Current Transformer

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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A current transformer is a device installed in a system that changes the size and current of a transmission in order to utilize that same transmission to fulfill multiple tasks. The two standard currents AC and DC are not directly compatible with each other, so if both are needed in the same system, a current transformer must be employed. This device receives an input current, then transforms it into another type of current via a pair of coils installed on the device. As a result, it is capable of transmitting an entirely different variety of output current than the input it received.

Of the two coils affixed to the device, one is powered. As the device receives an input current, the electricity is transmitted to the powered coil. As the powered coil absorbs more of the current, it begins to generate energy. As the energy field grows, it is intercepted by the second, powerless coil. The second coil then transmits this energy through wires that are attached to it. The size, shape, and length of the wires help to transform the energy into another type of current.

Current Transformer Reliability

A current transformer works best when set-up to accept an AC input. The flexibility of AC provides an initial advantage over the unwavering nature of DC, allowing the device to quickly regulate the transmission. For a current transformer to alter the voltage of a non-AC current, it must first convert the current to AC. In the AC state, the current can be more easily managed, and the voltage either raised or lowered via the charged coil. If the current must be output as DC, the transformer can alter the current type once the voltage has been adjusted.

When the energy is transferred from one coil to another within the transformer, there is bound to be some loss. This is known as "dissipation." Current transformers attempt to alleviate the level of dissipation by confining the transfer of energy to the smallest area possible. However, if the area is too confining for the strength of the current, there is a risk that excess heat may be generated, causing damage to circuits, components, or the power supply itself. This is why a precise relationship between heat and dissipation reduction must be achieved in order to maintain an efficient and reliable power source.

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