In this tutorial, I am describing one of the most important topics-
- What is an Electrical Transformer?
- Explanation of transformer’s construction and its main parts.
Also, I will add the functions of each part of the Transformer. So, it will make you understand easily.
Let’s dive into the basics of the transformer.
Table of Contents
What is Electrical Transformer?
The basic definition of a transformer-
An electromagnetic device which is used to step up or step down the voltage level with respect to increasing or decreasing alternating current level at a constant frequency. This device called as an Electrical Transformer.
Sometimes, an electrical transformer is called an Electrostatic device. Because, it doesn’t consist of removing apart.
Here are listing some important points and function of transformer.
- The electrical connection does not occur in the transformer, only the magnetic connection occurred.
- Electrical transformer works on a principle of Faraday’s Laws of Electromagnetic induction.
- It requires and works only the alternating current (AC) source. And AC source helps to generate the magnetic flux in the electromagnetic field.
- It is a protective device by regulating (raising or lowering) voltage in an electrical power system.
- The main function transformer is to transform the power from one circuit to another circuit at a constant frequency.
- The transformer is more power-efficient and has very low transformer losses as compared to other electrical machines.
- The generating power in the transformer is always measured in KVA rating, not kW.
What is the construction of Transformer?
For the construction of the transformer, we require different types of components. Out of them, laminated iron core with copper windings and steel strips are the basic parts of the transformer.
Core laminations consist of thin metal strips of insulating materials. These laminations are insulated by a coat of varnishes or papers and wrap around the limb.
You can easily understand from given transformer diagram.
It consists of two types of windings such as primary winding and secondary winding.
These windings are separate and made by an electrical copper coil (number of turns). AC voltage source is provided to the primary winding and load is connected to the secondary winding.
We were already discussing, the transformer winding is not electrically connected to each other, but it is magnetically connected.
The main function of the core to support the winding and to provide a low reluctance path for flowing magnetic flux whose maybe a flowing useful flux.
Let’s study other essential components for the construction of transformer.
What are the main parts of transformer and its function?
Several parts of the transformer are given different specifications with the works as follow.
- Laminated iron core
- Transformer winding
- Insulating materials
- Tap changer
- Transformer tank
- Oil conservator tank
- Buchholz relay
- Cooling tube and radiator
- Explosion vent or valve
Let’s study of transformer parts and functions one-by-one.
1. Laminated Iron Core
The transformer’s core is made up of iron or silicon steel or ferromagnetic materials.
The iron core made of thin metal strips and lamination insulated by a coat of varnishes or papers. Each metal strip has a thickness near about the o.5mm.
In the below figure, you can see the number of metal strips connected to each other with the lamination layer and form a single core.
Laminated Iron Core
Basically, ‘L’ and ‘E’ shaped laminations are used in different types of transformers.
In the core type transformer, ‘L’ or ‘U’ shaped lamination is used.
And shell types transformer ‘E’ or ‘I’ shaped lamination is used.
This core lamination helps to reduce the eddy current loss and hysteresis loss.
The basic function of transformer core is-
- to provide a low reluctance path and
- to provide high permeability for the flux in the magnetic circuit.
2. Transformer Winding
The transformer winding is consists of several turns of the copper coil. It is wrapped around the limb or core with lamination.
The power transformer windings laminated by the insulation coating. Because, it prevents the short circuit condition.
What are the types of winding in transformer?
On the basis of supply, two types of winding are used.
- High voltage winding
- Low voltage winding
Simply based on core construction, there are two types of winding.
- Concentric types winding
- Sandwich types winding
I. Concentric types of winding:
Concentric types of windings are generally used in core types of transformer. It contains the only single path for mutual flux (Φ). And theses flowing fluxes are equally distributed on the side limbs of the core.
The single flux path is shown in the following figure.
Concentric types of winding consist of various kinds of winding like,
- Helical types winding
- Disc types winding
- Core types winding
In these core types of the transformer, windings are surrounded by the core. So, it requires a huge amount of copper coil and laminated materials.
II. Sandwich types of winding:
Sandwich types of winding are used in shell-type transformers. In a shell-type transformer, the primary and secondary winding is placed on the central limb.
This central limb carries two flux paths (mutual flux and leakage flux) in the magnetic circuit.
You can see the above diagram, in shell types of the transformer, the core surround by the winding.
Read more details: Core Type Transformer vs Shell Types Transformer
3. Insulating Material
In the transformer, insulating materials rely on their voltage rating. Different types of insulating materials are used in the transformer.
These insulating materials maybe a transformer oil, insulating paper, wood, the insulating glass material, tap changer insulating coil from grounding, etc.
4. Tap Changer
Tap changer is to regulate supply voltage or load. And it maintains both conditions (i.e. source or load) by changing the variable turns.
The tap changer is easily removed from the first turn and connects to the next turn ratio. Tap changers can occur on the primary side or secondary side.
Generally, a tap changer use in the high voltage winding side because it reduces load current.
Classification of Tap Changer –
It is classified into two following category,
- No-load tap changer
- On-load tap changer
5. Transformer Tank
The transformer tank is a cylindrically shaped tank. It is made of steel metal with a high thickness. Core, transformer windings, and oil is placed in the transformer tank.
Basically, mineral oil (i.e. Naphthenic mineral oil) or synthetic oil is used in transformer tank.
This oil provides insulation and cooling to the transformer winding.
6. Oil Conservator Tank
The oil conservator tank looks like a rectangular tank. It stores the extra oil and it is directly connected with the transformer tank.
The oil conservator tank is played an important role in the transformer.
The purpose of the conservator tank is to protect the expansion of oil in the main tank of the transformer. The oil is used in the transformer for two purposes-
When the oil level reduces due to losses or leakage, the conservator will be delivering oil to the transformer. Thus, It acts as reservoir oil.
The breather is connected with the conservator tank. It is a cylindrical vessel which is filled with blue color silica gel.
They have two purposes-
- to remove the moisture from the air,
- to have the capacity to absorb the moisture in a transformer.
It plays a role to act as the air filter and provide free moisturizing air to the conservator tank.
8. Buchholz Relay
Buchholz relay is a protective device that is oil and gas-operated the relay. It is connected to the main transformer tank and conservator tank.
When the internal fault occurs in the transformer due to leakage flux, insulation core, core connection, breakdown core, etc. by producing excess heat.
This excess heat decomposes oil in the transformer and gas bubbles formed. Gas bubbles flow in the upward direction to the conservator and collected in the relay.
Buchholz relay is a fault detected by the amount of nature of gas and oil level in a transformer.
During several fault conditions, an alarm is alert then this command send to the circuit breaker and isolates the transformer.
9. Bushing or Terminals
The bushing is an insulating device that is made up of porcelain materials. The terminal of the bushing is provided a path of the conductor to the transformer tank.
With the help of the terminal, the transformer gives and provides the supply to another system.
In the transformer, two types of the bushing are mostly used- high voltage (HV) bushing and low voltage (LV) bushing. It relies on voltage ratings may be high voltage or low voltage.
10. Cooling Tube and Radiator
The cooling tube is necessary for maintaining the temperature and circulating cooling oil in the transformer.
And the radiator is connected with the transformer tank. It is also made of a number of metal strips or pipes.
Both the cooling tube and the radiator provide the same function in a different way. When losses occur in the transformer, heat is produced. This heat absorbs by the cooling tube and radiator in the form of cooling systems.
It is divided into two types of cooling systems.
- Natural cooling system
- Forced cooling system
In the natural cooling system, a cooling tube and radiator are used. And In the forced cooling system, we can connect the extra air fan to the transformer.
11. Explosion Vent or Vlave
The explosion vent is located at the topmost position on the transformer. The conservator tank is directly connected to the explosion tank with the help of a pipe.
The main purpose to prevent damage transformer oil tank by expelling boiling oil during an internal fault. And it is necessary to remove heated oil (in the form of gas) from the transformer.
This explosion tank use only for emergency purposes. It mostly works when a breather and Buchholz relay will not doing work properly.
These eleven main important parts of transformers are covered with the help of the tutorial.
If you are interested more about learning practically and building projects, here is the listing of the topmost challenging ideas for the Electrical Engineering Project based on Transformer.
Related read the following article:
- Different types of transformer
- Electrical circuit vs Magnetic circuit
- Single-phase vs Three-phase AC systems
- Electric Fuse vs Circuit Breaker
- Overhead system vs Underground system
- Distribustion system vs Transmission system
- AC transmission vs DC transmission
Ready for online test:
If you are ready to give the online quiz, you can directly join the Electrical Transformer Quiz.
Let me know if you have any queries, you can share in the comment section.
Thanks for Reading!
I have completed master in Electrical Power System. I work and write technical tutorials on the PLC, MATLAB programming, and Electrical on DipsLab.com portal.
Sharing my knowledge on this blog makes me happy. And sometimes I delve in Python programming.