Transformers are devices that convert AC or alternating current from specific to advisable levels. These are also utilized in increasing or decreasing AC voltage. There are many transformer types and each one comes with soft iron and windings on their primary and secondary sides.
Transformer cores come with steel, soft-iron, or air-like materials. They transfer electricity from primary windings to the secondary windings. Such windings are wound around the iron core but are never linked to one another. The winding part that receives the AC input is called the primary side while the desired voltage is drawn from the secondary side.
A Transformer at Work
Electricity and magnetism are very much at work inside every transformer. When the AC is supplied to the primary side, a magnetic field is created on inside the primary region. Called the Law of Induction, this changing magnetic field induces AC from the secondary side.
Both the primary and secondary coils are inductively linked to one another. More often than not, the iron core is used since it offers high permeability to magnetic flux.
Magnetic flux is that magnetic field amount that passes through any given area. The higher the permeability, the less resistance the magnetic flux has that is flowing through to the core. In iron core, a huge percentage of the magnetic flux is restricted to the core. Because of this restriction, a higher degree of coupling is seen between the primary and secondary coils.
Different Kinds of Transformer
The step-up transformer is the first of the different transformer types. As its name suggests, induced voltage is increased from the primary one. The secondary coil’s turns are greater than the primary’s. This results in a higher secondary voltage. This kind of transformer is used in many power distribution systems that are used over long distances.
The step-down transformer, on the other hand, is used to lower the input voltage to the desired one. Input voltage that goes to the primary coil creates an alternating magnetic field. This magnetic field, in turn, induces AC at the secondary side. With less secondary coil turns on the primary side, the voltage created is also less.
So what is an ideal transformer?
An ideal transformer is a device that incurs no losses. The input and output impedance is equal to zero. This results on an entire voltage being fed to the coils. This spells no less than 99% efficiency since there is no eddy current loss or leakage flux.
On this setup, the secondary voltage is equal to the primary voltage because the primary and secondary voltages also have an equal number of turns.
If a load is linked to the transformer, the secondary to primary voltage ratio will equal the ratio of the primary and to secondary current. This is so because of the zero impedance.
All transformers have more than one coil at their output. A single voltage source and a single primary winding can be utilized to achieve different voltages at the output. This can be done by using different secondary windings, all in accordance to the needed output voltage. This is the reason why it becomes easy to provide the voltage demand through the utilization of a single source. Modern-day power systems make use of different transformer types and they are considered as crucial additional devices. If distribution of electricity is needed for areas that are far from the power source, then they need to be installed. Potential and current transformers are being used in the generation and distribution of power. These devices are now also being used in radio receivers and audio amplifiers among others.