What is a Transformer?
By definition, a transformer is an electromagnetic device that is used to transfer electrical energy from one circuit to another without changing the frequency. Transformers are highly efficient than those of centuries ago, and all the transmission and distribution systems are highly depended on transformers. The main purpose of a transformer is to alter the voltage of Alternating Current (AC) supply. A transformer is made up of two wire coils wrapped around an iron core. The first coil is termed as primary coil or input side and the second one is known as secondary coil or output side.
Applications of Transformers
Transformers are used to increase voltage of the electrical energy while transmitting over long distance through wires. In addition, one of the important uses of transformers is associated with electronic products that contain low-voltage circuit. Step-down transformers are used to step-down the voltage of the electrical current to a level suitable for the low-voltage circuits. Transformers also help the end user to avoid direct contact with the voltage supply. Today’s transformers are widely used for three-phase voltage control. They are used in electrical power distribution centers to step-down the voltage power.
Types of Transformers
Transformers are mainly classified based on the core, voltage level and service. Core type transformer and shell type transformer are the two types of transformer classified based on the core. Step-up transformers and step-down transformers are categorized based on the voltage level. Distribution transformers and power transformers are the categories based on the service. As the major purpose of transformers relies on transferring energy from one circuit to another, it is important to understand the concept of step-up and step-down transformers.
Step-up transformers - It has more turns in the secondary coil compared to primary coil. Hence, the voltage in the secondary coil is greater than that of primary coil. Output voltage is higher than input voltage in these kinds of transformers. Whereas, in step-down transformers, there are more turns in the primary coils compared to secondary coil. Hence the voltage leaving the secondary coil is less than that of a primary coil. Here, input voltage is higher than output voltage. Some of the main features of step-down and step-up transformers are:
- They are the most important device used to minimize energy losses due to voltage drop while transferring electricity over long distances.
- They match loads with internal resistance frequently; hence, maximum power transfer can be achieved.
- They effectively couple signals between electronic stages.
Choosing the right type of winding is very important to enhance the efficiency and reduce the heat of both step-up and step-down transformers. Copper windings are more efficient compared to Aluminum windings, however, copper windings cost more.