode power supplies. include smaller size (about half). Transformers for years have used Formvar wire. to reduce losses. insulated usually with enamel. This can happen if the steel mounting bolt in the middle of the core is allowed to touch metalwork at both ends. The main disadvantages are higher cost and limited size. narrow one with the same electrical properties can be chosen. typically between a few tens of kilohertz to a megahertz. lower weight (about half). low off-load losses (making them more efficient in standby circuits).Ferrite toroid cores are used at higher frequencies. Such a loop could result in a dangerously large current flowing in the bolt. As a consequence. lower exterior magnetic field (about one tenth). copper. Magnet wire is a copper wire with a coating of varnish or some other synthetic coating. Small distribution transformers may achieve some of the benefits of a toroidal core by splitting it and forcing it open. for a given power output. The wire used is generally magnet wire. Other advantages. Toroidal transformers are more efficient than the cheaper laminated EI types of similar power level. then inserting a bobbin containing primary and secondary windings.

Each strand is insulated from the other. and the strands are arranged so that at certain points in the winding. since even at low power frequencies non-uniform distribution of current would otherwise exist in high-current windings. Large power transformers use multiple-stranded conductors as well.used for very heavy currents. (see reference (1) below) For signal transformers. Modulation transformers in AM transmitters are very similar. oscillators. and reduces eddy current losses in the winding itself. the windings may be arranged in a way to minimise leakage inductance and stray capacitance to improve highfrequency response. so that enamel insulation is usually sufficient for small power transformers. The stranded conductor is also more flexible than a solid conductor of similar size is. This is known as a stacked type or interleaved winding. on-load tap changer type of switchgear for voltage regulation of distribution circuits. Tapped transformers are also used as components of amplifiers. Audio-frequency transformers. The potential difference between adjacent turns is usually small. or throughout the whole winding. each portion occupies different relative positions in the complete conductor. C) Insulation of windings The turns of the windings must be insulated from each other to ensure that the current travels through the entire winding. and those sections placed in layers between the sections of the other winding. This "transposition" equalizes the current flowing in each strand of the conductor. . Windings on both the primary and secondary of power transformers may have external connections (called taps) to intermediate points on the winding to allow adjustment of the voltage ratio. A center-tapped transformer is often used in the output stage of an audio power amplifier in a push-pull type circuit. This can be done by splitting up each coil into sections. Taps may be connected to an automatic. used for the distribution of audio to public address loudspeakers. and for feedback linearization of amplifier circuits. High frequency transformers operating in the tens to hundreds of kilohertz will have windings made of Litz wire to minimize the skin effect losses in the conductors. have taps to allow adjustment of impedance to each speaker.

or a single layer winding between primary and secondary. The transformer may also be immersed in transformer oil that provides further insulation. Transformers may also be enclosed by magnetic shields. Small signal transformers do not generate significant amounts of heat. Power transformers rated up to a few kilowatts rely on natural convective air-cooling. electrostatic shields. Thus the oil serves as both a cooling medium to remove heat from the core and coil. it also helps to reduce the formation of corona discharge within high voltage transformers. or both to prevent outside interference from affecting the operation of the transformer. Specific provision must be made for cooling of . D) Shielding Where transformers are intended for minimum electrostatic coupling between primary and secondary circuits. The shield is connected to earth ground.Supplemental sheet or tape insulation is usually employed between winding layers in larger transformers. By impregnating the transformer with epoxy under a vacuum. To ensure that the insulating capability of the transformer oil does not deteriorate. and as part of the insulation system. This produces transformers suitable for damp or dirty environments. By cooling the windings. or to prevent the transformer from affecting the operation of nearby devices that may be sensitive to stray fields such as CRTs. thereby sealing the windings and helping to prevent the possible formation of corona and absorption of dirt or water. The shield may be a single layer of metal foil. Although the oil is primarily used to cool the transformer. the transformer casing is completely sealed against moisture ingress. insulated where it overlaps to prevent it acting as a shorted turn. Certain power transformers have the windings protected by epoxy resin. an electrostatic shield can be placed between windings to reduce the capacitance between primary and secondary windings. air spaces within the windings are replaced with epoxy. but at increased manufacturing cost. the insulation will not break down as easily due to heat.

Other less-flammable fluids such as canola oil may be used but all fire resistant fluids have some drawbacks in performance. Very large or high-power transformers (with capacities of millions of watts) may have cooling fans. electrical self-heating. cost. and provides part of the electrical insulation between internal live parts. or having a high duty cycle can be fan-cooled. Oil-filled power transformers may be equipped with Buchholz relays which are safety devices that sense gas build-up inside the transformer (a side effect of an electric arc inside the windings). If found to be leaking. it should be changed out. Some dry transformers are enclosed in pressurized tanks and are cooled by nitrogen or sulphur hexafluoride gas. Large transformers to be used indoors must use a non-flammable liquid. or toxicity compared with mineral oil. polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) was used as it was not a fire hazard in indoor power transformers and it is highly stable. Transformers handling higher power. the application of a vacuum. Due to the stability and toxic effects of PCB by-products. Formerly. oil pumps and even oil to water heat exchangers. It has to be stable at high temperatures so that a small short or arc will not cause a breakdown or fire. and professionally decontaminated or scrapped in an environmentally safe manner. stable silicone-based oils. Oil-filled transformers undergo prolonged drying processes. Old transformers that still contain PCB should be examined on a weekly basis for leakage. that is stable at high temperatures. or fluorinated hydrocarbons may be used where the expense of a fire-resistant liquid offsets additional building cost for a transformer vault. This helps prevent electrical breakdown under load. to ensure that the transformer is completely free of water vapor before the cooling oil is introduced. or combinations of these. Today. non-toxic. and its accumulation in the environment. The windings of high-power or high-voltage transformers are immersed in transformer oil — a highly refined mineral oil. using vapor-phase heat transfer. and thus switches off the transformer.high-power transformers. The oil-filled tank may have radiators through which the oil circulates by natural convection. . The oil cools the transformer. Experimental power transformers in the 2 MVA range have been built with superconducting windings which eliminates the copper losses. it is no longer permitted in new equipment.

which is tapped at some point along the winding. While theoretically separate parts of the winding can be used for input and output. A large bushing can be a complex structure since it must provide electrical insulation without letting the transformer leak oil. F) Enclosure Small transformers often have no enclosure. bus bars or high-voltage insulated bushings made of polymers or porcelain. and to contain the cooling medium (oil or pressurized gas). in practice the higher voltage will be connected to the ends of the winding. Larger transformers may have heavy bolted terminals. AC or pulsed voltage is applied across a portion of the winding. and a higher (or lower) voltage is produced across another portion of the same winding. and brought out to the base of the unit for circuit connections. E) Terminals Very small transformers will have wire leads connected directly to the ends of the coils. and the lower voltage from one end to a tap. a transformer with a tap at the center of the winding can be used with 230 volts across the entire winding.but not the core steel loss. as described above. These are cooled by liquid nitrogen or helium. Transformer types and uses A) Autotransformers An autotransformer has only a single winding. Larger units may be enclosed to prevent contact with live parts. and 115 volts between one end . Transformers may have a shield enclosure. For example.

transformer losses mean that autotransformers are not perfectly reversible. lighter. where the transformer is seen by the load . For voltage ratios not exceeding about 3:1. for the regulating action is dependent on core saturation. or reversed to drive 230-volt equipment from 115 volts. smaller and more efficient than a true (two-winding) transformer of the same rating. By exposing part of the winding coils and making the secondary connection through a sliding brush. For power transformer applications. The output voltage of a transformer varies some with varying load resistances. In practice. which reduces efficiency somewhat. among other factors. the flux in the core is partially cancelled. It can be connected to a 230-volt supply to drive 115-volt equipment. The difference is usually slight enough to allow reversal where the actual voltage level is not critical. an autotransformer with a nearcontinuously variable turns ratio can be obtained. The degree of variance is affected by the primary and secondary winding inductances. and installing a resonant tank circuit (a capacitor and an additional winding). allowing for very small increments of voltage. CVA transformers run hotter than standard power transformers. an autotransformer is cheaper. even with a constant voltage input. a transformer can be arranged to automatically keep the secondary winding voltage constant regardless (within some limits) of any variance in the primary supply without additional circuitry or manual adjustment. and a smaller core can be used. As the same winding is used for input and output. B) Constant voltage transformer (ferro-resonance) By arranging particular magnetic properties of a transformer core. not the least of which includes winding resistance and the degree of mutual inductance (magnetic coupling) between the primary and secondary windings.and the tap. one designed for stepping down a voltage will deliver slightly less voltage than required if used to step up.

it is good to have the secondary voltage vary as little as possible for wide variances in load current. The measure of how well a power transformer maintains constant secondary voltage over a range of load currents is called the transformer's voltage regulation. It can be calculated from the following formula: Characteristic of CVT Physical view Circuit diagram C) Polyphase transformers .(ideally) as a constant source of voltage.

D) Resonant transformers A resonant transformer operates at the resonant frequency of one or more of its coils and (usually) an external capacitor. The most common connections are Y-Δ. or all three phases can be connected to a single polyphase transformer. named after its inventor Paul Oudin) D'Arsonval apparatus Ignition coil or induction coil used in the ignition system of a petrol engine . three separate single-phase transformers can be used. There are many possible configurations that may involve more or fewer than six windings and various tap connections. until it is limited by some process such as electrical breakdown. such as a square or Sawtooth wave at the resonant frequency. When the primary coil is driven by a periodic source of alternating current. Due to resonance. The resonant coil. the earth connection point is usually the center point of a Y winding. Examples: Tesla coil Oudin coil (or Oudin resonator. and is connected in series with a capacitor. A special purpose polyphase transformer is the zigzag transformer. acts as an inductor. usually the secondary. These devices are used to generate high alternating voltages. The three primary windings are connected together and the three secondary windings are connected together. If the secondary is a Δ winding. A vector group indicates the configuration of the windings and the phase angle difference between them. a very high voltage can develop across the secondary. Δ-Δ and Y-Y. each pulse of current helps to build up an oscillation in the secondary coil. Δ-Y. If a winding is connected to earth (grounded). the ground may be connected to a center tap on one winding (high leg delta) or one phase may be grounded (corner grounded delta).For three-phase power. and the current available can be much larger than that from electrostatic machines such as the Van de Graaff generator or Wimshurst machine.

Saturating transformers provide a simple rugged method to stabilize an AC power supply. A voltage-regulating transformer uses a resonant winding and allows part of the core to go into saturation on each half-cycle of the alternating current. E) Instrument transformers i) current transformer A current transformer is a type of "instrument transformer" that is designed to provide a current in its secondary which is accurately proportional to the current flowing in its primary. Electrical breakdown and insulation testing of high voltage equipment and cables.0.2. The burden in a CT metering circuit is essentially the amount of impedance (largely resistive) present. where the selectivity of the receiver is provided by the tuned transformers of the intermediatefrequency amplifiers. load.5. rating factor.0 and B-4. the transformer's secondary is resonated with the cable's capacitance. In the latter case. external electromagnetic fields. B-1. However. Typical burden ratings for CTs are B-0. which can be used for equipment that is sensitive to variations of the supply voltage. This accuracy is directly related to a number of factors including the following: burden.1. temperature and physical CT configuration. B-0.Flyback transformer of a CRT television set or video monitor. This effect stabilizes the output of the regulating transformer. B-2. efficiency is low. B-0.0. due to the hysteresis losses accompanying this type of operation. This means a CT with . Other applications of resonant transformers are as coupling between stages of a superheterodyne receiver.

0 is most accurate between 20A (light load)and 800A (4. the relative cost of a 500:5 CT is significantly greater than that of a 200:5. It is important to be mindful of ambient temperatures and resultant rating factors when CTs are installed inside pad-mounted transformers or poorly ventilated mechanical rooms. The rating factor of a CT is largely dependent upon ambient temperature. Recently. slight inaccuracies may occur. Physical CT configuration is another important factor in reliable CT accuracy. there are some issues when attempting to apply theory to the real world. This is made possible by the development of more efficient ferrites and their corresponding hysteresis curves. in an electric metering circuit. When conductors passing through a CT are not centered in the circular (or oval) void.a burden rating of B-0. Conversely. the most inaccurate component is the CT. Rating factor is a factor by which the nominal full load current of a CT can be multiplied to determine its absolute maximum measurable primary current. Often times.5 yielding an effective range of 50A to 750A. While previous revisions of CTs were on the order of 500:5 with a rating factor of 1.2Ω of impedance in the metering circuit before its output current is no longer a fixed ratio to the primary current." or 10% of the nominal current." of the CT) of primary current. A CT usually demonstrates reduced capacity to maintain accuracy with rising ambient temperature. For example.2 can tolerate up to 0. or "full load. It is important to center primary conductors as they pass through CTs to promote the greatest level of CT accuracy. While all electrical engineers are quite comfortable with Gauss' Law. This is an 11% increase in effective range for two CTs that would be used at similar services. manufacturers have been moving towards lower nominal primary currents with greater rating factors. Most CTs have rating factors for 35 degrees Celsius and 55 degrees Celsius. Afterall. .0 times the nominal rating. the minimum primary current a CT can accurately measure is "light load. a 200:5 CT with a rating factor of 4. This is a distinct advantage over previous CTs because it increases their range of accuracy. The most common source of excess burden in a current measurement circuit is the conductor between the meter and the CT. Not to mention. substation meters are located significant distances from the meter cabinets and the excessive length of small gauge conductor creates a large resistance. Items that contribute to the burden of a current measurement circuit are switch blocks meters and intermediate conductors.

Zn. multiple CTs will be installed as a "stack" for various uses (for example. often in the presence of high voltages. Unlike CTs used for power circuitry. a 4000:5 CT would provide an output current of 5 amperes when the primary was passing 4000 amperes. One type of specially constructed wideband transformer provides a voltage output that is proportional to the measured current. Common secondaries are 1 or 5 amperes. the secondary winding connection points are typically labelled Xn. ii) Voltage transformers . with five taps being common for multi ratio CTs. Yn. Often.Current transformers (CTs) are commonly used in metering and protective relaying in the electrical power industry where they facilitate the safe measurement of large currents. the secondary connection points are labelled as 1s1. wideband CTs are rated in output volts per ampere of primary current. The secondary winding can be single ratio or multi ratio. as this will produce a dangerously high voltage across the open secondary and may permanently affect the accuracy of the transformer. 2s1. protection devices and revenue metering may use separate CTs). Specially constructed wideband current transformers are also used (usually with an oscilloscope) to measure waveforms of high frequency or pulsed currents within pulsed power systems. Care must be taken that the secondary of a current transformer is not disconnected from its load while current is flowing in the primary. The multi ratio CTs are typically used for current matching in current differential protective relaying applications. Current transformers are used extensively for measuring current and monitoring the operation of the power grid. For example. The current transformer safely isolates measurement and control circuitry from the high voltages typically present on the circuit being measured. The CT is typically described by its current ratio from primary to secondary. Current transformers are often constructed by passing a single primary turn (either an insulated cable or an uninsulated bus bar) through a well-insulated toroidal core wrapped with many turns of wire. 1s2. For a three-stacked CT application. 2s2 and so on. Another type (called a Rogowski coil) requires an external integrator in order to provide a voltage output that is proportional to the measured current. Typically.

Y3) may also be available on the same voltage transformer. X1.) are often referred to as polarity. often for matching logic drivers to transmission lines. The terminal identifications (H1. X2. used for metering and protection in high-voltage circuits. Small versions called signal types are used in digital logic and telecommunications circuits. Special high voltage pulse transformers are also used to generate high power pulses for . The high side (primary) may be connected phase to ground or phase to phase. Correct identification of terminals and wiring is essential for proper operation of metering and protection relays. Typically the secondary of a voltage transformer is rated for 69 or 120 Volts at rated primary voltage.5kV) or generation voltage (13. etc. They are designed to present negligible load to the supply being measured and to have a precise voltage ratio to accurately step down high voltages so that metering and protective relay equipment can be operated at a lower potential. Y1.2kV) meter packages. to match the input ratings of protection relays. Larger power versions are used in the electrical power distribution industry to interface low-voltage control circuitry to the high-voltage gates of power semiconductors. Y2. H2 (sometimes H0 if it is internally grounded) and X1. Sometimes a second isolated winding (Y1. At any instant terminals with the same suffix numeral have the same polarity and phase. iii) Pulse transformers A pulse transformer is a transformer that is optimised for transmitting rectangular electrical pulses (that is. The transformer winding high-voltage connection points are typically labelled as H1. Medium-sized power versions are used in power-control circuits such as camera flash controllers. or rework. For new. pulses with fast rise and fall times and a constant amplitude). and sometimes an X3 tap may be present. modern meters eliminate the need VTs for most secondary service voltages. VTs are typically only installed in primary voltage (typically 12. The low side (secondary) is usually phase to ground. meter packages.Voltage transformers (VTs) or potential transformers (PTs) are another type of instrument transformer. This applies to current transformers as well. While VTs were formerly used for all voltages greater than 240V primary.

a low coupling capacitance (between the primary and secondary) is important to protect the circuitry on the primary side from high-powered transients created by the load. v) Baluns Baluns are transformers designed specifically to connect between balanced and unbalanced circuits. wound around ferrite or other types of core. In power-type pulse transformers. the voltage-time integral) is often used to characterise pulse transformers. RF transformers sometimes used a third coil (called a tickler winding) to inject feedback into an earlier (detector) stage in antique regenerative radio receivers. and a high open-circuit inductance. high insulation resistance and high breakdown voltage are required. 1:4 or 1:2) can be achieved with this technique. This style of transformer gives an extremely wide bandwidth but only a limited number of ratios (such as 1:9. a pulse transformer needs to have low values of leakage inductance and distributed capacitance. These are sometimes made from configurations of transmission line and sometimes bifilar or coaxial . Generally speaking. transformers are sometimes made from configurations of transmission line. thereby raising its Q factor. the larger this product.radar. The cores of such transformers help improve performance at the lower frequency end of the band. To minimise distortion of the pulse shape. or other high energy pulsed power applications. For the same reason. The product of the peak pulse voltage and the duration of the pulse (or more accurately. sometimes bifilar or coaxial cable. iv) RF transformers (transmission line transformers) For radio frequency use. The core material increases the inductance dramatically. A good transient response is necessary to maintain the rectangular pulse shape at the secondary. because a pulse with slow edges would create switching losses in the power semiconductors. the larger and more expensive the transformer. particle accelerators.

but they were eliminated as designers discovered how to design amplifiers without them. high power handling increases the required core size. Good high-frequency response requires carefully designed and implemented windings without excessive leakage inductance or stray capacitance. vi) Audio transformers Audio transformers are usually the factor which limit sound quality. electronic circuits with wide frequency response and low distortion are relatively simple to design. A particularly critical component is the output transformer of an audio power amplifier. (The valves can deliver a low current at a high voltage. but an output transformer is needed to couple the relatively high impedance (up to a few hundred ohms depending upon configuration) of the output valve(s) to the low impedance of a loudspeaker. bass guitars) to enable them to be connected to a microphone input on the mixing console. All this makes for an expensive component.) Solid-state power amplifiers may need no output transformer at all. the speakers require high current at low voltage.cable and are similar to transmission line transformers in construction and operation. Valve circuits for quality reproduction have long been produced with no other (inter-stage) audio transformers. Early transistor audio power amplifiers often had output transformers. For good low-frequency response a relatively large iron core is required. Transformers are also used in DI boxes to convert impedance from high-impedance instruments (for example. vii) Speaker transformers .

g. This application is common in public address (e. ix) 'Interstage' and coupling transformers .. low-voltage output of the amplifier to the designed line voltage of the speaker circuit. a large audio transformer may be used to stepup the low impedance. the ability to adjust. The speaker transformers commonly have multiple primary taps. At the audio amplifier. locally. the volume of each speaker (without the complexity and power loss of an L pad) is a useful feature. a smaller transformer at each speaker returns the voltage and impedance to ordinary speaker levels. Then. In order for this to be amplified with a reasonable signal-noise ratio. Use of a constant-voltage speaker circuit means that there is no need to worry about the impedance presented to the amplifier output (which would clearly be too low if all of the speakers were arranged in parallel and would be too complex a design problem if the speakers were arranged in series-parallel). allowing the volume at each speaker to be adjusted in a number of discrete steps. viii) Small Signal transformers Moving coil phonograph cartridges produce a very small voltage. even with the use of small-gauge conductors (and leads to the term constant voltage as the line voltage doesn't change much as additional speakers are added to the system). speaker transformers allow many individual loudspeakers to be powered from a single audio circuit operated at higher-than normal speaker voltages. Such circuits are commonly referred to as constant voltage or 70 volt speaker circuits although the audio waveform is obviously a constantly changing voltage. Tannoy) applications. a transformer is usually used to convert the voltage to the range of the more common moving-magnet cartridges.In the same way that transformers are used to create high voltage power transmission circuits that minimize transmission losses. In addition. The use of higher transmission voltage and impedance means that power lost in the connecting wire is minimized.

 For regulating the secondary output of a constant voltage (or ferro-resonant).  Sliding transformers can pass power or signals from a stationary mounting to a moving part such as a machine tool head. or radar antenna. . and electronic circuits measure the different amplitudes of the currents in the secondaries.  Rotating transformers are designed so that one winding turns while the other remains stationary.  Small transformers are often used internally to couple different stages of radio receivers and audio amplifiers.  Large. in which a combination of core saturation and the resonance of a tank circuit prevents changes in the primary voltage from appearing on the secondary. specially constructed power transformers are used for electric arc furnaces used in steelmaking. See linear variable differential transformer. Uses of transformers  For supplying power from an alternating current power grid to equipment which uses a different voltage. See synchro and resolver. These can pass power or radio signals from a stationary mounting to a rotating mechanism.  Electric power transmission over long distances. Usually they have a single primary and two or more secondaries. Here two secondary windings wired in opposite polarities may be used to drive the output devices.  Some rotary transformers are used to couple signals between two parts which rotate in relation to each other.  A transformer-like device is used for position measurement. A common use was the video head system as used in VHS and Beta video tape players.A use for interstage transformers is in the case of push-pull amplifiers where an inverted signal is required.  Other rotary transformers are precisely constructed in order to measure distances or angles.

 Balanced-to-unbalanced conversion.7kHz.120kHz for high-resolution computer monitors. They supply high voltage to the CRTs at the frequency of the horizontal oscillator. A special type of transformer called a balun is used in radio and audio circuits to convert between balanced linecircuits and unbalanced transmission lines such as antenna downleads. this is about 15. In the case of television sets. The tiny cores found in wristwatch backlight power supplies produce audible sound (about 1 kHz).  Flyback transformers are built using ferrite cores. for example to match a microphone to an amplifier.  Switching power supply transformers usually operate between 30-1000 kHz. It may be as high as 75 . Transformers may be used as external accessories for impedance matching. .

. Step-up transformers A "step-up transformer" allows a device that requires a high voltage power supply to operate from a lower voltage source. at significant power levels.Types of transformers In general. and want to operate your 220VAC shaver off of the available 110 VAC.. The CRT display tube of your computer monitor requires thousands of volts.A.S. Limitations • • • • Transformers alone cannot do the following: Convert DC to AC or vice versa Change the voltage or current of DC Change the AC supply frequency. but must run off of 110 VAC from the wall. transformers are used for two purposes: signal matching and power supplies. Power Transformers Power transformers are used to convert from one voltage to another. Examples: • • You are a Swiss visiting the U. The transformer takes in the low voltage at a high current and puts out the high voltage at a low current.

usually germanium or silicon. Positive current flows in the direction of the arrow. Semiconductor diode can be very small. The semiconductor diode is far more common than the tube diode in modern electronic circuits. and still handle hundreds or even thousands of volta at several amperes. and the negative terminal is called Cathode. A diode consists of N-type semiconductor material. The schematic symbol for a semiconductor diode is shown at B. Electron movement is contrary to the arrow. Diode can be used for a wide variety of different purposes. under conditions of forward bias (conduction).Diode • A diode is a tube or semiconductor device. Electrons flow into the N-type material and out of the Pterminal. The older tube type diodes are much bulkier and less efficient than . and P-type material. The positive terminal of a • diode is called Anode. intended to pass current in only one direction.

the polarity of the output is constant. Some of the tube type diodes require a separate power supply for the purpose of heatihg a filament. for conversion of alternating current (AC) input into direct current (DC) output. .the semiconductor diodes. voltage regulators. Diode Bridge A diode bridge or bridge rectifier (occasionally called a Graetz bridge) is an arrangement of four diodes connected in a bridge circuit as shown below. it is known as a bridge rectifier. oscillators. When used in its most common application. The bridge recitifier provides full wave rectification from a two wire AC input (saving the cost of a center tapped transformer) but has two diode drops rather than one reducing efficiency over a center tap based design for the same output voltage. that provides the same polarity of output voltage for any polarity of the input voltage. switches. Schematic of a diode bridge • The essential feature of this arrangement is that for both polarities of the voltage at the bridge input. Semiconductor diodes are used for many different purposes in electronics. They can be used as amplifiers. frequency controllers. and in many other types of circuits. mixers.

Since this is true whether the input is AC or DC. That is.Basic operation • When the input connected at the left corner of the diamond is positive with respect to the one connected at the right hand corner. • In each case. current flows to the right along the upper colored path to the output. current flows along the upper colored path and returns to the supply via the lower colored path. • When the right hand corner is positive relative to the left hand corner. the upper right output remains positive with respect to the lower right one. and returns to the input supply via the lower one. it permits normal . this circuit not only produces DC power when supplied with AC power: it also can provide what is sometimes called "reverse polarity protection".

and the output is taken from the remaining two corners. such a bridge rectifier was always constructed from discrete components. a single four-terminal component containing the four diodes connected in the bridge configuration became a standard commercial component and is now available with various voltage and current ratings. Let us assume the transformer is working .functioning when batteries are installed backwards or DC inputpower supply wiring "has its wires crossed" (and protects the circuitry it powers against damage that might occur without this circuit in place). One complete cycle of operation will be discussed to help you understand how this circuit works. We have discussed transformers in previous modules in the NEETS series and will not go into their characteristics at this time. Since about 1950. How Bridge Rectifier works When four diodes are connected. • Prior to availability of integrated electronics. the circuit is called a BRIDGE RECTIFIER. The input to the circuit is applied to the diagonally opposite corners of the network.

this bridge rectifier is a full-wave rectifier. and back to point A. The negative potential at point B will forward bias D1 and reverse bias D2. . Waveforms (3) and (4) can be observed across D2 and D4. Current flow will now be from point A through D4. up through RL. At this time D3 and D1 are forward biased and will allow current flow to pass through them. Waveforms (1) and (2) can be observed across D1 and D3. forward biasing D2 and D4 and reverse biasing D1 and D3. The path for current flow is from point B through D1. through D2. through D3. This path is indicated by the solid arrows.properly and there is a positive potential at point A and a negative potential at point B. through the secondary of the transformer back to point B. up through RL. In flowing through RL this current develops a voltage corresponding to that shown in waveform (5). This path is indicated by the broken arrows. through the secondary of T1. You should have noted that the current flow through RL is always in the same direction. D4 and D2 are reverse biased and will block current flow. One-half cycle later the polarity across the secondary of the transformer reverses. The positive potential at point A will forward bias D3 and reverse bias D4. Since current flows through the load (RL) during both half cycles of the applied voltage.

Electrolytic Capacitor An electrolytic capacitor is a type of capacitor typically with a larger capacitance per unit volume than other types. It was largely responsible for the development of mainspowered radio receivers. fitted with pin connectors and placed in a cylindrical aluminium casing. The two most popular geometries are axial leads coming from the center of each circular . in rectifier output. This was not practical without the small volume and low cost of electrolytic capacitors. and especially in the absence of rechargeable batteries that can provide similar low-frequency current capacity. after it was rectified to power the radio tubes. where they store charge needed to moderate output voltage and current fluctuations. since it permitted the filtering of the 50-60 hertz power supplied to residences. This is especially the case in power-supply filters. Construction Aluminium electrolytic capacitors are constructed from two conducting aluminium foils. The foil insulated by the oxide layer is the anode while the liquid electrolyte and the second foil act as cathode. This stack is then rolled up. making them valuable in relatively high-current and low-frequency electrical circuits. The electrolytic capacitor was invented in 1921 by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld. They are also widely used as coupling capacitors in circuits where AC should be conducted but DC should not. the large value of the capacitance allows them to pass very low frequencies. and a paper spacer soaked in electrolyte. one of which is coated with an insulating oxide layer.

electrolytic capacitors have a voltage polarity requirement. This is necessary because a reverse-bias voltage will destroy the center layer of dielectric material via electrochemical reduction (see Redox reactions). Tantalum capacitors are more expensive than aluminum-based capacitors. The aluminum oxide layer can withstand an electric field strength of the order of 109 volts per metre. A constant forward bias is preferable. The correct polarity is indicated on the packaging by a stripe with minus signs and possibly arrowheads. thus they are popular in miniature applications such as cellular telephones. and if the short circuit current is excessive. and will increase the life of the capacitor. the layer of insulating aluminum oxide on the surface of the aluminum plate acts as the dielectric. Without the dielectric material the capacitor will short circuit.face of the cylinder. or two radial leads or lugs on one of the circular faces. and generally only usable at low voltage. denoting the adjacent terminal that should be more negative than the other. but circuits should be designed so that there is not a constant reverse bias for any significant amount of time. Polarity In aluminum electrolytic capacitors. Both of these are shown in the picture. but they will conduct significant current and not act as a very good capacitor. The combination of high capacitance and high voltage result in high energy density. . then the electrolyte will heat up and either leak or cause the capacitor to explode. Most will survive with no reverse DC bias or with only AC voltage. Modern capacitors have a safety valve on one circular face to vent the hot gas/liquid. but they have higher capacitance per unit volume and lower impedance at high frequencies. Unlike most capacitors. and it is the thinness of this layer that provides high capacitance. Electrolytics can withstand a reverse bias for a short period of time. but ruptures can still be dramatic.

risking significant personal injury. RESR must be as small as possible since it determines the loss power when the capacitor is used to smooth voltage. Some very old tantalum electrolytics.Safety The electrolyte is usually boric acid or sodium borate in aqueous solution together with various sugars or ethylene glycol which are added to retard evaporation. LESL the equivalent series inductance (L being the conventional symbol for inductance). however most of these have corroded away by now. Were this to happen the capacitor may self-distruct with spectacular and damaging results. Care should be taken to avoid ingestion of or eye contact with the electrolyte. when working with the electrolyte. It is important to follow safe working practice and to use appropriate protective equipment. RESR is the equivalent series resistance. Particular care needs to be taken with electrolytic capacitors in that the device should not be reverse-biased. notably gloves and safety glasses. often called "Wet-slug". Loss power scales quadratically with the ripple current flowing through and . contain the more hazardous sulfuric acid. connected to a circuit where the negative terminal voltage is more positive than the positive terminal voltage. Electrical behavior of electrolytics A common modeling circuit for an electrolytic capacitor has the following schematic: where Rleakage is the leakage resistance. i. and any areas of the body where skin contact has occurred should be washed in good time.e.

By multiplying these base numbers by a power of ten.7 or 6. 68. Low ESR capacitors are imperative for high efficiencies in power supplies. design life is most often rated in hours at a set temperature. Since the electrolytes evaporate. 4. reaching 15 years at 45 degrees. electrolytic capacitors are made to conform to a set of preferred numbers. Selection of the preferred series ensures that any capacitor can be sold as a standard value. 220. Design life doubles for each 10 degrees lower. Many conditions determine a capacitor's value. and so on.0. 15. Therefore. 1. Capacitance The capacitance value of any capacitor is a measure of the amount of electric charge stored per unit of potential difference between the plates.3. meaning that the manufacturer guarantees that the actual value of the capacitor lies within 20 % of its labeled value. 2. Using this method.5. 100. Values are generally in microfarads (µF). A standardized set of capacitor base numbers was devised so that the value of any modern electrolytic capacitor could be derived from multiplying one of the modern conventional base numbers 1. 22. For example. 47. In the manufacturing process. so microfarad and picofarad are more commonly used.1 to 4700 are common in most applications. however this unit is often too large for practical uses. within the tolerance.linearly with RESR. 33. typically as 2000 hours at 105 degrees Celsius (which is the highest working temperature). such as the thickness of the dielectric and the plate area. 3. which is suitable for most applications. it is common to find capacitors with values of 10. It should be pointed out that this is only a simple model and does not include all the effects associated with real electrolytic capacitors.2. Variants . any practical capacitor value can be achieved. Most electrolytic capacitors have a tolerance range of 20 %. values ranging from 0.8 by a power of ten. The basic unit of capacitance is a farad.

but maintaining the integrity of the dielectric usually requires the steady application of the correct polarity of direct current else the oxide layer will break down and rupture. causing the capacitor to fail. the dielectric in electrolytic capacitors depends on the formation and maintenance of a microscopic metal oxide layer. They contain corrosive liquid and can burst if the device is connected backwards. causing the capacitor to fail. For most purposes (such as power supply filtering and signal coupling). Compared to bulk dielectric capacitors.000. this very thin dielectric allows for much more capacitance in the same unit volume. An electrolytic capacitors come in several types: Aluminum electrolytic capacitor: compact but lossy.000 µF with working voltages up to several hundred volts DC. Over a long time. Bipolar electrolytics contain two capacitors connected in series opposition and are used for coupling AC signals. these are available in the range of <1 µF to 1. electrolytic capacitors generally use an internal wet chemistry and they will eventually fail as the water within the capacitor evaporates. The dielectric is a thin layer of aluminum oxide. Tantalum: . it is quite common to see an electrolytic capacitor specified as having a "guaranteed minimum value" and no upper bound on its value. this type of specification is acceptable. the liquid can dry out. Especially with aluminum electrolytics.Unlike capacitors that use a bulk dielectric made from an intrinsically insulating material. In addition. Electrolytic capacitance values are not as tightly-specified as with bulk dielectric capacitors.

The anode electrode is formed of a chemically deposited semi-conductive layer of manganese dioxide. these capacitors have an extremely high energy density. have very high capacitance values but low voltage ratings. further increasing the capacitor's energy density. The electrodes are made of activated carbon. NiO. also known as supercapacitors or ultracapacitors. which is then connected to an external wire lead. etc. Electrodes made by metal oxides store the charges by two mechanism: double layer effect. Smaller units (in the 0. The electrodes for EDLCS could also be made by transition metal oxides. The thin layer of oxide and high surface area of the porous sintered material gives this type a very high capacitance per unit volume.1 F – 10 F range) are frequently used instead of (or in addition to) batteries to supply standby power to memory circuits and clocks. RuO2. useful for electric vehicles and solar energy applications. the same . they are intolerant of voltage spikes and are destroyed (often exploding violently) if connected backwards or exposed to spikes above their voltage rating. with the dielectric electrochemically formed as a thin layer of oxide. For example. As the energy stored is inversely proportional to the thickness of the dielectric.7 V. Tantalum capacitors are also polarized because of their dissimilar electrodes. which has a high surface area per unit volume. A development of this type replaces the manganese dioxide with a conductive plastic polymer (polypyrrole) that reduces internal resistance and eliminates a selfignition failure. low-voltage devices up to about 100 µF. Electrolytic double-layer capacitors Electrolytic double-layer capacitors (EDLCs). rather than a manufactured sheet of material. Compared to aluminum electrolytics. They use a molecule-thin layer of electrolyte. unlike aluminum electrolytics. IrO2. Individual EDLCs can have capacitances of hundreds or even thousands of farads. However.compact. the Korean company NessCap offers units up to 5000 farads (5 kF) at 2. eg. and very low impedance at low frequencies. tantalum capacitors have very stable capacitance and little DC leakage. as the dielectric. The cathode electrode is formed of sintered tantalum grains. these have a lower energy density and are more accurate than aluminum electrolytics.

therefore. and pseudocapacitance. a voltmeter can be seen as a very high resistance ammeter. The moving coil galvanometer is one example of this type of voltmeter. For use as a voltmeter. up to thousands of farads. However. unlike conventional batteries which last for only a few hundred or thousand recharge cycles.with active carbon. One of the design objectives of the instrument is to disturb the circuit as little as possible and hence the instrument should draw a minimum of electric current to operate. EDLCs can be used as replacements for batteries in applications where a high discharge current is required. the galvanometer's indicator rotates and compresses a small spring. The voltage can be measured by allowing it to pass a current through a resistance. When an electrical current is applied. which can store more energy than double layer effects. Volt Meter A voltmeter is an instrument used for measuring the potential difference between two points in an electric circuit. a series resistance is added so that the angular rotation becomes proportional to the applied voltage. The angular rotation is proportional to the current that is flowing through the coil.g. Potentiometer . so a DC to DC converter may be used to maintain voltage and to make more of the energy stored in the capacitor usable. They can also be recharged hundreds of thousands of times. capacitor voltage drops faster than battery voltage during discharge. using carbon aerogel to attain immense electrode surface area. in electric vehicles. e. It employs a small coil of fine wire suspended in a strong magnetic field. This is achieved by using a sensitive ammeter or microammeter in series with a high resistance. Aerogel capacitors Aerogel capacitors. can attain huge values.

For more on circuit transformations. Then the wiper position is adjusted to change the potentiometer's effective resistance until a balance is obtained and no current is detected. One may also measure voltage using a potentiometer in the nullbalance method. The response of a VU meter (black line) compared to instantaneous input level (grey area) of a drum beat. for instance) and a "wiper" that can short-circuit any portion of the material. There are many implementations for null detectors. simple audio circuits that click to indicate voltage difference. Now replace the unknown voltage supply with the known voltage supply and repeat the procedure. At this time. VU meter A VU meter is often included in analog audio equipment to display a signal level in volume units. while the known voltage source is connected to an end terminal of the potentiometer. and transformed ammeters. if our potentiometer were a length of very long wire and our wiper were some sort of metal wand in contact with that wire. The potentiometer's resistance is changed at the wiper until the null detector shows zero voltage between the two circuits. including nanovolt-sensitive integrated circuits. which is in turn connected to the potentiometer's wiper. record the length of wire between the wiper and the end of the wiper that is in our circuit. record the potentiometer's wiper position. The unknown voltage is then given by the product of the known voltage and the recorded used length of wire corresponding to the unknown voltage. thereby changing effective resistance between the wiper and an end terminal of the potentiometer. as discussed at the top of this article. For example. divided by the recorded length of wire corresponding to the reference voltage. The unknown voltage source may be connected to a current detector.A voltmeter may also be realized using a potentiometer. Level is in dB and time is in seconds . note Thevenin's theorem and Norton's theorem. which is a length of uniform resistance material (wire or carbon film.

the Advent used only one meter. or either channel.5-1942.It is intentionally a "slow" measurement. averaging out peaks and troughs of short duration to reflect the perceived loudness of the material. meaning that if a constant sine wave of amplitude 0 VU is applied suddenly. and IEC 60268-17. and later LCD and fluorescent displays which are not subject to Newton's laws of motion to limit reaction time. for measuring and standardizing the levels of telephone lines. but this was never adopted by any other design. How to use a VU meter Tape and cassette decks typically used physical meters similar to needles on a compass. The behaviour of VU meters is defined in ANSI C16. The first high fidelity deck. and later arrays of them replaced mechanical meters. The needles would be "pegged" when they hit the physical pegs which stopped the maximum motion of the needle. . Most users ignore this and call it a VU meter. When LEDs were developed. 0 VU was defined: The reading of the volume indicator shall be 0 vu when it is connected to a 600-ohm resistance in which is flowing one milliwatt of sine-wave power at 1000 cycles per second The typical VU scale is from −20 to +3. The rise and fall times of the meter are both 300 milliseconds. The Nagra V. the meter will take 300 milliseconds to reach the 0 on the scale. and is not optimal for measuring peak levels. The instrument used to measure VU is called the volume indicator (VI) instrument. British Standard BS 6840. the latest digital version of a professional reel-to-reel recorder dating from the 1960s still uses analog meters. Computer recording software often emulates an array of LEDs. It was originally developed in 1939 by the combined effort of Bell Labs and broadcasters CBS and NBC. they were often used to indicate peak levels. which could be switched to average both channels. It behaves as a full-wave averaging instrument.

As a rule. and clipping effects can be especially severe for a digital recording system.Peak levels may be displayed in addition to the current level. If set too high. noise levels will be high. If the level is set too low. Systems tailored for voice often incorporate automatic level control. VCR's only rarely included VU meters when they provided a manual level control. recording levels should be set so that they do not exceed the red area beyond 0 VU or only rarely. the sound quality and frequency response is typically poorer at high recording levels. usually not defeatable in inexpensive recorders. which is typically required for recording live music rather than compressed television or radio broadcasts. .

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