Q:

How does an electrical transformer work?

A:

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.

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.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How does a transformer work?

    A:

    A transformer changes the voltage of an electric current while transferring it from one circuit to another through electromagnetic induction. Fluctuating magnetic fields in the transformer generate an electric current in a coil of wire, and the voltage they put out is directly proportional to the number of turns in the coil of wire.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does an isolating transformer work?

    A:

    Isolating transformers work by having a regular step-up or step-down transformer in which two coils of insulating wire are wound around an iron containing core, but it includes a Faraday shield which isolates the coils from each other and grounds the transformer case. This effectively isolates the transformer's coil, protecting the device from grounded objects and protecting people from the dangerous, deadly high voltages.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does a windmill produce electricity?

    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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do I test a transformer?

    A:

    To test a transformer, obtain an oscillator and multimeter, sync the measuring devices, and connect the oscillator to the transformer to display a voltage reading. Equipped with the multimeter, use the oscillator to test AC signals of the transformer's wires to determine if the voltage is the appropriate reading for the transformer to operate correctly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore