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Voltage Transformer Basics

One of the main reasons that we use alternating AC voltages and currents in our homes and workplace's is that it can be easily generated at a convenient voltage, transformed into a much higher voltage and then distributed around the country using a national grid of cables over very long distances. The reason for this is that high distribution voltages implies lower currents and therefore lower losses. These high AC voltages and currents are then reduced to a much lower and safer voltage supply were it is needed in our homes and workplaces, all thanks to the basic Voltage Transformer.

A Typical Voltage Transformer The transformer is very simple static (or stationary) electro-magnetic passive electrical device that works on the principle of Faraday's law of induction. It does this by linking together two or more electrical circuits using a common oscillating magnetic circuit. A transformer operates on the principals of "electromagnetic induction", in the form of Mutual

Induction.

Mutual induction is the process by which a coil of wire magnetically induces a voltage into another coil located in close proximity to it. Then we can say that transformers work in the "magnetic domain", and transformers get their name from the fact that they "transform" one voltage or current level into another. Transformers are capable of either increasing or decreasing the voltage and current levels of their supply, without modifying its frequency, or the amount of electrical power being transferred from one winding to another via the magnetic circuit. A single phase voltage transformer basically consists of two electrical coils of wire, one called the "Primary Winding" and another called the "Secondary Winding" that are wrapped together around a closed magnetic iron circuit called a "core". This soft iron core is not solid but made up of individual laminations connected together to help reduce the core's losses. These two windings are electrically isolated from each other but are magnetically linked through the common core allowing electrical power to be transferred from one coil to the other. In other words, for a transformer there is no direct electrical connection between the two coil windings, thereby giving it the name also of an Isolation Transformer. Generally, the primary winding of a transformer is connected to the input voltage supply and converts or transforms the electrical power into a magnetic field. While the secondary winding converts this magnetic field into electrical power producing the required output voltage as shown.

Transformer Construction (single-phase)

Where:

    

VP VS

- is the Primary Voltage - is the Secondary Voltage

NP - is the Number of Primary Windings NS - is the Number of Secondary Windings Φ (phi) - is the Flux Linkage

Notice that the two coil windings are not electrically connected but are only linked magnetically. A single-phase transformer can operate to either increase or decrease the voltage applied to the primary winding. When a transformer is used to "increase" the voltage on its secondary winding with respect to the primary, it is called a Step-up transformer. When it is used to "decrease" the voltage on the secondary winding with respect to the primary it is called a Step-down transformer. However, a third condition exists in which a transformer produces the same voltage on its secondary as is applied to its primary winding. In other words, its output is identical with respect to voltage, current and power transferred. This type of transformer is called an "Impedance Transformer" and is mainly used for impedance matching or the isolation of adjoining electrical circuits. The difference in voltage between the primary and the secondary windings is achieved by changing the number of coil turns in the primary winding ( NP ) compared to the number of coil turns on the secondary winding ( NS ). As the transformer is a linear device, a ratio now exists between the number of turns of the primary coil divided by the number of turns of the secondary coil. This ratio, called the ratio of transformation, more commonly known as a transformers "turns ratio", ( on the secondary winding.

TR ). This turns ratio value dictates the operation of the transformer and the corresponding voltage available

It is necessary to know the ratio of the number of turns of wire on the primary winding compared to the secondary winding. The turns ratio, which has no units, compares the two windings in order and is written with a colon, such as 3:1 (3-to-1). This means in this example, that if there are 3 volts on the primary winding there will be 1 volt on the secondary winding, 3-to-1. Then we can see that if the ratio between the number of turns changes the resulting voltages must also change by the same ratio, and this is true. A transformer is all about "ratios", and the turns ratio of a given transformer will be the same as its voltage ratio. In other words for a transformer: "turns ratio = voltage ratio". The actual number of turns of wire on any winding is generally not important, just the turns ratio and this relationship is given as:

A Transformers Turns Ratio

Assuming an ideal transformer and the phase angles:

ΦP ≡ ΦS

Note that the order of the numbers when expressing a transformers turns ratio value is very important as the turns ratio 3:1expresses a very different transformer relationship and output voltage than one in which the turns ratio is given as:

1:3.

Example No1
A voltage transformer has 1500 turns of wire on its primary coil and 500 turns of wire for its secondary coil. What will be the turns ratio (TR) of the transformer.

This ratio of 3:1 (3-to-1) simply means that there are three primary windings for every one secondary winding. As the ratio moves from a larger number on the left to a smaller number on the right, the primary voltage is therefore stepped down in value as shown.

Example No2

If we want the primary coil to produce a stronger magnetic field to overcome the cores magnetic losses. by this current flow according to Faraday's Law of electromagnetic induction. Also this induced voltage has the same frequency as the primary winding voltage. The strength of the magnetic field builds up as the current flow rises from zero to its maximum value which is given as dΦ/dt. The product of amperes times turns is called the "ampere-turns". current flows through the coil which inturn sets up a magnetic field around itself.dΦ/dt (Faraday's Law). (step-down transformer) then the number of secondary windings must be less giving a turns ratio of N:1 (N-to-1). When an alternating voltage ( VP ) is applied to the primary coil. As a result. then the same number of coil turns must be wound onto the secondary core as there are on the primary core giving an even turns ratio of 1:1 (1-to-1). where N represents the turns ratio number. we can either send a larger current through the coil. what will be the resulting secondary no load voltage. called mutual inductance. they pass through the turns of the secondary winding. how is this secondary voltage produced? We have said previously that a transformer basically consists of two coils wound around a common soft iron core. This magnetic flux links the turns of both windings as it increases and decreases in opposite directions under the influence of the AC supply. When the magnetic lines of flux flow around the core. or keep the same current flowing. if it is required that the secondary voltage is to be lower or less than the primary. whereN is the number of coil turns. causing a voltage to be induced into the secondary coil. As the magnetic lines of force setup by this electromagnet expand outward from the coil the soft iron core forms a path for and concentrates the magnetic flux. . Then the main purpose of a transformer is to transform voltages and we can see that the primary winding has a set amount or number of windings (coils of wire) on it to suit the input voltage. the turns ratio. When current is reduced. Then we can see that the same voltage is induced in each coil turn of both windings because the same magnetic flux links the turns of both the windings together. The amount of voltage induced will be determined by: N. one coil turn on the secondary to one coil turn on the primary. which determines the magnetising force of the coil. the strength of the magnetic field induced into the soft iron core depends upon the amount of current and the number of turns in the winding. Likewise.If 240 volts are applied to the primary winding of the same transformer. the peak amplitude of the output voltage available on the secondary winding will be reduced if the magnetic losses of the core are high. (step-up transformer) then there must be more turns on the secondary giving a turns ratio of 1:N (1-to-N). However. the total induced voltage in each winding is directly proportional to the number of turns in that winding. the magnetic field strength reduces. If the output secondary voltage is to be greater or higher than the input voltage. affects the amount of voltage available from the secondary coil. But if the two windings are electrically isolated from each other. If the secondary output voltage is to be the same value as the input voltage on the primary winding. In other words. Again confirming that the transformer is a "step-down transformer as the primary voltage is 240 volts and the corresponding secondary voltage is lower at 80 volts. However. Transformer Action We have seen that the number of coil turns on the secondary winding compared to the primary winding. and instead increase the number of coil turns ( NP ) of the winding.

Thus the winding will draw a very high current from the DC supply causing it to overheat and eventually burn out. The maximum flux in the core. Φ . the inductive reactance of the winding would be zero as DC has no frequency. = ω/2π Ν . N will be the number of primary turns. Also please note that as transformers require an alternating magnetic flux to operate correctly. Φ given by: = Φmax sinωt. ( NS ). then the basic relationship between induced emf. ( NP ) and for the secondary winding emf. since the magnetic field must be changing to induce a voltage in the secondary winding.is the flux frequency in Hertz. assuming no losses. That is. As the magnetic flux varies sinusoidally. N will be the number of secondary turns. ( E ) in a coil winding of N turns is emf = turns x rate of change     Where: ƒ . each winding supports the same number of volts per turn.is the flux density in webers This is known as the Transformer EMF Equation. 50Hz is applied to the transformer primary winding. Transformers DO NOT Operate on DC Voltages. The maximum value of the magnetic flux density is 1. If a transformers primary winding was connected to a DC supply. because as we know I = V/R. . For the primary winding emf. In other words. enough current must flow and enough magnetic flux generated to induce one volt in the single turn of the secondary. Example No3 A single phase transformer has 480 turns on the primary winding and 90 turns on the secondary winding. so the effective impedance of the winding will therefore be very low and equal only to the resistance of the copper used. and only one turn in the secondary.is the number of coil windings.So assuming we have a transformer with a single turn in the primary. transformers cannot therefore be used to transform DC voltages or currents.1T when 2200 volts. If one volt is applied to the one turn of the primary coil. Calculate: a).

Thus. c). The secondary induced emf. or in larger units of Kilo Volt-amperes. Power in a Transformer . The cross-sectional area of the core.b). at the same frequency. current. it cannot step-up power. in an ideal transformer the Power Ratio is equal to one (unity) as the voltage. ( kVA ). they are constant wattage devices and do not change the power only the voltage to current ratio. In an ideal transformer (ignoring any losses). when a transformer steps-up a voltage. ( VA ). That is the electric power at one voltage/current level on the primary is "transformed" into electric power. it steps-down the current and vice-versa. the power available in the secondary winding will be the same as the power in the primary winding. ( V multiplied by the PP = PS ). Thus. Then we can say that primary power equals secondary power. Although the transformer can step-up (or step-down) voltage. so that the output power is always at the same value as the input power. I will remain constant. Power in a Transformer Transformers are rated in Volt-amperes. to the same voltage/current level on the secondary side.

Real transformers on the other hand are not 100% efficient and at full load. Both the primary and secondary coils are wrapped around a common soft iron core made of individual laminations to reduce eddy current and power losses. transformers do suffer from other types of losses called "copper losses" and "iron losses" but generally these are quite small. the efficiency may be as high as 98%. PP and is therefore high. The efficiency of a transformer is given as: PS to the power input of the primary Transformer Efficiency where: Input. while the load is connected to the secondary winding. If the voltage was increased by a factor of 10. the efficiency of a transformer is between 94% to 96% which is quiet good. that is: I R. increasing the voltage. 2 Transformer Efficiency A transformer does not require any moving parts to transfer energy. Note that since power loss is proportional to the square of the current being transmitted. The primary winding of the transformer is connected to the power source which must be sinusoidal in nature. Transformers Summary A Transformer consists of two electrically isolated coils and operates on Faraday's principal of "mutual induction". An ideal transformer is 100% efficient because it delivers all the energy it receives. For a transformer operating with a constant voltage and frequency with a very high capacity. This means that there are no friction or windage losses associated with other electrical machines. Output and Losses are all expressed in units of power.Where: ΦP is the primary phase angle and ΦS is the secondary phase angle.( ÷2 ) while delivering the same amount of power to the load and therefore reducing losses by factor of 4. The resulting efficiency of a transformer is equal to the ratio of the power output of the secondary winding. let's say doubling ( ×2 ) the voltage would decrease the current by the same amount. winding. in which an EMF is induced in the transformers secondary coil by the magnetic flux generated by the primary coil. the current would decrease by the same factor reducing overall losses by factor of 100. However. We can represent the transformer in block diagram form as follows: Basic Representation of the Transformer .

But note that a single-phase step down transformer can be used as a step up transformer by reversing its connections making the low voltage winding its primary.The ratio between the number of primary turns to the number of secondary turns is called the "turns ratio" or "transformer ratio". n < 1 the transformer is classed as a step-down transformer. if the ratio is less than unity. this arrangement of the two windings on separate limbs is not very efficient since the primary and secondary windings are well separated from each other. The efficiency of a simple transformer construction can be improved by bringing the two windings within close contact with each other thereby improving the magnetic coupling. Transformer Core Construction Generally. which is constantly being subjected to the alternating magnetic fields setup by the external sinusoidal supply voltage. Increasing and concentrating the magnetic circuit around the coils may improve the magnetic coupling between the two windings. The resistivity of the steel sheet itself is high reducing the eddy current losses by making the laminations very thin. In all types of transformer construction. The efficiency of a transformer is the ratio of the power it delivers to the load to the power it absorbs from the supply. This results in large amounts to a low magnetic coupling between the two windings as well as large amounts of magnetic flux leakage. n > 1 then NS is greater than NP and the transformer is classed as a step-up transformer. These steel laminations vary in thicknesses from between 0. cause heating and energy losses within the core decreasing the transformers efficiency. the primary and secondary windings are wound outside and surround the core ring. In the "closed-core" type (core form) transformer. which is necessary for induction of the voltage between the two windings. In the "shell type" (shell form) transformer. called "eddy currents". Circulating currents. the core is designed to prevent circulating electric currents within the iron core itself. of a Transformer and see the Transformer Construction The construction of a simple two-winding transformer consists of each winding being wound on a separate limb or core of the soft iron form which provides the necessary magnetic circuit. If the turns ratio is equal to unity. However. the laminations are electrically insulated from each other by a very thin coating of insulating varnish or by the use of an oxide layer on the surface. The two most common and basic designs of transformer construction are the Closed-core Transformer and the Shell-core Transformer. the name associated with the construction of a transformer is dependant upon how the primary and secondary windings are wound around the central laminated steel core. the primary and secondary windings pass inside the steel magnetic circuit (core) which forms a shell around the windings as shown below.5mm and as steel is a conductor. n = 1 then both the primary and secondary have the same number of windings and the transformer is classed as an isolation transformer. In the next tutorial to do with Transformer Basics. but it also has the effect of increasing the magnetic losses of the transformer core. One way to reduce these unwanted power losses is to construct the transformer core from thin steel laminations. Transformer Core Construction . As well as providing a low reluctance path for the magnetic field. These losses are due mainly to voltages induced in the iron circuit.25mm to 0. If this ratio is greater than unity. Both the primary and secondary windings of a transformer have the same number of volts per turn. This magnetic circuit. and vice versa. know more commonly as the "transformer core" is designed to provide a path for the magnetic field to flow around. But as well as this "O" shapes construction. the central iron core is constructed from of a highly permeable material made from thin silicon steel laminations assembled together to provide the required magnetic path with the minimum of losses. we will look at the physical Construction different magnetic core types and laminations used to support the primary and secondary windings. there are different types of Transformer Construction and designs available which are used to overcome these inefficiencies to produce a smaller more compact transformer.

For example. This means that the magnetic flux around the outer limbs is equal to Φ/2. Shell type transformer cores overcome this leakage flux as both the primary and secondary windings are wound on the same centre leg or limb which has twice the cross-sectional area of the two outer limbs. Transformer Core Types These lamination stampings when connected together form the required core shape. the magnetic flux linking the primary and secondary windings travels entirely within the core with no loss of magnetic flux through air. with this type of transformer construction. The coils are not arranged with the primary winding on one leg and the secondary on the other but instead half of the primary winding and half of the secondary winding are placed one over the other concentrically on each leg in order to increase magnetic coupling allowing practically all of the magnetic lines of force go through both the primary and secondary windings at the same time. The coils are firstly wound on a former which has a cylindrical.In both types of core design. this has the advantage of decreasing core losses and increasing overall efficiency. two "E" stampings plus two end . in order to mount the coil windings. and this is called "leakage flux". In both the shell and core type transformer constructions. However. "U's" and "I's" as shown below. Transformer Laminations But you may be wondering as to how the primary and secondary windings are wound around these laminated iron or steel cores. a small percentage of the magnetic lines of force flow outside of the core. In the core type transformer construction. The advantage here is that the magnetic flux has two closed magnetic paths to flow around external to the coils on both left and right hand sides before returning back to the central coils. "L's". the individual laminations are stamped or punched out from larger steel sheets and formed into strips of thin steel resembling the letters "E's". As the magnetic flux has a closed path around the coils. rectangular or oval type cross section to suit the construction of the laminated core. one half of each winding is wrapped around each leg (or limb) of the transformers magnetic circuit as shown above.

Sandwiched or "pancake" coils consist of flat conductors wound in a spiral form and are so named due to the arrangement of conductors into discs. Transformer core laminations are usually stacked alternately to each other to produce an overlapping joint with more lamination pairs being added to make up the correct core thickness. The two coil windings do have a distinct orientation of one with respect to . Helical Windings also known as screw windings are another very common cylindrical coil arrangement used in low voltage high current transformer applications. a larger cross sectional area of conductor must be used to carry the same amount of current as with copper so it is used mainly in larger power transformer applications. The downside is that when complete with their core. This alternate stacking of the laminations also gives the transformer the advantage of reduced flux leakage and iron losses. with suitable spacers inserted between adjacent turns or discs to minimize circulating currents between the parallel strands. Transformer Dot Orientation We can not just simply take a laminated core and wrap one of the coil configurations around it. Core-type Transformer Construction The type of wire used as the main current carrying conductor in a transformer winding is either copper or aluminum. The transformer oil acts as an insulator and also as a coolant. Transformer windings and coils can be broadly classified in to concentric coils and sandwiched coils. In larger power and distribution transformers the conductors are insulated from each other using oil impregnated paper or cloth. While aluminum wire is lighter and generally less expensive than copper wire. The coil progresses outwards as a helix resembling that of a corkscrew. This thin varnish or enamel paint is painted onto the wire before it is wound around the core. In a single-phase two winding transformer. Small kVA power and voltage transformers used in low voltage electrical and electronic circuits tend to use copper conductors as these have a higher mechanical strength and smaller conductor size than equivalent aluminium types. Transformer Winding Arrangements Transformer windings form another important part of the transformers construction as they are the current-carrying conductors wound around the laminated sections of the core. the windings are usually arranged concentrically around the core limb as shown above with the higher voltage primary winding being wound over the lower voltage secondary winding. two windings would be present as shown. These individual laminations are tightly butted together to reduce the reluctance of the air gap at the joints producing a highly saturated magnetic flux density. The whole core and windings is immersed and sealed in a protective tank containing transformer oil. Sandwich coils and windings are more common with shell type core construction. The windings are made up of large cross sectional rectangular conductors wound on its side with the insulated strands wound in parallel continuously along the length of the cylinder. The insulation used to prevent the conductors shorting together in a transformer is usually a thin layer of varnish or enamel in air cooled transformers. E-I core laminated construction is mostly used in isolation transformers. these transformers are much heavier. The one which is connected to the voltage source and creates the magnetic flux called the primary winding. and if the secondary voltage is greater then it is called a "step-up transformer". Alternate discs are made to spiral from outside towards the centre in an interleaved arrangement with individual coils being stacked together and separated by insulating materials such as paper of plastic sheet. If the secondary voltage is less than that of the primary the transformer is called a "step-down transformer". step-up and step-down transformers and auto transformers. and the second winding called the secondary in which a voltage is induced as a result of mutual induction. In core-type transformer construction.closing "I" stampings to give an E-I core forming one element of a standard shell-type transformer core. We could but we may find that the secondary voltage and current may be out-of-phase with that of the primary voltage and current.

Transformer Primary Tap Changes . the voltage across the secondary coil is also positive at the dotted end. Then a transformers windings are wound so that the correct phase relations exist between the winding voltages with the transformers polarity being defined as the relative polarity of the secondary voltage with respect to the primary voltage as shown below. In transformers which have a number of different secondary windings. The second transformer shows the two dots at opposite ends of the windings which means that the transformers primary and secondary coil windings are wound in opposite directions. Either coil could be wound around the core clockwise or anticlockwise so to keep track of their relative orientations "dots" are used to identify a given end of each winding. the voltage across the corresponding secondary coil will be negative. Then the construction of a transformer can be such that the secondary voltage may be either "in-phase" or "out-of-phase" with respect to the primary voltage. The tapping is preferred on the high voltage side as the volts per turn are lower than the low voltage secondary side. Thus the polarities of the voltages at the dotted ends are also in-phase so when the voltage is positive at the dotted end of the primary coil. Transformer Construction using Dot Orientation The first transformer shows its two "dots" side by side on the two windings. each of which is electrically isolated from each other it is important to know the dot polarity of the secondary windings so that they can be connected together in series-aiding (secondary voltage is summed) or seriesopposing (the secondary voltage is the difference) configurations. The result of this is that the current leaving the secondary dot is 180o "out-of-phase" with the current entering the primary dot. So the polarities of the voltages at the dotted ends are also out-of-phase so when the voltage is positive at the dotted end of the primary coil. This method of identifying the orientation or direction of a transformers windings is called the "dot convention". The current leaving the secondary dot is "in-phase" with the current entering the primary side dot.the other. The ability to adjust the turns ratio of a transformer is often desirable to compensate for the effects of variations in the primary supply voltage. Voltage control of the transformer is generally performed by changing the turns ratio and therefore its voltage ratio whereby a part of the primary winding on the high voltage side is tapped out allowing for easy adjustment. the regulation of the transformer or varying load conditions.

Some transformers may have two or more primary or two or more secondary windings for use in different applications providing different voltages from a single core.In this simple example. One termed "eddy current losses" and the other termed "hysteresis losses". two types of losses occur in the steel. when a magnetic flux flows in a transformers steel core. Most transformer cores are constructed from low carbon steels which can have permeabilities in the order of 1500 compared with just 1. but any value can be chosen. This means that a steel laminated core can carry a magnetic flux 1500 times better than that of air. However. the eddy currents induced by a solid iron core will be large. So reducing the supply frequency from 60 Hertz to 50 Hertz will raise the amount of hysteresis present. and this ability to allow magnetic flux to flow is called permeability. This molecular friction causes heat to be developed which represents an energy loss to the transformer. cooling of a transformer is important. Hysteresis Losses Transformer Hysteresis Losses are caused because of the friction of the molecules against the flow of the magnetic lines of force required to magnetise the core.0 for air. Lowering the frequency of the supply will result in increased hysteresis and higher temperature in the iron core. decreased the VA capacity of the transformer. which are constantly changing in value and direction first in one direction and then the other due to the influence of the sinusoidal supply voltage. Eddy currents do not contribute anything towards the usefulness of the transformer but instead they oppose the flow of the induced current by acting like a negative force generating resistive heating and power loss within the core. Excessive heat loss can overtime shorten the life of the insulating materials used in the manufacture of the windings and structures. Laminating the Iron Core . the primary tap changes are calculated for a supply voltage change of ±5%. Transformer Core Losses The ability of iron or steel to carry magnetic flux is much greater than it is in air. Therefore. transformers are designed to operate at a particular supply frequency. These circulating currents are generated because to the magnetic flux the core is acting like a single loop of wire. Since the iron core is a good conductor. Also. Eddy Current Losses Transformer Eddy Current Losses on the other hand are caused by the flow of circulating currents induced into the steel caused by the flow of the magnetic flux around the core.

The losses of energy. and it is for this reason why the magnetic iron circuit of every transformer and other electro-magnetic machines are all laminated. Transformer core losses are always present in a transformer whenever the primary is energized.Eddy current losses within a transformer core can not be eliminated completely. With the secondary circuit open. is known commonly as "transformer core losses". Transformer Loading In the previous transformer tutorials. A transformer is said to be on "no-load" when its secondary side winding is open circuited. a small current. However. When an AC sinusoidal supply is connected to the primary winding of a transformer. which appears as heat due both to hysteresis and to eddy currents in the magnetic path. Consider the circuit below. Laminations reduce eddy current losses. nothing connected. But what do we mean by: Transformer Loading. This resistance opposes the magnetising currents flowing through them. ( Ω ). Most transformer coils are made from copper wire which has resistance in Ohms. Then we can define an ideal transformer as having: 2    1. this no-load primary current ( Io ) must be sufficient to maintain enough magnetic field to produce the required back emf. Eddy Current Losses But there is also another type of energy loss associated with transformers called "copper losses". Obviously. The result of all this insulation is that the unwanted induced eddy current power-loss in the core is greatly reduced. electrical energy and power ( or the I R ) losses occur as heat. Laminations are very thin strips of insulated metal joined together to produce a solid but laminated core as we saw above. but they can be greatly reduced and controlled by reducing the thickness of the steel core. Zero winding resistance giving zero I 2 →0 →0 2. we have assumed that the transformer is ideal. Instead of having one big solid iron core as the magnetic core material of the transformer or coil. Transformers with high voltage and current ratings require conductors of large crosssection to help minimise their copper losses. When a load is connected to the transformers secondary winding. that is without a secondary current flowing. Also these hysteresis and the eddy current losses are sometimes referred to as "transformer iron losses". in real transformers there will always be losses associated with the transformer loading as the transformer is put "on-load". large electrical currents flow in both the primary and the secondary windings. that is one in which there are no core losses or copper losses in the windings. as the magnetic flux causing these losses is constant at all loads. the magnetic path is split up into many thin pressed steel shapes called "laminations". being almost zero at no-load. and at a maximum at full-load when current flow is at maximum. Transformer Copper Losses are mainly due to the electrical resistance of the primary and secondary windings. These laminations are insulated from each other by a coat of varnish or paper to increase the effective resistivity of the core thereby increasing the overall resistance to limit the flow of the eddy currents. Infinite Resistivity of core material giving zero Eddy current losses R copper losses → 0 In the next tutorial about Transformers we will look at Transformer Loading of the secondary winding with respect to an electrical load and see the effect a "NO-load" and a "ON-load" connected transformer has on the primary winding current. Since these losses occur in all magnetic materials as a result of alternating magnetic fields. in other words. even if no load is connected to the secondary winding. No Hysteresis loops or Hysteresis losses 3. the transformer loading is zero. Transformer "No-load" . a back EMF along with the primary winding resistance acts to limit the flow of this primary current. IOPENwill flow through the primary coil winding due to the presence of the primary supply voltage. Generally copper losses vary with the load current. Well first let's look at when the transformer is in a "no-load" condition.

IM at 90o to the voltage which sets up the magnetic flux. Calculate the no-load current. Note that this no-load primary current. ( cosφ = 0 ). there will be some small phase angle difference. This no-load primary current is made up of the following two components:   1). IE of 2 Amps and a magnetising component. IM of 5 Amps. Io and resulting power factor. . IE which supplies the core losses (eddy current and hysteresis). Io does not lag behind the supply voltage. Example No1 A single phase transformer has an energy component.The ammeter above will indicate a small current flowing through the primary winding even though the secondary circuit is open circuited. Io is very small compared to the transformers normal full-load current. Also due to the iron losses present in the core as well as a small amount of copper losses in the primary winding. Vp by exactly 90o. 2). A current. An in-phase current.

creates a secondary magnetic field.Transformer On-load When an electrical load is connected to the secondary winding of a transformer and the transformer loading is therefore greater than zero. Consider the circuit below. and for a transformer to operate correctly. set up by the magnetic flux created in the core from the primary current. These two magnetic fields oppose each other resulting in a combined magnetic field of less magnetic strength than the single field produced by the primary winding alone when the secondary circuit was open circuited. ΦS in the transformer core which Transformer "On-load" . a current flows in the secondary winding due to the induced secondary voltage. This results in the power to be balanced and the same on both the primary and secondary sides. IP to increase slightly. ΦP. a balanced condition must always exist between the primary and secondary magnetic fields. This secondary current. The primary current continues to increase until the cores magnetic field is back at its original strength. flows in the exact opposite direction to the main primary field. This combined magnetic field reduces the back EMF of the primary winding causing the primary current. IS which is determined by the characteristics of the load.

lower current or lower voltage -. I1 as a result of the secondary transformer loading and which lags behind the supply voltage by an angle of diagram. Therefore: But we also know previously that the voltage ratio of a transformer is equal to the turns ratio of a transformer as: "voltage ratio = turns ratio".higher current. Then the relationship between the voltage. the current must be stepped down and vice versa. current and number of turns in a transformer can be linked together and is therefore given as: Transformer Ratio    Where: NP/NS = VP/VS . This means that to maintain a balanced power level across the transformers windings.represents the current ratio Note that the current is inversely proportional to both the voltage and the number of turns.represents the voltage ratio NP/NS = IS/IP . We can show this relationship as a phasor Transformer Loading Current . higher voltage -.We know that the turns ratio of a transformer states that the total induced voltage in each winding is proportional to the number of turns in that winding and also that the power output and power input of a transformer is equal to the volts times amperes. The total current drawn from the supply by the primary winding is the vector sum of the no-load current. ( V x I ). Io and the additional supply current. Φ. In other words. if the voltage is stepped up.

φ when the secondary current supplying a load is 280 Amperes at 0. . The transformers "no-load" current taken from the supply is 3 Amps at a power factor of 0. Example No2 A single phase transformer has 1000 turns on its primary winding and 200 turns on its secondary winding.If we are given currents.2 lagging. Calculate the primary winding current.8 lagging. IPand its corresponding power factor. we can calculate the primary current. IS and Io. IP by the following methods.

You may have noticed that the phase angle of the primary current. These internal impedances are given as: . φS. This is due to the fact that the no-load current of 3 amperes is very small compared to the larger 56 amperes drawn by the primary winding from the supply. transformer windings have impedances of XL and R. Actual real life. The internal impedances are due to the resistance of the windings and an inductance drop called the leakage reactance resulting from the leakage flux. φP is very nearly the same as that of the secondary current phase angle. These impedances need to be taken into account when drawing the phasor diagrams as these internal impedances cause voltage drops to occur within the transformers windings.

This applies to the load resistance and reactance as well. it can be more convenient if all these impedances are on the same side of the transformer to make the calculations easier. Voltage Regulation The voltage regulation of a transformer is defined as the change in secondary terminal voltage when the transformer loading is at its maximum.So the primary and secondary windings of a transformer possess both resistance and reactance. The combined values of R and L impedances are called "Referred Impedances" or "Referred Values". we must first multiply them by the square of the turns ratio. Regulation determines the voltage drop (or increase) that occurs inside the transformer as the load voltage becomes too low and therefore affects its performance and efficiency. fullload applied while the primary supply voltage is held constant. Voltage regulation is expressed as a percentage (or per unit) of the no-load voltage. It is possible to move the primary impedances to the secondary side or the secondary impedances to the primary side. So for example.e. R and XL in our calculations as Combining Transformer Impedances In order to move a resistance from one side of the transformer to the other. 2 2Ω from one side to the other in a transformer that has a turns ratio of 8:1 will have a Note that if you move a resistance from a higher voltage side the new resistance value will increase and if you move the resistance from a lower voltage side its new value will decrease. i. Then if Erepresents the no-load secondary voltage and V represents the full-load secondary voltage. The object here is to group together the impedances within the transformer and have just one value of shown. ( Turns Ratio2 ) in our calculations. to move a resistance of new resistive value of: 2 x 8 = 128Ω's. the percentage regulation of a transformer is given as: . Sometimes.

R and more significantly its AC reactance X. that is with the no-load voltage as reference. The principal of operation of a multiple winding transformer is no different from that of an ordinary transformer. each individual winding of a multiple winding transformer supports the same number of volts per turn. therefore the volt-ampere product in each winding is the same. = VP/VS with any turns ratio between the individual coil In electronic circuits. when we connect them together. Transformers which have more than one winding are known commonly as Multiple Winding Transformers. hence their name. or a combination of both between the various windings. Also voltage regulation generally increases as the power factor of the load becomes more lagging (inductive). As transformers operate on the principal of mutual induction. on a common laminated core. the dot convention marking the positive (or negative) polarity of the winding. Multiple Winding Transformer . (multiwinding. So a transformer may have a number of different secondary windings. In the next tutorial about Transformers we will look at the Multiple Winding Transformer which has more than one primary winding or more than one secondary winding and see how we can connect two or more secondary windings together in order to supply more voltage or more current to the connected load. Primary and secondary voltages. Multiple Winding Transformers Thus far we have looked at transformers which have one single primary winding and one single secondary winding. currents and turns ratios are all calculated the same. A typical application of multiple winding transformers is in power supplies and triac switching converters. step-down. Multiple winding transformers. In fact a multi-winding transformer can have several secondary windings. Then each of the secondary coils will produce a voltage that is proportional to its number of coil turns for example. Voltage regulation with regards to the transformer loading can be either positive or negative in value. that is NP/NS windings being relative to the primary supply. This is because the shell type transformer has better flux distribution due to the interlacing of the coil windings. They can be either a single-phase transformer or a three-phase transformer. the change down in regulation as the load is applied. multi-phase transformer) the operation is the same. The value of the phase angle. the regulation of the core type transformer is not as good as the shell type transformer.EV will depend upon the internal impedance of the winding which includes its resistance. or with the full-load as reference and the change up in regulation as the load is reduced or removed. Multiple winding transformers can also provide either step-up. the regulation would be 5%. each of which is electrically isolated from the others. contain more than one primary or more than one secondary coil. one transformer is often used to supply a variety of lower voltage levels for different components in the electronic circuitry. But the beauty of transformers is that they allow us to have more than just one winding in either the primary or secondary side. a transformer delivers 100 volts at no-load and the voltage drops to 95 volts at full load. also known as a multi-coil transformer or multi-winding transformer. the current and So for example. each providing a different voltage level. In general. the difference this time is that we need to pay special attention to the voltage polarities of each coil winding. just as it is electrically isolated from the primary.

That is there current and voltage ratings are the same. These types of multiple winding transformers are more commonly called Dual Voltage Transformers as shown. The transformer must be connected so that each primary winding receives the proper voltage. therefore. . If connected improperly. Then for example. These transformers are designed so that they can be used in a variety of applications with the windings connected together in either a series or parallel combinations for higher primary voltages or secondary currents. and the secondary windings can be connected together in various configurations producing a higher voltage or current supply. Dual Voltage Transformers There are a number or multiple winding transformers available which have two primary windings of identical voltage and current ratings and two secondary windings also with identical voltage and current ratings. rated at 120V. To achieve this. it is possible to create a dead short that will usually destroy the transformer when it is energized.Above shows an example of a multiple winding transformer supplying a number of different secondary voltage levels. We said previously that dual voltage transformers can be connected to operate from power supplies of different voltage levels. and each secondary winding is rated at 12V. Dual Primary & Dual Secondary Transformer. each of the two primary windings is. It must be noted that connecting together transformer windings is only possible if the two windings are electrically identical. four in total. Here the transformer has two primary windings and two secondary windings. lets say that the primary winding could have a voltage rating of 240/120V on the primary and 12/24V on the secondary. hence their name "dual voltage transformers". The connections to the primary or secondary windings must be made correctly with dual voltage transformers. The primary windings can be connected together to operate the transformer from a higher supply voltage. Consider the circuit below.

Consider the parallel connected transformer below. Then for a series connected secondary. In this example. therefore the secondary terminal voltage will be the same at 12 Volts but the current adds. Center Tapped Transformers . then the secondary current is the same at 2. the two secondary windings are rated at 12V. 2.5A each are connected in series with the secondary terminal voltage being the sum of the two individual winding voltages giving 24 Volts. the output in our example above is rated at 24 Volts.5 Amps. For example connecting two secondary windings together in opposite dot-orientation will cause the two magnetic flux's to cancel each other out resulting in zero output. As before.0 Amps. is dropped across each winding. the output in our example above is rated at 12 Volts. 2. Of course different dual voltage transformers will produce different amounts of secondary voltage and current but the principal is the same. Another type of dual voltage transformer which has only one secondary winding that is "tapped" at its electrical center point is called the Center-tap Transformer. Parallel Connected Secondary Transformer. As the two windings are connected in series. Secondary windings must be correctly connected together to produce the required voltage or current output. the same amount of current flows through each winding. Here we have kept the two primary windings the same but the two secondary windings are now connected in a parallel combination.5A each.Series Connected Secondary Transformer. half the supply voltage. The two secondary windings rated at 12V. 5. the two 120V rated primary windings are connected together in series across a 240V supply as the two windings are identical.5 Amps. Then for a parallel connected secondary. 2. Dot orientation is used on the windings to indicate the terminals that have the same phase relationship. namely 120V.

The voltages produced across each of the secondary winding is determined by the turns ratio as shown. We can also produce a center-tap transformer using the dual voltage transformer from above. or have their secondary windings connected together in series to produce a center tapped transformer. the output VA will be positive in nature with respect to the ground. Autotransformers work and see that they have only one main primary . we can use the center link as the tap as shown. V. Center-tap Transformer Above shows a typical center-tap transformer. VA and VB with a common connection. Have their windings connected together in series or parallel combinations to provide higher voltages or currents. that is they are 180o electrical degrees out-of-phase with each other. If the output from each secondary is to 2V as shown. They can be used to supply different secondary voltages to different loads. In the next tutorial about Transformers we will look at how winding and no separate secondary winding. there is one disadvantage of using an un-grounded center tapped transformer and that is it can produce unbalanced voltages in the two secondary windings due to unsymmetrical currents flowing in the common third connection because of unbalanced loads. VB will be negative and opposite in nature. therefore power in each winding is the same.A center-tap transformer is designed to provide two separate secondary voltages. However. 3-wire supply. This type of transformer configuration produces a two-phase. VP. the total output voltage for the secondary winding will be equal Center-tap Transformer using a Dual Voltage Transformer Multiple Winding Transformers have many uses in electrical and electronic circuits. The tapping point is in the exact center of the secondary winding providing a common connection for two equal but opposite secondary voltages. while the voltage at the other secondary. With the center-tap grounded. The secondary voltages are the same and proportional to the supply voltage. By connecting the secondary windings in series.