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# How does an electrical transformer work?

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Transformers have two sets of wires wound around an iron core, and they use electromagnetic induction to increase or decrease electrical current. The primary wires magnetize the iron after the application of current, and the secondary wires use the magnetic induction to create an output current. The increase or decrease of output current depends on how many times the input and output wires wind around the core.

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Credit: born1945 CC-BY-2.0

All transformers operate on the same basic principle, no matter their size. An iron core shaped like a picture frame has two sets of insulated wires wound around the opposing sides. The primary winding creates a magnetic field in the iron, and the secondary winding uses the magnetic field to create an output current. If the primary winding has 100 turns and the secondary has 200 turns, then the output voltage doubles but the amperage drops by half. Reverse the wiring and the output amperage doubles with the voltage dropping by half. Using a combination of windings, engineers can control how much current is increased or decreased. The large transformers found on utility poles decrease or step down high voltage/low amperage current to more manageable levels for home use. For amplifiers and other electronics, a transformer may increase, or step up voltage as needed.

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## Related Questions

• A:

Windmills produce electricity by electromagnetic induction, the process in which the movement of magnets in a magnetic field generates electricity. In a windmill, when wind moves the blades of the windmill that move the rotor, the rotor rotates a shaft that holds magnets in the magnetic field of the generator, generating alternating current that is sent along power lines.

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A transformer's function is to maintain a current of electricity by transferring energy between two or more circuits. This is accomplished through a process known as electromagnetic induction.

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A power transformer is a device that consists of a coil wrapped around an electromagnet that transfers electricity from one circuit to another without changing the frequency of the electric energy. Although the frequency of the electrical energy isn't changed, the voltage and current commonly change when passing through.