The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word transformer would probably be Bumblebee and Optimus Prime of the Autobots. Although they fit the description of being a transformer, they are not exactly the electric devices that will be discussed in this article. To Philippine suppliers, transformers come in many shapes and forms. In fact, you would commonly see them put atop an electrical pole and in some power stations.
Unfortunately, not many households see the importance of transformers particularly when it comes to running their favorite electronics. Some of them often scratch their heads at its true purpose. If you are one of these people, then don’t fret because we will extensively discuss transformer, its purpose, how it works, and its different types. Just continue reading below.
What is a Transformer?
A transformer is a device that can change the voltage of the power that is supplied from the electrical system. The voltage is changed into proper values to meet the individual needs of the appliances and gadgets that would consume the power.
Most of the time, transformers are functional for a very long period of time. These devices do not have any moving part within its mechanisms, relying fully on the strength and power of its internal circuitry. It is a completely static, solid-state device that has no problems working in normal conditions.
Transformers are used primarily to change the voltage of a supplied current into something that is usable by certain appliances. For example, in the Philippines, transformer suppliers know that most appliances need 220v in order to function properly—however, gadgets and other electronic devices from other countries need only 110v. With that being said, these devices that require 110v need transformers for them to have the optimum voltage levels.
Using a transformer reduces the risk of damaging these electronic devices that can be caused by the difference in voltage levels. It also ensures that your electronic device will receive the right amount of power for it to function or for it to be charged.
Before going deeper on the types of transformers that are used in the typical household, you should first learn about how they work. Though a bit technical, it will definitely help you understand the need for such a device in your home!
The Inner Workings of Transformers
A transformer has four primary parts: Input Connections, Output Connections, Winding, and the Core.
- Input Connections – The input side of a transformer is called the primary side. This is where the main electrical power that will be transformed is connected.
- Output Connections – Known as the secondary side of the transformer, this is where the electrical power is sent to the load. Depending on the requirement, the incoming electrical power can either be increased or decreased.
- Winding – Every transformer has two windings. The primary winding is the coil that draws power from the source while the secondary winding is the one that delivers the already transformed energy to the load. These two coils are usually subdivided into several coils to reduce the creation of any sort of flux.
- Core – The core of the transformer is used to provide a path for the magnetic flux that is generated within it. The core is usually a construction of many thin laminated steel sheets or layers. It is created this way to help eliminate and reduce the possible heating of a device.
There are two types of cores for a transformer: Core Type and Shell Type.
- Core Type – With this, the windings surround the laminated core.
- Shell Type – With this type, the windings are surrounded by the laminated core.
Take note of the fact that transformers do not generate electricity. According to circuit breaker suppliers, they simply transfer the electrical power from one AC circuit to another by using a magnetic coupling. A transformer has a core that is used to provide a path for magnetic flux generated in it by the current flowing through the windings.
Alternating current starts to flow in the primary winding whenever an input voltage is applied to it. As it flows, a changing magnetic field is set up in the transformer core. An alternating voltage is produced in the secondary winding as the magnetic field cuts across it.
The key to distinguishing the type of transformer and what the output voltage will be is the ratio between the number of actual turns of wire in each coil. To clarify, the ration between the output voltage and the input voltage is the same as the ration of the number of turns between the two windings.
When the secondary winding has more turns of wire than the primary winding, then the transformer’s output voltage is going to be greater than the input voltage. Since the output voltage is considered to be “stepped up,” this type of transformer is called the Step-up Transformer.
When the secondary winding has lesser turns of wire than the primary winding, then the output voltage will be lower when compared to the input voltage. If the voltage is “stepped down,” this type of transformer is called the Step-down Transformer.
Basically, the way that transformers work is through electromagnetic induction. An electric current is put into a transformer and the circuitry within it transforms the voltage of the current to a higher or a lower value.
Types of Electric Transformers
The two primary types of electric transformers are the Step-up and Step-down Transformers—but there is still one other transformer but it is being used for an entirely different reason. The third type of transformer is called the Isolation Transformer.
This is the most common type of transformer in the Philippines. It is used to reduce the input voltage into something usable, usually from 220v to 110v. Since 220v is the standard voltage level in the Philippines, most devices from foreign countries that use 110v need transformers so they can function properly.
Moreover, power plants send very high voltage electricity down the power lines. This is because there are industries and establishments that actually need high voltage levels for their equipment. In that regard, transformers, voltage regulators, and other devices that specialize in manipulating voltage levels are key protectors of your electrical equipment.
Step-down transformers not only protect your electrical devices but can also save you money from your electric bill. These transformers make use of high voltage and low current energy, making sure that there is less energy wasted.
Although not that commonly used in households in the Philippines, step-up transformers still see use in some establishments that need higher voltages such as hospitals, factories, and industries that make use of power-heavy equipment. Things such as X-ray machines, MRI Scanners, Manufacturing Equipment and many more would usually need an immense amount of power to operate. Sometimes the already high voltage levels sent from power plants aren’t enough.
Just like step-down transformers, step-up transformers can also serve as protection for your electrical devices. It can also be a means of saving money.
This transformer is unique because it doesn’t change the voltage levels. It has a 1:1 turn ration so it doesn’t increase or decrease the voltage levels—instead, it serves as a safety device. It is primarily used to isolate the grounded conductor of a power line from the chassis or any portion of a circuit. Using it doesn’t necessarily reduce the danger or shock if any kind of contact is made across the transformer’s secondary winding.
This is the last type of transformer we will be discussing in this article. Basically, it is a combination of the Step-up and Step-down transformer. However, you have the option to make it go either way. You could say that it is a fusion of those two types of transformers. It is important to note though that transformer suppliers in the Philippines would suggest that you make use of either a step-up or step-down transformer for more precise functionalities.
The Significance of Transformers in the Philippines
Now that you have a good understanding of what exactly a transformer is and what it does, you should look at how important it is to the modern day living. There are large transformers in power plants that would usually cause the power it distributes to remain at a consistently high voltage level. Transformers make sure that high voltage levels get distributed throughout the power grid to satisfy both the power-hungry and the typical electrical devices.
If the power grid were to rely solely on the electricity that power plants generate, it would all be used up before it gets to any measurable distance. Step-up transformers amplify the voltage levels high enough so that it has an incredibly far reach and a consistent level of voltage—without transformers, efficient power distribution won’t be possible.
Another reason why transformers are so important is the safety that it provides electrical devices against voltage fluctuations. As mentioned above, different electronics have different voltage requirements. Although there are standards such as 110v or 220v that are usually followed, some equipment still needs a precise voltage level for them to function in an optimum manner.
With that being said, because of the options that transformers give homeowners, particularly the choice of increasing or decreasing the voltage level provided, you can be sure that you’ll have the most efficient voltage levels for your equipment. You would also have an extra layer of protection against fluctuating voltage levels that can be very harmful to electronic equipment.
In the Philippines, transformer suppliers know that many households need transformers just because of the sheer number of electronic devices that family gets from different countries that don’t require 220v. That being said, devices that need 110v, 120v, and even 440v can be used without the fear of voltage fluctuations leading to electronic damages.
The right transformer will provide you with some necessary and safe options for plugging in your appliances—which is why even when choosing a transformer, you should choose the ones that are of highest quality and efficiency. You can ensure this by considering these three factors when buying a transformer of your own. First, you must determine the primary voltage or input voltage and frequency that of the power supplied to your home. Second, you should know the required secondary voltage or output voltage, and the capacity required in volt-amperes.
A simple way of determining the factors is by multiplying the amperes (load current) by the load voltage for a single phase. Of course, most of the transformer suppliers in the Philippines would suggest that you select transformers that are capable of supporting larger loads than that—primarily so it to allow expansion and for safety purposes.
Some other things that you should consider when choosing a transformer are the secondary power specifications, maximum ratings of secondary current and voltage rating, and power and output rating.
When you get the best transformer according to the specifications that you desire, you’ll see how effective it is in transforming voltage for the use of several of your electronic devices!
Get the Most Efficient Transformers from Meiji Electric: The Leading Transformer Supplier in the Philippines!
Meiji Electic Philippines has been in the electrical supplier industry for more than 30 years now. Since 1981 the company started out with the marketing of electrical lighting materials. We have slowly grown and expanded both in products and client base and are now known as one of the most trusted and leading electronic suppliers in the Philippines.
You won’t be able to find a similar transformer than the one being offered by Meiji Electric Philippines! Not only is it of the utmost quality, but it also assures you that it is the safest transformer on the market.
For more information about our products, click here!