As this is an electrical website we’re not talking about the Japanese invented robots sent to save the earth from evil. Instead we’re talking about the electrical kind which in a funny kind of way are strangely just as fascinating. Anyway…. electrical transformers are used to step up or step down the voltage or current from one source to another so that it’s sufficient to service a wide variety of appliances.
Where are they used?
Transformers come in a wide variety of sizes ranging from their largest incarnation where they sit on top of electricity pylons, to their smallest where they can be the size of thumb nail when fitted inside an appliance such as a microphone. In their largest form they can deal with massive amounts of electricity from the power grid and this is where it gets interesting.
Transformers situated on top of an electricity pylon often receive electricity in excess of 760,000 volts. This then has to be reduced down to around 7200 volts by putting it through a transformer located at a substation. Next a transformer on a local power line might reduce the voltage further to around 220-240 volts before it’s then sent directly into your home. Larger appliances such as air conditioning units and water heaters tend to use this form of electricity but others such as TV’s and computers may need electricity as low as 110 volts. Each of these appliances may need smaller and smaller transformers to make sure that that piece of equipment receives the right amount of electricity. In essence electricity may well have been reduced up to 1000 times before it goes into an appliance and that’s all because of transformers.
That’s pretty amazing stuff, but how do they really work ?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that transformers were a complex mass of circuits and wires but surprisingly, they’re incredibly simple things. Consisting or two separate coils of wire one side deliberately has more coils than the other. When electricity from the side with more coils transfers to the other side with less coils the electricity is reduced or stepped down. Alternatively if the electricity is passed through the side with the least coils first onto the side with more, then it has the opposite effect and voltage is increased. One part of the coil is connected to an input circuit and the other to the output.
Fairly straight forward right! Well, just to confuse you, auto-transformers do exactly the same job but function in a different way. This type of transformer only has one coil which is connected to both the input and output circuits at different points. One circuit has more turns in the wire than the other and when electricity passes through it does the same job. The advantages of auto-transformers are that they’re lighter, more adaptable and have a better overload tolerance than their counterparts but as an electrician we deal with both types.
So there you have it the strangely fascinating role of the transformer! If you have voltage issues it’s vital that you don’t tackle them yourself and instead phone a registered electrician. At Static Electrics we’ve been helping residents and businesses of the Sunshine Coast for many years and as such have the experience and the skills to deal with a wide range of electrical problems. Contact us today on 07 5445 8305 and put us to the test.