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Electrical Transformers: Function, Structure & More

While you may have seen an electrical transformer – do you know every single part of it? Besides powering a majority of your equipment within your workplace or factory, there’s a lot more to learn about it.

For instance, when you compare it to transformers designed for home purposes – they’re completely different. Huge factory machines require way more energy, specifically a high amount of voltage. Typically, they will approximately need about 10,000 to 30,000 volts.

However, that’s not all there is to it about transformers. Through this article, we’ll help you understand everything you need to know regarding them.

What is it?

Basically, an electrical transformer transmits electricity from one point to another, specifically high voltages to low voltages and the other way round.

In today’s generation, they are made in a way to utilise alternating current (AC) supply, which implies that a change in supply voltage is affected by the change in the current. This means that a rise in current will increase the voltage.

All in all, transformers are able to enhance the efficiency of power systems and improve safety by increasing and decreasing voltages levels whenever required.

The structure of a transformer

There are three crucial parts of an electrical transformer – primary winding, secondary winding and a magnetic core.

The main winding is fixed to a power source, from where magnetic flux is first created. Both coils and the steel core are insulated from each other. There may also be a container within the transformer for core assembly (also known as tank) and winding, appropriate bushings to remove the terminals, oil conservator to supply oil in the tank for cooling reasons and so on.

When it comes to any type of transformer, the core is built by stacking laminated sheets of steel, ensuring little to no air-gap between each sheet so there is a continuous magnetic path.

How it works

Electricity goes in from one side through wires wrapped several times around the electrical transformer and exits from the other side. The electricity which enters produces a magnetic field within the transformer, which afterwards creates an electric field in other wires – finally taking the power away from the transformer.

But when it comes to the world of Physics, a transformer operates by making use of Faraday’s law, which implies that the number of turns in the following coils is equivalent to the voltage ratio of both coils.

Hence, if the lesser voltage is needed at a transformer, the other (ouggoing) coil comprises lesser turns than the main (incoming)  oil.

How a transformer should always operate

An ideal transformer should have perfectly sinusoidal exciting current, perfect coupling (zero leakage inductance), excellent voltage regulation, zero eddy current losses or hysteresis, with a thick wire strong enough to withstand any current amount.

However, the only way to achieve such a transformer is for it to be extremely heavy and large. So, when it comes to transformer design, compromises have to be done instead.

Moreover, where high voltages are concerned, winding conductor insulation can be a problem as they are frequently in step-down and step-up power distribution transformers. Windings have to be both well-insulated from the iron core and adequately insulated from the other for it to ensure electrical isolation between windings.

Once you notice that your transformer is not meeting any of the above-mentioned criteria, you might want to look for a power transformer rewinding service to detect the issue and resolve it. After all, it is necessary if you want your equipment to be operating at maximum efficiency at all times.

Regardless of whether you intend to do an electrical transformer or Cummins generator installation in Singapore, the bottom line is to understand the equipment completely.

In this case, knowing how your transformer works and what it really is will let you know it better. In turn, you’ll know when is the right time to get servicing, an upgrade or a replacement.