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Autotransformer Connection Explained


Hig h e ffic ie nc y auto trans fo rme r with 6% , 4% , 2% tap s e tting s (p ho to b y Le g e nd Po we r)

Autotransf ormer Connection

An Ordinary Transf ormer consists of two windings called primary winding and secondary winding. T hese two windings are magnetically coupled and electrically isolated. But the transf ormer in which a part of windings is common to both primary and secondary is called Autotransformer. In Autotransf ormer two windings are not only magnetically coupled but also electrically coupled. T he input to the transf ormer is constant but the output can be varied by varying the tapings. T he autotransf ormer is both the most simple and the most f ascinating of the connections involving two windings. It is used quite extensively in bulk power transmission systems because of its ability to multiply the ef f ective KVA capacity of a transf ormer. Autotransf ormers are also used on radial distribution f eeder circuits as voltage regulators. T he connection is shown in Figure 1 below.

T he primary and secondary windings of a two winding transf ormer have induced emf in them due to a common mutual f lux and hence are in phase. T he currents drawn by these two windings are out of phase by 180. T his prompted the use of a part of the primary as secondary. T his is equivalent to common the secondary turns into primary turns. T he common section need to have a cross sectional area of the conductor to carry (I2I1) ampere. Total number of turns between A and C are T1. At point B a connection is taken. Section AB has T 2 turns. As the volts per turn, which is proportional to the f lux in the machine, is the same f or the whole winding, V1 : V2 = T1 : T2
Fig ure 1 - Bo o s ting auto trans fo rme r c o nne c tio n

When the secondary winding delivers a load current of I2 Ampere the demagnetizing ampere turns is I2T2. T his will be countered by a current I1 f lowing f rom the source through the T 1 turns such that, I1T1 = I2T2 A current of I1 ampere f lows through the winding between B and C. T he current in the winding between A and B is ( I2 I1 ) ampere. T he cross section of the wire to be selected f or AB is proportional to this current assuming a constant current density f or the whole winding. T hus some amount of material saving can be achieved compared to a two winding transf ormer. T he magnetic circuit is assumed to be identical and hence there is no saving in the same. To quantif y the saving the total quantity of copper used in an autotransf ormer is expressed as a f raction of that used in a two winding transf ormer as: Copper in autotransf ormer / copper in two winding transf ormer = ( ( T1 T2 ) I1 + T2 ( I2 I1 ) ) / T1I1 + T2I2 Copper in autotransf ormer / copper in two winding transf ormer = 1 ( 2T2I1 / ( T1I1 + T2I2 ) ) But T1I1 = T2I2 so, T he Ratio = 1 ( 2T2I1 / 2T1I1 ) = 1 ( T2/T1 ) T his means that an autotransformer requires the use of lesser quantity of copper given by the ratio of turns. T his ratio therefore the savings in copper . As the space f or the second winding need not be there, the window space can be less f or an autotransf ormer, giving some saving in the lamination weight also. T he larger the ratio of the voltages, smaller is the savings. As T2 approaches T1 the savings become signif icant. T hus autotransf ormers become ideal choice f or close ratio transf ormations.

T he autotransf ormer shown in Figure 2 above is connected as a boosting autotransf ormer because the series winding boosts the output voltage. Care must be exercised when discussing primary and secondary voltages in relationship to windings in an autotransf ormer. In two-winding transf ormers, the primary voltage is associated with the primary winding, the secondary voltage is associated with the secondary winding, and the primary voltage is normally considered to be greater than the Fig ure 2 - Clo s e ratio trans fo rmatio ns secondary voltage. In the case of a boosting autotransf ormer, however, the primary (or high) voltage is associated with the series winding, and the secondary (or low) voltage is associated with the common winding; but the voltage across the common winding is higher than across the series winding.

Limitation of the autotransf ormer

One of the limitations of the autotransf ormer connection is that not all types of three-phase connections are possible. For example, the -Y and Y- connections are not possible using the autotransf ormer. T he Y-Y connection must share a common neutral between the high-voltage and low-voltage windings, so the neutrals of the circuits connected to these windings cannot be isolated. A autotransformer connection is theoretically possible; however, this will create a peculiar phase shif t. T he phase shif t is a f unction of the ratio of the primary to secondary voltages and it can be calculated f rom the vector diagram. T his phase shif t cannot be changed or eliminated and f or this reason, autotransf ormers are very seldom connected as transf ormers.

Advant ages of t he aut ot ransf ormer

1. T here are considerable savings in size and weight. 2. T here are decreased losses f or a given KVA capacity. 3. Using an autotransf ormer connection provides an opportunity f or achieving lower series impedances and better regulation. Its ef f iciency is more when compared with the conventional one. 4. Its size is relatively very smaller. 5. Voltage regulation of autotransf ormer is much better. 6. Lower cost 7. Low requirements of excitation current. 8. Less copper is used in its design and construction. 9. In conventional transf ormer the voltage step up or step down value is f ixed while in autotransf ormer, we can vary the output voltage as per out requirements and can smoothly increase or decrease its value as per our requirement.

Disadvant ages of t he aut ot ransf ormer

1. T he autotransf ormer connection is not available with certain three-phase connections. 2. Higher (and possibly more damaging) short-circuit currents can result f rom a lower series impedance. 3. Short circuits can impress voltages signif icantly higher than operating voltages across the windings of an autotransf ormer. 4. For the same voltage surge at the line terminals, the impressed and induced voltages are greater f or an autotransf ormer than f or a two-winding transf ormer. 5. Autotransf ormer consists of a single winding around an iron core, which creates a change in voltage f rom one end to the other. In other words, the self -inductance of the winding around the core changes the voltage potential, but there is no isolation of the high and low voltage ends of the winding. So any noise or other voltage anomaly coming in on one side is passed through to the other. For that reason, Autotransf ormers are typically only used where there is already some sort of f iltering or conditioning ahead of it, as in electronic applications, or the downstream device is unaf f ected by those anomalies, such as an AC motor during starting.

Applicat ion
Used in both Synchronous motors and induction motors. Used in electrical apparatus testing labs since the voltage can be smoothly and continuously varied. T hey f ind application as boosters in AC f eeders to increase the voltage levels.

Used in HV Subst at ion due t o f ollowing reasons:

1. If we use normal transf ormer the size of transf ormer will be very high which leads to heavy weight, more copper and high cost. 2. T he tertiary winding used in Autotransf ormer balances single phase unbalanced loads connected to secondary and it does not pass on these unbalanced currents to Primary side. Hence Harmonics and voltage unbalance are eliminated. 3. Tertiary winding in the Autotransf ormer balances amp turns so that Autotransf ormer achieves magnetic separation like two winding transf ormers.