Tag: electrical transformer identification guide

Understanding Transformers

Before we can move into transformers, we need to establish the fundamental principles of voltage. What is current, voltage and a load? Imagine a person pulling a cart downhill. The voltage (v), or the man (120%). The current (amps), or how hard he works to climb the hill (2amps), is his load (a motor). The man may bring a friend, creating 240v. They do less work (1amp) and the load stays the the same (amotor). In managing electricity infrastructure, all needs must be wise and with quality products. Then MGM Transformers can help to supply varying secondary voltages to externally connected loads. You can find quality electrical and lighting products at the MGM Transformer Company.

What is the purpose of a transformer? Transformers are responsible for controlling voltage. They sense voltage and take it to either step voltage down, voltage up, or isolate one voltage. Controlling this voltage is crucial. For example, take your local power utility. This step up transformer gives high voltage power to the lines. This creates low amperage. The voltage is then lowered before it enters your home.

What parts make up the transformer? A transformer’s main components are the primary and secondary windings, the primary core (laminated iron core), and the secondary windings (primary and secondary). The primary winding is connected to the power entering transformer (inputvoltage). The secondary wire is connected to the place where the power will be going (output potential). Laminated core is used in order to seperate the primary from secondary windings.

So, how does a transformer work? There are no moving parts in a transformer. Instead, a transformer uses electromagnetic force to pass electricity between the primary and secondary windings. An easy way to grasp induction is that it uses electromagnetic force and moves the voltage to the secondary end. We control induction using the turn ratio.

What is the turn ratio? A turn ratio refers to the relationship between the primary & secondary windings. If there were 120 volts entering the Transformer and 24 volts exiting the Transformer, it would be called a turn ratio. With a 5/1 turn rate, our voltage would drop. Simple math can be used to calculate the voltage entering and then leaving the transformer. You can get 5/1 with 120/24.

How do I size my transformer? The transformer size is for secondary winding. The secondary winding’s rating is expressed in VA, which stands for voltage times amperage. You might have a 24v controller circuit with a maximum current of 2amps. It would take the voltage (24v) then multiply it by the maximum amps (2amps), which will give 24×2 or 48va. A transformer rated at 48va is required.

Are transformers supposed to be serviced regularly? No. Transformers don’t require any maintenance because they have no moving parts. The primary windings will show signs of a transformer going bad and it will need replacing. Some transformers are equipped either with a safety or fuseable link. It is a good idea to check for any potential source of damage if the transformer has been tripped. A bad transformer is only a symptom and not the cause of the problem.