Transformers are a crucial electrical device allowing the transfer of electricity. That might sound straightforward, but it’s more complicated than it seems.
There are many different types of transformers. They vary by construction and usage. For instance, there are distribution transformers and instrument transformers.
The most common type of transformer you’re likely to come across is a power transformer. Read on to learn more about this important piece of electrical equipment!
Transformers and Voltage
The first thing to know about transformers is their relationship to voltage. Voltage is a measure of electrical pressure. It’s what forces energy to move where it needs to go.
Voltage is important when discussing transformers because transformers change voltage. Transformers affect voltage in one of two ways.
Step-up transformers take low voltage and convert it into high voltage. Step-down transformers do the opposite. They take a high primary voltage and convert it to low voltage.
Transformers are so important because they ensure that devices aren’t overloaded or underpowered. They do this by maintaining a proper voltage level. Different devices (and different countries) use different voltages.
Types of Transformers
There are many kinds of power transformers. The main difference lies in their construction.
One of the major aspects of a transformer is its core. The core alters the voltage of electricity that passes through it. Different cores can yield different results.
One of the most common types of core is the iron core. Iron core transformers are very efficient. This is due to the magnetic properties of iron, which make it ideal for use in a transformer.
Ferrite cores are also common, especially in electronics. Another metal with useful magnetic properties, ferrite cores are great for high-frequency applications.
Iron and ferrite cores are usually shaped like an ‘E’ or an ‘L’. There’s also a kind of circular transformer called a toroidal transformer. Toroidal transformers are smaller than others, without sacrificing efficiency.
Less common than any of these are air core transformers. Air core transformers don’t have any material at their core. They rely on magnetic fields to transfer power.
Air cores are not very efficient. They’re most useful for small, portable devices. They also allow for things like wireless charging!
Dry vs. Oil-Immersed
There’s something else to think about when choosing a power transformer: do you want a dry or oil-immersed transformer?
Dry transformers are often air-cooled. They are larger than oil-immersed transformers, and often they aren’t quite as efficient.
There are other benefits to dry power transformers. For example, Oil-immersed transformers might spill or leak. Dry transformers don’t need to worry about that!
Oil-immersed transformers are smaller and more efficient. They also need more upkeep, though.
Modern advances have led to the creation of better, less environmentally dangerous oils. This means that oil-immersed transformers are greener than ever.
Knowledge is Power
There’s a lot to consider when picking out a power transformer. Understanding the different types of transformers is key.
Knowing more about transformers helps you maximize the efficiency of your electrical equipment. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your power transformer!